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March 22nd, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Atheist rally billed as 'coming out' moment for nonbelievers

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A coalition of atheist and secular organizations are coming together on Saturday to hold what is being billed at the largest gathering of atheists in history.

David Silverman, chairman of the event committee and president of the American Atheists, said the rally is aimed at uniting atheist organizations and letting the religious know that there are nonbelievers among them.

“We need to stress to the theists that we are here,” Silverman said. “Atheism is growing in all 50 states. What people don’t seem to understand is all we demand at American Atheists is equality.”

Silverman initially told CNN that the rally would draw anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people to the National Mall, and the National Park Service has planned for 30,000 people. With thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, however, Silverman told CNN on Thursday that he expects somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

The cost of the event is around $300,000, Silverman said, but philanthropist Todd Stiefel, Founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, is supplying half the money.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The rally has been a catalyst for protests by the Westboro Baptist Church, a group well known for its picketing of funerals of American servicemen and servicewomen. Westboro Baptist has been granted a permit for the “grassy area between 14th and 15th” streets, according to Carol Johnson, a communications officer for the National Park Service.

Though a press release for the reason rally touts 17 groups planning to protest, only the Westboro Baptist Church has applied and obtained a permit. Johnson said rally organizers have notified the Park Service of other possible protest groups, but none of those have applied for a permit.

The rally's long list of speakers and presenters runs the gamut from intellectuals to celebrities to comedians. The event is headlined by Oxford professor and author Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins, who is widely regarded as the most respected figure in atheism, is lending his voice to this event because he says freedom for atheists is “constantly under threat from people who would like to turn this country into some sort of a theocracy.”

“The Reason Rally is part of an effort to combat the attack of the theocrats,” Dawkins told CNN. “There is in this country at the moment a great revival of atheism, and the number of atheists in the country is much larger than people realize.”

Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital

At a press conference for the event, Silverman was adamant that the rally won't be the last. He didn't say whether it will be become an annual tradition, but he intends a higher profile for atheists in the future.

“The next step after the rally is all eyes on the election,” Silverman said. “We want to post hard questions to the candidates.”

Dawkins, too, related the rally to politics.

“The nonbelieving constituency has not been vocal enough, and it therefore has been politic for them to be ignored by their congressmen, by their senators,” Dawkins said.

Directing his comments at Congress, Dawkins said, “You have been neglecting them, overlooking them and riding roughshod over them as though they didn’t exist. Well, they do exist and they outnumber some of the other lobbies that you have been so assiduously sucking up to all these years.”

The America Atheists also are holding their annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Secular Coalition for America has scheduled its “Lobby Day for Reason” on Friday.

The weekend is part of a larger blitz by a coalition of atheists to “win” equality in American culture, Silverman said.

“We are the last group against whom it is politically correct to be bigoted,” he said. “That is something that needs to change and I am very confident that we will within 20 years.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (3,073 Responses)
  1. Jake

    Of all of the supposed virtues, faith has to be the most overrated – Christopher Hitchens

    March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  2. NurseLi143

    The enemy is terrific at doing bad things and getting people to erroneously blame God for it. The bible says the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. While Jews, Muslims and Christians all have Abrahamic roots and worship one God, their religions are not the same. I am just surprised that the atheists didn't wait for their gathering till April 1 – per Psalm 14:1.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • greg1466

      Much more appropriate for religious people to gather on 4/1, since by definition they've been fooled.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Atheist

      All your religious BS is FAIL! Not a word of it is true, so save your atheist bashing unless you want your Christianity bashed as well.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Nurse: If all you have is scripture then you have already lost. Scripture proves nothing more than the fact that you have been fooled in to believing a book written 2000 years by men who never met one another. This is the 21st century, try residing in it and thank those Atheists for the fact that you have a computer to use to shove your beliefs down our throats.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Bob the Janitor

      TruthPrevails (?): Facts don't matter to Christians because we see the world differently than you do. I suspect that is something you can't and won't understand because you live in a one-dimensional world – your own.

      As for having religion shoved down your throat, i doubt that anybody ever dragged you kicking and screaming into a church or forced you to sit in front of a television on Sunday morning to watch somebody preaching the gospel.

      You hate-filled heart tells me everything I need to know about you, but you should still know that God loves you and He will respect your decision to spend eternity in punishment for rejecting Him...

      March 23, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Wow. You believe in a non-specific "enemy?" Who specificallly is this "enemy" Is it "Satan"? Or is it just anyone who doesn't believe in the myths you believe in?

