Atheist billboard NJ

Remember that wild atheists-versus-Christians advertising war of last year? Well, it may start up again in earnest after the religious folks get ahold of this latest salvo from the non-believers.

My stories from the winter of 2009, beginning on January 8th, were some of the most hotly-debated posts we've ever run and still receive comments to this day. (Hell, even vaguely-related posts about Creationism-versus-science show we haven't talked this one out yet.) But after a few stories about ad campaigns on double-decker buses, both sides seemed to retreat to their respective corners and move on to other matters.

Then the atheists put the above-pictured ad up in North Bergen, New Jersey, just outside the Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan, in the hope of snapping people out of their half-hearted belief in the whole Three Wise Men and the special birth and all that jazz. 

David Silverman, the president of [American Atheists], spoke to 1010 WINS Saturday and said the purpose of the billboard was to “attract atheists who are currently in the closet.”

Silverman described the target audience as “people who are secretive not only to their friends and family, but maybe even to themselves about [their atheism].”  [CBS News]

Just to clarify, he doesn't mean they're homosexuals in denial... he believes there are people who are atheists masquerading as Christians, probably under pressure to believe and knowing, deep down, that the Bible is culled from myths passed down from ancient oral histories and mainly a work of fiction and fantasy.

Christians are divided into two camps over the billboards: some are upset over the anti-Christmas message, while others are angry that atheists are attacking their religion.

Commentarium (114 Comments)

Nov 29 10 - 12:12pm
4real

why dont we try something new this x-mas?...........like.....i dont know......let people do, believe, and celebrate whatever comes into their minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 29 10 - 12:13pm
brianfairbanks

You mean like Festivus?

Nov 29 10 - 12:25pm
4real

Or Kwanzaa, or Big Vibrator Memorial Day, or whatever..........the point is to gather with the people you care about and have a good time.......after all is just one day.........

Nov 29 10 - 12:36pm
lol

4real: because some people have families, friends, or even work environments, that wont let them do, believe, and celebrate whatever comes into their minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 29 10 - 1:05pm
RollerTroller

why dont we try something new this x-mas?...........like.....i dont know......let people do, believe, and celebrate whatever comes into their minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Addendem, But only if your Christian.

May 27 11 - 6:48pm
Scrotum

What's with all the exclamations all of a sudden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 29 10 - 1:20pm
greg

I USED to be an atheist (or, as I prefer it; "godless heathen") but now I;m not so sure,. Everything else I've ever read on a billboard was a bald-faced lie and, statistically, what are the odds that this would be the one exception?

Seriously, though; bumper stickers, t-shirts and billboards are NOT a reasonable way to encourage debate or rational thought.

May 27 11 - 6:49pm
Satan

Ha! I used to be a born-again Pentecostal but now I'm an atheist. I can't fathom why everyone's not an atheist once they reach that "common sense" point.

Nov 29 10 - 1:43pm
Volizden

@greg - What do you mean Used to be an atheist? How does openly advertising an opposing point of view to religion change that, I consider it much like the christian church signs proclaiming there be a god. Shouldn't I be offended that they are advertising a lie? (well I am, but I aren't bitching about it) Atheist have a right to have their point of view out there as much as the Xians do. So whats the fuss?

Nov 29 10 - 2:08pm
4real

@greg: so, according to you, what is a good way to start rational debate?.........is it by claiming that homosexuals and feminist are nothing but an abomination of nature?........or by telling women what to do with their bodies?.........

Nov 29 10 - 2:31pm
bearman33

Hitchens won the debate vs. Berlinski.

Nov 29 10 - 2:49pm
heirofsalazar

@4real If you "let people do, believe, and celebrate whatever comes into their minds" then some of them will hold down their completely healthy newborn sons and proceed to cut up their penises.

Beliefs inform actions; irrational beliefs inform irrational actions.

Nov 29 10 - 2:50pm
heirofsalazar

@4real If you "let people do, believe, and celebrate whatever comes into their minds" then some of them will hold down their completely healthy newborn sons and proceed to cut up their penises.

Beliefs inform actions; irrational beliefs inform irrational actions.

Nov 29 10 - 2:55pm
Jo Manny

LOL, the Holy Bible is a myth. Thats just too funny.

www.privacy-web.edu.tc

May 27 11 - 6:51pm
Lucifer

I'm missin' something. I read the bible and I didn't find anything funny in it. In fact, in retrospect, I fidn it pretty schizophrenic, inconsistent, and full of contradictions.

