Religion

What We Saw at the Reason Rally in Washington, DC

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Reason.tv headed down to the National Mall for the Reason Rally (no affiliation!) in Washington, DC. The March 24 event was billed as the "largest gathering of the secular movement in world history" and drew a several thousand-strong crowd of damp, enthusiastic unbelievers (and a few protesting believers) to the National Mall. Reason.tv asked a few of these folks why they bothered to gather on a rainy Saturday.

Produced by Joshua Swain, interviews by Lucy Steigerwald

Approximately 2.47 minutes long. 

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  1. Good to see the Bad Religion love. That guy was allll Bad Religion’d out there.

    1. Good to see the Bad Socialism love. That guy was allll Bad Social’d out there.

  2. This evangelical atheism shit is driving me crazy. It’s all over my facebook wall too. I don’t give a fuck what you believe or don’t believe. Please don’t be self-righteous about it. They are just as bad as the Jesus Freaks preaching on the corner.

    1. When people who aren’t religious are persecuted for years, and considered by many (not pointing any fingers here) to be un-American just because they don’t believe in God, you are bound to get a backlash. THIS is that backlash.

      I do, however, share some of your concerns. I don’t fear the movement as it is now, but like many movements, it may choose to present itself aggressively long after society as a whole accepts non-theists as equals. I am not religious, but I am also not anti-religious.

      1. But the movement hasn’t gotten there and doesn’t look to go there.

        I mean, you can’t even find a plurality in the US who would vote an admitted atheist into public office. Not one of those smarmy proselytizing types, just a qualified candidate who doesn’t believe in God. That’s far worse than for blacks, and worse than for Muslims and gays.

        And I don’t know which US people here live in, but in mine politicians and athletes never skip a beat to thank God. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly show up at my door. Young-earth creationism is a very real impediment to teaching science. Religion is so deeply ingrained in the US that people don’t notice its public expression. There’s a double standard because public professions of atheism are so rare.

        This rally will draw a few thousand atheists, which many religious rallies achieve easily. The latter won’t draw indignation.

        1. And in case it’s not clear, darius, I was elaborating on your point and only disputing the fears of your last paragraph.

        2. Amakudari|3.24.12 @ 9:59PM|#
          “Young-earth creationism is a very real impediment to teaching science.”

          I see this on a regular basis, and while there’s no doubt that evolution is pretty much shown, the denial of it doesn’t seem to affect science education in general:

          “Biologist fired for beliefs, suit says”
          http://www.boston.com/news/loc…..?page=full
          “Asshole, Creationist Fired From NASA for being a dick, sues.”
          http://freethought.com/2012/03/14/2072/
          “Creationist Fired by Scientific American”
          Link is dead, but you know what the reference is.
          I’m not defending god-talkers; I’m an atheist. I’m pointing out that bleef in creationism isn’t an absolute limit to science education and practice.
          Hell, I. I. Rabi was raised by orthodox Jews and Compton ‘spoke with god daily’, but both were very important to the MED.

          1. FWIW, the creationist at NASA was laid off as part of general layoffs. He’s the one claiming he was laid off for being a creationist.

            But I’m not concerned about the issue of people finding employment in the sciences while holding ridiculous views. I’m concerned mostly with lay understanding.

            My church where I grew up (evangelical, non-denominational in a Southern city) had two or three sermons a year covering all the intelligent design arguments — mostly regarding irreducible complexity — that kids were encouraged to attend. Parents were specifically warned about Darwinism and its incompatibilities with a literal understanding of the Bible. The teachers may have understood evolution, but about half of any class tuned out any discussion of evolution. Some were skeptical of science generally.

            It’s not an earth-shattering injustice, but it’s still disappointing.

            1. Amakudari|3.24.12 @ 10:46PM|#
              …”I’m concerned mostly with lay understanding.”

              What mean, “lay understanding”? And how does that affect others that don’t have that “understanding”?

              1. I mean that the quality of public understanding of and respect for science, which is pretty important, is undermined by the pseudoscientific claims of dreck like YEC. Most Americans don’t believe in evolution and think the earth is a few thousand years old.

                I think that’s a Kinda Bad Thing.

                1. * Most = A plurality of

                2. A big part of the disprespect for science is based on how many people now have a better understanding of how the process works.
                  In the US, research is funded by various groups. Many of these groups have an agenda. Scienticts quickly learn that if their research doesn’t fit the agrenda, their grants dry up….

                  1. “In the US, research is funded by various groups. Many of these groups have an agenda. Scienticts quickly learn that if their research doesn’t fit the agrenda, their grants dry up….”

