Let’s ruin your day first thing in the morning by reminding you that the world is ending in ten days.
However, if you needed a reason to throw one last big party, this is it – and that’s precisely what will be going on across the country on May 21. PZ will be on the East Coast telling us how the end of the world looks (since presumably god will follow man-made time zones). This will be of tremendous use to Greta Christina and Jen McCreight who will both be speaking at the American Atheists Rapture Party in Oakland, CA and getting ready to loot Rick Warren’s palace he calls a home when the rapture occurs. They will also be live-blogging the end of the world with me, so haul out your space phone and stay tuned on May 21.
Me? I’ll be the middle man. Yet another Midwest college group (the Air Capital Skeptics, whom I proudly announce are an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance) has decided to put on one of those new fangled free conferences in Wichita of all places! I cannot wait to step outside the morning of Sunday the 22nd in one of the more intensely religious areas in the country and scan for confused looks on people’s faces.
The event is appropriately called Rapture Day and it lasts from morning until night (just in case god is a late riser). If that’s not enough time, the after party will undoubtedly give god all the time he needs to begin searing everybody who couldn’t bring themselves to believe a guy rose from the dead without evidence. The event organizers have done god the enormous favor of assembling several prominent atheists all in one spot for his smiting pleasure.
- Richard Carrier. My personal hero and author of Sense and Goodness Without God amongst a host of other things. Sense and Goodness is my favorite piece of atheistic literature. If you haven’t read it, trust me, you owe it to yourself. Staying true to his usual uniquely humorous (yet fact-heavy) reputation, Dr. Carrier’s talk will be “You’re all Gonna Die! How the Jews Kept Failing to Predict Doomsday and Caused Christianity Instead”.
- David Fitzgerald. You will never meet a more down-to-Earth guy who has every reason not to be. David is the author of NAILED: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All, which was a finalist for Best Atheist Book of 2010. He spoke at Skepticon 3 last Fall and rocked the crowd. Dave will be giving his popular talk “The Ten Thousand Christs and the Evaporating Jesus”.
- Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist. Everybody knows what a treat it is to see Brother Sam. Was easily one of the crowd favorites at Skepticon 3.
- Darrel Ray. The overly personable author of The God Virus. Awesome dude!
- Blair Scott. Very accomplished bloke. He is the Communications Director for American Atheists, a staff writer for American Atheist Magazine, and manages the NoGodBlog, the official blog of American Atheists. Blair also runs The Critical Eye Podcast with his co-host Tom Hand. His talk will be “The End Is Near! (Again)”.
And who knows, perhaps the Westboro Baptist Church will come hang out too, telling us how much god hates this group of people who will be laughing it up and having the time of our lives while they stand bored as hell out in the sun cooking.
And then there’s little ol’ me giving my talk “Dear Christian”. I’m not sure how I continue to get smuggled into groups of such accomplished, prominent, and extremely talented public speakers, but I’m not complaining. I cannot think of a better way to spend my last day on Earth – which means that if you’re anywhere nearby you should come and spend it with me and a mob of other happy heathens!
The organizers are keeping a close eye on attendance, which is already looking to be incredible. If it gets too high, they may have to do some venue switching, so if you’re going to attend be sure to register. And even if you can’t be there, they’re a college group (so you know money is scarce) putting this event together with free admission so that everybody, rich or poor, can get access to some of the movers and shakers in the atheist movement. Help them along by tossing them a donation or by buying one of their t-shirts – it’s not like you can take the money with you, right?
Dr. Carrier puts it perfectly, as he tends to do:
And if you want to help out, or even just ensure that more events like this will happen in the region, please donate to their cause. If enough donations come in for events like this, other groups will be encouraged to launch such efforts themselves, and hey, it’s just a great way to show your support for organized atheism in the United States, giving it a public profile that shows the people and the politicians that we are not an unmotivated fringe group, but a major demographic that really believes in the cause of reason.
There has been an explosion of secularism in the South/Midwest, the most unlikely of all areas but certainly where it is needed most. These free conventions that are springing up have a lot to do with it. It’s so amazing to be riding the crest of this wave and seeing so much passion.
I hope you will be there to share it with me. If you are, track me down and say hi. The CAC theater is located on the Wichita State University campus on Isely Lane (off Perimeter road), near the corner of 17th and Yale.
And because this entry attempts to murder you with links, here’s one last link to THE EVENT’S WEB SITE.