The Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics attended the Fresno Pride Festival again this year – this will make 3 years in a row that CVAAS has hosted a booth at this event!
This year’s festival was sunny and warm, in the high 90′s by the end of the day, which was a welcome change from last year when it was rainy and cold during the festival.
Fresno Rainbow Pride, who organizes the yearly Pride parade and festival deserve huge applause for making this year an excellent event. It was a safe and fun event, filled with happy people having a great time. Thanks is also due to Community Link, who is the primary sponsor for this event.
This year was interesting in that there were two different churches that had set up booths at the Pride Festival. These were LGBT friendly churches who welcomed people from the LGBT community into their church – which in itself isn’t that unusual. Many churches invite LGBT into their church in order to “fix” them.
But these churches were different – they both said that they supported same-sex unions, and welcomed same-sex couples into their church.
This is in contrast to last year, when a preacher showed up to the Fair and started handing out cards describing how people could be “cured” of homosexuality. This year, no such religious person appeared at the fair.
The visitors to the CVAAS booth were interesting, and very interested in what we had to say. Some people were religious, some were spiritual or deistic. There were many who were atheistic and many more who were simply “nones” – in other words, they had no religion, but didn’t call themselves “atheist”.
There was only one person who challanged us, a man who wanted to know, “where did we come from?”. After a brief discussion, he quickly admitted that the bible was flawed and that it couldn’t be trusted as a source for what is true. He also agreed that not knowing an answer does not mean that a god can simply be inserted as the answer. He left with a smile and a handshake, and a lot to think about.
Those who didn’t stop by the booth waved or smiled. But booth attendance was steady all day. The plastic tiaras and fairy wands that CVAAS gave away were a big hit, as were the paper rainbow leis, and our “Get Out Of Hell Free” cards. These cards have our information stamped on the back, and serve as a sort of “business card” that people love to have.
Chalking was allowed, and several people commented on the “Got Doubt?” chalked in front of the CVAAS booth.
After a long, and frankly exhausting day in the heat, the fair came to an end and CVAAS packed up the booth.
This was a very successful year!