Have you told your parents you’re an atheist?
Thousands of atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers rally for reason at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Saturday.
Aside from promoting the importance of secular society and the separation of church and state, the rally’s major issues of focus included climate change, reproductive rights and LGBT equality.
Bill Nye, comedian Julia Sweeney, magician Penn Jillette, Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, NASA scientist Carolyn Porco, activist Maryam Namazie, The Amazing James Randi, Lawrence Krauss, Dave Silverman from American Atheists, Annie Laurie Gaylor & Dan Barker from Freedom From Religion Foundation, and members of the Wu-Tang Clan all made appearances at the rally.
Lyz Liddell, Executive Director of the Reason Rally, told CNN the gathering is “absolutely” a political event, noting:
That’s the reason we’re holding this in an election year. We want to see reason taking precedence over religious-driven ideology.
A promotion for the rally described the event as “the biggest gathering of nonreligious people in history,” declaring:
Speak Up for Reason!
If you know that you can be a good person without believing in a god …
If you think public policy should be based on scientific evidence, not religious beliefs …
If you support the separation of church and state …
… then join us for the biggest gathering of nonreligious people in history!
NASA scientist Carolyn Porco told the crowd the only way to address our political problems is not to “pray the problems away, but to think the problems away,” declaring:
Just practice respect for the truth. Follow logical reasoning… We need to use scientific guidelines in crafting the laws governing our national life if we are to have hope in arriving at the right answers.
Voice of America reports speakers at the rally also addressed science-based sex education in schools, evidence-based responses to climate change, dialogue with lawmakers in Congress and transgender people’s use of public restrooms.
Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, who is also a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress, stressed the importance of church state separation, telling the crowd:
We must tell the world of how America broke from theocracy and religious war by protecting both freedom of thought and freedom of worship. Both secular government and religious liberty [were protected] simply by the ingenious act of separating the church from the state.
Bottom line: Thousands of atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers turned out Saturday to take part in the Reason Rally, a rally promoting the increasing political power of the growing number of non-religious, secular Americans.
Scenes from the Reason Rally via Twitter:
— American Humanist (@americnhumanist) June 4, 2016
— Seth Andrews (@SethAndrewsTTA) June 4, 2016
— Reason Rally (@reasonrally) June 4, 2016