- (Photo: ReasonRally.org)
A number of Christian organizations will attend the Reason Rally on March 24 in Washington, D.C, and engage in what they call "reasonable discussion" with atheists at the event, promising that their only aim is to "share Christ person to person as opportunity arises."
The Reason Rally is being heralded as the biggest gathering of atheist speakers and celebrities to ever come together, and will include presenters such as Richard Dawkins, Dr. PZ Myers, Adam Savage, James Randi, Dr. Elizabeth Cornwell, and Gretta Christina among others. The rally will be focused on encouraging atheists to "come out of the closet" about their non-belief and stand up for fellow non-believers.
A number of Christian organizations, however, such as Ratio Christi, ThinkingChristian.net, Reasons for God, the Apologetics Bloggers Alliance and the Christian Apologetics Alliance, are putting together a "Christian response" to the event. They insist that it is not a counter-demonstration and that they do not wish to gather in large groups, but instead want to engage with atheists willing to talk to them. The coalition of Christian groups will also share copies of a mini-book version of Reason Really, a soon-to-be-published ebook addressing atheist-Christian relationships and the logistical reason found within faith, CrossExamined.org reported.
"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," the organizations explain in a joint statement.
In addition to the speakers noted above, the Reason Rally also promises comedic and music performances by Tim Minchin and rock band Bad Religion.
Some of American's biggest atheist organizations are co-sponsoring the event, including American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance of America, Atheist Nexus, Camp Quest, Center for Inquiry, Foundation Beyond Belief, Freedom From Religion Foundation and others.
"Across America, in every city, every town, and every school, secularism is on the rise. Whether people call themselves atheists, agnostics, secular Humanists, or any of the other terms used to describe their god-free lifestyle, secularism is coming out of the closet," a statement from the rally's website reads, and explains that the purpose of this particular rally will be to advance secularism (in the broadest sense of the word) in society.