Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout
March 24th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN)– Billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement, a gathering of atheists, agnostics and humanists drew large numbers of non-theists to the Washington Mall Saturday despite bad weather.

Put on by a coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, the rally was touted as the largest gathering of non-theists in the history of the world. Headlined by a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” organizers said the event shows that atheism is a powerful minority in American life.

“We will never be closeted again,” said David Silverman, the rally’s head organizer. “In years to come, the Reason Rally will be seen as the beginning of the end to the religious right’s grip” on American life.

With thunderstorms moving through the area, rain had threatened to dampen the event. However, Silverman and other organizers said they were elated by the turnout, especially in light of the rain.

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

The idea of thousands of atheists gathering drew the ire of religious groups. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial group known for picketing and protesting at funerals of U.S. service members, were in attendance and chanted at the rally-goers.

In large part however, protests were rare and not aggressive.

Silverman had said prior to the event that the rally would not be an exercise in “religion bashing,” but in a number of instances, religion and the belief in God was, in fact, denounced.

Taslima Nasrin, the author of “Shame,” categorized the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a charlatan, a pedophile and a rapist. A wooden cross was constructed in the middle of the crowd and a sign that read “Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history,” was hung from it.

An iReporter takes on the Reason Rally

Under umbrellas and ponchos, college insignia and fresh faces dotted the rally crowd.

For many of the students in attendance, the event was more than just a large gathering; for them, it was a coming-out party.

“The reason why events like this help is because of the confidence people get in seeing other people that think like you,” said Mark D. Hatcher, founder of the Secular Student Alliance at Howard University in Washington. “It is important to realize you are not alone.”

Hatcher and other atheists have co-opted much of the same lingo used in the gay rights movement. “Coming out” and “in the closest” are both terms regularly used because, according to Hatcher, telling people you are an atheist is comparable to telling people you are gay.

“Being younger, you are especially exposed to being labeled a pariah when you come out of the closet,” Hatcher said.

Rebecca Cunningham, a graduate of the University of Michigan, said that her freshman year at college was that moment for her. Cunningham was raised in a Christian family, but a few months before leaving for school, she started to doubt her belief in God.

Shortly after arriving at Michigan, Cunningham went to a Secular Student Alliance meeting.

“It helped me come out,” Cunningham said. “It was the first group of people that I met who weren’t religious in some form. They taught me that it was OK; they taught me that I was OK.”

Jesse Galef, the alliance’s communications director, said stories such as Cunningham’s show why his group tries to mobilize on campuses.

“One of the biggest things we do at the Secular Student Alliance is connect them [local groups] with a larger movement that is supporting them and giving them a grass-roots presence,” said Galef.

Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old high school student who won a lawsuit against her city for a prayer banner that was displayed in her high school, was also a speaker at the event.

She touched upon the need for more student groups in high schools and colleges during her remarks. After the speech, she told CNN that students are a critical place for the atheism movement to focus its efforts.

“This community is all about bringing people together and talking about a secular future,” Ahlquist said. “I think that future comes from the students.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (1,305 Responses)
  1. PRISM 1234

    Only a risen Savior can save the world that's lost and dying.
    Yet, so few understand and acknowledge that they need Him, who came for this purpose only: to redeem fallen human race.
    But blessed are those who did not turn Him away! To them He gives the power to become the sons and daughters of God.

    March 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Believe that if you want, Prissy. I simply cannot. A just and merciful god would never allow the suffering of innocents. Why would I want to bow to a vengeful, petty being that needs to be worshipped by those he supposedly created and whom he treats like dirt?

      You can have him. It's your hell; you burn in it.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • momoya

      Well said, Tom.. The deal is, just by reading the bible you figure out that god isn't trustworthy–much less "good" in any sense of the word.. It's myth and tradition, and works as such, and only that.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You know, I have to ask you, Prissy, when has the world ever not been "lost and dying", according to you? People like you have been bemoaning the state of the world since it began. How is it that nothing has changed since the crucifixion? It's still a 'lost and dying world' according to you and all other believers.

