Guest Author - Theresa Faulkner
On September 25, 2010, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association put on a concert at Fort Bragg Air force Base in Fayetteville, N.C. called “Rock the Fort”. Although there was some dissention about whether it was constitutional or not, the concert went ahead as scheduled. Shortly after this, a friend of mine from Fort Bragg, Sgt. Justin Griffith, wanted to have a day for “the rest of us” and Rock Beyond Belief (RBB) was born. RBB is a counter to Rock the Fort; however, please note that RBB wants the secular community to feel supported and to get the word out about how secularists are viewed, treated, and to change that impression for the better.
Although Rock Beyond Belief was originally approved for the exact same support as Rock the Fort (including the parade field and financial support), Fort Bragg determined that there would not be a big enough turnout to warrant the parade field (where Rock the Fort took place), among other things. It appeared that Rock Beyond Belief might not happen any time soon. However, through perseverance and threatened legal actions, Sgt. Griffith finally got full and equal approval from Fort Bragg to do Rock Beyond Belief. Sgt. Griffith hopes to bring Rock Beyond Belief to every base that Rock the Fort was at.
There are many reknown speakers and musicians lined up for the all-day event. The speakers include Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker, Todd Stiefel, Nathan Phelps and Margaret Downey. The musicians include Baba Brinkman, Spoonboy, and Roy Zimmerman.
In addition to the speakers and musicians, there should be kid stuff as well as plenty of food and other vendors.
Rock Beyond Belief (RBB) is a free family-friendly event and open to the public. RBB also hopes this event will help to “shed the negative connotations and debunk the myths associated with being a non-believer”. It will be held at Fort Bragg on March 31st, 2012. For more information, go to http://www.rockbeyondbelief.com. You will also find a lot of information for secularists and what has been going on in the military for atheists and those with "no religious preference".