On June 29th, We the People converged on the capitol of Washington state. The purpose? To tell lawmakers that secular citizens exist and they vote. But it was so much more than a political rally.
The rally had been planned originally as a counter protest to the “Decision America” event being put on by Rev. Franklin Graham on the capitol steps. That intent quickly changed into what would be called the “We the People” rally.
The We the People rally was sponsored by the Original Motto project and sought to tell lawmakers that their constituents are more than just one religion or creed. They are a diverse population and they have a voice that needs to be heard even if it doesn’t come with an armada of buses.
The We the People Rally opened with the National Director getting the crowd pumped up and letting them know what the rally was about.
Today you will be visited by 9 spirits. They are here to tell us that We the People are more than just a single religious opinion. We the People are atheists, Jews, Pagans,Christians, Satanists, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims – and so many more.
We the People are gay, straight, bi, poly, man, woman, transgender, non-binary. We are black, white, conservative, liberal, Republican, and Democrat .
We the people are Americans – in all its possible meanings.
We the People are here today to form a more perfect union by embracing pluralism and diversity in all its forms.
He was followed by Sam Mulvey, Host of Ask an Atheist who talked about his interactions with the Pierce County Council before, during, during and after they approved “In God We Trust” on the council chamber.
Sam Mulvey is the host and executive producer of the radio show Ask An Atheist With Sam Mulvey, which has been in production for six years. He is also the President of Humanists of Washington.
I believe in government leaves those decisions (religion) up to the Citizens. Where the real power belongs!
Then the youngest speaker Kerri Ray stepped up to make a statement about why her generation need the separation of Church and state. She was even able to overcome a Christian heckler who tried to talk over her. Taking encouragement from the crowd she just kept on talking over the interloper.
We are the future of a movement that wants and needs the separation of church and state. You may ask why? It would mean so much to have separation of church and state because not everyone believes in the same things. We need a government that does not give preference to one religion over another or above those with no religion at all.
We need a separation of church and state because I want to be able to get birth control regardless of my employers religion.
We need separation of church and state because I want my gay friends to marry the hell out of each other.
We need separation of church and state because I want to learn about science in the science class and religion in the history class.
She was followed by Bob Seidensticker, blogger and author. He gave a speech about why In God We Trust is wrong for America.
If “Allahu Akbar” is offensive on the wall in a government building, if it violates the First Amendment, why is “In God We Trust” appropriate?
America is composed of people who came from all over the world to pull in the same direction to make one great country. “Out of Many, One” was tailor-made for the United States, but we flushed it down the toilet in favor of “In God We Trust,” a baggy one-size-fits-all suit that could be worn by a hundred countries.
In this election year, we see up close the problems with divisive politics. “In God We Trust” is ceremonial and meaningless, and it’s divisive. It’s the solution to no problem. Bring back our motto!
Jennifer Goulet followed Bob with a rousing speech about being the only open atheist running for the Washington State Legislature.
Don’t believe for a second you are alone. Build it and they will come. Start a group, run for office if you can.
I will support the restoration of our original motto, E Pluribus Unum.
We have the opportunity to elect the first openly atheist candidate in the history of our state into office.
The Australian singer, song writer, and storyteller joined us to entertain us with her music with two of her songs, My Morality and Saved.
Next to us is a pretty big rally and they want their way, they want one way, a trust in one God, in their God. And what we are talking about with the motto, the original motto, our of many, one. We want to live in a society alongside them. We want to live in an inclusive society where everyone can live according to their own freedoms and values.
Scot Bastian, PhD
Scot Bastian, PhD gave a short speech about his dream for a diverse America and the need for all people to vote.
I believe, if we are to survive, if we are to thrive, we must do more than tolerate our
differences. We must celebrate our diversity. We live in a country defined by blue
states and red states. But, I wish, I so dearly wish, that America could be purple. I
dream of a purple rainbow. This, is why we need a motto, not that separates us into
believers and non-believers, but that unites us all. E Pluribus Unum: From the many, one.
The Satanic Temple Seattle sent a representative as well. Tarkus Claypool told the Christians why they should keep In God We Trust on buildings. Tarkus kept his cool even when being harassed by a passing Christian.
But know this Christian majority- when you drink deep of that intoxicating trough of religious liberty…when you have convinced yourselves that this is a Christian Nation and that by power of Jesus all public property and laws are His creation and therefore His dominion-
Don’t forget that you have pay the Devil His Due.
Don’t forget that Lucifer is in the Bible too, and when you trade the coin of religious liberty – WE WILL COME COLLECTING!
Damien Marie Athope
Next up was Damien Athope, who is an Axiological Atheist, Secularist, Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, and Activist. He is also a prolific writer and meme creator on Facebook with many followers.
To actually think this In God We Trust on the money is somehow religious support is absolutely ridiculous. the fact that everyone has to be subjugated under In God We Trust is actually against our rights.
We need a country that supports freedom. We need a country that’s willing to support all people. I am not against people believing. I am against religious people forcing me to believe.
Rebecca Friedman gave a dual language speech on how her students see America and what they want to from being Americans.
These young citizens, the residents, these aspiring Americans, they aren’t looking to unite under a God. They want to unite as a people.
What unites we the People, it’s not a trust in a deity. But in a common identity. So trust the people, trust we the people
Travis, the Big Funny, Simmons
The final speaker of the day was Travis, the Big Funny, Simmons. He gave some great quotes about Robert Green Ingersoll and closed out with some of his comedy. Including calling out some Christians for praying for the group.
Prayer is not medicine.
When people sneeze,you know what I say. Godzilla, cause they think you are going to say the other thing.
I heard the guy telling that crowd today (the Franklin Graham rally across the street) “When you hear the word progressive, think atheist.” That’s good, you’re right. To go forward is to let religion die.
While the crowd was smaller that expected, all of us made some amazing connections, and re-connections during the rally. I for one had a great time and look forward to my next one. Look for those plans to come out in the next couple of months.