      Yet many people are living longer lives because of better nutrition and advancements in medicine, are better educated because of public education and improvements in technology, travel, enjoy life, have families, have friends, care for others less fortunate, read and study, create and ponder, achieve and prosper, and strive to improve the world, or at least their little corner of it.

      How is that a "lost and dying world" when compared to the world of even a century ago? To the world of the Middle Ages?

      To hear you Christians tell it, it's nothing but a long downhill slide into oblivion.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • CrapSpot

      From Tom, Tom,:

      "A just and merciful god would never allow the suffering of innocents."

      From momoya:

      "Well said, Tom.. The deal is, just by reading the bible you figure out that god isn't trustworthy–much less "good" in any sense of the word"


      The real deal is...If you can quote a single verse from the Bible, that states that God, unarguably, permits, the "suffering of the innocents", I would immediately quit as a crap spotter here. BUT if you can't, would you cease to be a crap in here?

      Do we have a deal?

      Can you state here one verse that God in the Bible

      "Well said, Tom.. The deal is, just by reading the bible you figure out that god isn't trustworthy–much less "good" in any sense of the word

      March 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Moron, do children die of cancer? Starvation? SIDS?

      Who ever said a word about the bible?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you maintain that your god is omniscient? Omnipotent? Then why does he allow innocents to suffer and die? Do you maintain your god is merciful and loving? Then explain why he doesn't do a thing to end such agony. Go ahead, craptastic.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Captain Craptard, can you give any good reason why either of us should leave, you wad? It's a free country, and you don't own CNN, last time I checked.

      Don't like the views here? Beat it.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • CrapSpot

      @Tom, Tom..

      Chillax..where in my post did I say you mentioned about the bible?

      March 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • CrapSpot

      Did you read my post? Or you were just using the TYPICAL science of atheism when it comes of determining a result, were you using the HYPOCRITICAL GUESS?

      And one more thing..FYI, the deal wasn't meant for you but to momoya. So apparently, you're barking at the wrong tree here.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Qubee

      It's AIDS NOT "SIDS" you DUMB superior pr.ick!

      What's wrong? Tom, Tom? getting too fat for a 4'11" spinchter?

      March 27, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Know What


      SIDS = Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, you doorpost!

      *Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the third leading cause of infant death for 2007 and the first leading cause of death among infants ages 1–12 months. A total of 2,453 SIDS deaths occurred in 2007.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • TING

      .If you can quote a single verse from the Bible, that states that God, unarguably, permits, the "suffering of the innocents",

      2nd Kings 2:24

      Maybe you may think the children had it coming?

      March 27, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • TING

      Only a risen Savior can save the world that's lost and dying.

      That made perfect sense about 1,900 years ago. The next thing your going to tell us is that prayer changes things. Right?

      March 27, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't give a ripe fig who you were barking at, dumbazz. You posted a reply. I responded. Don't like it? Tough toenails.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow. I must have really upset somebody. Poor little Q. You never heard of SIDS? You really are simple.

      Why would your merciful, loving, all-powerful, all-knowing sky-fairy allow infants to die in their sleep?

      March 27, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and Q? You need a better spell-checker or more brain cells. It's a sphincter.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Qubee

      "Why would your merciful, loving, all-powerful, all-knowing sky-fairy allow infants to die in their sleep?"

      Oh REALLYY?! Tom, Tom?..You ugly and loose thread TW*T! Read and UNDERSTAND (it doesn't need an ounce of brain cells to do it) all my previous post before making some crap about me and waste some space on this board advertising your utter ignorance and stupidity.

      Your extreme arrogance and superiority complex is overwhelming that is posing a great danger to our cause.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  2. Gremlins

    We knew that it will rain. We checked the weather bureau before holding the rally. We did it on purpose.

    March 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • ogre

      Yeah, multiply and outnumber believers.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • lol!

      Yeah... multiplied when got wet. I thought no see it coming.LOL!

      March 27, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  3. Qubee

    It's amazing how uniformed people are, they keep mixing Communism and atheism. Communism or Nazism is a delusional doctrine quite similar to religion. Atheism is not a belief system as such. It's not a dogma like any of the above. Actually, there are no atheists (the word "atheist" just means that the person doesn't believe in God specifically) – just rational people that reject delusional beliefs of any kind. Communists were atheists because it suited their dogma (religion and Communism are two very similar dogmas, and as such cannot and will not ever exist together as one competes with the other for the brainwashed minds of the people). That doesn't make atheists Communists. Nazis used Christianity to suit their dogma. That doesn't necessarily make all Christians Nazis (although many of them were and still are)!

