And it’s typical that I won’t be in town to partake. Ah well. For the rest of you, American Atheists is sponsoring a Church-State Separation Rally to be held on the south steps of the state capitol building in downtown Austin, this Saturday, September 8, from noon till 3. Here’s the salient info from the press release, with thanks to Joe Zamecki for being the driving force behind this.
The 2007 Texas State-Church Separation Rally will take place this coming Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007 on the South steps of the State Capitol building in Austin, TX.
Joe Zamecki, Texas State Director for American Atheists, said that the event is being held to build awareness of the First Amendment separation between government and religion, and the civil rights of non-religious people. Mr. Zamecki added that the Rally is also to show support for David Wallace Croft and his family of Carrollton, TX, who have recently challenged the recitation of the state “pledge” and a requirement that students be required to observe a “moment of silence” in public school classrooms.
“These are the sorts of state laws and practices that are all too common in Texas, and undermine our freedom from religion,” said Mr. Zamecki.
“Our state legislature and Attorney General need to understand that not all Texans are fundamentalist Christians, and that freedom of conscience is important to everyone,” Zamecki added. “Our state government needs to realize that we are a diverse citizenry, and should stop pushing religion on the citizens.”
The State-Church Separation Rally will include speakers representing a number of Atheist, Freethought, Secular Humanist and pro-separation groups. They include Nicholas Paschall of University of Texas SA Secular Student Alliance; Meghan Regis, Atheist Agenda; Dick Hogan, American Atheists; Derek Jones, PathofReason.com; Texas civil rights activist Marsha Corriera, and others. Mr. Dean Croft will also speak, and there will be a voter registration table.
Sadly, we Texans live in such a religion-addicted state — our tool of a Christian Right governor just appointed a pig-ignorant creationist stooge to head up the State Board of Education, fer cripes sake — that I fear we may be subject to a lot of shove-it-down-your-throat religious legislation, slickly marketed to seem pro-diversity and pro-tolerance, for some time to come. But with the increased public profile of atheism in general these days, at least rallies like these help get the message across that not every patriotic citizen thinks one should have to acknowledge sky-gods as par for the course. Also, fearful and closeted unbelievers are sometimes prompted to come out from hiding once they realize they’re not as alone as they thought.
Surely one of my fine team members here will attend and post a report with photos. (Sorry…did I break anyone’s toes when I dropped that hint? Heh heh…)