The Journey from Discovery to Action: My Thoughts on Reason Con 2015
As I flew back from the most recent adventure, I felt the need to record my thoughts, feelings, excitement, and loss. If you did not know, Jonathan and I went to ReasonCon in North Carolina this weekend. We were able to meet each other for the first time, were able to meet some of our supporters and fans, and were able to lay out plans for future episodes and events. The event itself was an amazing experience and could not have been done without the help of some donors and fellow patreons. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to be able to grow as individuals, while bringing together many individuals in the secular community. Many thanks go out to Robert and Lisa Burrows, Shane, Wes, and Robert plus the many patreon supporters on our network.
What The Hell is ReasonCon?
For those of you that have never been to an atheist convention, do yourself a favor and find one that is in your area and attend. I can attest this is a very rewarding experience and one that I hope everyone gets a chance to experience. The stories and lives of every individual that goes are so amazing and unique that there is no way you will be able to just go to one, nor to meet everyone who has come. The days are filled with companionship, camaraderie, food, love and experiencing others’ lives through stories. These two days were amazing and I heard many peoples’ stories that are so unique but similar at the same time that you almost feel like you are living their lives while they tell their stories. ReasonCon provides the outlet for many individuals who do not have an easy life as secularists living in a mainly religious environment. Yet, we saw many individuals reaching out to help others while at the conference. The love spilled over their cup, if I may steal a christian reference. This conference focused on many different avenues within the secular movement, but most of all offered an opportunity to allow fellow secularists to engage each other, develop new ways of interacting within our communities, and helped us see that there is still more work to be done to help everyone safely come out if they feel the desire to do so.
Each of the speakers brought home a different point. I won’t bore you with every detail but will mention there was comedy, there were inspiring talks and there was heartbreak as we learned there is so much more we need to do. Millions of people are in the “Nons” group and many have been strangled by religion to the point that they can not safely come out. The atmosphere at the convention was one of inspiration, learning, and overall fun. Gene put the speaker roster together and each event complimented each other. There will be video of the speakers at some point, and we have also done a recap video where we talk with Gene about the speakers.
What Did I Learn
As the weekend wrapped up, I feel a sense of calm and sadness come over me. I feel sad because I met so many awesome friends that I felt at home. Many of these individuals have the passion to help change the world, to bring about a positive influence within the communities they came from. But as I sit here on a plane, typing out my thoughts, probably annoying my fellow cabin mates with the noisy clicking of my keyboard, I want to bring home the necessity of taking these experience and bringing them back to your communities. The world needs us more than ever, not because there is no one helping people, or that the world is failing and we need to fly in like Superman and save it. No, the world needs us, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists because we need to help get the world to understand that it is not some supernatural being fixing the world, but people like you and me. Religion has fooled everyone into thinking that without god, we would be broken, tainted, and withering on the floor. That just is not the case and while these silver tongued apologists and pastors will claim that you need them so they can help bring god’s word to you, they fail to demonstrate that without god the world would fail. We need to stand up and say, “No. No, Mr. or Mrs. Pastor, no more will we sit here and let god take the credit for the work man is doing. No longer will we accept the lame excuse of god did it or god is in control. No, we will stand up and say, ‘I did it! I changed the world even if I had to do it one conversation at a time.’ Even if we have to storm the courthouse, and slam our fists on the pavement in protest to this imaginary being getting the credit for the hard work that humans do every day.”
I also learned that there is a lot of work left to do in the world. There are a lot of people that still need help. There are going to be roads we need to travel together, as atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists, that will help lead us to a world where it is safe for everyone to cry out, “I do not believe!” and not have consequences ensue that would cripple their lives, leaving them broken, and without friends or family. This work that needs to be done, this milestone we need to achieve not through one or two people, but through each of us engaging in our local communities, each of us taking our ideas and putting them into action. As I have said before, we did not evolve with one or two individuals coming up with the ideas. It took millions of us all working together to move our species into a more intelligent state where we have evolved faster than other species. It is not going to just be me saying you should do this, or this is how I think you should change the world. No, we are better then that we are Skeptics, all of whom have great ideas that we need to share. Anyone who tells you that you we need to standardize atheism has not recognized our evolutionary progress which shows the more minds in the equation, the better the results we will see. If we are to continue evolving, we need as many people to bring ideas to the table so we can share best practices with each other while going back to our communities and enacting them.
ReasonCon helped me engage with my thoughts this weekend. ReasonCon helped bring me closer to my fellow humans in this crazy journey we call life. The christians can rally and say we have no meaning in life, and that this existence is for nought, but what they do not realize while they are sitting there worried about the decline in church numbers and whether they should save us from ourselves, we will be coming out and taking this world by storm. Let.s stand up. Let’s fight. Let’s work to make this world not only a better place, but a safer place. Let’s show them that we may be small in numbers, but our growing numbers, our excitement, and our desires will eventually wear through the veil, the shadow that religion has cast over our society.