March 24 Washington DC Reason Rally Marks Turning Point for Secular Movement
From Jesse Galef – Publicity Director, Reason Rally
Atheists are coming out of the closet – and coming together. At a press conference held yesterday, March 22, at the National Press Club, Reason Rally organizers and speakers hailed the upcoming event as an unprecedented display of numbers and unity.
The Reason Rally, a national gathering of nonreligious Americans to celebrate secular values, will take place from 10AM-6PM on March 24th and is estimated to draw thousands. It is being sponsored by all the major organizations in the Secular movement.
“The Reason Rally proves to all of us that we can unite, cooperate and succeed to achieve our common goals of advancing secularism in America,” said David Silverman, chair of the Reason Rally and President of American Atheists. “This unity is a major victory in and of itself, and will prove to be the first step toward a long-term, movement-wide effort to raise the profile of the atheist.”
Journalist Jamila Bey, one of the Reason Rally speakers, said the event would be a “wake up call” to the nation. “The country is evolving. We are women, we are men, we are children and we are parents. We live here, we vote, we buy things. We matter.”
Politicians in particular will need to take notice of the growing unity of the secular movement, said speaker Sean Faircloth, representative from the Richard Dawkins Foundtion. “There needs to be a place in politics for voices like famous conservative Barry Goldwater, who had no respect for the Religious Right,” said Faircloth, who served 10 years in the Maine state government. “But the reality is that right now, the Religious Right has veto power over one of the two major political parties.”
The Reason Rally will help change that, said comedian Paul Provenza, who will emcee the event. “Part of what this rally is about is to show that there is an audience, and a base, for those willing to stand up against the Religious Right forcing their beliefs on everyone.”
The Rally, a free event on the National Mall, features prominent nonreligious speakers and entertainers including scientist and author Richard Dawkins, comedian Eddie Izzard, “Mythbusters” co-star Adam Savage, comedian and musician Tim Minchin and the band Bad Religion.
The Reason Rally is sponsored by American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance of America, The Brights, Camp Quest, Center for Inquiry, Freethought Society, The James Randi Educational Foundation, Military Atheists and Freethinkers, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, Society for Humanistic Judaism, Stiefel Freethought Foundation, United Coalition of Reason and Washington Area Secular Humanists.
More information about the Reason Raly can be found at the Reason Rally Website.