A rally meant to celebrate the lack of religion, called the Reason Rally, drew thousands of atheists to the Washington, D.C., mall on Saturday. The Reason Rally is now an annual event that has been going on for several years and is geared towards underlining the fact that there are citizens in the country who don’t celebrate any religion and yet deserve to have their voices heard. The attendees of the Reason Rally have long said they are supporting this event precisely because they want to find a way to increase their power and their voice in Washington, D.C.
In addition to meeting one another and exchanging ideas, there were speakers who got up and gave speeches that centered around the ideas that originally birthed the Reason Rally.
“We are here, we are one, we are joined and we are celebrating our secular movement and we want more of this in our government.”
Rally attendee Doc Gregory, from Hagerstown, Maryland, talked about what he felt this Reason Rally was all about. Other attendees who all believe they have chosen reason over religion could be seen carrying various signs and placards that were meant to show their person mottos. Signs like “I think therefore I’m Atheist” were common at the Reason Rally.
While most of the people anywhere in the vicinity of the Reason Rally were of a like mind, there were some groups just outside the periphery that seemed to be there mostly to protest against what the main group was representing. Just because this wasn’t an event that drew a lot of attention from the national media doesn’t mean it was completely ignored by some people who have pretty big names. The lineup of speakers included everyday citizens as well as some prominent celebrities.
Lewis Black, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” and members of the rap group the Wu Tang Clan all appeared and spoke or performed at the Lincoln Memorial. The coalition of secular organizations that teamed up to put the Reason Rally together had hoped they could draw as many as 30,000, but according to CNN, it appeared the final turnout count was a bit smaller. Despite a group that was smaller than first hoped, it appears the setting was able to energize those who did show up.
While the attendance was apparently a bit smaller than organizers had hoped, the setting, including the Lincoln Memorial, fired up those who chose to speak. Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and atheist activist, got up at the Lincoln Memorial and gave a speech that reminded some of the speech Martin Luther King, Jr. gave in the same vicinity so many years ago.
“I have dream that some day children are encouraged to reach their full potential by providing them with the tools they need to learn and encouraging them to question everything.” Krauss said in front of the Reason Rally crowd.
Because the Reason Rally is a political endeavor, there was at least one unofficial poll of the people who were attending when it came to who they most support for president. Bernie Sanders, who has called himself a non-practicing Jew, was the hands-down favorite of this group, considering Sanders is also someone who is fiercely independent and unwilling to cater to groups that might be under the banner of religious groups.
While this grouping didn’t come away from Washington, D.C., having a distinct accomplishment to talk about, it appears those who put the Reason Rally together feel it was a success.
[Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images]