For Immediate Release: March 17, 2016
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
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He calls himself “Priest,” but he has never been to seminary. In fact, Walter Reed, better known as rapper Killah Priest, is expressly nonreligious, and is voicing his support for nonbelievers to embrace who they are in a new video for the Openly Secular campaign.
Coming from a Pentecostal background, Reed studied and experimented with a wide variety of religious traditions, and eventually decided that he was a nonreligious person, citing a lack of unity among the contradictory teachings of various faiths.
In his interview for the Openly Secular campaign with Mandisa Thomas, Reed says that no one should have to hide their nonbelief. “They should be vocal about it,” he says. “We have freedom of speech, and you should be able to express your feelings and live your life the way you choose, because we are individuals.”
Openly Secular is a campaign to eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance of atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists and other nonreligious people, by encouraging secular people to be open about their beliefs. Celebrities who have spoken on behalf of the campaign include NFL star Arian Foster, former congressman Barney Frank, actress Julia Sweeney, comedian Bill Maher, actor John de Lancie, and former NFL player Chris Kluwe.
Killah Priest has been a major force on the hip-hop scene since 1994, having performed with groups like Wu-Tang Clan, Sunz of Man, Black Market Militia, and many others. His latest album is 2015’s Planet of the Gods.
Openly Secular is a project of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science in partnership with the Center for Inquiry, as well as the Secular Coalition for America, the Secular Student Alliance, and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation.