The Richard Dawkins discussion group / forum has decided to green light a story about Rock Beyond Belief.We are grateful to the moderators for the thread. I kicked off the discussion with a brief recap of the story so far.
Recently, Ft Bragg was ‘treated’ to an evangelical event called ‘Rock the Fort’. Many called for Ft Bragg to cancel the event, with protests from the FFRF, and many allied organizations. They didn’t cancel it. In fact, LTG Helmick, the post commander responded by saying that the same opportunity would be offered to non-believers, and other faiths.
We are taking him at his word. A grass-roots campaign has already started to gather support for the upcoming Ft Bragg Freedom Festival.
What we are aiming for: a day of secular entertainment. Additionally, we aim to remove the social stigma from the word, ‘atheist’ by showing the military community exactly who we are. The atheist coming out campaign that Richard Dawkins launched is a huge inspiration to all of us ‘atheists in foxholes’.
What we are NOT aiming for: an anti-religious event, or divisive and offensive activities, or just being a ‘counter-event’.
Ft Bragg Freedom Festival needs a lot more publicity and support to be able to expect to be able to pull off a major event on the scale of what the Billy Graham Ministries was able to deliver. As an active-duty (low ranking, too!) soldier myself, I am hoping for the best
We have already received tentative confirmation from many speakers/musicians, even though we just launched less than two weeks ago.
The comments have been overwhelmingly supportive, and the traffic spike even temporarily knocked down our site! The only negative thing that came up a few times was a misunderstanding that I’d like to specifically address. We are not holding an anti-religious event. We are not holding an anti-theist, or anti-Christian event either. We are simply putting on a day of secular entertainment.
The point is not to just be the counter-event to the (offensive) Rock the Fort event. Two wrongs don’t make a right. We want nothing to do with proselytizing ‘atheism’ (or agnosticism, deism, or even humanism) to anybody else. We are not trying to say that our secular way is the only way / right way. We are simply proud of who we are, and we are celebrating in a way that we wish that the Rock the Fort organizers had chosen to do so. They didn’t. So what. We are taking the high road.
Update: Our team has changed it’s name to Rock Beyond Belief since this article was written. All of the same people / speakers / bands are still the same as before, so don’t worry.
A separate group, CFAA, is putting on a small scale ‘First ammendment / interfaith event’ under the old name. While we at RBB respectfully disagree with this approach (because the dozen or so chapels on post already handle the interfaith angle every single day), we still wish them success with their event.
If you happened to ‘like’ the old facebook page, please update your links to reflect the new page.