According to its website, the goal of this gathering is “to encourage attendees … to come out of the closet as secular Americans, or supporters of secular equality”.
… Are atheists really a beleaguered minority in the US? Is it really a great taboo today to profess that you do not believe in God?
… atheists are not being persecuted for denying the existence of God or prevented from holding secular values and expressing them in public.
So because we’re not going to jail or getting beaten up for our views, we have no reason to complain? Atheists have no problem expressing our views in public? it’s not taboo to be an atheist?
Rothschild has absolutely no idea what she’s writing about.
Maybe she doesn’t get it because she’s based in Sweden. But we know it’s hard to tell people you’re an atheist in many parts of this country. And, yes, it’s hard to express secular values as well.
Talk to Jessica Ahlquist, who went through hell and back as she stood up for church/state separation. Or Damon Fowler, who had to move to another state after he tried to stop illegal prayers from taking place at his high school graduation. Or anyone who has come out as atheist to a religious family, only to be kicked out or altogether shunned for it. Or all those people who can’t express their atheism out of fear of losing their jobs. Or spouses. Or kids.
Even those of us who are openly atheist are used to hearing nasty statements directed at the godless, like pastors telling their flocks how atheists are immoral and evil. We get stories of discrimination against atheists on a regular basis in our inboxes. That’s part of what keeps us blogging and talking about this stuff.
We’re gathering in Washington to show people what atheists really look like — we’re kind, happy, diverse, and (yes) angry. But we’re angry for good reason. We want politicians to take our views seriously, because they’re the views our country’s Founders took seriously. We’re gathering to surround ourselves — some of us for the first time ever — by likeminded, rational people. We’re gathering to let the atheists who can’t make it know that they’re not alone, no matter where they live in America.
Rothschild ought to attend the Rally and speak with the attendees. Maybe she’d learn a thing or two about why it’s so important and how much it means to the people who are traveling from all over the country to be there.