      March 23, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  3. AverageJoe76

    Atheist rallying together may seem a bit strange. But I understand the 'need' behind it. Seems like a basic human need to connect with those sharing similar ideals. Since atheism isn't a popular stance in this country, it's more a 'show of strength in numbers' than anything else. But most atheist/ agnostics could care less, even if it's to show strength. Because most atheist/ agnostics are more secure with their ideals because they make the most sense. We're just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. Certainly, at the end of the day, common sense will prevail. And if not... then we'll all probably die due to some over-zealous believers (sigh). Oh well. There goes Earth...... it was a beautiful story....

    March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven,

    March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Jesus

      -~`You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~`

      March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Prove it.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • greg1466

      And just as ironically, you still have it exactly backwards.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Chris

      Two hands working do more than 10 million in prayer.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Atheist

      Uh Oh, he's quoting Jesus, look out. Jesus was a rabbi with a messiah complex. He wasn't the son of God or God, and he NEVER CAME BACK like he promised, did he? Who's the liar now? Jesus is.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • StevieBoy

      If it feels good – do it, but it changes ZILCH! The list of more productive activities in a time of need would take days to complete, so there's no need to go there.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Bob the Janitor

      Atheist: You were there to watch Jesus not come back from the dead?

      Go spew your hatred somewhere else...

      March 23, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  5. Atheist

    I want all you "Alleged" Christians to read your posts carefully and try to understand how foolish and hypocritical you look and sound. Try reading one or two of your posts aloud. Go ahead, I'll wait.

    I see post after post fueled by deep seated anger against atheists and total ignorance of what we believe and stand for. Like the Crusaders of a thousand years ago, you'd run us all out of the country or burn us all at the stake if you could get away with it.

    You are sick, venal, self satisfied, emotionally stunted individuals and this is what religion has done to your brains.

    You think that because you believe in Gods and Angels and Devils that it's all real and you're just so much more superior than rational thinkers who don't buy the fairy tale that you bought into as a child and never grew out of.

    I feel really sorry for the mental chains that you've allowed to grow into your minds until you can't see anything clearly anymore. You are no better than us, and if there actually WAS a God, he wouldn't love you any more than us. So get over your smug, self righteous fantasy that you're going to live forever. You're going to die just like the rest of us and no one will be waiting for you on the other side.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Atheist

      There isn't a single "true Christian" among you! Not one of you would turn the other cheek, or practice tolerance EVEN IF JESUS WAS HERE!

      Every single one of you would nail atheists to a cross, just like the Romans nailed Jesus to one. Hypocrites, one and all. If there is a Hell, then you false believers are going to burn there. At least Atheists have the courage and conviction to stand up for what we know is true, despite the hateful vengeance of the so-called "Faithful".

      Liars and hypocrites, one and all. And if there's one thing Jesus didn't tolerate, it was Hypocrisy. Foolish people.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • craig

      Christians are not angry at atheists, personally I am saddened at their unbelief, if they continue in their unbelief they will never know the true peace that God gives us if we accept his son, and turn from our sin.Yes God loves us all, that is why he sent his son to die in our place. But we have to believe.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • StevieBoy

      Couldn't have said it better myself! I foresee rallies like the one taking place in DC soon becoming more commonplace and much larger as the religious-right morons keep pushing their delusional agenda onto the mainstream public. There's no more important agenda alive today than keeping the line that separates church and State clearly defined!

      March 23, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  6. Trojan

    And I can guarantee when tragic hit or on a dead bed, both Believer and Non-Believer will turn to God and ask for help.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Atheist

      That's so frigging stupid. Athesists die every day. NONE of us are asking for last rites.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Jake

      Really? Thomas Paine.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Not a chance. It is specifically written in to my Living Will that no form of clergy is to be in attendance.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  7. mike

    There is one thing I never understood about the whole Atheist movement. Since you can't prove or disprove God, isn't it against reason and logic to say one doesn't exist? Why is it more reasonable to be Atheist than Agnostic?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Jason

      I can prove there is no god, open your eyes. Do you believe in the toothfairy too? It is ridiculous. Do you believe in Zeus? It is the same.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Brent Slensker

      People, from THOUSANDS of cultures throughout time, create gods. PEOPLE do it...I hope that clears things up for you...

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • OldSchool

      You can never disprove anything 100%. I can't disprove the assertion that reindeer can fly, I can push hundreds of them off of a building and odds are that none of them will fly away before falling to their death – but that doesn't absolutely prove they are unable to fly, maybe they are tired or just don't feel like it at the time. However, one can use the statistics of such an experiment to prove beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT that reindeer can't fly...

