Posts Tagged “atheist billboards”

Shellie Sylvestri, via KNOE-TVThis year’s annual edition of “the War on Christmas” rages on. This is something I’ve blogged about ad nauseam; it’s a propaganda trope in which American Christianists pretend that their religion is being wiped out, initially via an insidious campaign to outlaw the celebration of Christmas.

This is delusional, of course; Christianity is in no danger in the US, and people are still free to celebrate Christmas. That won’t change … but you can’t tell Christianists that. They refuse to accept it, and claim their religion is standing at the precipice of total destruction and that they’re just a moment away from being killed off.

The latest skirmish in this annual juvenile exercise comes from the fine Bible Belt Bobble Bayelt state of Louisiana. KNOE-TV in Monroe, LA reports on a battle that erupted over — of all things — atheist billboards (WebCite cached article):

The Atheist Americans holiday campaign debuted in Monroe yesterday with two digital billboards near Hwy 165 and Pecanland Mall.

“It’s definitely a strong Christian community and a lot of strong believers in this area,” says Kyle Klitzke of Monroe.…

The billboards lasted less than two hours in Monroe before the billboard company, Outfront Media, suggested the organization take it down.

Nick Fish, program director for American Atheists, took the words right out of my mouth:

“They need to get over themselves and realize this is a country with a lot of viewpoints, and they’re not the only ones with a view on this,” Fish says.

He’s absolutely correct that Louisiana’s Christianists “need to get over themselves” and understand that they’re not the only ones … but they never will do so. They view the fact that they’re not alone in the country as an intolerable burden that they simply cannot withstand, and will never tolerate — not even for a second.

As I often do when remarking on “the War on Christmas,” I remind American Christendom that many of its beliefs about Christmas are false. Absolutely, totally, 100% wrong. Not that most of them care very much about facts … but I do, and I plan to throw as many of them as I can in their faces. No matter how much they dislike it, or how vehemently they deny those facts.

Photo credit: Shellie Sylvestri, via KNOE-TV.

Hat tip: Raw Story.

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American Atheists sign in New Jersey/metro New York, you know it's a mythBy now you’ve probably heard about the atheist billboard along the highway leading to the Lincoln Tunnel heading into New York, which has become the latest battle in the 2010 edition of the Religious Right’s annual “war on Christmas.” The R.R. — particularly Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (cached) — is incensed at this sign which says that the Jesus-nativity legend is precisely what it is … a myth (cached article).

The following Newsy video is an excellent encapsulation of this whole topic:

Supposedly, this sign is incendiary and “in your face,” and it represents “atheists pushing their belief on people.”

It may well be true that this billboard is an effort by some atheists to “push” themselves on people … however, for centuries, religious people have “pushed” their beliefs on others — and without apology. Consider how commonplace religious signage is, even now. Over a year ago I blogged about how religious advertising isn’t new — even though lots of Christofascists claim it’s never existed. Well, here is a great example of some good old-fashioned “in your face” religionism for your consideration:

Attention Lunatic Atheists

Attention Lunatic Atheists

Is that “in your face” enough!? I’m not sure anyone was incensed about this sign … in spite of its obvious hostile, if not downright threatening, nature. Maybe it’s time for the religionists who are angered by the “you know Christmas is a myth” sign, to grow the hell up, for the first time in their sniveling little lives, and realize that — maybe! — this is exactly what they’ve been doing to the rest of the world for almost two millennia … and then stop whining about it. Boo fucking hoo hoo.

Top photo credit: The Atlantic Wire blog. Middle photo credit: Chairman Meow.

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In this Sept. 9, 2010 photo, a billboard erected by atheists in Oklahoma City reads 'Don't believe in God? Join the club.' (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The Religious Right has launched a ferocious Neocrusade against Islam in the US, which includes several planned Qur’an burnings, as well as assertions that “freedom of religion” doesn’t apply to Muslims. Generally speaking, the Religious Right isn’t holding back its contempt for Islam or its belief that Muslims don’t belong in the US. But curiously, they can’t manage to stomach any criticism, themselves. (OK, so this is no surprise … we’ve long known they’re thin-skinned and childish.)