    March 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


      March 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah! It's "uninformed", do you hear that dumb sh!t? Don't quit your day job, Shecky.

      Good god, you're stupid. Have you been in the same school with Fred in the 2nd grade?

      March 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Qubee

      You are the dumb one. You never made a typo, so you must be superior.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure, I make typos. You posted your error multiple times, spam-bot. Oh, and my little stalker, stick it up your fundament.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  4. Giov41

    Faith and Religion made America the most powerful nation in the history of the world. On the dollar it says "In God we trust", not "In ourselves we trust". My Christian brothers and sisters, do not push away and condemn the Atheists, welcome them, and embrace them, so that they can see your kind heart, and maybe follow your example.

    March 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Jen

      Silly Christian. There's no god. At least there was a group you have a lot in common with, though:

      On the belt buckle of every German fighting in WWII: "Gott Mit Uns" – God Is With Us.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Qubee

      Or maybe not follow your example! Get a grip, believing in God is absolutely silly and very primitive. There's evidence that Neanderthal believed in God about 200.000 years ago.

      March 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Snow

      Did you know when the words "in god we trust" was added on the bill? 1955.. if your logic is correct, America was c.rap until 1955 and whatever greatness it has is because of the work done after 1955.. Really? Guess according to you, people were sleeping from 1776 till 1955, huh..

      March 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Giov41

      "In God we Trust" has been on American coins since 1864, and was even used in one of the earliest versions of the Star Spangled Banner, "Our Trust is in God", which was written sometime around 1811. The most iconic leaders in United States history have been Religious; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, etc. These people all changed the course of American history. There is nothing silly in being religious. Like Jesus, I will embrace all, even atheists. What you believe in is none of my business. I can only wish that you love your life, and that you are satisfied with yourself.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Islamic extremists changed the course of history on 9/11.

      Everything that happens "changes the course of history", Glov, regardless of its origins. Religion isn't unique.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Giov41


      I'm not sure I understand the Atheists problem with religious people anymore. Those who are religious believe in some higher power, and those who are atheists do not. What is the problem? Do Christians condemn atheists? Or persecute them? An atheist saying "religion is silly" is not really an argument, because a religious person can say "atheism is silly". Whats the real issue here, because all I hear about anymore is atheists saying "keep your religion away from me!" If I recall, Churches, Mosques, Temples, and Tabernacles dont go door to door to recruit....

      March 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Obviously, you've never been visited by the Seventh-Day Adventists, dear.

      Fundie Christians strive to overturn laws that guarantee our rights whenever they believe those rights are 'wrong' according to their religious tenets. That's reason enough to argue against their zealotry.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Just to set the record straight. It was adding the word "God" to the pledge of allegiance that occurred in the 1950's. It was added to paper currency in 1957, and was also the countries new motto in 1956, replacing E Pluribus Unim.

      Having said that, the fact that religious lobbies were able to pressure the government to bend the 1st amendment a tad bit in order to make these concessions, still has no bearing on the fundamental secularism of our government.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  5. † In God We Trust †

    These people at the rally are Stalin, Mao, Hitler & Pol Pot # 2.

    March 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Gokubi

      Ooooo! Who else was there at your make believe rally? Torquemada? Mengele? Saddam Hussein? Must be a dream for you to go to a rally with some of the most horrific monsters in human history right?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Duh

      "† In God We Trust †"

      It might help if you actually knew what you were talking about religion has killed 480 million people in human history, it's not the atheists we have to worry about, it's nut cases like you.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jen

      On the belt buckle of every German fighting in WWII: "Gott Mit Uns" – God Is With Us.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • WASP

      @in dog we trust: hitler, mao, stalin etc etc etc commited those acts for reasons of power not for any faith or lack there of. religious people that have been in charge through history have commited the same acts in the name of god, i don't believe god told them to massacre millions, they did it for power.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      In truth we may NEVER know how many died at the hands of religion, especially during the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church was the government and killed people with impunity. By some accounts the numbers could be in the billions.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Qubee

