We're just a few weeks away from what is a huge opportunity to promote church/state separation. We're getting plenty of press coverage of the event, and we're also getting the leaders of national secular groups. Specifically the following groups/people will be with us at the invocation and press conference:
Center for Inquiry - President and CEO Ron Lindsay
American Humanist Association - Legal Director David Noise
Americans United - Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper
Freedom from Religion Foundation - representative committed, but not yet named.
But most important of all will be you. Here's what I'm asking everyone that is interested in a strong secular community and separation of church and state -
1. Come to the invocation (6 PM July 15th, Greece town hall), and especially to the press conference just outside the town hall immediately after the invocation. We want our speakers flanked by as many supporters as we can muster... and that means you! We're printing small signs for everyone to show support, and we want people to see non-believers as their friends and neighbors. The signs say "1 in 5"... a reference to the fraction of the population that is religiously unaffiliated. Imagine 200 (or more!) people surrounding the speakers holding "1 in 5" signs... it gives me goose bumps.
So please say you're attending via the meetup page (so we have an idea of how many) and then bring as many supporters as you can.
2. Be polite and respectful. I have no idea if there willl be protests, but I'm certain there will be people there that don't agree that an atheist should even be giving an invocation. There will be fear and anger simply because atheists are often portrayed as evil, or wanting to take away their right to worship. The only way to overcome this is to show, through our actions and our words, that this isn't true. We will peacefully and respectfully assert our rights as full citizens. We don't yell, swear or argue, and we don't do anything to undermine the fact that we hold the high moral ground. The image we portray as thoughtful and respectful citizens will have more impact than anything else we can do.
See you in Greece!