Here’s but one example of how this is so: The AP reports via Google News that Christians in the Oklahoma City area are offended by the local Coalition of Reason putting up atheism signs (WebCite cached article):

Atheists in Oklahoma City have erected a billboard seeking fellow non-believers, and Satanists have scheduled a conference in a city-owned building, drawing criticism from ministers in a state where more than eight out of 10 people say they are Christians.

“It’s not a question of ‘Can you?’ It’s a question of ‘Should you?'” said Dan Fisher, pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon. “It’s kind of like they’re poking a finger in your eye.”

Nick Singer, the coordinator of a local atheists’ group called “Coalition of Reason,” recently received $5,250 from its national counterpart to erect the billboard along Interstate 44 near the Oklahoma State Fair, which opens Wednesday. Its message reads, “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.”

I’m not sure how or why these signs are offensive. All they do is tell those people who already do not believe in God, that they aren’t alone. It doesn’t say that belief in God is bad, or erroneous; it doesn’t tell people they shouldn’t believe in God; it doesn’t tell them they’re idiots for being theists; or anything like that. In fact, the wording of these signs is not directed at believers at all.

Yet, they are nonetheless offended. Wah wah wah.

I love how Christians can dish out the criticism of other religions and of irreligion, but cannot handle anything contrary, themselves … not even signs whose message is not for them. What hypocritical crybabies.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki (cached).

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Vandalized atheist billboard in Sacramento, CA / Picture courtesy of KOVR/CBS13The atheist billboards keep going up around the country, and as one expects, religious people don’t like them. And I mean, really don’t like them. One such billboard in Sacremento, has been vandalized. It had originally said, “Are you good without God? Millions are.” and the words “Also Lost?” were added at the end. TV station KOVR (CBS13) offers this report (WebCite cached article):

One or more vandals used spray paint to deface part of a billboard on Interstate 80 midway between Sacramento and Davis, California, that reads “Are you good without God? Millions are.” The words “also lost?” were added below the “Millions are.” …

The defaced billboard is located on the north side of I-80, just west of exit 78, and faces east. For a hi-res image, free for media use, click HERE.

Maybe someday this country will grow up enough that Christians don’t feel the need to vandalize for Jesus … but apparently that “someday” is not now.

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(Alternate title: War On Christmas 2009, Part 7.)

Bill O’Reilly is the most visible proponent of “the War on Christmas” trope, these days. It’s a battle he’s waged annually for several years. It comes as no surprise, then, that he’s come out against the current spate of freethinkers’ advertising efforts. He attributes this to hatred of “the Baby Jesus”:

Note what O’Reilly says:

Why do they loathe the baby Jesus? He’s just a baby…How do you sell atheism by running down a baby? It’s just a baby.

As usual, O’Reilly has made up his mind about what atheists and other freethinkers are thinking, based on his own subjective determinations. He has no idea what they actually think … and probably could never do so, even if he wanted to. I can’t speak for the “atheists” O’Reilly is railing against, but I can speak for myself, as a supporter of these advertising campaigns:

I can’t “loathe the baby Jesus,” Mr O’Reilly, because I’m not even sure there ever was a baby Jesus! As it turns out, not even you know it with certainty … which is why Christianity can only be taken on faith. Jesus’ existence is not a matter of fact or of history … and barring a major discovery, it never will be. I cannot “loathe” what I don’t even know ever existed.

Second, Mr O’Reilly, when you call the founder of your religion a “baby,” you do him a disservice. If he lived … and if he did even a few of the things Christians have attributed to him over the centuries … then he was definitely no “baby.” He was a man, a teacher, and — again, if Christianity is to be believed — a healer and a redeemer. For you to refer to him casually as a “baby” essentially dismisses all of that, and relegates Jesus Christ to a mere idol … an idol “wrapped in swaddling clothes,” sitting in a manger in Bethlehem. If all he is to you is a “baby,” Mr O’Reilly, then all of his teachings, his parables, the Sermon on the Mount, his healings, the “signs” associated with him, his death, and even his resurrection, all of that, may as well never have happened.

