Earlier today I received an email about a rally that doesn’t sound too dissimilar from the ones I have covered for years at the Catholic Review and CatholicReview.org. The main difference is that the March D.C. event is a gathering with a headline: “Celebrate living without God!”
The email statement said The Reason Rally is “a celebratory gathering of atheists, agnostics, humanists, and skeptics,” with speakers such as scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins coming to the National Mall. The statement went on to use language commonly used in touting Christian events, but with “glorious gathering of the godless” replacing the more used phrases. The group is touting “secular values and reason,” just two weeks before Easter.
The group is bragging about buying five billboard advertisements through Baltimore.
The news release came on the same day that I talked with Scott Miller and Georgina Vaca from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Both are planning the annual Youth and Young Adult Pilgrimage in Baltimore, which happens a week after the D.C. rally on March 31.
I’ve covered the pilgrimage four times and I’m always blown away by the lack of cynicism. Despite a lot of negative influences in the world, these young people gather thanks to belief.
In contrast, the whole “reason rally” reeks of cynicism and smugness. If their ideas are fueled by logic and reason, shouldn’t that be enough to bring people to the discussion? Instead, they ironically lean on the concept of God, and their perception of God’s absence in their lives, in order to get people to come.
Ironically, they’re kind of admitting that without God’s existence, their event isn’t possible.
I’ve always disagreed with some of this crowd owning “reason” and “logic” as terms. Just because they’re non-believers, it doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who have used either to get to their point. They’re just not convinced. Believers use just as much reason and logic to reach their conclusions. Yes, they use faith as well. But, they’re not insane.
This isn’t a war, even if the faith and reasoners are thumbing their nose at the “God crowd” with their billboards to get attention.