Atheists are coming to Washington, D.C., en force. We already told you about the so-called "Reason Rally," which is being dubbed a Woodstock for non-believers. The event, to be held on March 24, will bring together "free thinkers" and the organizations that serve them. But following the announcement that this massive undertaking would be occurring in our nation's capital, it seems some Christians are crafting a response -- an event called "True Reason."
The Christians behind the effort want atheists to know that they're reasonable individuals who are prepared to confront them with love. Here's what the "True Reason" web site says:
This website represents Christians from all over the country—even some from as far as Australia and New Zealand—who know that Christianity is both good and reasonable. We’re ready to meet the New Atheists at their Reason Rally in Washington: in truth and in love, to share person-to-person, one-on-one, with anyone we can.
At particular issue, the site proclaims, is the idea that atheists are using their "Reason Rally" "to trumpet the message that reasonable people reject belief in God." Christians, of course, disagree with this notion. To ensure they interact with and combat the overwhelming aura of non-belief, "True Reason" participants will give out free bottled water, a printed mini-book called "Reason Really" and copies of a book about Christianity and atheism during the "Reason Rally."
The organizers, though, want to make something very clear. While the "Reason Rally" will be a massive concert and demonstration touting non-belief, the Christian response should not, in their view, be considered a counter-demonstration:
We are going there to share Christ person to person as opportunity arises. We will not raise our voices. We will talk with those who want to talk with us. We will offer gifts and materials to all, but we will not press ourselves on those who do not wish to converse. Knowing that the way others may choose to gather near us is not entirely in our control, we will nevertheless attempt to avoid gathering groups larger than a handful of people.
At least one atheist who caught wind of Christians' plans shared his disdain on FreethoughtBlogs.com. PZ Myers, who will be speaking at "Reason Rally" and who was also responsible for hijacking a Blaze poll about faith last year, had some strong words for believers planning to attend the atheist "Woodstock" event:
Oh, look who’s also going to the Reason Rally: goddamned annoying evangelical Christians. I’m beginning to feel like my long-standing personal policy of not intruding on their church services needs to be questioned, because man, is this ever arrogant and obnoxious. [...]
If these people bother you at the rally, I recommend one of two choices: either tell them sternly to leave you alone and walk away, or — and this is the fun part — calmly and politely take their rubbish arguments apart with much soft-spoken malice and cruelty.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This gathering will certainly attract swarms of mindless parasites…this is just the first public announcement of their intent that I’ve seen.
As we reported, 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, Freedom From Religion Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor and Jessica Ahlquist (the 16-year-old girl behind the prayer mural ban in Rhode Island).