These are the big things that come to my mind. What would you change or add to the list?
1) The Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24th.
With a large roster of speakers already (and hopefully bigger names to come), this has the potential of being the largest gathering of atheists in our history. Hopefully, the media — and politicians — will take notice.
2) The Books.
I’m especially excited about the release of PZ Myers‘ book The Happy Atheist: Dancing on the Graves of the Gods. Mostly, I’m curious how it’ll appeal to a wider audience, how his own blogosphere dominance will translate to book sales, and if his book will make him as well-known to the general public as the other “New Atheists.”
And what about the women writers? As far as I can tell, there are no big releases planned for any of the prominent female atheists. Is that because publishers just aren’t taking a chance on them? Is it just coincidence that none of them happen to be writing books this year (including self-published ones)? Or did I just miss a press release somewhere along the line…?
(Incidentally, Susan Jacoby is working on a book called Conversions: A Secular History but there’s no word on a release date just yet.)
3) Rock Beyond Belief at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on March 31st.
After having to cancel the event due to restrictions by military officials last year, Sgt. Justin Griffith is trying again and this time he has the media on his side. Richard Dawkins will be the keynote speaker and this marks the first time (as far as I know) that military atheists will be honored for their contributions in an event of this magnitude.
4) The Conferences.
These happen every year, but they only seem to get larger and better as time passes.
Some of the notable events include:
- Moving Secularism Forward — Orlando, Florida (3/1-3/4)
- American Atheists — Washington, D.C. (3/25-3/26)
- Northwest Free-thought Alliance conference — Renton, Washington (3/30 – 4/1)
- 2012 Global Atheist Convention — Melbourne, Australia (4/13-4/15)
- 2012 Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society Convention — Manila, Philippines (4/21)
- Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism — New York City, New York (4/21-4/22)
- Imagine No Religion 2 — Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada (5/18-5/20)
- Women in Secularism — Arlington, Virginia (5/18-5/20)
- 2012 European Atheist Convention — Cologne, Germany (5/25-5/27)
- American Humanist Association conference — New Orleans, Louisiana (6/7-6/10)
- Secular Student Alliance Leadership Conference — Columbus, Ohio (7/6-7/8)
- The Amazing Meeting 10 — Las Vegas, Nevada (7/12-7/15)
- Texas Freethought Convention — Austin, Texas (TBA — late August)
- Freedom From Religion Foundation convention — Portland, Oregon (10/12-10/13)
- Skepticon V — Springfield, Missouri (TBA — November)
5) The elections.
No matter who the Republican nominee ends up being, you can bet that religion will play a significant role in the elections. Will atheists be able to vote as some sort of bloc and be taken seriously? Will politicians support church/state separation? Will any openly non-theistic candidates be elected to public office?
As our numbers grow and more people come out, impacting elections has to be one of our movement’s long term goals.