On Saturday, June 4, 2016, the Reason Rally 2016, an event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., is expected to be the largest gathering of nonreligious persons in American history, with perhaps 30,000 in attendance. The Reason Rally website encourages those who “think public policy should be based on scientific evidence, not religious beliefs” or “support the separation of church and state” should join the march. Further,
The goal of Reason Rally 2016 is to showcase the presence and power of the nonreligious voting bloc, and to demand that reason be put at the forefront of our public and political discourse. We want to excite and empower attendees about that message so they bring it back home and apply it at the local and state levels.
Not only are we celebrating our secular, atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinking, and nonreligious identities, we are preparing to exercise our power at the voting box to bring good sense back to government.
There are many prominent figures on the speaking schedule: science educator Bill Nye, magician Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller, pastor-turned-atheist Dan Barker, physicist Lawrence Krauss, biologist Cara Santa Maria, and actor John de Lancie. Both evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and actor Johnny Depp had planned to attend and speak at the Reason Rally but were forced to cancel.
Christian evangelist Ray Comfort was also planning to attend — along with hundreds of other Christians — to try to convert atheists and agnostics at the event. Comfort had to cancel when the D.C. police called his plan a protest and required him to get a permit.
Two members of Congress, Bobby Scott and Tulsi Gabbard, will also speak.
About one-fourth of Americans are now atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular.”