If you’re looking for a wrap-up post on the Reason Rally in Washington this past weekend, you’re in the wrong place. If you’re looking for an example of someone who was touched and thrilled and exhilarated, then I’m your gal.
For those of you who don’t hang out in the atheist/skeptical/humanist blogosphere, the Reason Rally was a rally organized by various organizations to bring together godless heathens of all varieties. Depending on who’s reporting, attendance was probably somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000. And it was amazing, even in the chilling rain.
I was only there for a bit over 3 hours, but it was an amazing experience. To stand there with all those people and know that nobody was going to make a casual reference to Jesus or ask me what church I go to…that I could turn to any stranger in the crowd and they would understand what it’s like to be surrounded by religious people who think it’s impossible to be good without a deity ordering you to do it.
I heard Greta Christina admirably articulate why atheists are angry. I heard Hemant Mehta explain how we can get ourselves out into public life. I heard Taslima Nasrin talk about being thrown out of her country for being a heretic. I heard Tim Minchin sing about the evil the Pope has done and how awesome boobs are. I heard Jessica Ahlquist tell us we were all evil little things to her ::giggles madly:: I heard Adam Savage explain that he knew there was a person watching his every move, who knew all his mistakes and loved him anyway, and that person was him.
I worked up the nerve to introduce myself to JT Eberhard, he of the courageous talk about mental illness. I babbled a bit but he hugged me and I felt brave. And I had a nice chat with the ladies at the Society for Humanistic Judaism table.
I joked with strangers on the Metro about how people were going to claim the rain was a punishment from a god and there were undoubtedly Christians out there praying we’d be hit by lightning.
I hugged Heatherly and Alyson and met all kinds of people whose names I promptly forgot 😀
I got wet and filthy and chilled and my legs were sore from standing and I didn’t care in the slightest. I stood with people who believed, as I do, that our world will be saved by science and not prayer. That religion has caused vastly more harm than good in history and continues to do so today. That politics should stay out of religion and religion should stay out of politics.
For one day, the National Mall was filled with my people, the brothers and sisters of my heart and mind. And we were strong.