If you’re like me, you might be foolishly missing out on what looks like one of the best events of this year. The 2012 Reason Rally in Washington DC. The Reason Rally is a yearly meetup of non-religious people to celebrate a life of reason, free from the tyranny of religion.
This year’s list of guest speakers is awesome. Richard Dawkins, Adam Savage, Tim Minchin, Jessica Ahlquist, James Randi, Lawrence Krauss, and many more inspirational and intelligent free-thinkers. I am a fan of every person on the list, really. Why am I not there? I don’t know, but it’s taking a priority next year. It must be so much fun to be surrounded by so many like-minded people.
Because I can’t be there I am scouring the internet for anything I can find about the event. I’m posting that stuff here and will continue to update it as I find new stuff. First up is an 8 minute talk given by Adam Savage. It’s no secret around here that I’m big fan of the guy. Who wouldn’t be? Who? Seriously, point them out…
Here is a quote from his talk to demonstrate just how awesome he is.
Here is a video of that talk.
Here’s a video from ReasonTV. They are just rounding up some of the stuff they are seeing around rally grounds. The reporter asks several people why they went to the rally, the answers vary greatly. Make sure to stay long enough for the guy who claims evolution is a hoax to trick us into a new world order… Why? Because Hitler believed in evolution. Think he is aware of the theme of the event?
Tim Minchin, singing his song, Confessions. If you don’t know about Tim Minchin you are missing out. He’s a singer, song-writer, and a comedian, he’s really funny, and on top of all that he is a skeptic and an atheist. The videos below have NSFW language, just in case you are put off by that kind of thing. Also, if you are new to Tim Minchin’s work you really must check out his stuff on his website and his YouTube channel, Storm is one of my favorites.
More Tim Minchin
Speaking of Storm, Tim Minchin performed it at Reason Rally.
And… Even more Tim Minchin, it’s okay, there’s no such thing as too much. In this video he plays “If I Didn’t Have You” and “Pope Song”
Professor Richard Dawkins giving his speach (still not sure why we don’t call him Doc Dawkins). Dawkins is, of course, at the forefront of this movement. He is a brilliant speaker and he takes a firm stance against religious nonsense. The audio is scratchy from the wind so turn up the volume and listen close. If you want to see further proof of his brilliance then you should see how he demonstrates the evolution of the eye. It is of course the fall-back of the creationists to say, “how could something as complex as the eye evolve.” Here is part 1 of Dawkins giving an informed and clear answer.
Jessica Ahlquist making her speech. I was looking forward to this one. Jessica is a 16 year old girl from Rhode Island who took on her school when the refused to remove a religious prayer on a banner at her school. Since taking action she has faced public ridicule, even by political leaders, she has had death threats, heard every manner of despicable insult you can imagine. Her family has been threatened. Local businesses refused to do business with her or her family. She didn’t back down. She stood up for herself. She continued to speak publicly to raise awareness and to testify in court. Jessica Ahlquist won and the banner had to be removed. Make no mistake, she is a badass, she is courageous, she is intelligent, she is an evil little thing…
Cristina Rad making a ten minute speech. Cristina Rad is a video blogger on YouTube, under the name ZOMGitsCriss, she is popular for making great arguments against religion. She lives in Romania and traveled all the way to Washington DC to give this talk.
Nate Phelps is the son of Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church. The church is well known for being some of the most ignorant hateful people in the world. They regularly pull tasteless stunts like protesting funerals. They believe that every time America suffers it’s because we allow gays to live. Total assholes. Nate Phelps escaped this nonsense, he is now a champion of reason. He has some interesting things to say from the perspective of fundamentalists.
A short clip from Al Jazeera’s coverage of the event. There is a couple clips of James Randi and others present at the event.
James Randi giving his speech. James Randi is, of course, one of the men who started it all. He has spent his whole life debunking myths and woo. He is a true hero of the skepticism movement.
This is the Christopher Hitchens tribute that was played (only partially due to technical difficulties) at the rally. It was made by TheThinkingAtheist. It’s a great tribute video of one of the most powerful voices of our time.