The Reason Rally Downplays The Reason For The Rally

logo for the 2016 Reason Rally

The Reason Rally is being held on Saturday. It will be a great opportunity for Nontheists need to show our growing numbers, on a public stage, as a counter to the religious privilege we have to deal with every day in our local, state, and national government. However in a big write up on the event at CNN, the organizers seemed to be diluting the chief idea behind the rally – celebrating our nontheism. It seems like they missed an opportunity to be more direct in, I guess, a futile effort to change the minds of people who hate us anyway.

I support the rally 100% and even donated to it even if I couldn’t attend myself. I love the idea of the rally and the reasons behind it. 

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Supporting The Act Of Speaking, If Not The Content, Is Important

Charlie Hebdo cover

The massacre at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris this week showed the breadth and width of views and comments on ridiculing religion. A lot of Muslims think that killing someone who ridicules their religion is a good thing while other Muslims and non-muslims don’t think that is rational. Of course you have some people who want to blame the victims for their own deaths or complain that Charlie Hebdo was being racist. Ideas should be allowed to be expressed even if those ideas are stupid and need to be ridiculed.

Comedian and atheist Bill Maher said in a recent interview:

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No, Penn Jillette, Rape And Death Threats Are Not Free Speech

screencap from the movie My Chauffeur (1986)
Penn Jillette being artistic?

There has been a major storm over misogyny in the freethought movement for several years. Women in the movement who have spoken out against it have been harassed with rape and death threats among other nasty reactions. People who don’t see anything wrong with the misogyny, like comedian Penn Jillette, worry more about being able to call a woman a ‘cunt’ than why one shouldn’t be doing that in the first place. That’s the problem.

Buzzfeed has a very thorough article about the misogyny conflict in the freethought movement. It actually gave both sides of the issue and while I knew most of the incidents described the article also included interviews with several women who had been raped and/or harassed.

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Symbolic Deference To Religion Is A Problem In The US

cover to The IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2013

This week the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) released a report titled ‘The IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2013’ which focused specifically on discrimination against Humanists, atheists and the non-religious in every country in the world. While the worse result of being a freethinker could be death, there was some kind of discrimination in most countries including the United States.

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As Some Dismiss Feminism In The Atheist Movement, They Fail To Know Their History

image of American Atheist founder Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Before Richard Dawkins, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was THE public face of Atheism

As much as I get frustrated about the unnecessary backlash against atheist feminists, it makes me even more upset to see some well meaning opponents of feminism in the movement who fail to learn from history. Tom Flynn, the editor of Free Inquiry and the executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, points out the work of women on the front lines in the struggle of freethought in the last 40 years of the 20th century. Women have led the major atheist groups from the 1960’s to the present.

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