By matsubokkuri (RIMG0113) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By matsubokkuri (RIMG0113) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Johnny Depp’s star power could mean more awareness and support for atheism.

Johnny Depp, the A-list Hollywood actor, will bring a whiff of Hollywood panache to Reason Rally, where atheists and other secularists will gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The organizers want this event to be the largest gathering of people who claim themselves as non-religious in history. According to Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist, Depp's participation will give the event an important injection of star power.

Mehta wrote that Depp, as a well known Hollywood actor, is unprecedented in appearing on stage with a number of numerous outspoken atheists, He added that in case the media was intent to ignore the rally, they can never afford to do so now. The actor is listed among a number of speakers scheduled for the Reason Rally. He joins the likes of Nye the Science Guy, and well known atheist authors like Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. Comedians Julia Sweeney and Margaret Cho, and musicians like Killah Priest and Spin Doctors' Mark White will also make an appearance.

Lyz Liddell, the executive director of Reason Rally, said that until now, for a celebrity, athlete, or any politician to openly identify as religious could only lead to career suicide. The fact that such mainstream and big names now openly support atheist organizations and become involved in non-religious work means the cultural attitude of America as a whole are moving towards inclusion and acceptance.

When it comes to Depp's religious beliefs, not much information is available. However, during a 2011 interview, he appeared to be dismissive of religion. In the interview, the actor said that he has faith in his kids and he will keep this faith as long as he keeps moving forward and doing things what is right. When questioned about religion, the actor said that faith in the form of religion is not his specialty.

The rally promises through its website that fantastic speakers, musicians, and comedians, along with a large number of supporters will rejoice for the increasing power of the non-religious voters. It predicted that the Lincoln Memorial rally will be be historically the largest gathering of non-religious people. A number of key beliefs have been listen by Reason Rally. It stated that facts must dictate the formulation of public policy and science should be the cornerstone of medical research- and not ideological or faith-centric influences. It also stated that patriotism has nothing linked to a belief in god and there should be a separation of the state and church.

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