777 Rock Against Religion

Seven of South Africa’s most outspoken rock and metal bands put on a 777 Rock Against Religion” concert on July 7, 2007 (7-7-7), organized by local trio Architecture of Aggression, a rock band in Pretoria.

Anton and Van Alberts, who are brothers, and William Bishop of Architecture of Aggression called the concert “a peaceful protest against the injustices caused in the name of religion against people of different faiths or the nonreligious.”

In its press release, the band said religion may have served a purpose for our distant ancestors, who couldn’t explain the mysteries of seasonal cycles and creation. But, “There is no need for religious dogmatism in our modern, educated, reasoning society anymore. We want to bring to people’s attention all the atrocities committed in the name of religion.

“It is not only redundant but extremely limiting to us as a species. There will always be a place for it, as there will always be a place for the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,” the band’s statement says.

Bishop said the band wanted to break the silence on a subject still considered taboo in South Africa: “You can’t talk about it. We want to get people to speak about it, to provoke people to speak freely and say that it’s okay not to be religious.”

Van Alberts added: “We want people to speak their mind without running the risk of losing their job or being ostracized by their families.”

The three said that some mainstream bands pulled out of the show for fear of losing their fan base or what their parents would think of them.

“We want to challenge the religious to read the texts of other religions and not to hate or judge other people because they don’t know or understand them.

“The religious need to be educated. If you speak out against religion you are immediately seen as demonic. There is no in-between for them. You are not allowed to have a different point of view,” said third band member Anton Alberts.

They noted that conservatives were becoming more conservative and that there was a new crusade mentality, as well as increased fundamentalism.

“The religious do not take what they’re told and think about it; they take it literally.

“For humanity to prosper we need to move forward and tone down religion.

We have achieved freedom of religion, now we need freedom from religion!”

Freedom From Religion Foundation