“God if you’re there, we’re here in Washington, come down now,” atheist Comedian Eddie Izzard shouted mockingly during Saturday’s Rally for Reason. “If you’re there, this is a pretty good time to show up. I’m sure folks here would love it.”
“He never comes down,” Izzard added with a laugh before launching nearly an hour long comedy sketch mocking God, the bible, and religion for a soggy crowd of about 8,000 – 10,000 people who stood on the National Mall in the rain.
“This weather isn’t from God,” added Izzard. “If God was the judge of the weather, what was all those tornadoes that go down the Bible Belt? What does that mean? Weather is just weather ladies and gentlemen.”
Saturday, secular atheists met in Washington D.C. for a rally billed as “the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history.” Organizers insisted prior to the event that the rally was to encourage each other, to dispel stereotypes, and seek “legislative equality.”
But as gloomy rain clouds hung low over the Washington Monument, the rally quickly degenerated into open mockery of religion and people of faith.
“F— the motherf—-, f— the mother—- pope,” sang Musician Tim Minchin as he played profane songs on the piano for a laughing and cheering crowd.
Few religions remained unscathed while cruel spokesmen of reason roundly ridiculed Mormons, Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims.
As the event continued, it became clear that the leaders of the movement were not clamoring for equality, but rather superiority.
“When it comes to religion, we’re not two sides of the same coin and you don’t get to put your unreason on the same shelf as my reason,” HBO’s Liberal comedian Bill Maher said to the crowd via a video monitor. “Your stuff has to go over there on the shelf with Zeus and Thor and the Kracken.”
The audience then cheered loudly as he began a mock ritual that “un-baptized” Mitt Romney’s father-in-law out of the Mormon faith.
But even the laughs turned into malaise as the event drew to a close. Famed atheist headliner Richard Dawkins labored through a speech that quickly grew bitter.
“Do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ?” he said, ridiculing Catholics. “Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood?”
Hawkins challenged his fellow atheists to expose people who still cling to their faith in spite of their doubts.
“Mock them, ridicule them in public, don’t fall for the convention that we’re far to polite to talk about religion,” a frustrated Dawkins continued, “Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits. Religion makes specific claims about the universe, which need to be substantiated. They should be challenged and ridiculed with contempt.”
Saturday’s rally provided a rare look into the secularism that is pushing its way into the public square.
The speakers that drew the loudest applause were not the people who praised reason, but persecuted faith. Unchallenged and in like-minded company, the cultural and political leaders of the atheist movement freely mocked and dismissed people of faith.
The brash superiority preached by atheists such as Hawkins shows that they are not content with a right to “unreligious freedom,” but seek suppression of religious expression.
If people of faith allow themselves to be bullied into silence, we can expect this sentiment to grow in our society. The existence of such a society requires submission from people of faith.