Mostly undeterred by the rain, the non-believers gathered on the Washington Mall to listen to speakers like Richard Dawkins, the British author of "The God Delusion," reported CNN.
Dawkins said, "There are too many people in this country who have been cowed into fear of coming out as atheists, secularists or agnostics." He said, "We are far more numerous than anybody realizes," to cheers from the crowd, according to AFP. A spokesman for the rally estimated that the turnout at the rally was 10,000.
The head organizer of the event, David Silverman, said, "We will never be closeted again," according to CNN. "In years to come, the Reason Rally will be seen as the beginning of the end to the religious right's grip," on American life.
The crowd chanted "We're here. We're godless — get used to it," led by Fred Dewords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, reported The Washington Post. The rally was by over 20 organizations.
Some of the signs at the rally read: "Banish the Ten Commandments to the dustbin of history," and "Good without a god," and "Hi Mom! I'm an atheist," said the AFP. Michael Shermer, a columnist for Scientific American, reminded the rally "This country was not built on religion and God. It was built on reason."
In 2008, the American Religious Identification Survey found that 34 million Americans, or 15 percent of the adult population in the country, claimed no specific religion. A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life conducted in the same year also offered similar results, said The Post.
Counter-protesters were also in attendance, with members of the Westboro Baptist Church chanting at the rally-goers, said CNN.