SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Thousands from across the country are in the city to talk about religion. But it’s their take on faith, or lack thereof, which makes this a gathering like no other in the Ozarks.
Skepticon, now in its third year, has grown to become one of the biggest gatherings of atheists and agnostics in America. Organizers project this weekend’s attendance may push it to become the nation’s largest; 1,600 attendees were registered by Saturday afternoon.
Some are surprised to see such an event in a city dubbed by many as the "buckle of the Bible Belt." Organizers say that status is exactly why they chose Springfield for the event.
“If there is a region of the country that needs vocal skepticism, I’d say this is the one. I don't think the goal so much is to convert people to atheism so much as it is to convince people to be reasonable,” said JT Eberhard, organizer of Skepticon.