Protests Planned for Reason Rally

Protests Planned for Reason Rally March 10, 2012

I’ve been wondering whether there would be protests at the Reason Rally. Turns out the answer is yes. A bunch of Christians are planning to try to convert atheists at the event into Christians. Good luck with that.

They’re going to hand out bottled water and pamphlets to convince us all that we should join them. I’m sure their arguments will be totally original and compelling. Sorry, check that. They’ll undoubtedly be using the same tired arguments we’ve all heard a million times. But this guy is an optimist:

There’s going to be quite a collision come a month from now. Lives will be changed one way or another. Get ready; it’s gonna be big.

I bet it won’t. You’ll show up, we’ll laugh at you, we’ll have our rally and go home.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Hank Fox

    Sweet! Free bottled water for atheists!

    It will be like, you know, SUPPORT for what we’re doing.

  • Oh, NOW they sure do love that free speech.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Sweet! Free bottled water for atheists!

    Check it carefully to see that the factory seal is still in place.

  • raven

    There’s going to be quite a collision come a month from now. Lives will be changed one way or another. Get ready; it’s gonna be big.

    This is stupid.

    1. Because of recent events and thanks to the fundies, most atheists are former xians. Some of the atheist leaders are former ministers for Cthulhu’s sake. We know.

    2. Polls show that atheists know more about xianity than xians do. It’s hard to reason people out of something they didn’t reason themselves into.

    But not impossible. To leave a religion that you were born into and brainwashed from childhood usually takes a lot of knowledge and reasoning. It doesn’t happen by itself.

  • Randomfactor

    Be sure to thank them for the bottled water.

    And then “unbless” it. They’re hoping we dissolve like the demons in the sink from “Dogma.”

  • raven

    There’s going to be quite a collision come a month from now. Lives will be changed one way or another. Get ready; it’s gonna be big.

    This is stupid, obnoxious, and potentially dangerous.

    It’s inflammatory language that implies there could be violence.

    What the organizers need to do for events like this is have a half trained group of unofficial “monitors” with T shirts and armbands.

    If a few crackpots and crazies try to start fights from either side, usually all they have to do is say a few words and look competent and the situation defuses. Even if people don’t have that intention and mostly they don’t, arguments can get heated and spiral out of control.

    They also need to have cameras, video cameras, and cell phones. These days, everyone is a photo and video journalist and the media is the internet. I’d make sure these xians know that what they are going to do will end up on Youtube and maybe in a court case. People are more careful when they know the whole world and the police will be watching.

    It might not happen. But historically and even today, some xians have been violent. Many of us have been getting death threats from them for over a decade.

  • grizzle

    I say let the wingnut crazies show up. Who cares? It’s our rally, our weekend. It’s not like we’re going to be outnumbered!

    I just hope no violence breaks out. Looking forward to the free bottled water. That’s hard to come by on the National Mall!

    Can’t wait to see everyone!

  • Randomfactor

    And PLEASE, guys, everyone leaving the Rally pick up the litter on the way out. Including the free water bottles and, if necessary, the fundie signs.

  • sqlrob

    There’s going to be quite a collision come a month from now. Lives will be changed one way or another. Get ready; it’s gonna be big.

    I bet it will. Ed, there’s one thing you’re not considering when parsing this, namely “or another”

    How many of the christians will convert?

  • unbound

    “There’s going to be quite a collision come a month from now. Lives will be changed one way or another. Get ready; it’s gonna be big.”

    That is the funniest thing I’ve read so far today. As Ed pointed out, they have nothing to offer but the same old tired, long debunked arguments. And they certainly aren’t heading out there with an open mind, so they won’t be changing either. Hopefully it stays peaceful.

  • Hank Fox

    I think it would be funny to walk up to their table, wave your hands over the rows and rows of bottled water, and intone loudly:

    “Father Satan, please remove the blessings from this water, that I may drink of it and be refreshed!”

  • sqlrob

    @Hank:

    No, go up panicked. That’s not water!!! It’s Dihydrogen Monoxide! Do you know how many people have died from that? Are you trying to kill me?