                    Actually, a big source of the anti-science rhetoric you’re talking about comes from this paranoia based argument constantly eschewed by Liberals who need to fall back on circumstantial ad hominem and deride any science that doesn’t gel with what they need to believe as being funded by Corporate Boogeymen.

                    1. To wit, “The scientific community doesn’t support homeopathy or antivax claims; they must be paid off by ‘Big Pharma'”.

                      “Science comes down in favor of GMO foods over organic as being safer, more sustainible and higher producing; the scientists must have been paid off by ‘AgriBiz’.”

                  2. Look, I to some extent biases against science — just like all industries — comes from the sins against its practitioners. But natural selection is pretty important, well-established, straightforward and logical. The age of the earth can’t be measured perfectly, but we have direct evidence of human civilization and art on earth that’s more than 6,000 years old (or 10,000, the highest I’ve heard from YEC types). These findings are important foundations in biology, cosmology, history, etc.

                    The above is tuned out not because of nasty government-funded evolutionists but because of their particular brand of religion. That’s not to say it’s the only reason people are skeptical of scientific claims, just that it’s one of the silliest and least likely to be correct.

          2. I see this on a regular basis, and while there’s no doubt that evolution is pretty much shown, the denial of it doesn’t seem to affect science education in general

            What do you mean by science education in general? If you believe that the universe is six thousand years old, not only does that mean you reject the fundamentals of biology, but also of much, if not most, of contemporary physics, with its basis in cosmology.

      2. When people who aren’t market fundamentalists are persecuted for years, and considered by many (not pointing any fingers here) to be un-American just because they don’t believe in The Invisible Hand, you are bound to get a backlash. THIS is that backlash.

        1. Your jargon is as unconnected to reality as the kookiness religion.

          You are a fool babbling gibberish.

    2. Nash|3.24.12 @ 7:41PM|#
      “This evangelical atheism shit is driving me crazy”

      Not sure what you mean by ‘evangelical atheism’, but there’s certainly reason to gripe:
      “Did you know that atheists can’t hold public office in 7 states?”
      http://answers.yahoo.com/quest…..404AAAZ82I

      1. Did you that men who aren’t smarmy douches can’t hold public office in most states? (an unofficial rule) Personally, I think that’s much more of a concern.

        1. LP|3.24.12 @ 11:06PM|#
          “Did you that men who aren’t smarmy douches can’t hold public office in most states? (an unofficial rule)”

          Uh, well, yes. Or, no. Or, maybe. Want to try that again?

        2. 1. Barack Obama was a smarmy douche with a smarmy douche vice president. He will be running against Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum, who are smarmier and douchier.

          2. The constitution of my home state (NC) actually bans anyone who “denies the being of Almighty God.”

          3. I can’t think of much douchier than including a purely discriminatory clause in your state constitution when the federal constitution renders it ineffectual.

    3. You took my exact thoughts and eloquently articulated them. I’m with this fuckin’ guy.

    4. This evangelical market fundamentalism shit is driving me crazy. It’s all over my facebook wall too. I don’t give a fuck what you believe or don’t believe. Please don’t be self-righteous about it. They are just as bad as the Jesus Freaks preaching on the corner.

      1. This evangelical market fundamentalism shit is driving me crazy. It’s all over my facebook wall too. I don’t give a fuck what you believe or don’t believe. Please don’t be self-righteous about it. They are just as bad as the Keynes freaks preaching in the NYT.

        FTFY (apples and oranges and all that)

    5. Agreed. I am agnostic and this atheist crap drives me bat shit crazy. I am really fucking sick of hearing it, to me it seems one of those fads. What I can’t stand isn’t really atheism its the atheist who are militant wingnuts like some fundie Christians I know. A holier than thou attitude, you don’t help your cause much. You just piss people off so they dig into their position even more. I actually have sympathy for Christians when I see these atheist “holy” warriors on a soap box.

      1. Agreed. I a business owner and this market fundamentalist crap drives me bat shit crazy. I am really fucking sick of hearing it, to me it seems one of those fads. What I can’t stand isn’t really market fundamentalism, its the libertarians who are militant wingnuts like some fundie Christians I know. A holier than thou attitude, you don’t help your cause much. You just piss people off so they dig into their position even more. I actually have sympathy for liberals and conservatives when I see these libertarian “holy” warriors on a soap box.

