Many people may think me odd. Well, that’s an understatement of the week since I am very odd, but in this particular instance, I’m more odd than usual. I was one of the few non-atheist people to attend The Reason Rally who did not intend to protest. I actually attended so that I could meet a great many of my friends from Youtube who were attending as well as show to people that Christians can promote secular government, reason, and support their friends who wish to start a movement. I also wanted to prove to some people that Christians could indeed be moderate. More on that later.
I had some reservations about attending in the first place, and I very nearly chickened out. I didn’t really know how large the rally was going to be in the first place, and after I found out some organizers projected around 50,000 people, I almost passed out. I do not do big crowds well. I also didn’t like the idea that I’d be the odd-woman-out in such a large crew. It’s kind of hard to be around so many individuals who think you’re stupid, you know.
The other giant reason I didn’t really know if I wanted to attend is because the whole idea that “reason” is only for atheists and that because someone is atheist, that means they are implicitly much more reasonable than anyone who holds a belief system. Also, the rally touted “atheists, humanists, AND secularists,” but all the propaganda focused on atheists. I know for certain that there are humanists and secularists who are theists, deists, or pantheists, and this exclusion of people who would be very important assets to a secular government hurt the cause. If it were to be a gathering just for atheists, it should have been something like Atheist Assembly, but that’s just not as sexy and degrading to people who don’t think that way, is it? Also, for all the “free thinking” community, why is it that when someone thinks differently from them, they’re stupid, unreasonable, irrational, or indoctrinated?
I found some of the speakers contradictory. One speaker encouraged ridiculing people of faith while the next propositioned that atheists do not ridicule. One speaker joyfully proclaimed that atheists are not racist, sexist, or ever burn books to prove a point, but then Thunderf00t spoke later, and we all know what he’s promoted on his channel. Each speaker gave his/her own blanket statements about the community movement that in fact weakened their argument as a whole.
Reason is not something that people follow with perfection no matter how hard we try. We are not automatons. We have fears, emotions, biases, experiences, and ideas that color our actions in such a way that may make us unreasonable or irrational at times.
I was often in a group of people who babbled on about blanket statements about Christians and how horrible or unreasonable they were, and when these men and women found out I am a Christian, one of two things happened: either their face fell to the floor, and I heard an, “oh,” and saw some uncomfortable shuffling of feet, or they brightened and wished that they could “clone” me. “We need more of you,” they’d say. That’s frightening. Who wants a bunch of weirdo klutzes falling all over the earth? I know I don’t! I like being one of the few 😉
What are atheists? They are people who do not believe there is a god, a higher power, a deity of any sort. That’s it. Other than that, they are people with varying ideas, back grounds, philosophies, moralities, struggles, biases, and interests. The only blanket statement that is true about them is only the label: atheist.