Over the weekend I went to the first ever Reason Rally in Washington DC. I’m finally back now and have had time to unwind and unpack.
While I was fully expecting to have to stand in the back all day staring at a large screen of what was happening on stage, something amazing happened. My friend Ashley F. Miller won an essay contest and was awarded two VIP passes! She was extremely generous in letting me use the second one. As a result, I got to sit in the very front row of the entire Reason Rally event! I was so excited, I was slightly weak-kneed.
The speakers were all wonderful, but by far my favorites were Tim Minchin and Eddie Izzard.
Reflecting on the whole event, it was pretty thrilling to be out in public like that with people talking about atheism on stage. It was a little nerve wracking at first, but the numbers made me feel safe.
Overall, I think it was a great success, especially since we pulled in 20-30,000 people in the rain. I can only imagine what it would be like if it wasn’t raining. I found it interesting that my mother told me that she was unable to find any coverage of the event on the news. You would think that if 20,000 + people gathered on the national mall for atheism, the news would at least cover it. Apparently Fox news covered it only to downplay it and dismiss it.
I think that the rally was a very important step in coming out and fighting the notion that atheism is not socially acceptable in America. I’m not sure how much it will change the lives of those constantly living in fear of being discovered, but the idea was to get a national conversation going and to rally the troops.
Either way, I was thrilled to be apart of the largest gathering of atheists in history.