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02:45 PM on 03/05/2012
In no way would I say atheist are being persecuted, but there are many people who are in social circles that are religious and if they admitted they didn't believe, then they would be ostracized by their friends and family. This has happened to people that I know. There are many of us that feel alone and look forward to this rally so we can meet other like minded people. So yes, it is worth going to.
blogger; programmer; science fan
02:26 PM on 03/05/2012
"Is it really a great taboo today to profess that you do not believe in God?"

Try it sometime and watch the reaction.
01:54 PM on 03/05/2012
Ms. Rothschild should perhaps actually talk to people of non-belief before dismissing the very real consequences of openness about atheism. My Humanist group hosted a celebration of Darwin Day. We did not seek media coverage but we got it. I was then shunned by someone I considered a close friend who did not want our children to play together anymore. We had never talked about religion before as I considered one's beliefs to be a personal matter with no bearing on liking or not liking someone. The issue is that people are rarely shunned in our society for admitting to belonging to one of the major religions. Admitting to not believing in a god almighty, on the other hand, has social consequences you obviously can't imagine. I am most atheists I know aren't interested in converting people to our point of view. We just don't want to be villified for ours and we don't want to be subjected to the dogma of others. I wish people of faith were secure enough in their faith to see treat people of non-belief as they would treat people of other religions - different in this one respect - but equally interested in living an ethical life in a fair and free society.
01:26 PM on 03/05/2012
Actually, yes, atheists are judged and ostracized for their beliefs - or lack thereof. Take a look at the study done by the University of Minnesota, "Atheists As 'Other': Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society". Or even Jessica Ahlquist's case of bullying at her school in Rhode Island when she came out as an atheist. Reason Rally will promote positive secularism, but above all, we want our civil rights.
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01:08 PM on 03/05/2012
I'm an Atheist. It is a beleaguered group. Atheists rank lower than Muslims in elect-ability in a nation founded on the idea of separation of church and state.

While I agree with the notion that identity-politics and victimization is nothing to build a cohesive political movement around (though it is easiest), I disagree about the perceived reason atheists are 'irked' by religion. I'm not upset that religious people come to a unifying and strong vision of society. I'm upset that some religious people ONLY see that vision and try to enforce their personal beliefs on society at large.

I don't want everyone to be atheists, I want everyone to decide for themselves and not try to legislate their world view or moral code. Secularism for the win.
02:29 PM on 03/05/2012
Precisely. The author completely missed the point.
12:54 PM on 03/05/2012
I would be more interested in knowing why Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett have either a) decided not to attend or b) their reasoning for not being able to attend - considering this is supposed to be the largest gathering, so far, in history for secularists, atheists, humanists, etc.
07:32 PM on 03/05/2012
My guess would be scheduling conflicts????? That is a valid reason.
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12:50 PM on 03/05/2012
I'm pretty exited about it.