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Pro-troops rally too theistic for this atheist

By Able_Reason

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Intolerance and Freedom

I decided to take some time out of my studies today (4/12/2003) to go into downtown D.C. to join others in a pro-troops rally on the Mall. I chose to ride the metro into town to avoid the traffic problems and the parking headaches; which turned out to be a good idea because it was worse than usual in the city. The event was scheduled to run from noon to 3pm and I arrived just after 12:30pm. I was really looking forward to seeing and hearing some of the speakers and performers. When I got there the crowd was massive. There were a lot of families on blankets, people in chairs, and numerous people standing and walking about. If you didn�t have a flag there were people walking thru the crowds handing them out, and who can turn down a flag? There was also a person handing out �Bush 2004� stickers and I took one of those as well.

Everyone, young and old, seemed excited to be there. The speakers were all received well by the crowd.

I�ve never felt more like an outcast in my entire life. Every speaker praised their deity in one way or another. And I mean everyone. The liberal (I�m guessing he�s more of a left-leaning libertarian) actor Ron Silver had nothing but praise for Bush, the administration, the troops, and the war; which is fine with me, but then he had to finish his remarks with a �god bless America� and of course the crowd went wild every time this occurred.

Just as an aside, I have to say, when I see an actor speaking in public I can�t help but think, �is he acting, or is he being genuine�. I really can�t tell the difference.

Every time god was mentioned I turned my back and retreated to the outskirts of the crowd. I finally just stayed at the outskirts. A number of times the crowd broke out into chants of �USA, USA, USA, ��, and as someone who loves this country and supports this action in Iraq I was really creeped out over the automaton mentality I was witnessing. A lot of those people seemed like robots to me.

A couple with a child walked in front of me and I could tell that they didn�t know what was going on. They looked at the stage and then the wife looked at the husband and said, �Oh brother� and she rolled her eyes and they left the area.

I ended up leaving the event before I got to see the two people I�d most wanted to see, G. Gordon Liddy and Aaron Tippon, I just couldn�t take it anymore.

On my way out I bought my wife a �support the troops� tee-shirt for $10 from 3 military-looking guys.

Philosophically speaking, I have much more in common with the Republican party than with the Democratic party, but many Republicans frighten me. I wish I�d been wearing an tee-shirt with a �support our troops� button on it; although a lynch-mob (spurred on by the �holy ghost� no doubt) probably would have formed to string me up.

April 19, 2003

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