Boy would I love a VIP seat at the rally…

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

They have a limited number of VIP seats at the rally, but I could hardly afford one.  They are justifiably pricey, and I am sure that the folks who will be warming those seats have far more money than I.  In fact, I would likely get divorced if I shelled out that kind of money to sit, to be close to the speakers I admire, to be positioned such that they can hear the specific clapping of my very hands, to rub elbows with the people who have the means to aid the launch our meager movement.

Alas…I am a simple civil servant with two kids and a wonderful housewife, from Colorado.  I cannot justify such an expense, even if it is near and dear to me.  Although I have the honor of being in our nation’s capitol for the event, I will absorb the wisdom from afar.  I cannot enjoy the VIP seating, attend the pre- or post-rally events, or even treat myself to an extravagant meal.  Nonetheless I will take it all in, absorb every word, and stand as one in a crowd of many.  I will do my small little part in making our country understand that we are many. 

Why?  Let me tell you…

Just three nights ago I was enjoying a beer I’ve never had, in a bar I’ve never been to, in the city I’ve not been able to visit.  There happened to be a gay couple sitting on my left, and a military (maybe retired) leader on my right.  Beers being beers, the couple and I began chatting about my home state…and how gays are treated there.  Being that the closest town to me has a population of about 3,000 people, and that it is nearly entirely old white ranchers, it is probably not conducive to being openly gay.  [Note: many establishments in DC display their gay friendliness with the rainbow flags, which was a bit of a culture shock to me]  Beers being beers…I noted that I could empathize though, as I am an atheist looking forward to the Reason Rally.  I thought that perhaps I have experienced the same type of backlash from being openly atheist.  Not good…

One of the couple was immediately offended, stated that he believed in God, and that I was an idiot for thinking that they were anything similar, as far as being “out”.  His partner also believes in God, but understood where I was coming from.  Cue the military guy…

“You can say that stupid shit because I fought for you freedom!”, he exclaimed…not very nicely.  “All of you!”  At which point, the gay man insulted by me marched out of the bar.  His partner stayed and tried to discuss this with the man on my right.  Not five minutes late he left as well.

Alone with the veteran demanding my respect, I simply stated that I doubt any of his war efforts had anything to do with me being able to say that I don’t believe in God.  Oops.  As his voice raised to unacceptable levels, the bartender asked him to leave.

Wow…it was pretty intense, but not unlike the reactions I have received from a majority of people that know I am atheist.  There are connotations associated with the terminology that appear to be unbreakable, nevertheless, I am here to break them.  I will stand beside my brethren in DC, and contribute to a statement that our country needs to hear.

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