Reason Rally almost here

Tomorrow Michaelyn gets into town and then Wednesday we are road tripping to DC for the Reason Rally!  We will be live-blogging the whole journey and we will be joined by our atheist bear (courtesy of CASH at the University of Minnesota).

We decided on a name for him.  It came from Ashley Wheeler at the University of Missouri.  It’s Conan the Bar-Bear-ian.  :)

We’ve also decided to have a fancy schmancy lunch date somewhere between Columbus and DC.  Any suggestions?  Also, this is your last chance to suggest places for us to stop off.  After that we’ll be rolling into DC on Thursday to check out the Smithsonians with Christina, her hubby Chris, and Adam and Amanda Brown of Atheism Resource and We Are Atheism.

She and I will be at the Secular Student Alliance table all day during the rally.  Come by and say hello.  :)

I will also be giving a talk at the American Atheists National Convention Sunday night at 8:15 PM.  It’s about coming out of the closet, and I’ve written to the people who are afraid to come out due to the social penalties enforced by religious prejudice.  I have very much enjoyed writing this talk and cannot wait to give it.

Are you going to be at the Reason Rally?  Talk about it here.  I hope I get to meet some of you!  :)

  • Irreverend Bastard

    That picture.

    Accusing stare from JT, and an eye-rolling bear. It’s like they both are saying “See what I have to deal with?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.agudo tonyagudo

    I’ll be headed to D.C. early Thursday morning for the rally, the AA convention and sightseeing(Might even bump into you at the one of the Smithsonians). Definitely looking forward to your talk at the convention!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jazzzinger jazkelly

    I met my wife the atheist about 5 years ago. The “A” word was always a bone of contention with us, in that I was fighting to support the last strands of a missing faith, which she so easily dismissed. I insisted she must be an agnostic, mainly because I didn’t understand. Atheism seemed so absolute. Until I came to understand one is an atheist, yet still open to evidence. That unlike religious fundamentalists, atheists simply seek proof. That seems so reasonable. I became converted. Leaving my Catholicism behind, I feel a huge weight has been lifted. I can be truly open now. But it has not always been so…
    10 years ago, I kneeled at my father’s bedside, praying the Rosary with him as he faced his imminent passing. It felt a little strange, but it seemed to calm him, offer him some comfort. Like a mantra, it seemed to calm me as well in some way. At that time I was simply a lapsed Catholic, able to inflate my faith for special occasions,holidays, funerals,baptisms. Like many, I dare not confront the elephant in the room, that religion didn’t make sense. But I had kids, I wanted to give them some moral structure and the sense that they belonged to the family. The family that was their cousins,their parents,their grandparents.

    The Reason Rally has given me a moment to “come out” to my family and friends, at least as they understand that Trish and I are going. She has been patient with me, we have had some heated discussions over the years, but she has helped my journey, to where now I am an atheist in my own right. We are both excited about the upcoming Rally. We are taking the Rally bus out of Chicago and will be dropped off on the Mall Saturday morning. We are so excited. It will be pretty cool to see what 30,000 atheists look like.
    Now at nearly 54, my boys are men now, my parents are gone, so now I feel I free to open my mind as I’ve wanted to for so long. I’m reading Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and others. And I realize “coming out” means some of my cousins and others are upset about my choice. Others are more supportive, sharing their own escapes from mythology in hushed tones, protecting the myths of others in their families. Much like we protect children from the truth about Santa and the Easter Bunny.
    Anyway, I look forward to your speech, and certainly your blogs. I will be filming our journey, because it should be a momentous trek and an awesome day. I’m out, and proud, and lucky enough to have someone of like mind to share my lack of faith. And 30,000 people from all over!

  • Richard

    Wife decided at the last minute that we can go, now I’m scrambling! Hope to see you there JT!

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com Ubi Dubium

    I will have to come find you. My youngest is volunteerng at the Camp Quest Tent, so I’ll probably be hanging around there quite a bit.

  • Franklin

    I am so excited for the RR that I dont expect me to get much work done – I would really love to hear your talk on coming out as the RR sort of outed me, hard to explain to the family why I am flying to DC for 4 days :) So after 30 closeted years, I am OUT!

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/biodork Brianne

    ReasonRally!ReasonRally!ReasonRally!ReasonRally!ReasonRally!ReasonRally! Yay! Ohemgee is it only Monday? The Hubby and I fly out at 5:45am on Friday. We’re going to try to see the cherry blossoms on Friday afternoon. We may try to hit some RR-related stuff later but we don’t have tickets or hard plans for Friday night. It’s All Reason Rally All The Time on Saturday – I’m hoping to meet a lot of FTBers and run into some of my local Minnesota Atheist crowd on the mall. And then we’re sight-seeing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We plan on doing a lot of self-guided walking tours, and maybe splurge on a guided Segway tour.

  • Mike Nam

    Got last minute bus tickets from Newark, NJ that morning woohoo!

  • neatospiderplant

    Hubby and I are driving down on Thursday. It’s about 11 hours away so Thursday will be all about the driving. Friday we plan on exploring Washington. We have no specific sightseeing plans other than checking out the cherry blossoms (which should be in peak bloom! So looking forward to that!)

    We have dinner plans with friends from the area (tentatively for cheesecake factory which I am so excited about as the closest one to us is 3 1/2 hour away so I don’t get the chance very often).

    Other than that we are going to go with the flow for Saturday.

    We will spend Sunday driving back. So lots of excitement to fit in a very short time.