Nov 29 10 - 3:28pm
Kogeau

*why dont we try something new this x-mas?...........like.....i dont know......let people do, believe, and celebrate whatever comes into their minds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

I agree. That's why I support this billboard.

Nov 29 10 - 3:42pm
PeterPan

Whichever group that posted this billboard is not atheist. I feel that a true atheist is one who is apathetic to the notion of belief, and by that definition, by displaying their disbelief they have created a belief system in itself. They are promoting their 'belief' in not believing. At least the idiotic blind-faith Christians have the Bible to 'support' their arguments.

Nov 29 10 - 3:48pm
Srsly

I am an atheist, and while I think the billboard is hilarious, I also think it's a dumb idea. No one likes to see their views attacked. There's a difference between "speaking up for what you believe" and "being a douchebag".

May 27 11 - 6:53pm
Spunk

Yeah I hear ya. It's like... who are ya' gonna convince to switch sides with THAT, and why you tryin' anyways? Let those dumb ass religitards go on their way. Be with yourself. That's all that matters.

Nov 29 10 - 4:00pm
Dame

Just goes to show that atheists are hypocritical liars. They claim not to believe in god, yet they are attacking those that do. If you truly don't believe something, you ignore it, not burn calories trying to fight it. The hypocrisy of atheism is just plain silly. No wonder it attracts so many uneducated retards.

May 27 11 - 6:54pm
Same

ROFLMFAO no reason atheists can't promote their views just like religitards do. Yet people like you condemn them. Fuck you.

Jul 06 11 - 3:24pm
Rj

You're the retard. Seriously. Since when does not believing in god mean that you can't attack those who do? People who don't believe things don't necessarily ignore them (obviously) and that doesn't make them hypocritical. I truly don't believe gay marriage should be illegal. Should I ignore it, or burn calories trying to fight it? I daresay I'd go with the second. And capitalize "god" you heathen, jesus these people have no respect!

Dec 23 11 - 8:29am
Same

One always knows that one has lost an argument when one is forced to play the "ad hominem" card. Rj pwned.

Nov 29 10 - 4:00pm
Crosscrosd

The antidote to atheism: http://manhood101.com

May 27 11 - 6:58pm
Chris Cross

WTF? WHAT THE F? How does that have anything to do with an antidote for anything?

Nov 29 10 - 4:10pm
A_Pickle

@Dame - Um... no? Atheists don't believe in Christianity, and in many cases genuinely believe that religious practices are detrimental to society. Thus, they are trying to change minds from believing in a religious worldview to believing in a secular one in hopes that a majority population believing in secular ideology will be a better society.

Atheists don't like the fact that the religious organize things like:
1.) Prohibition of LGBT marriage recognition
2.) Prohibition of abortion/repeal of Roe v. Wade
3.) Teaching of "Intelligent Design" in schools
4.) Promotion of abstinence-only sex education
5.) Prohibition of drugs
6.) Imperialist foreign policy

Each of these things are perceived, by Atheists, to be a genuine harm to society -- and these are policy initiatives that are overwhelmingly supported by Christians (or, at the very least, evangelical Christians). The idea is that, if you reduce the number of Christians by changing their minds, you'll have less support for these allegedly harmful social policies.

I'm an atheist, and I generally agree. I don't think religion is all bad, but when I see religion being used in the name of genuinely harmful policy initiatives, then I'm compelled to speak out. Against it.

May 27 11 - 6:59pm
Horace Goodspeed

C'mon. Let's be serious here. It's not like religion causes WARS or anything. LOL

Nov 29 10 - 4:12pm
A_Pickle

Also? Go f*** yourself, Nerve.com.

"Atheists declare war on Christmas with New Jersey billboard" -- really? Is that what really happened? Or did the mean old atheists say something about your beliefs that you don't like, so now you're putting words into their mouths? Awesome. Go to hell.

May 27 11 - 7:00pm
AlbertFinney

Uhm... there actually is no hell... most people realize that sooner or later...

Nov 29 10 - 4:13pm
Someonewhocares

@Dame There is a good reason to expend energy on fighting it.
http://www.atheist-community.org/atheisteve/?id=60

May 27 11 - 7:01pm
Atheist
Nov 29 10 - 4:17pm
Srsly

As an excellent example of my point, see @Dame...

Nov 29 10 - 4:20pm
mggmgg

Uneducated retards like... Hm... Scientists?

