The Reason Rally showed the secular movement has come a long way—but much remains to be accomplished.
If there were any doubt about this, just take a look at some of the reaction to the Rally, as well as related initiatives by secular organizations.
This blog post collects some of the reaction, including the surrealistic rants of Glenn Beck and his acolytes on The Blaze. (Thanks, Goddamn Liberal.) As much as we may chuckle at the absurdities of Beck and company, we need to keep in mind he represents the views of a not insignificant number of people.
However, perhaps the most informative and revealing post-Rally commentary was not about the Rally itself, but about some innocuous billboards and movie theater ads being put up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, essentially conveying the message that atheists can be good people and some even have families with children! (Goodness, who would’ve thunk it? You mean they don’t eat their own babies?) The local Fox channel ran a report which you have to see to believe. Watch the whole video, and see how the anchor agonizes over whether unsuspecting parents will have the opportunity to warn their kids (who are allegedly being “targeted” by the ads) about the ads they may see at the movies. Wouldn’t want a picture of a happy family to cause trauma to a kid getting ready to watch a movie about teenagers hunting each other (Hunger Games) or monsters and gods causing havoc to humans (Wrath of the Titans).
The mindset of all too many Americans remains instinctively anti-atheist. We may have the momentum, but we’ll need it because there are still many hurdles to overcome.