# Washington D.C. Day 2 – Reason Rally

Day 2 of our Washington D.C. vacation was completely devoted to the Reason Rally. Heck, we even went to bed early and sober on Friday night so we’d be well rested for a LONG day of walking around the mall, meeting lots of people and spending a good deal of time standing in the rain.

We woke up to a rain-free morning – gray and overcast, but rain-free for the moment. We made sure we had our ponchos, some extra bags to sit on or use to cover the backpack, a collapsable umbrella, and our “lunch” – two bags of trail mix, cliff bars, apples we had grabbed from the hotel continental breakfast and a bottle of water.

# Reason Rally, Here We Come!

Wowza – We’re on our way to Reason Rally!

The Hubby and I got to bed waaaaay too late last night. Like, 12:45am this morning – that too late last night. 12:45am wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t needed to be  out of bed at 3:30am to get ready for our flight. We were freaked out that we would sleep through our alarm, so we set three.

Thank FSM for the sweet nectars that are coffee and hot showers.

# Snippets

You know how when you’re doing data analysis, you sometimes get sucked right in? You’re working with the raw data, getting it all organized and pretty so you can drop the whole chunk into a statistics program and watch the Passing-Bablocks and Pearsons fly forth onto the computer screen? But it takes a while to do all the organization, data point exclusions (with valid justifications), reprocessing, manually checking the lines and watching the SD and CV calculations to make sure there are no cut/paste errors, double-checking formulae, making sure no single reps in set of mostly double reps are mucking up the whole scheme, but finally! – you’re ready to define the final data set, you click the analyze button and BAM! SLOPE OF 1.01, R=1.00 BEETCHEZ!

*ahem* So, work went well last night. How about you?

Anyway, after getting home from work and the grocery store at 10:30pm I lazed out on the google reader and blog writing. But here are a few things that I’ve been mulling over.

# Awesome Reason Rally Promo

The Hubby is an atheist. We’re on the same level when it comes why it’s important to keep religion out of government. We agree that the objections against gay rights, women’s rights, abortion, stem cell research, etc. are mostly rooted in religious ideology. We differ on activism, though. The Hubby is pretty private when it comes to his beliefs, and while he supports others who speak out about injustices and fight for equality, he’s not usually on the front lines. That’s fine; we all contribute to the things we find important in different ways.

So I was a little surprised when the Hubby agreed to come to the Reason Rally in Washington D.C. with me. Now, I’m fully aware that one of the reasons he decided to shell out extra \$\$\$ for a second plane ticket is because he’s never been to D.C., and my guy is a bit of a history buff. Also, he knew that I would like his company on the trip. And as an atheist he supports the idea of the rally even if doesn’t feel the need to be present at the actual event. So there were several thoughts that played into his decision to join me in D.C., but he wasn’t as freaking insanely excited to participate in the Reason Rally as me.

Until I showed him this:

And now he’s all like:

Thanks, The Thinking Atheist!

# Upcoming Show: Atheists Talk with David Silverman

Imma be on the radio again tomorrow! I’m actually pretty excited to sit in on this interview; we’re speaking with David Silverman, the current president of American Atheists. He’s going to talk about the upcoming Reason Rally in Washington D.C., which is an event that the Hubby and I are considering attending next March. From the Reason Rally website:

The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it! It will be the largest secular event in world history. There will be music, comedy, great speakers, and lots of fun… and it’s free!

The three main goals of the rally are:

• To encourage attendees (and those who can’t make it) to come out of the closet as an atheist, or at least a supporter of secular values.
• To dispel stereotypes – there is no one “True Atheist” no matter what your pastor or parent may tell you. We will have non-theists from all political persuasions, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. We will show that there are atheists in every American demographic.
• Legislative equality. We want to show the country that atheists can run for office and adequately represent theists, just as theists in office can represent atheists proudly and openly. We deserve a seat at the table just like theists, and we hope this rally can put our values in the radar of American voters, who may one day elect an atheist to public office.

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey estimates that 12% of Americans identify as atheist or agnostic. According to google.com/publicdata there are 307,006,550 people in the United States. 12% of that is 36.8 million people who identify as atheist/agnostic.

That number sounds large, but it still seems pretty lonely being a non-believer when I’m outside of the internet or my close circle of friends. I feel a bit sad when I hear coworkers talking so freely about going to church on Sunday or going to a Bible study this or that evening, while I hesitate to share the exciting news that I’m a radio show host! because the next comment is “Really? For what?” And then there’s that sinking feeling when I realize that I’ve just shared a secular viewpoint that is not appreciated by the majority of people in the conversation. Also, there are the often innocently asked but ultimately silly or annoying or frustrating or laughable or offensive questions revolving around my atheism. Like the question I received from someone at work when I told them that I had visited Asissi, Italy. They looked confused and asked “But why? You’re an atheist. What did you do there?”

I know a handful of people who think that they don’t know any atheists (hah!). Heck, I spoken to atheists who think they’re the only atheist they know!

If we can get a large enough number of people to the Reason Rally, not only do we have a fun time at a secular event with other non-theists, but we show the world that there are more of us around than they may think. We show them that people they know are atheists. We show them that we’re happy, healthy and not afraid or ashamed to tell the world that we don’t need a god to make us good, moral, upstanding human beings. We show them that we can know joy, exhilaration, peace and love without any sort of supernatural presence or interference. We show them that there is an entire group of us who are willing to fight to keep religion out of our government. And I imagine we’ll suprise the heck out of ourselves when we look around the mall that day and think…oh wow – there really are a lot of us!

So yeah.

Reason Rally. David Silverman. This Sunday, 9am on 950AM KTNF. You can listen to the show live or find us on iTunes under “Atheists Talk”.