I’m not sure you intended to dismiss the entire career of the founder of your religion … but essentially that’s what you did.

One more thing, Mr O’Reilly … you say “atheists” are “jealous of Christians” because they have a holiday. Well, that isn’t quite true. Thanks to centuries of Christianity, much of it militant — and thanks more recently to your bellicose caterwauling — everyone in the US has Christmas rammed down our throats. Everyone in the US — Christian and otherwise — has Christmas as a holiday. We can’t avoid it. It’s in our faces, for several weeks every year. “Jealous”? How can that be? Because Christians have Christmas and we non-believers don’t? Non-believers do have Christmas — whether we want it or not. And it’s people like you, Mr O’Reilly, who annually ensure we get more of it than we could possibly want!

Note: O’Reilly’s column on this subject may be found here.

Hat tip: Unreasonable Faith and the Friendly Atheist.

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This year’s edition of the “war on Christmas” trope continues. This time the complaint is about something that isn’t actually new and isn’t directly connected to Christmas. Rather, it’s about atheist billboards … you know, the ones that have been going up around the US and (in the form of bus advertising, in Europe) for the past few years? Another such campaign is running, and it’s irking Christian religionists, as mentioned in a story in the New York Times (with WebCite cached version):

An unusual holiday message began appearing this week in the nation’s capital on the sides of buses and trains.

“No god? … No problem!” reads the advertisement featuring the smiling faces of people wearing Santa Claus hats. “Be good for goodness’ sake.”

Apparently it’s not acceptable for these to go up around Christmas-time:

“It is the ultimate Grinch to suggest there is no God during a holiday where millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, a conservative religious law firm, and dean of Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Va. “It is insensitive and mean.”

What Staver wants, then, is to have personal, calendrical approval over atheist billboards; they can only go up at times of the year when Christians won’t perceive them as “mean.” Would he like … following the same line of reasoning … for atheist groups to have personal, calendrical approval over Christian signs? Somehow I doubt it.

Note the gratuitous — yet still fallacious — argumentum ad populum in his comments. “Millions of people celebrate Christmas,” he’s saying — and I paraphrase here — “so knock off the atheist billboards!” Sorry Mr Staver, but the wishes of “millions,” or even “billions,” of people, are not relevant here. They just aren’t. Millions, if not billions, of people through the ages also believed the earth was at the center of the universe — but that turned out not to be true.

What’s really going on here is that religionists have had their way for nearly all of human history. Now that they’re confronted by people who are not religious, who will not become religious, and who are openly expressing their lack of religion, these religionists just cannot handle it. They’re too immature to accept the existence — and openness — of the non-religious. Unfortunately for Mr Staver and the rest of his co-religionists, the time has come for them to finally grow up … perhaps for the first time in their lives.

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Let’s hear it for how great religiosity is, how it makes everyone so moral and upright, how it promotes compassion and peace. Let’s hear about how, if atheists ran everything, things would be no better than they’d been in the “wild west” because those atheists have no morals and will abuse, hurt and even kill others at will.

Yeah, let’s hear all of that crap. At the same time, we’d have to ignore the fact that threats have been made against a landowner, over an atheist billboard in Cincinnati (as reported by the Kentucky Post):

Godless Billboard Moved After Threats

In the wake of multiple, significant threats, the downtown billboard that says “Don’t Believe In God? You are not alone” came down early Thursday morning. …

The group that funded the billboard, the United Coalition of Reason, was contacted by Lamar Advertising of Cincinnati. Lamar reported that the landowner of the site had been threatened over the billboard’s message and wanted it taken down.

The billboard has been relocated to a place where threats will — hopefully — not force it down again:

The new location on the 6th Street Expressway, U.S. Highway 50, is owned by Lamar and therefore isn’t subject to landowner restrictions. The billboard will face east, visible on the left to traffic traveling west out of the city across the viaduct toward the suburbs of Delhi and Price Hill.

Definitely this is a case of religionists expressing their compassion for others and their peaceful ways. They truly are compassionate and peaceful … but only where other believers are concerned. When it comes to atheists and their billboards, the compassion and peace fly right out the window. How nice.

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