ReasonFest '11

Kansas is not a state that I used to seeing good news from, at least not on the rational front. So it’s good to see that there’s a group putting together a festival to celebrate and endorse freethought.

ReasonFest ’11 (facebook page) is a free event scheduled for May 6-7 in the Woodruff Auditorium in Lawrence, KS. The press release describes it as ” a two-day festival on atheism, secularism and naturalism with various speakers, such as Dan Barker, Darrel Ray, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Hemant Mehta.” The main event will be a debate on the existence of God between Dan Barker and John-Mark Miravalle, a religion instructor at the School of Faith.

They’ve put together a promo (which gets a bit loud):

YouTube Preview Image

For those interested, here’s the press release:

  • Leo


  • Larian LeQuella

    Kansas? The same state that wanted to outlaw evolution? Wow, that is indeed some good news. When I was stationed there in the 90s, I can’t say that I ever ran into anyone of the free thinking variety.

  • Noelle

    Calling something Reasonfest and putting it in Kansas so makes me want to go. What about Superfunwedontbelieveingodfest on a nice sunny beach? The schedule looks more like a conference or lecture series. Shouldn’t a fest have festivities? But good for Kansas for offering something that appears to be professional and balanced.

    Is the acronym SOMA intentional? Real world muscle relaxer with abuse potential. Drug of choice for Huxley’s Brave New World. If so, clever.

  • tea

    I am from Kansas and I didn’t know about this. Thanks for the heads up. KU is really a hub for Atheist in Kansas.

  • Trace

    I used to live in Kansas City, MO.

    Kansas City’s metropolitan area expands well into the Kansas side of the border. Many of its middle class burbs and exurbs are in the Kansas side. Johnson county is actually the second largest community in Kansas….It may even have a larger population than Topeka. Friends of mine who liven in the Kansas side, were always mortified when their school boards were on the news.

    Lawrence, about an hour west from all this “new” development. is a great liberal community (college town). Good for them.

  • Aaron

    Good for KU. I really wish I could attend. From my experience having grown up in in the Lawrence area, it is unfortunately one of the only free thinking places in Kansas. Hopefully more events like this will help turn the tide.

  • Rich R

    I saw the debate . Dan was his usual efficient self. The catholic “opponent” was someone new to me, and I tend to think deservedly so. While his argument was different from the staid retorts we are all used to, it was less coherent. He starting by defining god into existence and then spent the rest of the time dodging and claiming he has already proven that god exists. He actually claimed a water bottle was proof of god (something about it being “essential” not not “needing to exist”) and also went so far as to say he would kill Dan if god told him to. Refreshingly newish takes, yes. Sensible, no.

    The first 1/2 hour his tone of voice was something I could only call “argument by whining” for the existence of god. You really should listen to it and give me your 2 cents.

  • Pingback: Barker vs. Miravalle | Unreasonable Faith