Skeptics Organize Political Summit in D.C. on “Rapture Day”

According to countless billboards across the country, May 21, 2011 is the beginning of the end. Those who believe Christian radio evangelist Harold Camping are preparing for the Rapture. But one group who doesn’t believe Camping — or any other religious leader — is preparing to lobby in Washington, D.C.

The Secular Coalition for America is organizing a gathering on Saturday against what they call the “theocratic agenda.” Over 100 atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nonbelievers will lobby lawmakers to strengthen their commitment to the Constitutional separation of church and state.

Sean Faircloth, the Coalition’s executive director, argues that religious institutions are overstepping the government’s secular boundaries and influencing too much policy in the Capitol.

“More and more Americans reject the theocratic political agenda that opposes gay marriage, blocks stem-cell research, and injects religious bias in our armed services,” Faircloth told NationalJournal.com. “Secular Americans can no longer watch from the sidelines.”

The “Rapture Weekend” political summit will include guest speakers such as American Atheists president David Silverman and Susan Jacoby, author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. Strategic discussion panels are also planned.

One of the group’s ultimate goals is to foster a political climate that is more receptive of nontheist candidates. A 2007 Gallup poll showed that 53% of Americans would not vote for an atheist candidate who was otherwise well qualified.

Although the SCA says this weekend’s summit is the first of its kind, it won’t be the last. The organizers intend to host biennial events in Washington — well, provided Harold Camping’s prophesy doesn’t come true. Perhaps they should make a donation to Rapture Relief, just in case.

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Photo credit: Victor Martinez

136 comments

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sophia M.
Sophia M.4 years ago

I am an atheist, but I have to agree that they may have gone a little to far in some instances. ( although I have to admit I was a bit amused with the way they worded the billboard.)

Carole R.
Carole R.5 years ago

Something to think about. I have a feeling if and when the end of the world ever comes none of us will expect it.

William Y.
William Y.5 years ago

@ Jonathan Y. So do I, but considering the mentality of some of them, i think 435 monkeys couldn't do any worse.

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y.5 years ago

In other words...we DO need Atheist politicians!

I was raised Catholic myself, but I think 435 Atheists would restore some sanity to this land!!

Bart V.
Bart V.5 years ago

I'd love to be able to announce someday, that we now have absolute proof that all conservative religious persons are going to heaven. And, not only are they definitely going to heaven; they're going....today!!

Bart V.
Bart V.5 years ago

It must be difficult to be trapped in a world you refuse to understand & be too ignorant to admit it. 'God works in mysterious ways' fell to the wayside with the introduction of electron microscopy.

Alexandra O.
Alex O.5 years ago

So what are these idiots saying now?

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez5 years ago

lol

William Y.
William Y.5 years ago

@ Ernest R, maybe he is just getting back at them for their pseudo-Christian values. Hate, war & retribution; rather than peace, love & forgiveness.