Traditionally, atheists have taken on the faith community through limited legal battles and individual complaints. But as the power of social media and communicative technologies has developed, non-believers have become increasingly organized. As they collaborate through various projects, they're realizing the power they have as a collective. In fact, on March 24, 2012, they're planning the "Reason Rally" -- a massive event that American Atheists President David Silverman has dubbed a "Woodstock for non-belief."
The event, which will symbolically be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is being called "the largest secular event ever," as non-believers from across America are being encouraged to come and take part in the "historical" gathering. On the event's web site, its purpose is explained in detail:
The Reason Rally is a movement-wide event sponsored by the country’s major secular organizations. 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! [...]
Across America, in every city, every town, and every school, secularism is on the rise. Whether people call themselves atheists, agnostics, secular Humanists, or any of the other terms used to describe their god-free lifestyle, secularism is coming out of the closet. According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey...the percentage of people with no religious affiliation grew in all fifty states. The purpose of this particular rally will be to advance secularism (in the broadest sense of the word) in society.
So, it seems America's atheist population is on a mission: To grow its numbers, while changing the perceptions the majority of the public public often holds against it. With numbers that appear to be growing, non-believers are looking to form the same cohesiveness they see among America's faithful.
Below, watch a trailer that provides a preview of all of the presenters and speakers who will be present at the event, which goes from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. If it's as large as non-believers say it will be, it could be the first of many such events:
Musicians and speakers will present and perform at the "Reason Rally." Among those listed on the event's web site are evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers (whom the Blaze has interacted with in the past), Freedom From Religion Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor and Jessica Ahlquist (the 16-year-old girl behind the prayer mural ban in Rhode Island).