      It's amazing how uniformed )stupid?) people are, they keep mixing Communism and atheism. Communism or Nazism is a delusional doctrine quite similar to religion. Atheism is not a belief system as such. It's not a dogma like any of the above. Actually, there are no atheists (the word "atheist" just means that the person doesn't believe in God specifically) – just rational people that reject delusional beliefs of any kind. Communists were atheists because it suited their dogma (religion and Communism are two very similar dogmas, and as such cannot and will not ever exist together as one competes with the other for the brainwashed minds of the people). That doesn't make atheists Communists. Nazis used Christianity to suit their dogma. That doesn't necessarily make all Christians Nazis (although many of them were and still are)!

      March 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • TING

      These people at the rally are Stalin, Mao, Hitler & Pol Pot # 2.

      So you categorize these people as such simply because they don't believe in one of the current gods being worshipped on this planet? On the other hand, during the rally some poor little boy is getting rap.ed by some priest.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:59 am |
  6. Mick

    It doesn't get anymore absurd than rallying for a pointless existence.

    To the atheists that spent the day in a drunken stupor instead of attending a silly "reason" rally: I salute your consistency over these hypocrites that pretend their meaningless lives have any significance.

    March 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Neon Knight

      My existence is quite a happy one, with plenty of goals, family to love, kids going to college (snobs), and me even thinking about educating myself further with a Ph D. The wife is set to graduate with her bachelors as well. We have great friends, a good retirement fund and ideas on how to relax after we stop working. We have secukar charitable contributions to make, lots of opportunities for foster care, working at the local soup kitchen.

      Yep, we're just wasting our time as unbelievers, aren't we. No point at all to being life-long learners and helping out our fellow mammals.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Mick

      Does it matter what your goals are? Could there be anything less significant than your retirement fund?!? What a laugh! We'll all be dead soon. And you and your retirement fund will rot away on a rock in the immense uncaring, pointless universe. There's no reason for anything, no point to anything. If you lived one year or a 100, it could not possibly be any less significant. Rallying for a reasonless existence? What a joke.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Neon Knight

      Dude, lighten up. We all make our own reasons to enjoy life. We're alive! Imagine all the possible combinations of DNA for every possible person who has never existed, and then feel fortunate to be one of the combinations that has the opportunity to live. If you think life is pointless, then your the one having a truly profound problem with your own existence, not me with mine.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • WASP

      @mick: if you require a horror story to give you meaning in life, that's pretty sad. neon and appearantly his whole family are preparing for their furtures so they can enjoy life. i'm with neon on this one. i to have been working to prepare for a retirement, long over due mind you.....been trying to decide which tropical island i will enjoy for the remainder of my existance. if the world happens to end i plan on doing it with a margarita in one hand and a cuban in the other. lol (cheers to you neon.)

      March 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mick

      There is no reason to enjoy life when the only conclusion is death. Whether you die tomorrow or decades from now, your life is barely a flicker in the cold, dark, unending universe. Would it make a difference if none of us existed at all? Of course not. You can't give meaning to a meaningless existence. Any physical comforts are merely to pass time until our ultimate, unavoidable execution. Your life is no more worthwhile than the drunkard that wastes away instead of giving himself a false "purpose" in his life. In the godless world, the only truth is death.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Mick

      The godless, meaningless universe is the ultimate horror story. Death is unavoidable. What's the quote from Alien, "In space no one can here you scream." In reality, no one cares if you scream or whimper or die with a margarita and a cohiba. Death is coming and there is no escape.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Gokubi


      The only Nihilist here is you. I don't understand why you think there is no meaning without god unless of course you really don't see meaning in life at all and god is all you have, which is sad and pathetic, but hey, go for it. If that's what makes you want to live today, tomorrow and so on then do it. I'll contentedly enjoy my time on earth in the way I see fit without being constrained by laws made 5000 years ago that clearly don't apply anymore.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Mick

      How can you possibly pretend that your life has meaning when life itself is meaningless?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Gokubi


      Define meaning? Also Nihlism doesn't befit you.

