June 4, 2016, will be a date to remember for humanists and atheists. It will be the largest gathering of nonreligious people in history as well as the opportunity for everyone who wants separation of church and state to speak up for reason!
Yes, a bloc party, not a block party, because nonreligious people are now almost as large a voting bloc as religious fundamentalists—23 to 25 percent and growing every year, according to the Pew Forum. That gives us power at the polls, if we get out and vote.
No longer hiding their lack of religion, “nones,” atheists, and secular voters are demanding that their voices be heard and their votes sought. And those votes will go to candidates who base their policies on science and facts.
Exercising that power is one aspect of the fourday event. On June 2 and 3, those signing up for Advocacy Days will be trained to lobby effectively and then go the Capitol to lobby their representatives to fund rational, effective sex education. That training can go back to their hometowns with them and be used to fight unreasonable, faithbased policies at the local level.
Iranian civil rights activist Maryam Namazie, who will be among the speakers, adds another level of concern to the value of reasonbased policy: the destabilizing effects of policies guided by religion. “I am excited about Reason Rally because the demand for reason, secularism, and universal rights in the age of ISIS is an historical task and necessity,” she said.
“The religious have too much power in this country, and they’re vastly overrepresented in Congress,” says Julia Sweeney, SNL alumna and a speaker at the Rally. “So, let’s stop the magical thinking. Let’s have a rally that shows the force of those who embrace Reason and Science over Divine Guidance. We’re here—we don’t have fear—and we want to be counted for what we are: a real political and social force! Also, we like to have fun.”
Sweeney is one of many entertainers, scientists, activists, and politicians who will take to podium during the event. The range of those willing to speak up for reason indicates how much the secular movement has grown, in both number and demographic reach.
“If you told me there would be a major national event, where the largest number of nonreligious people ever to assemble will gather, and proclaim that they are concerned about the bold incursions of religious belief into the governance and future of our country and the principles on which it’s built, then I would surely make a point of being there,” said Carolyn Porco, who is well-known for her work on NASA’s Cassini Project to Saturn. “So, am I going to the Reason Rally in DC on June 4? You bet I am!”
Among those on hand to entertain and inspire will be Amber Heard, who was recently cast as Queen Mera of the DC Universe; Bill Nye, the Science Guy; several members of the Wu Tang Clan; Lizz Winstead, cocreator of The Daily Show; and Lawrence Krauss, physicist and the American Humanist Association’s 2015 Humanist of the Year. For a complete list, check out the Reason Rally 2016 website, where you’ll also find a full schedule of events for the four days as well as hotel deals, travel deals, and opportunities to make this event the best family vacation ever.
The best part of all is being part of history. Everyone who was there remembers Woodstock. Everyone who comes to Reason Rally 2016 will remember it as well.