Don’t ask RNS: There’s really a rally for reason?

Print More
Thousands of atheists and unbelievers, including Alberto Valdez from Del Rio, Texas, gathered in 2012 on the National Mall for the Reason Rally. RNS photo by Tyrone Turner

Thousands of atheists and unbelievers, including Alberto Valdez from Del Rio, Texas, gathered in 2012 on the National Mall for the Reason Rally. RNS photo by Tyrone Turner

(RNS) The Religion News Service offices receive a lot of fan mail asking for The Literalist’s advice on hot spirituality topics, but I’d rather not engage those questions. Instead, here’s the first of a new feature called “Don’t Ask RNS” where I write fictional letters I never actually received and then answer them.

Dear Literalist,

The Reason Rally is tomorrow and to be honest, I’m a little scared. I’m the senior pastor of a small,  400-member nondenominational church outside Washington, D.C. and the thought of 20,000 atheists marching so close makes my skin crawl. They’ll overrun us all! How can that be allowed? (Certainly not in a Donald Trump presidency, that’s for sure!) Although it makes me nervous to be in their vicinity, I do plan on attending so that I can help feed them. How can we salvage any future for our nation when atheists seek a complete and total takeover of Christian America?

Dear Faithful yet also Fearful in Frederick, Md.,

One might have hoped atheism wouldn’t feel threatening in 2016, like it did in the late 18th century. Back then it was used derisively as an attack on Thomas Jefferson. But haven’t we progressed? We did build the former president a memorial on the National Mall in 1943.

Alas, the thought of Darwinists with bullhorns still elicits fear in the faithful. Let’s all take a deep breath and let Bill Nye do his Science Guy stuff tomorrow. The only atheist to fear is the atheist who in addition to being an atheist gives you some other legitimate reason to fear them.

Send your religion, faith and politics queries to The Literalist by emailing theliteralist.rns@gmail.com