      For instance, most people know that something becomes meaningful when it's assigned meaning. You can live in a world, in a universe that is cold and dark and has no feelings and still be satisfied with your life because the people close to you, the people that you have given meaning to have found you meaningful, now is that nothing?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Mick

      Your life's meaning comes from other meaningless lives? What a joke. Your life has no meaning. You are just the by product of chance and time. You are no more important than a housefly. Death will soon be here, then your meaningless body will rot on a this meaningless planet until the meaningless sun incinerates it. Then all the stars will burn out and there will be nothing but a dead, cold universe. Retirement funds? Hilarious.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Gokubi


      Serious question, are you a christian or a nihilist? If you're a nihilist then, ok that makes sense, you believe in nothing and believe that life is meaningless. If you're a christian than it's shocking that you would look around yourself and claim that this world has no meaning unless god is here because it's beautiful, but fail to see the beauty if god is removed from the equation even when it has literally 0 physical effect.
      Do the words you're writing even make a lick of sense to you?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Mick

      Can you not tell what I believe?

      Beauty does not give purpose to anything. Does looking at a rainbow take your mind off the fact that you will die soon?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • momoya

      Mick, you seem confused.. God believers have the "meaning" all wrapped up for them in a nifty little package.. We atheists define meaning how we wish to and in what areas of our lives we wish.. It's pretty cool, actually.

      Also, an atheist can believe in more meaning if she wishes to.. Atheists simply don't believe in god, but they can believe in all sorts of other various possibilities.. Ninety some percent of the universe is dark matter/energy, so we're almost completely blind to most of the universe.. Maybe there's all sorts of higher meaning, maybe there's no meaning at all.. Either way, we're alive and that's pretty cool.. Enjoy the movie until the credits run, I say.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Gokubi


      I think you believe in nothing. In any case, why focus on when I'm going to die? I don't when it's going to happen, or how so why would worry about it and enjoy the time I have on this earth? Then again, for a guy who can't stop thinking about death I'm sure this a very new and scary concept for you huh?

      March 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • WASP

      @mick: dude seek help. i read your other posts, you sound truly depressed and if your view is life is meaningless, with or without god; you're a few steps away from commiting a horrible act given the correct situation. truly one human to another you can find meaningful existance in life with just deciding to live the best you can. i have and i enjoied my life. if i die i can say i lived, and loved with all my heart. can you say that? with comments like "life is meaningless" i truly doubt it. i can sit for hours and just smile as my son plays, or sit on the porch and enjoy the sun warming my face with no care for how it happens, i enjoy the little things in life so i can enjoy the larger ones that much more.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru


      What drugs are you taking? Meaningless life? Really? I am an atheist and my life is quite meaningful. I do what I do and live the way I live, both for MYSELF and my family. I am not shackled by fear or waiting to die like some Christians. I do not fear death, instead I embrace life and plan to live as long as I can and then when I die, I will leave a legacy of love, a history of my life, and hopefully, a memory that I did good, loved often, and learned much. People like you will live in fear of some afterlife, in hopes of something better and you will miss out on all the great things THIS life has to offer. Good Luck.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a stupid assumption you make, Mick. Life has meaning for me. I find satisfaction and joy in my work, my family, my friends, in art and music, in nature. I don't need to imagine some 'next world' to find happiness in this one. If you do, fine by me. But don't tell me my life is somehow less meaningful than yours, you presumptuous prig.

      March 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Drake

      Several of you have stated here, in these comments, that the meaning ascribed to life is just as valid as any meaning given to the universe by "God." Therefore, one man's belief is as valid as another. We are, after all, merely human beings, no more and no less. but, I pose this question to you; is pedophilia wrong? Is it wrong for just you? Is it wrong for all of us? If every human is a nation unto himself, what makes your belief any more valid that someone who believes that being a pedophile is just fine for him. You cannot use the argument that hurting someone else makes it universally wrong. Nature is filled with examples of one being imposing its will on another weaker being.

