Politico has an article about the upcoming Reason Rally, which features some good quotes from lots of cool people, including Jesse Galef. They stress that this event is a positive one, a coming out party for an increasingly popular movement in favor of secular values.
The rally’s website says the intent is to “unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide” and “combat negative stereotypes about nonreligious Americans.”
“It’s a celebration,” Fidalgo said. “It’s not a protest. It’s not a complaint. It’s not a March on Washington where we’re picketing anything. It’s a celebration of the fact that the secular movement is really starting to come into its own. There are more people who feel free to come out and say they’re nonbelievers or secular humanists and those numbers are growing. People are less shy about it. This gives us a chance to make ourselves known and put ourselves on the national stage and say, ‘We’re here, we’re a large group, we’re active, we have a positive agenda.’ We want you to know we’re your neighbors, and we’re not scary.”
The dynamic is very similar to what happened in the last few decades with gay people coming out of the closet, and that’s a very important statement. And the very first commenter, right on cue, demonstrates the necessity:
Go ahead and protest. That is your right. But just remember that this is a nation of believers. We feel sorry that you have no values and no hope for an afterlife, but you aren’t going to change anything. Believers talk the way they do because that is how they think. If you don’t like living in a nation of believers, you might try to get together and colonize Antarctica.
No, this is not a nation of believers. It’s a nation where a fairly high percentage of the population are believers, but lots of us aren’t. And it’s our country too. If you don’t like that, you might try to get together and colonize South Carolina. Oh wait, someone already thought of that.
By the way, it was just announced that Eddie Izzard is going to be speaking at the Reason Rally.