        1. Agreed. I am business owner and this market fundamentalist crap drives me bat shit crazy. I am really fucking sick of hearing it, to me it seems one of those fads. What I can’t stand isn’t really market fundamentalism, its the libertarians who are militant wingnuts like some fundie statists I know. A holier than thou attitude, you don’t help your cause much. You just piss people off so they dig into their position even more. I actually have sympathy for liberals and conservatives when I see these libertarian “holy” warriors on a soap box.

          FTFY (apples and oranges and all that)

  3. jesus guy: “Hitler believed in evolution”
    That’s way better than “Hitler eats babies and was a vegatarian”.

    1. Hitler also loved animals and children, the wretched little things.

      1. he was also very ethical…

        1. “I absolutely insist on protecting private property… we must encourage private initiative.”

          ~Adolph Hitler
          March 24, 1942

          1. “It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aimed at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has for the moment saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.”

            ~Ludwig von Mises

            source:
            Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
            http://www.salon.com/2011/08/30/lind_libertariansim/

            1. If you’re interested in the context of this quote, the Mises Institute writes about it in this post on the Lind article.

              http://blog.mises.org/18257/mi…..ism-again/

          2. Statist FAIL. Just like any other politician of statist stripes he sure didn’t practice what he preached. Confiscated property, no court order needed to search houses for evidence etc. Nice try though.

            1. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.” ~Ludwig von Mises

              hehe

              The merit that followers of Ludwig von Mises has thereby won for themselves will live on eternally in history, too.

              1. Logical fallacy. Just because some of us libertarians doesn’t mean we agree with what other libertarians say. Unlike statists we don’t have a uniformity of thought. If Von Mises said this this goes completely against libertarianism. Nice try. Every libertarian I know is against authoritarian government and Von Mises ran away from Austria because he was Jewish and Hitler sought to arrest him. So this quote is highly suspect. Again Statist big fat FUCKING FAIL.

                1. Every libertarian I know is against authoritarian government

                  Friedrich von Hayek…visited Pinochet’s Chile a number of times.

                  Like [Milton] Friedman, Hayek glimpsed in Pinochet the avatar of true freedom…

                  Cuz, ya know, Freedom = Caravan of Death. Praise Friedman, Hayek, and Cato Institute!

                  Caravan of Death
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravan_of_Death

                  Ya know what? You’re on to something: Libertarianism is a big fat FUCKING City-STATIST FAIL.

                  1. Did Soros use the money he got working for the nazis as a teen to paynyounto,spam that?

              2. “The merit that followers of Ludwig von Mises has thereby won for themselves will live on eternally in history, too.”

                Yup. 100 million people dead by gulag, firing squads and forced famine.

                OH, WAIT.

                1. Yeah.

                  While conceding that the majority of the indigenous peoples fell victim to the ravages of European disease, he estimates that almost 100 million died in what he calls the American Holocaust.

                  p. 151 (death toll estimate)
                  American holocaust: the conquest of the New World
                  David E. Stannard
                  Oxford University Press

                  Don’t forget the capitalists who love genocide:

                  “[The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land … Any white person who brought the element of civilization had THE RIGHT TO TAKE over this continent.” ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  4. PETA Cultists, NWO Conspiracy nuts and Regressive Grannies serve as a good reminder that Atheism is not an automatic indication of critical or intelligent thought.

    1. True. That is very, very true.

    2. And what was that shirt about Obama and “Jesus-dinosaurs?” There are plenty of negative things you can say about the guy, but being a young-Earth creationist is not, to my knowledge, one of them. That guy was a bit nuts.

      1. Creation Museum:

        Among its exhibits, the museum features life-size dinosaur models, over 80 of them animatronic (animated and motion-sensitive). Model dinosaurs are depicted in the Garden of Eden, many of them side-by-side with human figures. In one exhibit, a Triceratops and a Stegosaurus are shown aboard a scale model of Noah’s Ark.

        1. And I didn’t fully read your post.

          Obama has publicly stated that he believes evolution is correct, so I’m pretty sure the shirt is ironic or something.

          1. No Obama said his view of gay marriage is evolving. Meaning it is whatever will get him elected

        2. Unfortunately, the only dinosaurs around today are velociraptors, which are inherently inimical to human existence.

    3. ThatSkepticGuy|3.24.12 @ 10:25PM|#
      “PETA Cultists, NWO Conspiracy nuts and Regressive Grannies serve as a good reminder that Atheism is not an automatic indication of critical or intelligent thought.”

      Any hint that those you mention are atheists?