      March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Curtis

      There is no reason to "disprove" god. Philosophy doesn't include rules for "disproving" something. You say he exists – therefore, the onus is on you to prove that he does.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • xnmt

      That's too reasonable for a CNN message board. Sorry.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • kyle

      It is more reasonable because science offers a far better explanation for how the world came to be than do most religious texts. If you could show an atheist repeatable scientific evidence that a creator god exists, they would change their mind.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • NurseLi143

      for those with faith, no PROOF is necessary; for those who doubt, no PROOF would suffice.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • mike

      I'm not religious at all, fun to see all the militant Atheist that Dawkins was pushing for lol. My point was that the supernatural does scientifically exist, It just depends on your definition of supernatural. I think a life form that can live and thrive in acid is a pretty supernatural thing and we have found that in the universe.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Sybaris

      OldSchool, it's a good thing our legal system is not based on your rationale.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Calvin

      What evidence would you find for a lack of God? You would find nothing, which is exactly what we find, no evidence for God.. It is up to the person with faith that God does exist to prove that God exists to everyone else, not the other way around.. If I told you there was a teacup in space that floats between Pluto and Neptune you would think that I am crazy and tell me to prove it, believing in a God is the same argument, the lack of evidence for the existence of God, is evidence that God doesn't exist and its up to the believer to prove that God does exist, not the athiest...

      March 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Sybaris

      Uh mike, what you have described is a symptom of ignorance. Nothing more and certainly not the measure for anything supernatural.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Jake

      I'm a non-believer and you are correct technically that when it comes to the debate and using logic one would have to declare themselves an agnostic or the atheist cannot declare the burden of proof sits squarely on the shoulders of the believer. This often is a critical error for those debating the existence of a diety. We seem to need words for what we believe or don't believe and 'atheist' has been adoptedby most as it denotes that one is not sitting on the fence personally in their belief. But... you are correct that agnostic would be the best term.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • mike

      I love being called ignorant on a question that has no clear answer lol

      March 23, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Agnostic/Gnostic is based on knowledge, Atheism is belief/disbelief.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • NurseLi143

      per dictionary.com: an agnostic is a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience – so how many scientists experienced the big bang? An atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings. So being atheist doesn't prove there is no God, it just means one refuses to believe in Him.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Blah

      I studied math, which is all about PROVING STUFF, in college and I can tell you that scores of mathematicians have studied this for years. They cannot prove nor disprove the existance of God. In fact, this helped them come to the conclusion that not everything can be proved (nor should it be). The very definition of faith is belief not fact. Proof is beside the point to me though. I was raised Christian but I've since decided not to affiliate with them because I can't seem to find a church without rife hypocracy. I'll just put my faith in my own moral code!

      March 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  8. White

    There is no one form of atheism; we're all different, often profoundly so. The only thing we typically have in common is a disbelief in the supernatural. But all these different people, united only by a notion or conclusion (however you define it), will gather together in peace to show they exist, and maybe make some new friends. The only people preaching hate and sowing disharmony will be the protesting followers of one god or another.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  9. NJBob

    I'm curious whether CNN and other news organizations will bother to cover the rally. Probably not, lest it offend their sensitive Christian viewers.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • greg1466

      Ironically, you have it exactly backwards.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • NJBob

      Yes, it wastes time and gives false hope. It allows people to commit unspeakable crimes and feel forgiven.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Jesus

      ~`You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!~`'

      March 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • scatheist

      Prayer doesn't do anything but help the prayor fell better.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Show me one thing prayer has ever changed.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Not You

      Here's your prayer.
      http://www.apenotmonkey.com/comics/2012-03-14-Homeless-Squirrel.jpg

      So go ahead and follow your own advice.
      http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/536005_406823082680484_205344452828349_1472766_1380518349_n.jpg

      March 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  11. TheBossSaid

    If there's one thing religious people can't stand are atheists cramming their "atheism" down non-believers throats. Hey, doesn't that sound like a statement atheists make about religious people?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  12. bxgrrl

    I'm not an atheist, but good for them. With all the fundamentalist ignorance masquerading as "truth", atheists are a breath of fresh air. To the fundy "Christians": you can be a good moral person without a belief in God. Waiting for your God to strike me dead.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • TheBossSaid

      10, 9, 8, 7....

