"Hello my well-known friend Mike. What's your take on this http://reasonrally.org/about/ ?"
"Not my kinda thing, anymore. The non-theist activism scene wore me out."
"What's your position these days?"
"I'm still very atheist, still anti most religions. I believe all the same stuff, but the scene is exhausting, and the most active in it are largely self-important people with a bit of a persecution complex."
"Exhausting how? I've never been active in the "scene" except for a few forum postings, so I don't really know what it's like."
"I led a large local group for 8 years, and was CA director of American Atheists for 2 years. You get to deal with good, nice people, but also with basement-dwellers and the poorly socialized, who all think religion is out to get them.
The dork factor is high, which is fine if it's your friends, but when you're trying to get things done, it's not as much fun.
The atheists themselves drove me from keeping up in the scene much more than anyone religious."
"So with the movement ceded to the antisocial and the paranoid, what's left for us, you/I, to do?"
"Keep talking, mostly. Be out and loud and encourage others to do the same.
Luckily that's pretty popular right now too, and I still meet a lot of people who are just starting to tell family and friends their beliefs."
"And activities like http://reasonrally.org ? Likely to be brimming with yahoos?"
"They're organized by good people, and get good speakers. They're attended by mostly good internet denizens, with a high geek and dork factor. I had to see a lot more of the yahoos as a leader (people would come to me with all their problems), but an event like this would probably be fun.
That said, I think there are more important things to fight for, though everyone's free to fight for their own stuff, of course. The majority of even harsh prejudice against atheists is typically only mildly irritating, and rarely are actual rights lost.
None of us want to see a cross on public property, but honestly, it doesn't hurt us like not being able to get married hurts gays."
"Interesting. I have to admit, I feel largely the same way. It would be cool to see Mr. Dawkins speak at http://reasonrally.org , and I've never walked through the National Mall ... but I don't think I'd hear, or see, or talk about, anything that I haven't already thoroughly examined years ago."