      1. Market Fundamentalists and Religious Fundamentalists (am I being redundant?) love hierarchy, or the Lording-over-others, as a Biblical principle of capitalism’s perfect plan for your life:

        1. Jehovallah, or The Invisible Hand
        2. Man
        3. Woman (submits to husband — damn feminazis are rebelling against The Hand!)
        4. Other Animals (submit to husbandry)
        5. Rest of Nature (valuable only if it serves the above hierarchy)

        1. What a surprise that the primitivst nutjob thinks animals and trees deserve greater rights than human beings.

          1. “greater rights”

            Cite?

        2. You are a moron who thinks in bumper sticker slogans that have no referents .

          You don’t know anything about markets. Your belief in central planning by one deliberate conscious plan is the same as a particularly stupid version of the intelligent design argument.

          You aren’t smart enough to understand abstract theories about subtle and complex processes in which new orders and institutions emerge.

          You are a creationist. You believe solutions can only be created by government, that bread or aspirin would not exist without the state.

        3. You are a moron who thinks in bumper sticker slogans that have no referents .

          You don’t know anything about markets. Your belief in central planning by one deliberate conscious plan is the same as a particularly stupid version of the intelligent design argument.

          You aren’t smart enough to understand abstract theories about subtle and complex processes in which new orders and institutions emerge.

          You are a creationist. You believe solutions can only be created by government, that bread or aspirin would not exist without the state.

      2. Market Fundamentalists and Religious Fundamentalists (am I being redundant?) love hierarchy, or the Lording-over-others, as a Biblical principle of capitalism’s perfect plan for your life:

        1. Jehovallah, or The Invisible Hand
        2. Man
        3. Woman (submits to husband — damn feminazis are rebelling against The Hand!)
        4. Other Animals (submit to husbandry)
        5. Rest of Nature (valuable only if it serves the above hierarchy)

      3. “Any hint that those you mention are atheists?”

        . . . did you watch the video?

    4. The PETA chick didn’t declare either way and the NWO nut was pretty hardcore Christian.

      That said, I do agree that atheism really tarnished its brand in the US after associations with turn-of-the-century progressivism, Communism and 60s/70s radicalism.

      1. “The PETA chick didn’t declare either way and the NWO nut was pretty hardcore Christian.”

        The PETA puppet was clearly there to associate and attempt to pander to the atheists. Most ARAs profess to a sort of faux-atheism tthat’s really more in line with dirt worship.

        My bad about the NWO guy, I thought he was saying opposition to evolution would lead to a the fabled NWO the first time I watched. No difference, really, just transfer the sentiment directed towards him to the OcuNut wearing the 99& patch.

    5. Enslaving and Torturing Animals is definitely “an automatic indication of critical or intelligent thought.”

      Cuz, wtf, I’m F1Bertarian, dude.

      1. “Enslaving and Torturing Animals is definitely “an automatic indication of critical or intelligent thought.””

        You mean adhering to a basic natural order, and not trying to deny thousands of years of evolution with solipsism and propaganda formulated by psychopaths who think the solution to the fact that 99% of the planet disagrees with their dietary views is to plant bombs and start fires?

        Because only a sociopathic moron would think that animals deserve equal/greater rights than people.

        1. “greater rights”

          Cite?

          Or do you just make up f1bertarian bullshit all day?

  5. When people vote for elected officials, they are entrusting them with a lot of money and power to do both good and harm. Voters want to have as good a chance as possible that the elected ones will behave. Of course there is lots of fibbing, but if they fear a “God” that will kick their butts for bad behavior, that is a positive.

    Another point is that a wise athiest would simply lay low. Why waste ones time trying to get people to stop believing. If successfull, the newly non-believing might well be miserable and in a mood to stomp whoever took their belief. Indeed, believers often view their belief as an asset in a troubled world.

    1. isn’t it more tell what their actions are than what dribbles off their tongues…

  6. You guys heard about the caucus stuff in St. Charles, MO? Proof of voter fraud by state GOP officials? New news: former GOP official Bryan Spencer admits to rigging the outcome.

    1. Oh God, a Paulzine…
      what will they think of next? i know, Iran only wants a nuke to keep the U.S. at bay…

      1. You didn’t bother to look at any of their sources, did you?

  7. “…I’m actually a leader in the humanist movement”

    Thank Gaia for freethinking theists who don’t need to be told by their religious leaders what to think…

    This is the problem with making secularism into a “movement”. It’s as if the collected non-believers are so savagely jealous of the idiotic things their religious counterparts do that they need to invent non-religious ways to accomplish the same thing.

    1. *freethinking atheists. FFS.

