(NPR) ‘Woodstock For Atheists’: A Moment For Nonbelievers

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thousands of people are expect to descend on the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to celebrate not believing in God. It's being called a sort of "Woodstock for Atheists," a chance for atheists to show their power in numbers and change their image.

The "Reason Rally" could attract up to 30,000 people; organizer David Silverman says it marks a coming-of-age for nonbelievers.

"We'll look back at the Reason Rally as one of the game-changing events when people started to look at atheism and look at atheists in a different light," Silverman says.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheismSecularism

9 Comments
Posted March 25, 2012 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Ralph wrote:

A news search this AM turns up a few reports of what went on, with photos. Here’s one:
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2012/03/-atheists-richard-dawkins-reason-rally/1#.T278UI55BIA

“About 20,000 atheists gathered within shouting distance of the Washington Monument on Saturday for a Reason Rally hell-bent on damning religion and mocking beliefs.”

“Hell-bent” - “damning,” eh? The story of Dives and Lazarus pops into my head.

March 25, 7:14 am | [comment link]
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I have said this before, but it always bears repeating. Flannery O’Connor, the Southern writer, in an interview once was asked if she thought the South, which is notorious for being a hotbed of religion and piety, was “Christ Centered.” Her response was, “No, I believe the South is actually Christ haunted.” I think the same is true of the New Atheist crowd like this article is talking about. They are not really centered in not believing in God, they are still God haunted on some level but just can’t let the notion go.

March 25, 9:32 am | [comment link]
3. Terry Tee wrote:

Archer, the same thought has occurred to me.  Here in the UK (sadly) most people are uninterested in religious issues and questions.  Though there are unexpected upsurges of faith.  When a Premier League footballer collapsed with a major coronary episode a week ago the hashtag was pray4muamba and the request for prayers for him was repeated by his girlfriend and many others.  However, as I said, people are usually uninterested.  Atheists by contrast are few in number and always banging on about God and the followers of God.  It’s like a kind of religion.

March 25, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
4. Yebonoma wrote:

My family was walking across the Mall yesterday afternoon and was confronted by an atheist raging against the deceit of religious leaders like “Rick Warren, Creflo Dollar, and Brian McClaren.”  They got a hearty chuckle out of him conflating these three!

March 25, 1:00 pm | [comment link]
5. Katherine wrote:

I read Dawkins’ editorial calling people to attend this rally.  Like most of his writing about religion, he set up several silly straw men and then knocked them down, thinking he’d won a victory for “reason.”  Of course he’s got a right to be an atheist if he wants to be.  He’d be more effective if he knew his opponent rather than its caricature.

March 25, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
6. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

No. 3,

That’s the grotesque thing about groups like this. They become the hate filled, raging fundamentalists they claim to deplore. It is like they become a shadowy reflection of the worst elements of religion.

March 25, 1:52 pm | [comment link]
7. Boniface wrote:

#2
I agree. Every black person from 1619 - 1990’s understands this all too well.
Peace

March 25, 2:03 pm | [comment link]
8. Charles52 wrote:

Huffpo says 8-10K.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/24/atheist-rally_n_1377443.html

Archer - #6 - they always were.

March 25, 2:34 pm | [comment link]
9. jkc1945 wrote:

Bob Dylan sang it very well:  “Everybody’s gotta serve somebody. . . .”  Atheists only choose which god they will worship, but every body’s gonna have one, even if they don’t fully realize they do.

March 25, 8:17 pm | [comment link]
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