I interpreted at the Rally for Reason yesterday. It was awesome. Twenty thousand-ish people all coming together on the mall to support atheism, skepticism, and the secular perspective. It was awesome.
Yet, I felt like a bit of a fraud. That's not really my belief. I grew up going to church (at least sometimes). I've been confirmed. I'm supposed to pray. Yet here I was, cheering for these speakers. That was weird.
It was weird until I heard speaker after speaker say what I feel: you can believe whatever you want but you have no right to try to force others to do the same (as in teaching religion in public school), women are equal and this trend of politicians and priests knocking them down several levels is not okay and it's time to focus on what's really important (poverty, economy, environment) and not what's already been settled (the right to choose). Those beliefs I hold strong. Do I hold Richard Dawkin's comments calling folks to ridicule those who believe a priest can turn wine into the blood of Christ to be something I want to follow? No. I come from a more tolerant place. But I respect both sides rights to believe what they want.
I don't respect either side when the name calling starts. I don't respect either side when my rights as a woman are threatened. As a woman and more importantly as a mother of daughters, this causes me to lose sleep. I think there is common ground. One speaker said it quite well: this country was founded on the belief of freedom of religion. That needs to include freedom from religion as well. There's room for everyone.
And I get a big pat on the back. I didn't argue - not ONE word - with any of the protesters. I did get my picture take with one. I needed a souvenir.