• OKC Pride 2016

    As LGBT Pride Month draws to a close, I’m given to reminiscing about equal rights in general, and the respective roles of communities of faith and reason in helping to ensure that it gets better for those who’ve been told they do not deserve to take pride in themselves, those whom centuries of tradition and stacks of holy books have relegated to marginal roles, at best.

    I have a series of vague recollections about how it all went down over ten years ago when my local atheist group first decided to participate in the Pride Festival. There was pizza for everyone, beer for the many, and hard feelings for the few. These last are those who argued for the proposition that atheist activism should confine itself to freeing minds from theism, along with efforts at preserving or expanding secularism. Thanks to the cheerful persuasion of just a couple gay rights activists, those advocating for this more narrow, traditional approach lost the vote. Ever since then, we’ve been more than happy to table at the festival and/or march in the parade. Speaking for myself personally, I’d say good riddance to those who might still object to this day.

    Not that we’ve heard any complaints, of late. It is all too easy to forget how much more openly heterosexist our culture was only a decade or so ago, back when Texas was still actively defending its policy of jailing gays for being gay. Less than twenty years from Bowers v. Hardwick to Lawrence v. Texas, and then just over a decade more until Obergefell v. Hodges. And progress marches ever on.

    This year’s Pride Parade started off with a silent homage to the victims of the Orlando shooting:

    Sometime later, there were the affirming and welcoming churches:

    And just after the churches, there came the Oklahoma Atheists, who weren’t going for subtlety this year:

    If you are noticing something ominous about the clouds in those photos, you are not wrong.

    The rain started pouring down around halfway through, at which point the crowd went from merely gay to utterly ecstatic. It was a warm rain, which dampened all but our spirits. There were some concerns, naturally, about pushing a 25-ft. tall metal contrivance through a lightning storm—many theists might feel unduly vindicated if an atheist group was struck down by an ‘act of god’—but we plowed on regardless. There is a metaphor in there, somewhere, but I lack the art to draw it out.

    Category: ActivismAtheism

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.