Richard Dawkins to Speak at Fort Bragg’s Rock Beyond Belief

Richard Dawkins to Speak at Fort Bragg’s Rock Beyond Belief January 9, 2011

Richard Dawkins is arguably the most well-known advocate for evolution, biology, and atheism in modern times. We are extremely pleased to announce that Richard will be speaking at our festival on post at Fort Bragg, this Spring.

We’ve certainly come a long way since September 25th, when Franklin Graham (already banned from the pentagon) rolled through Fort Bragg with his Rock the Fort series of events. Our all volunteer group has accomplished much, and at each step we’ve been excited to break through to the next level.

With the addition of Mr. Dawkins to the lineup, we have reached a certain peak. We know that the world cares about us.

Foxhole Atheists are an extremely under-represented minority within the military. It’s touching to have had so many people championing our cause from the beginning, including just about every major secular organization from the top down.

He is perhaps best known these days for his groundbreaking book, The God Delusion.
This book has directly lead many people to question their faith, and ultimately leave their faith. In my opinion, his tour de force was The Ancestor’s Tale. This book felt like a monumental breakthrough in meshing the worlds of art and science in a fantastical and poetic way. The book was set up as a travel through time, in reverse chronological order that guided the reader ever-backwards towards the common ancestor. Amazingly, along the way he approximated the number of “great-great-great-grandmother’s” the human race had at each stop (chapter).

Richard’s Out Campaign has been so influential in what we are doing that it is hard for us to mentally divorce our motivation and goals from it. In 2002 he spoke at the prestigious TED conference, where he announced the Out Campaign as part of what is often referred to his finest speech. Here it is, all 30 minutes of it.

If that half hour speech is too lengthy, or too brainy for your entertainment tonight, might I recommend something a little shorter, and a little less tasteful?

Here is Richard reading his ‘hate mail’ to the masses. The following video is Not Safe For Work, as he does quote the raving madness of some pretty out-there theological ‘adversaries’ (term used loosely) word-for-word.

We can’t wait to see what Richard has in store for us this Spring!

I was actually being interviewed by FrostCall’s podcast when I heard about the final confirmation of Richard Dawkins to our lineup. You can hear the excellent (as usual) episode in full at their site. There was quite a bit of excitement towards the end of this episode as I was finally able to announce his participation publicly. Wendy and Tom, of FrostCall, are both former Christians who have recently made the emotionally draining journey from ‘born-again’ to ‘atheist’ while married (and at different paces). They offer a unique insight that captures that initial ‘super-motivated’ state that many of us felt when we de-converted, balanced with the brutal honesty and self-awareness that comes from shedding your belief system for something more tangible. Science.

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  • Josh

    Wish I could be there. I’m stationed in Germany right now though.

  • RE

    Nice that he can make it, but as a retired military member, I think it inappropriate to superimpose his head (or anyone’s for that matter) on an American military uniform if that person has not served in the military or obtained the rank on the uniform.

    • Justin

      Perhaps I’ll change it to that suit that Colbert wore. You are the second person to say this to me. So I’ll work on something else instead. Thanks for the comment anyway!

  • Teresa

    Wow, Richard Dawkins in Ft. Bragg!? I am in Fayetteville and I will definitely attend, if I can. What is the date of the festival?

    • Justin

      Yes. And you should join our meetup group too: M*A*S*H – Military Atheists & Secular Humanists of Fort Bragg. (Civillians Welcome!)

  • Peter Sanders

    Wow congratulations, please video it and post it on YT or here, particularly the Q&A, which I find most interesting. Are you having to pay a speaker’s fee ? If I recall correctly he usually does this kind of eduational visit for free, or maybe just travel expenses ?

    I agree about the picture of his head on the uniform, he wouldn’t thank you for that I suspect, it does go against his whole theme of truth rather than making things up and selling them as true.

    I enjoy the site, well done. P

  • Miranda

    My husband and I are very bummed.. we are PCS’ing from Alaska to Ft. Belvoir in mid April. Would absolutely love to hear Richard Dawkins speak.

    • Justin

      Keep your chin up, there’s still a chance (:

      Fort Bragg hasn’t finalized a date for us yet, which is starting to get a little bit worrisome. We hope to know a lot more about it tomorrow, and be able to announce it after our packet enters the next phase.

  • David

    I picked up “The God Delusion” in a clearance bin a few years ago; the best 2 bucks I’ve ever spent.

  • Pippa

    Just found out about this event today and it made me so happy! I can’t wait to see Richard Dawkins and hear his enlightening speeches…. I eagerly anticipate hearing the actual date of the event and hope nothing intervenes to cancel it. Good luck

  • Robin

    I’m a civilian and I will most definitely be there!!!

    I can’t wait!