      March 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  7. Not Woodstock

    "This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place, and I think you people have proven something to the world: that a half a million kids can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing but fun and music, and I God bless you for it! "

    Fast forward 42+ years. A few dweebs stand around in the rain congratulating themselves on being courageous enough to declare something that no one really cares about: WE'RE ATHEIST!!!!! WE'RE HERE!!!!!

    March 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Funny that something 'no one cares about' got 862 comments, including one from you.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Did you know that the first condoms were made of wood? Pretty ingenious, don't you think? Well, splinters may have been a problem.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Not Woodstock

      Don't know which one to respond to, but hey, my heart goes out to unhappy people in the rain.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here's a clue: the second one is my little stalker who just can't get enough of me.

      What makes you think the people at this rally were anymore unhappy than the ones standing in the rain at Woodstock?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  8. J.W

    The Age of Reason won't last long I don't think. I am going to start promoting the Age of Unreason.

    March 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  9. BoldGeorge

    I think if it rained on their rally, these "committed" people should've taken the hint from God.

    March 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • momoya

      Nah.. Atheists know that rain is just a function of the weather patterns and aren't messages from any magical, invisible being who can't be proved to exist.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would they 'take a hint' from a being that is unlikely to exist? Do you REALLY think an invisible man in the sky controls the weather, George?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • wait..

      so if you walk out and you it rains on you.. do you take that as a sign from god that he doesn't like you?? or if it rains on a church, you take it as a sign that god doesn't like that church?? words like stupid and idiot are not sufficient to classify your logic..

      March 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Neon Knight

      So the next time it rains on your anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, or anti-anything that is reasonable or rational, should you not take it as a sign that you're wrong as well?

      Imagine a well timed, coordinated fundamentalist set of rallies held against birth control in each of the 50 states. If it rains in the South and Midwest, but is blue skies and sun everywhere else, perhaps your god is telling the people in the most christian areas of the nation to have more abortions – sound about right?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • TR6

      If Dawkins had been incinerated by lightening... that would have been a hint. Rain is just weather

      March 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • WASP

      @TR6: roflmao. now that was funny. i saw him preparing to speek then *bizzache*

      March 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  10. WASP

    it's rather funny, you have one group; the reason rally, looking forward to the future achievements of humans, and you have the opposing group;WMC; waiting for the end of the world. i take hopeful and active atheists over brooding and unhappy apocalypse seeking people any day.

    March 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      WASP – " i take hopeful and active atheists over brooding and unhappy apocalypse seeking people any day". If what you claim is accurate, how come nobody's smiling? Who are the unhappy ones? Contrast this rally with those that attended the March for Life in January and you will see that those that promote life are much more hopeful people and mostly believers or religious.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Bob

      SPAK,considering the content of the bible, Christianity is actually more about death than life, and Christian god apparently actually aggressively promotes and demands killing and other violence.

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
      (just to get started).

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of the horrors of the Christian supersti-tion at long last.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Bob – Is this related to the Reason Rally or the March for Life or just your excuse to rant on about the violence in bible? I thought most non-believers thought this was just an irrelevant book of fiction?

      March 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bob

      SPAK, come back when you have a point to make. I replied directly to your post, stupid. Rebut that or buzz off and go back to playing with yourself as usual.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • WASP

      @ you're a spaz knight: dude would you be happy getting rained on? i kow i wouldn't be, however it's rain and it cold rain at that. plus your basing your statement off of one photo, lighten up and enjoy life you prude. yet again another example of the apocalyptic worry wort....go back and hide in your cave spaz.

      March 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      WASP – Dude, I am not worried about the apocalypse nor a few raindrops. I don't live in fear but in hope.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of what? That someday the Wizard of Oz will give you a brain?

      March 27, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Tom Tom – You know I have a GPS by that name that I usually ignore as background noise as well.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  11. J.W

    God musta not liked the Reason Rally or he wouldn't want them to get all wet, unless some of them liked being wet. He would provide those people with umbrellas.

    March 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • J.W

      I bet if Christians decided to have a rally in San Diego there would be nice clear weather.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • WASP

      nah i think that would be when the "big one" would hit. lol

      March 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  12. SPA Knight

    Let me be the first to call for Reason Rally, a non-profit, to pay their taxes!! Why would an organization like this so opposed to religious organizations having tax exemption status turn around and form a non-profit to avoid paying ther fair share.