  • peterh

    Does it ever occur to any of these religiots that they, collectively, are the greatest single source of atheists?

  • Sastra

    raven #6 wrote:

    This is stupid, obnoxious, and potentially dangerous.

    It’s inflammatory language that implies there could be violence.

    I don’t think the term “collision” is likely to incite any atheists to violence, and if you look at this group’s website and their optimistic plans for an “Atheist at Church” day it doesn’t seem to be aimed at whipping up any physical attack from the Christian side either. It’s very common for fundies to talk about an intellectual ‘collision of world views’ and it probably didn’t even occur to them to realize that the word could be interpreted in different ways.

    Unfortunately, I will not be at the Reason Rally, but if I were going I would be delighted to have some friendly discussion with those dear souls who want to venture their views into the territory of reason and show us how well they stand up. I think a lot of Christians don’t realize that their apologetics are designed to strengthen their own faith and their arguments are aimed at the weak, vulnerable, and ignorant.

    And some of them seem to think that atheists are atheists because of bad or hurtful experiences with churches or believers who were “mean.” The way to begin to wedge belief into the atheist’s brain is therefore through being kind, friendly, and sympathetic. Smile a lot and stay calm: show them how happy and peaceful the love of Christ has made you, so that their major resistance is overcome and now they want to find God, too. Naive.

    Frankly, this group’s rhetoric sounds as if they want to come at us from this angle. If so, your concerns over violence are probably unwarranted. People are more likely to be annoyed by the unrelenting cloying sweetness and light.

  • raven

    If so, your concerns over violence are probably unwarranted. People are more likely to be annoyed by the unrelenting cloying sweetness and light.

    You are probably right about this group.

    But no one knows who else is going to show up. Religion is always a volatile issue and violence follows often. Just look at what happened in Northern Ireland or Iraq.

    You have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you think about it, this is the smart way to go.

    During my anti-Vietnam war days, I never saw too much harassment and violence. A lot of shouted insults and some rocks thrown at us. I missed the early one where the cops waded in with riot sticks and put some students in the hospital. I did see the ones on TV where the APC’s rolled down the street, helicopters sprayed tear gas, and the National Guard fired into a crowd of students.

  • They’re gonna be offering holy water? Well, one backhander deserves another. Offer ’em some, “Casillero del Diablo” (http://www.chileanlegend.com/the-legend/). I actually have been joking about a cabernet called “Blood-O-The-Lamb” for years–too late to go private label, drat!

  • Ouabache

    I predict that more Christians will deconvert than atheist convert. As someone else already mention, atheists know their bible better than most Christians.

  • ” And PLEASE, guys, everyone leaving the Rally pick up the litter on the way out. Including the free water bottles and, if necessary, the fundie signs.”

    Excellent reminder! I’ll be sure to take a few trash bags with me to help pick up. Of course tho – our crowd will have on their best manners and not leave a single scrap of trash out of place.

  • Chiroptera

    If I go to a Christian church, would it be out of line to offer them a few tokes off my doob?

  • shoeguy

    This sort of situation always brings up the problem of how to politely tell a stranger that they are full of crap. I never have found a satisfactory path, and it always degenerates into yelling and insults and threats (mostly of eternal damnation in a lake of fire).

  • NoVaRunner

    This pisses me off. If I wanted to hear stories from their little book of brutal fairy tales, I’d show up at a church. Why do they always have to push this bullshit?

  • @chiroptera — the whole point of a doob is to share, man!

  • Michael Heath

    This sounds like a great opportunity for some videos of debates. I gotta think the videos taken which revealed the nature of the attendees at Tea Party event hurt them with the general public. These debates might also sneak their way through the conservative Christian cocoon; at least with young people.

  • N. Nescio

    I think that it’s only fair that atheists start showing up to Christian gatherings, and ‘share’ our own point of view. After all, if they’re allowed to do so, surely they won’t mind us doing the same?

    Bring videocameras, and running shoes. These people have a history of getting violent when their ideas are challenged.

