Religion

'Reason Rally' To Call For Fact Over Faith

| by Jordan Smith
Richard Dawkins in 2005Richard Dawkins in 2005

The Reason Rally, to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 4, will bring atheists, humanists and others together in the largest event of its kind in the United States.

The rally will urge public policy to be guided by science and facts, rather than religion and faith, according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

The last rally took place in 2012, where famous scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins spoke.

This time around, a list of actors, musicians and other celebrities are set to speak. This includes scientist and educator Bill Nye, film star Johnny Depp and actress Amber Heard.

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“I am well aware that science and reason are in very short supply these days,” Lizz Winstead, the co-creator and former lead writer for the Daily Show, told the FFRF. “That's why it is so important to be part of a movement where fact-based information and decision-making are front and center!”

The FFRF is a Wisconsin-based nonprofit which campaigns nationally for religion to be kept out of government and policy making.

One of its latest interventions was to raise a complaint against the town of Clayton, New Jersey, over its seal. It describes the town as “A good place to live and play work and pray,” according to NJ.com.

FFRF wrote a letter March 16 to object that this motto violated court rulings banning religious symbolism on city seals.

The FFRF believes it is speaking on behalf of a rapidly increasing number of people. Its report cites polls by Gallup and Pew suggesting that unaffiliated people account for a larger proportion of the population than mainstream Protestants.

“Everyone who has ever buckled a seatbelt or ducked at gunfire is part atheist and a little afraid that God might not protect them," said Penn Gillette, a magician scheduled to appear at the event. "We need to let America know that some of us aren't even pretending to believe any more."

Dawkins will not be present at the rally this time. The 74-year-old suffered a stroke earlier this year.

“My impression as an outsider is that America is close to a tipping point,” Dawkins said in a statement, according to RNS. “The Reason Rally could raise consciousness past the tipping point where politicians will suddenly realize they’ve been sucking up to the wrong lobby all these years. Please come. I wish I could be there too.”

Sources: FFRF, RNS via Colorado Springs Gazette, NJ.com / Photo credit: Wikicommons

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