    2. them damn marxist scientists be publishing shit bout gaia

      Lovelock, J.E. (1965). “A physical basis for life detection experiments”. Nature 207 (7): 568?570.

      Lovelock, J.E.; Margulis, L. (1974). “Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere- The Gaia hypothesis”. Tellus 26 (1): 2?10.

      and science says they ain’t no races and now we gots a nigger in the whitehouse

      1. Cool story bro

  8. Don’t forget people: Mary Stack = White Indian = Rather.

    rather also apparently has downs, which makes a lot of sense.

    http://webcache.googleusercont…..clnk&gl=us

    1. Also lives in Ft Worth, Texas.

      1. Also, wealth of information here, including ip address/etc.

        http://snarkybytes.com/wp-cont…..1.xml_.txt

        1. we lynched niggers and kept them from getting to uppity, but that civil rights shit led to worse like concern for the ecology

          fuck it’s all gonna burn anyway

          states rights
          ron paul
          white power

          1. “we lynched niggers and kept them from getting to uppity, but that civil rights shit led to worse like concern for the ecology”

            And why are “We” being blamed for the actions of the Democratic party?

            1. you always show your Team Red colors

    2. anon|3.25.12 @ 2:19AM|#
      Don’t forget people:

      Operation Never Forget, a national non-profit organization dedicated to honoring those from all branches of right wing marxism who have lost their minds and morals in theatre in reason comments. The keyboard heroes of market fundamentalism who have answered our revolution’s call, fought a good fight and whose fantasy economics have been saved by making the ultimate third grade taunts. Shall they never be forgotten?or just a name on a wall.

      1. We’re you at the rally? Cuz have the people there did look as stoned as you are.

  9. “It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aimed at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has for the moment saved European civilization [city-statism]. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.”

    ~Ludwig von Mises

    source:
    Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
    http://www.salon.com/2011/08/30/lind_libertariansim/

    1. “Fascism can triumph today because universal indignation at the infamies committed by the socialists and communists has obtained for it the sympathies of wide circles. But when the fresh impression of the crimes of the Bolsheviks has paled, the socialist program will once again exercise its power of attraction on the masses. For Fascism does nothing to combat it except to suppress socialist ideas and to persecute the people who spread them. If it wanted really to combat socialism, it would have to oppose it with ideas. There is, however, only one idea that can be effectively opposed to socialism, viz., that of liberalism.”

      ~Ludwig Von Mises

      source: Ludwig von Mises on Fascism.

  10. Cool story, bro!

    1. and then get called a troll and griefer and have libertarians going batshitcrazy trying to find out who would dare quote famous libertarians

      coolest story ever, bro.

      “If you had to choose, would you rather live in a country with a department of labor and even an income tax or a Dred Scott decision and a Fugitive Slave Act?” ~David Boaz

      (another controversial libertarian quote over which libertarians went batshitcrazy)

      1. Nah you’re just another quisling sucking Obama and Soros cocks and felching Biden and Waxman while cheering the creation of a new nazi state. Very common. Another dickless little castrati fem boy leftover who feels more masculine when he identifies with the police powers of his heroes in the State

  11. So the people who have made atheism their religion were out protesting religion…..

    1. So the people who have made city-Statism (civilization) their religion were out protesting statism…..

      1. So the people who think other people are foolish were… here being foolish?

      2. So the braindead douchebag who thinks everyone should be living in caves, eating berries and fucking their sisters spends every waking hour behind a computer spamming an internet comments section.

        1. Cave man” and `Neanderthal’ are still invoked to remind us where we would be without religion, government, and toil.

          This ideological view of our past has been radically overturned in recent decades, through the work of academics like Richard Lee and Marshall Sahlins. A nearly complete reversal in anthropological orthodoxy has come about, with important implications. Now we can see that life before domestication/agriculture was in fact largely one of leisure, intimacy with nature, sensual wisdom, sexual equality, and health.

          ~John Zerzan
          Future Primitive
          http://www.primitivism.com/future-primitive.htm

        2. Have you seen his sister? She makes a mean cobbler.

  12. Here’s my video of the Reason Rally, there was a decent turnout considering the rain and all.

    In the video, there are people arguing at the end.

    http://youtu.be/y2QEjZwg1BQ

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  14. Maybe folks who commented on here could have a rally for Apatheism, but they may not care enough.

  15. Oh, this happened? I totally forgot about it, like everyone else.

  16. That was good. Better than the Daily Caller. Here is some more video

    http://bighomocon.blogspot.com…..-pt-2.html

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