My friend Dan Birtcher, who organized a protest of the so-called National Day of Prayer, reports that the protest went well and no one was arrested.
Today’s rally at the Statehouse was a great success!
About 10 HCCO and SFF members carried signs and handed out literature from 11am until about 2pm. Because those assembled for the prayer event were seated facing towards the street I believe everyone there (including Mr. Blackwell) got to enjoy our signs during most of the proceedings. I think we did a very good job getting our message across to them without in any way being disruptive.
I had lots of interesting conversations while I was down there – many with supporters who were VERY glad to see us promoting a secular worldview. I also had some cordial discussions with Christians and other believers in prayer. No matter how severe our disagreements may have been, I think I was able to make all my points with a smile – and I’m pretty sure I managed to end every encounter with a handshake. My suspicion is that it will be far harder for the people I talked to to think of atheists and humanists as demons with tails and horns in the future.
– Dan Birtcher
HCCO is the Humanist Community of Central Ohio and SFF stands for the Students for Freethought, a student group at Ohio State. The protest also included members from Capital University also in Columbus. “Mr. Blackwell” is J. Kenneth Blackwell, the freshly minted GOP nominee for Ohio Governor who has not been shy to put his religion on his sleeve.
Dan also noted that a reporter from the NY Times interview a couple of the protesters so there might be a mention in the Times.