Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What I'm doing Differently Because Of The Reason Rally

My eternal enemy.

Regular readers of Purgatory have probably already seen the pictures and videos I took while at the event. However, some of you may want more -- more analysis and my reaction to the rally. So be it. Here is a serious look at what I came away with from the time I spent in the mist, drizzle and general dampiness (if Christians can worship a made-up God, please allow me to make-up a word now and again) at the Reason Rally..

I've decided to wear an atheist button on a regular basis.

I was reflecting about Greta Christina's post about the Reason Rally, and she boiled it all down to a simple principle: Do something new for the atheism movement.

If you came to the Reason Rally, and you do just one thing for atheism that you haven’t done before? If you tell one person that you’re an atheist? If you start wearing atheist T-shirts? If you start crossing “In God We Trust” off your money? If you start hanging out with your local atheist group? If you organize one event with the local atheist group you already hang out with? If you donate money to one atheist organization? If you run for public office as an out atheist? If you start re-tweeting things about atheism?
Me? I've decided to wear a blue button that proudly states Friendly Neighborhood Atheist. It also has the website for the Freedom From Religion Foundation  on it. Now I've been an out-of-the-closet atheist for quite a while. Even though I don't lead off with "My name is Andy, and I'm an atheist" when I meet someone new, if the matter of religion comes up I will gently but firmly state my position on the topic. And even though this is a reasonable way to go about one's business I get the feeling that many people who do not know me well simply think that I am one of those types who believe in talking snakes and the like.

I do not believe there is, or ever was, a talking snake.

Thankfully for the godless movement I am not a jerk (though being labeled friendly may be a stretch). Many people I come across on a daily basis do not know I'm an atheist, and if they thought I was a jerk before I donned the button, then the button would serve in their eyes as an Aha! That's why he's a jerk. He's an atheist! way of explaining my personality. (As a side note if you are a jerk - like you tip 5% - perhaps you should clean up your act before putting on any atheist related apparel.) An interesting result of wearing the button is that I'm far less likely to act in a questionable way for the same reason. For example, I was in the middle of the 8 hour drive back from the rally and at a rest stop. I was at the lunch counter and noticed that a woman was reading my button when it was my time to order. Instead of asking for a sinful piece of fried chicken at 9 o'clock in the morning I asked for an apple. See? I'm not contributing to the obesity epidemic. Buying an apple implies that I'm not some saturated fat obsessed person who eats babies when they're not ordering fried chicken in the early morning.

It's sad, but I'm not making up the apple vs fried chicken morality battle that played put in my mind. It actually happened.

So I'm wearing the button. I am currently on Day 3 of the operation and if any hilarity occurs due to it, my friends, I will relay the story to you.

Because this is Purgatory.


  1. Ordering an apple instead of fried chicken for breakfast? What, you think you're better than me?

  2. I have a codependent relationship with KFC.


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