      March 23, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • greg1466

      6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...nope nothing. Just like always.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Bob the Janitor

      No, you cannot be a good moral person and not believe in God. Morality comes from a system or doctrine of knowing right from wrong and we do not have that in America today because of the decay of the family and religious values. There is no respect for others, no respect for authority, and no self-respect in people today. More wars were fought in the 20th century, and more people were killed as a result of them, than any other century in human history and none of them were fought for religion.

      The biggest problem with Americans is that they arrogantly blame others for their problems in life. Americans like to blame Christians for their problems, they like to point at them and call them names. The irony of it all is that, as the Bible says in Psalm 14, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

      On the brighter side, God respects your choices. If you choose to reject Him, He will reluctantly send you to an eternity of suffering. If you're reading this, you still have time to change your mind and accept His gift...

      March 23, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      No, you cannot be a good moral person and not believe in God. Morality comes from a system or doctrine of knowing right from wrong and we do not have that in America today because of the decay of the family and religious values. There is no respect for others, no respect for authority, and no self-respect in people today. More wars were fought in the 20th century, and more people were killed as a result of them, than any other century in human history and none of them were fought for religion.

      >>>So you live in a cave!! You do not need a belief in a god to be a good person. Secular organizations exist all over that do plenty of good-Doctor's Without Borders, UNICEF. Are you going to say they are not moral?
      More wars have in fact occurred as the result of religion than anything else. Atheists do not burn people at the stake for not believing. We do not use faith healing on our children, we use actual medicine. We don't oppress gays or lesbians or women or children.

      The biggest problem with Americans is that they arrogantly blame others for their problems in life. Americans like to blame Christians for their problems, they like to point at them and call them names. The irony of it all is that, as the Bible says in Psalm 14, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

      >>>The problems with christards is that they like to blame the Atheists for the problems of America!! Quoting buybull scripture is a futile waste of your time. Most of us have read the horror stories!

      On the brighter side, God respects your choices. If you choose to reject Him, He will reluctantly send you to an eternity of suffering. If you're reading this, you still have time to change your mind and accept His gift...

      >>>And there we have it...typical christard threatening people with an eternity of suffering!! And you have the audacity to say we're not moral but yet you wish pain upon us...I would say you have the term moral wrong in this case (anyone who wishes pain upon another person is amoral).

      March 23, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  13. Bighorse

    Santorum and Westboro....mmmmm-k.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  14. Bob the Janitor

    "What people don’t seem to understand is all we demand at American Atheists is equality.” What kind of equality do they want that they don't already have??? It's laughable to hear these so-called educated people talking about equality. I wonder if Bill Maher, the poster child of everything that is wrong in America, will show up at their rally.

    The really sad part is that when they die, and learn that God is real and that the choices they made during their earthly lives have ramifications on their eternal lives, it will be too late...

    March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Sybaris

      Hey Bob, not one person in the history of this planet has ever been able to verify that they died and went to a heaven. Oh sure, there have been unsubstantiated claims but not one shred of evidence. To say otherwise is just being dishonest and a sin by your own standards.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Brent Slensker

      Are you sure it's not just YOUR God that is real?

      March 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Brent Slensker

      I catch hate regularly from Xtians, for NOTHING...You don't know what you're talking about BAwb

      March 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Jake

      Care to provide some proof that we should fear your angry, anthropomorphic god?

      March 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Bob the Janitor

      Sybaris: I can't prove that any persony has ever gone to heaven and you can't prove that any person has not. Also, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

      Jake: You should just follow your heart and do what you think is best. God will respect your choice in the end and you will receive your just reward for accepting Him or your just punishment for rejecting Him.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Gordon

      Don't you think that if god was real, he'd have realized by now that increasing technology and knowledge makes more and more people question his existence? Why not have a shared common experience around the same time where a bunch of people around the world who have technically "died" and come back give details, a message, something, that shows evidence of life after death and a god that exists?

      I know the christians will spout the free-will argument as to why god couldn't do that. But, I see no shred of evidence, not one, that there is some god out there, especially one that loves us all, but will send us to hell for all eternity to be tortured for not believing he exists.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Sybaris

      Bob, by your logic then you should be practicing every religion in the world.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  15. Amos Scherrey

    I wish I could go to the rally!
    Love me some Dawkins. And common sense reasoning!

