Friday, March 23, 2012

Reason Rally and Rain- Bring It On, bring it on

I can't sleep. I'm excited about leaving for the Reason Rally tomorrow. My sixteen year old son and I are going with my friend and her daughter. We are driving three hours to Chicago to board a bus which will drive us fifteen hours to Washington DC, to what looks like will also be the Rain Rally (80% chance of rain and thunderstorms most of the day).

I was going to say that a reason for going is to teach my son about standing for our freedoms and having the personal integrity to be "out" as an atheist. Upon further reflection, however, I realize that more and more, he is the one teaching these lessons to me. Normally he goes to a piano lesson on Friday afternoons. His piano (and French horn) teacher is a good musician and a good music teacher. She's also a fundamentalist Christian type. I recently found out she left in the middle of a school anti-bullying assembly for which she was providing piano accompaniment for the choir, because there was mention of anti-gay bullying. Eth will miss his piano lesson tomorrow since we will be in route to Chicago to catch our DC Rally Bus. I asked him if he told her where he was going and he had. He also told her what the rally was about and used the words "I am an atheist". By contrast, sometimes I've kind of said "oh it's a secularist HUMANIST gathering, and it's PEAK cherry blossom season!", when telling certain people where I am going this weekend. That was quite a risk for my son, who loves and respects this teacher he has had for five years. So, maybe this is venture is more of an opportunity for him to lead and teach me, and for us to go celebrate our freedom together.

We are also going to represent so many more who can't go. The attendance predictions for this are between 30,000 and 50,000 people!! And most atheists are NOT going. I wonder what the ratio is for number of atheists that aren't going for each one who is. I've read so many comments by people who cannot attend wanting to be represented. Some people are making signs listing all the people they know who can't come.

Of people I know that cannot come, many are members of my church. At least six had reservations for the Peoria bus that got cancelled. Another is wheelchair bound and the bus was not accessible anyway. Several more could not afford to go or had schedule conflicts. So I also go to represent not only people from my congregation, but UU's everywhere. (I also hope to see many UU's there!) I'm still mulling over sign ideas. I'm considering "Godless But Not Churchless- Unitarian Universalists Support Separation of Church and State!" Or something like that. I don't know. I'm always making myself even more of a minority than I already am, like I can't just be an atheist; why do I have to proclaim, "I'm an atheist who loves church"? Well, because I love church I guess. (And Eth and I are going to wear our Standing on the Side of Love shirts. Awww, how cool is that (for me), that my teenager is willing to wear matching shirts?)

Ahh, now I'm starting to get tired again. Need sleep to travel safe. I hope we all have safe travel. I would be compromising my integrity though if I don't mention that one of the main reasons I am making this trek is to see Tim Minchin perform at this historic event. I can't wait to hear what songs he has chosen and to hear his talky bits too. Rain or no, I'm totally psyched about this weekend. Must sleep and dream of cherry blossoms and Minchin.

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