Pope Benedict XVI is going to be visiting the United States in a couple weeks.
American Atheists have has something to say about that (at least in DC and NYC):
AMERICAN ATHEISTS will be hosting peaceful demonstrations in both cities to protest the papal agenda for cultural, social and political hegemony. We invite all Atheist, Freethought, Secular Humanists and other nonbelievers to join us in speaking out. Whatever label you use to describe your nonbelief and opposition to clerical authoritarianism of all denominations – whether you’re a Rational, a Bright, a Humanist, Agnostic, Atheist, or a strict Separationist – we welcome you!
The big event seems to be the one in Washington, D.C. taking place on April 16th:
The Pope will join Bush for a reception on the south lawn of the White House. Join us beginning at 10:00 AM across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park. Bring signs and banners conveying a polite but firm message in opposition to the Vatican/Ratzinger agenda. There will be a brief program of speakers including:
- ELLEN JOHNSON, President of American Atheists
- ARLENE-MARIE, President of Michigan Atheists and State Director, AA
- MARGARET DOWNEY, President of Atheist Alliance
- FRED EDWORDS, Director of Communications, American Humanist Association
- CHRISTOPHER ARNTZEN, President, Gay and Lesbian Atheists and Humanists
- RICK WINGROVE, Capitol Hill Representative, Virginia Director, American Atheists
A second event will take place in New York City a couple days later but details are not available yet.
Personally, I disagree with just about everything the Pope does and stands for, but I’m not sure what value there is in protesting his visit. I think it’ll just backfire on us.
If there is any media about this, most people are just going to see it as atheists angry about religion (What’s new?, they’ll say) as opposed to angry with the Pope’s specific policies.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Would you protest the Pope’s visit? On what grounds?