    March 23, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Marissa

      Ok ...here is a 'common sense' reasoning. Expecting 'common' sense among groups with diverse beliefs where neither group can prove their belief is correct. A 'common sense' would be one in which all people allow other people to believe as they desire without being belittled for it. You know, it really does not matter what I believe any more than it does what you belive. 'Common' freddom allows us that space. I would not support a march against people who choose not to believe any more than I support this as it simply creates an environment where there can be no 'common sense' – only 'common' prejudice. But, that is what I believe and you apparently believe otherwise. I would prefer common sense but I am not addicted to it.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  16. koorihawk

    Atheist make up 6 to 10% or more of the population. In some studies as many as a quarter of the US population are at least agnostic. The problem is that there are christian symbols and ideals everywhere and those of faith turn a blind eye or worse force their morality on others through the legal system. There is this over whelming negativity shown towards individuals whom professes to believe in no god. Their are cases where death threats have been sent to children because lack of belief. I think it is good that CNN covers this because America needs to be more tolerant and less closed minded.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Jason

      Religious people are nuts and need to be locked up for insanity.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  17. George

    hahaha.... this sounds like a religious movement. They look so clumsy.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Jason

      That makes absolutely no sense what you said.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Bob the Janitor

      Agree, George...it's almost like they have their own movement and a religion-like fervor in supporting their beliefs.

      One of the definitions in Webster's dictionary for RELIGION is "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith"...sounds like the atheists to me!!!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Sybaris

      I love how the faithful think they have stumbled upon some clever bit of intellect by saying atheists practice their own form of a religion as if that in itself discredits their cause.

      So what?

      Call it the Relgion of Reason

      It's still not based on myths and fairy tales.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Dmun

      For a group that so doesn't care or believe in religion, they are going to go to Washington DC and march all day?? Let's go protest something that is scientifically untestable, THAT makes total sense. How about going out and doing something that actually benefits society,

      "Coming out" is an insult to the LGBT population given what that culture has had to endure.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • robert

      Yes and my sport of choice is not playing hockey

      March 23, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Dmun

      @robert. Hahahaha. I don't like broccoli, let's march!!

      March 23, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Sybaris

      Dmun, people routinely use religion to justify prejudice. It is rather naive to think in a predominately christian society that non-believers are be treated as fairly as the faithful.

      Don't think so?

      Announce to your family and co-workers that you are an atheist and see what happens.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  18. Bruce

    So now atheists need to act like religious zealots, banding together for moral support? I stopped believing in the fairy tales in my early teens, but I don't feel the need to proselytize. I do find all the religious influence in politics annoying, however. Why do these people think I need to believe in their nonsense to lead a moral and healthy life?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Jason

      Why wouldn't you want to end the belief that this country is a Christian nation? It is not.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • KK Denver

      They could care less what you believe

      March 23, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • nick

      Normally I agree, I am athiest and don't need to take any time out of my day to profess my distrust of the religious. However, when you have 99% of all politicians claiming to believe in god and base their policies on these beliefs, we athiests need to come together to make them realize they need to appease us as well, not just the bible-thumpers. I agree with Dawkins, we gotta come out! haha

      March 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Bob

      Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. You are no scientist. Humans are social creatures and thus NEED the presence and support of others. That is science, not religion. Science can be a basis for morals if we study the true nature of humans and biology. There is no need for religion. But being lazy, Bruce, and avoiding the issue is not the answer.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Mick

      I think Dawkins sums it up, Bruce: “We are the last group against whom it is politically correct to be bigoted." That's why we need things like Reason Rally. It's time the country stopped looking at us like we have three heads.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Dmun

      Bob, Bob, Bob. You are no scientist or you'd recognize that science is a process, nothing more. Science is never absolutely "right" but it is the best we have. I believe religion and science are probably both well intentioned for the betterment of society but both susceptible to scandal, poor governance, unethical behavior and abuse.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  19. LetsSee

    Ok so religious people have this book that is made in the state of when its written ( 1000's of years ago and always edited over time ), we look around us there are black holes, gravity, galaxies, time and space. doesn't that make you think maybe the meaning of life is just a tad more complicated then lighting a candle, praying and taking 2000 year old stories as fact ?

    March 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  20. Jason

    Good, this country is headed towards a Theocracy, and people need to know, many do not want or believe in sky wizards. Religion is the most ridiculous fairytale money makers in the world. I am amazed by how many people talk to imaginary friends yet since they call it religion they aren't sent to the loony farm.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Peter

      Actually, America is the most atheist that it has ever been. Church attendance is at record lows and if you look at demographics, age correlates strongly with religious commitment (or whatever you want to call it). The PC movement recently has made any mention of God or Jesus (or Allah, etc) cringeworthy in the public arena. People like Santorum pop up and freak out most of America but lets remind ourselves that he probably would have won 50 years ago, but in today's society he possesses a belief that is no longer what America as a whole wants.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.