The Response happened. Now, some "atheist superstars" are responding to The Response.
This weekend, the Texas Freethought Convention/Atheist Alliance National Meeting will go off for its "From Grassroots to Global Impact" event. The weekend-long shindig will feature left-of-field speakers such as the freest of the free thinkers Richard Dawkins as well as champion of the "New Atheism" movement Christopher Hitchens.
Suzanne Stavinoha, who attended the 30,000-strong The Response on August 6 at Reliant Stadium ("Snuck in as a non-believer and did NOT burst into flames," she writes), rapped with Hair Balls about the fourth-annual event that's scheduled to take place from October 7 through 9 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown.
Along with bringing in other noted "skeptics, non-humanists, agnostics and atheists," Stavinoha explains that they're thinking about including a 2012 presidential candidate on the welcome-to-any-secular-organization guest list.
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"We're considering inviting Rick Perry, since he's so non-denominational and all, just so he can meet us, see that we're not evil or immoral or -- surprisingly enough -- not ignorant of the Bible," says Stavinoha. "In fact, most of us know all about the Bible and that's why we're atheists.
"We feel like the gay society did back in the '70s -- just starting to 'come out' to friends, families, coworkers that we're non-believers; working through the misunderstandings and hostility; and finally starting to see some acceptance," says Stavinoha, referring to "that recent survey that says people hate the Tea Party more than atheists and Muslims!!"
The cost of the anti-believe isn't cheap. According to the Texas Freethought Convention website, attendees will need to fork over $230 to the "family-friendly event with plenty of activities for kids of all ages."
Aside from the parking and concession-stand eats that were available during what was supposed to be a fasting period, the nacho-cheese-flavored Prayerapalooza didn't cost a thing.