  • Aquaria

    I think that it’s only fair that atheists start showing up to Christian gatherings, and ‘share’ our own point of view. After all, if they’re allowed to do so, surely they won’t mind us doing the same?

    Bring videocameras, and running shoes. These people have a history of getting violent when their ideas are challenged.

    Several years ago, after getting an unusual amount of activity from a local megachurch, my Jewish neighbor and I finally narrowed down who was sending the idiots around. And then we decided to make them regret it.

    So we knocked on their door and offered to convert them to Judaism. Around the time we asked if all their males were circumcised, we could send a mohel around to fix that, they slammed the door in our faces.

    Yeah, you didn’t like it, did you?

    PROBLEM SOLVED.

  • joachim

    Atheists have, historically, shown themselves to be capable of violence. I don’t give a crap about whether it was “in the name of atheism”…the point is that atheists who actually get political power and have a chance to try and End Religion have a violent history.

    Face it. Deal with it. Denial won’t help.

  • Michael Heath

    joachim writes:

    Atheists have, historically, shown themselves to be capable of violence. I don’t give a crap about whether it was “in the name of atheism”…the point is that atheists who actually get political power and have a chance to try and End Religion have a violent history.

    Face it. Deal with it. Denial won’t help.

    Atheists have a brain inside in their skull, have the potential to procreate at the same rate as religionists, eat food, breathe air, defecate, etc. Do you now understand the fatal defectiveness of your absurd argument or do I need to treat you like a slow 14 year-old and precisely describe the absurdity of your comment post I quote here?

  • Chiroptera

    joachim, #26: Atheists have, historically, shown themselves to be capable of violence.

    No one has claimed otherwise. Atheists have shown themselves capable of violence. Atheists have also shown themselves capable of restraint, compassion, and fairness.

    Do you have a point?

    I don’t give a crap about whether it was “in the name of atheism”…

    Generally, I don’t either.

    I do care, however, when people try to compare people who commit atrocities in the name of their religion with people who just happen to be atheists who commit atrocities. It seems to be a bit dishonest, don’t you think?

    …the point is that atheists who actually get political power and have a chance to try and End Religion have a violent history.

    That seems to be true about anyone who gets political power and takes advantage of their chance to End Whatever It Is That I Happen to be Against. In the US, it isn’t the atheists who have demonstrated the will to use political power it End What I Don’t Like, it’s the Christian Right.

    Again, do you have a point?

  • …the point is that atheists who actually get political power and have a chance to try and End Religion have a violent history.

    Well, as long as we keep our constitutional rights in place, they won’t have “a chance to try to end religion,” so that won’t be a problem, will it? You do support upholding everyone’s rights, right?

  • Chiroptera

    Raging Bee, #29:

    Heh. That is what strikes me as odd about the Religious Right. Seeing how afraid they are about atheists imposing atheism in the public schools and how afraid of Muslims introducing Sharia in the courtrooms, you’d think they’d be among the biggest supporters of state neutrality in regards to belief.

    Instead, they work the hardest to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state. Why, it’s almost as if they don’t really care at all about religious freedom!

  • Brianne Bilyeu

    Austin’s post (the “this guy” you linked to) is HIGH-larious! Take his claim that secularism has risen as a natural reaction to the “Apologetics Rennaissance”. I’m betting that’s 180 from reality. It seems more believable that a rise in the popularity of apologetics (if it exists?) would be a result of the church and religion going on the defensive against secularism, which has recently been gaining traction.

    He also says that “No other group has caused reason and rationality to decline as much as the New Atheist movement, as its leaders (namely Dawkins) disciple their followers with bad information and bad arguments which fail to equip their adherents on how to defend themselves from serious critique.”

    Darn, if I I hadn’t been discipled with bad information and arguments, I could figure out a way to respond to this. Oh wait, I got it: Austin, you’re an idiot. Yeah, I think that an ad hominem attack is about all the answer that’s needed for this unsupported assertion.

  • fastlane

    Just point them in the direction of the Phelps clan and sit back and laugh.