    March 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Neon Knight

      It's called sauce for the goose...

      March 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jen

      SPAnked, how much do you think the tax revenue from a "non-profit" would be?

      March 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Jen – My post was tongue and cheek because there is a constant call on this blog to tax the Catholic Church because non-believers want to shut them down. But when the shoe is on the other foot all we hear is silence.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  13. Bogalusa

    It is wonderful we can live in a country where we can choose to believe what we want.Some of the best people I ever met were non believers,free thinkers.
    For me...It is all good and God is at the end.
    We should love all and serve all....Hard Rock has it right.

    March 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  14. paulmangione

    We are only now truly entering the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment. In any case, I will quote Einstein as he says it all far better than I ever will:

    Science…has been accused of undermining morals – but wrongly. The ethical behavior of man is better based on sympathy, education and social relationships, and requires no support from religion. Man’s plight would, indeed, be sad if he had to be kept in order through fear of punishment and hope of rewards after death.
    Albert Einstein

    March 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      paulmangione – If the Age of Reason and Enlightenment is upon us, should there be a few more smilling faces in the photo snapped by CNN?

      March 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • momoya

      SPA Knight

      Are you really using the ratio of smiling faces to non-smiling faces as the foundation of an argument?!? LOL!!!!

      March 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • WASP

      @SPA: dude it was raining what type of person would be smiling in the rain.....i know i wouldn't be smiling. what does enlightenment have to do with smiling any how? especially in bad weather.

      March 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Momoya – Not a foundation for an argument...just a free thinker's observation.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Bob

      SPAK never has a foundation for an argument.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Bob – you guys keep looking for arguments rather a peaceful dialogue. Is that in keeping with the tenets of reason, logic scientific facts and tolerance. I'm disappointed.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bob

      SPAK, after years of persecution by idiot Christians like you, well, now it's time for you to bend over and grease up, because you've had it coming for a long time, and the shaft has arrived.

      March 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Bob – I'm sorry if you were persecuted by Christians or anyone else in your life but a return of persecution will only result in more pain and an empty feeling brother. You know absolutely nothing about me yet you feel "I have it coming" by some false sense of association you have assigned to me. I can only hope that this is not what the Age of Reason and Enlightenment is about.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • OhPlease

      "I'm sorry if you were persecuted by Christians or anyone else in your life but a return of persecution will only result in more pain and an empty feeling brother."

      No, it will mean we will have equal rights. There is not an empty feeling at all we will all love each other the way we should without fear, judgment or the spread of hate. It's time for your cult to come to an end. Don't believe me look at the comments from the so called Christians on this site specifically "just sayin", "captain america" "herbie", etc...

      March 27, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • SPA Knight

      OhPlease – Unfortunately this movement isn't about equal rights. It's about destroying rights of others who happen to disagree with you. So much for free thinking and tolerance.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What rights are atheists taking away, Spaz? Name any?

      March 27, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  15. Chewbacca

    The weather was rainy and damp, but the crowd was enthusiastic.

    There are some crazy-people theology debates near the end.


    March 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I feel it! I can feel it! Well, something wet running down, Ah, must be from your hot video that you've posted.

      March 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  16. J.W

    I need to hold a non-reason rally somewhere. I bet I can get many people to come.

    March 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Happens in Christian churches already, every Sunday.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • J.W

      Well I guess some churches may have several thousand people. Or maybe instead of just Christians in general I should be more focused. Maybe I can put together the largest number of Mennonites in one place ever.

      March 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  17. mandarax

    Thanks, preacherman. Here are more images, and video/audio of some of the presentations....


    March 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  18. preacherman

    For those of you obsessing over the single image CNN published, please look at a collection of photos from the rally before making statements about diversity...


    March 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  19. El Cholo Loko

    Religion will soon be destroyed. In an hour's notice religion will be gone for the world governments will close in on religion and destroy her.

    March 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Brad

      Intriguing. Say on.

      March 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • J.W

      When will this happen?

      March 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  20. hippypoet

    what exists is real and provable and what is not is not – need there be any more discussing on the matter?

    March 26, 2012 at 2:23 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.