March 24 (Saturday) is the Reason Rally in D.C., I wish I could go but instead will show some solidarity here. I wish the media would not call it "Woodstock for atheists." Woodstock was not a march or rally having to do with civil rights or any other political causes, and this event is expecting about 30,000 people rather than 500,000. In fact, please stop calling everything "Woodstock this" or "Woodstock that."
[more recent NPR article without the Woodstock references
It's going to an uphill battle to get regular people to become tolerant of atheists. There are so many wrong-headed misconceptions about non-belief out there, and many (usually) intelligent and civilized people fall for them because they were told these things by people they trusted, such as parents, pastors, and whoever wrote the Bible.
1. Atheists are without morals, ethics, or even "goodness" because those things only come from God or from belief in God. Morals and ethics come from within. We learn right from wrong. We feel right from wrong. Just like everybody else. I respect life itself so much more since I became a non-believer, because I do not think that there is an afterlife. Death is very sad, because it means the end. For real. No Heaven. No Jesus, streets of gold, angels, reunions with loved ones. There is no comfort of hope for going to a better place other than getting my dust reunited with the earth. It's not a better place. It's the place I am now and always will be.
2. Atheists worship Satan or Satan is controlling them. No. Satan is another one of those myths, most religions and cultural mythologies have this character by some name or another. Atheists do not believe in Satan, much less worship Satan. Evidence for Satan's existence is not reality-based. Satanism is a religion, and has quite a few varying sects, just like other religions.
3. Atheism is a religion, or belief-system. No, it isn't. It's the opposite of those things. Next...
4. Atheists are pagans. No. It is very odd, and very incorrect for reference materials (dictionaries, thesauruses) to say that "pagan," "heathen" and "infidel" should be synonymous. Pagans have religion that goes back to the beginning of humans and culture. I have had pagan friends for as long as I can remember, and they are some of the nicest, most tolerant, most interesting and peaceful people you can imagine. They also have a battle to fight against ignorance and intolerance, just like atheists do.
There are sooo many more, but I will stop there. Facts are good things. Truth is elusive. Freedom of religion or freedom FROM religion without discrimination, well, the importance of that is self-evident, or should be.