I was busy this past weekend. Among other things, T. and I went to the Reason Rally, a rally on Saturday by a union of atheist, anti-theist, freethinking and related groups, a gathering of the godless.
We didn't stay long due to the nearly constant rain, but it was fun. There was good people-watching lots of intentionally funny signs, some unintentionally funny signs by protestors, and some good speakers. In addition to a few dozen Christian protestors, there was one guy exhorting people to worship the Almighty Cthulhu. I don't think I've ever heard of Tim Minchin before, but his show this weekend was funny.
Admittedly, the idea of organized atheism is a bit of a contradiction, and atheist evangelism is annoying, just like other kinds. So the basic concept of the rally seems kind of weird. But then, it's easy for me to say that. I was raised Christian but not devoutly. When I started skipping church as a teen to sleep in on Sundays, my parents cajoled and guilt-tripped me a bit, but that was it. I didn't face further punishment, didn't get ostracized, didn't even lose anything except for that weekly commitment. Since then I've gone from calling myself Deist to agnostic to atheist. T. is in a similar position, and I'll bet most people I know are too - they might call themselves "agnostic" or even "spiritual" rather than atheist, some of them might identify with a particular denomination, but I only know a handful of people to whom their religion is really important.
So it's easy for me to say that atheist evangelism is dumb because I never needed it in the first place. But some people with different personal backgrounds really do get ostracized for it, and all major successful politicians in this country either pay lip service to or actually believe in dogma handed down from Bronze Age cultures. The alternatives need to get more play.
Too bad about the weather, though. But hey, at least no one got struck by lightning, right?