May 27 11 - 7:01pm
Scientists

ROFLMFAO

Nov 29 10 - 4:22pm
ReplyToDame

I agree a billboard is not a place to start an intelligent debate, but in reply to DAME's comment. Atheism rates actually increase with educated people and practicing religion increases with lower educated demographics. There are tons of studies that have shown this time and time again.

Nov 29 10 - 4:53pm
shut the heeeeell up

@DAME so according to your logic we all secretly believe in god, while you secretly don't. makes total sense -.-

Nov 29 10 - 5:06pm
Hoopz

The font choice for this billboard couldn't be worse. Can't read the smaller print.

Nov 29 10 - 5:23pm
Captain_Earlobe

Are all Christians in the two camps you speak of? Are all either upset or angry? I hope not.

Nov 29 10 - 5:26pm
Tonkin

@PeterPan atheism isn't anything to do with being apathetic to the concept of belief, it's just about not believing in any god. Humans need beliefs to function so it's more a question of what those beliefs are based on

Nov 29 10 - 5:32pm
David Johnson

Darn those atheists, always telling the truth all the time!

May 27 11 - 7:02pm
Javid Dohnson

Darn them to hell! LOL

Nov 29 10 - 6:31pm
Shaun

@Dame: I fail to see any hypocrisy or lying going on here. Calling it an attack is a stretch. The aim of an ad campaign like this is not to proselytize, but to create awareness that not everyone in the world buys into theistic mythology. As far as your "uneducated retards" comment, well, seems to me like a case of the pot calling the kettle black. In my experience, the atheists I've encountered in my life are a lot more intelligent than the theists.

May 27 11 - 7:02pm
Goober

Shucks and golly! D'ya think so? Hyuk! I'm a-goin' home to pray to Jeesus.

Nov 29 10 - 6:50pm
todd

@PeterPan You reeeeaaaally dont understand atheism at all.

@Dame yes dame, uneducated, which is why universities have one of the largest % of atheists for any institution.

Nov 29 10 - 6:51pm
LB

Christmas definately has nothing to do with Jesus AT ALL, its all pagan rituals including the date its celebrated, I just think people need to know what they're celebrating before they defend it, Christ is not the reason for the season, but I'll take the day off of work. I don't think atheists have proof there is no God so I don't think they can attack Christianity, and I think SOME christian organizations need to back off too since so many of their traditions come from many pagan traditions and don't follow the Bible at all.

May 27 11 - 7:04pm
Atheist

Atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. It's a belief, not a statement of fact. Understand the difference, and you will gain clarity in the debate.

Nov 29 10 - 6:52pm
LB

Christmas definately has nothing to do with Jesus AT ALL, its all pagan rituals including the date its celebrated, I just think people need to know what they're celebrating before they defend it, Christ is not the reason for the season, but I'll take the day off of work. I don't think atheists have proof there is no God so I don't think they can attack Christianity, and I think SOME christian organizations need to back off too since so many of their traditions come from many pagan traditions and don't follow the Bible at all.

Nov 29 10 - 7:05pm
Monkey

If you are secure in your belief, then a billboard won't upset you. My only issue is that I hear all the time about people having religion shoved in their faces, and this is a bad thing. But shoving atheism into people's faces, this is fine. My own faith is personal and not a topic for billboards.

Nov 29 10 - 7:44pm
S

It's not reasonable to make unprovable claims. Rejecting a religious story might be pragmatic for some, but that's it. Atheists busy sucking reason off seem to be most unaware of its high standards for certainty.

Nov 29 10 - 7:54pm
LiquidWeird

Well, I'm a Christian. I also agree with the Atheists in opposing the things on A_Pickle's list (except maybe the drug one), and I think that Fundamentalism is spiritual sloth. How hard is it to believe a short list of things and cover your ears and say 'lalalalala' really loud when presented with dissent? Unquestioning belief is laziness. This makes me a huge heretic, unfortunately.

The thing is, people en masse can't deal with merging faith and reason. They need dogma to tell them what to believe. Without it, the world becomes a depressing place without purpose. The fundamentalist sees only chaos and a terrifying purposelessness when conceiving of a world without a God, one where there is no moral center to adhere to, and no Grand Plan to make all the bad things in the world be OK. Who would be moral, then, with no God to establish Right, and no punishment for those who ignore His word?

The Atheist would counter that Right is what maximizes benefit, minimizes harm, that morality stems not from an external supernatural force mandating it, but from a personal sense of what is good and what is not, and continue on to point out the horrors that have been perpetrated in the name of religion. They do this because the Atheists love to point these things out to people whether they're germaine to the topic or not.

The Atheists are on average well-educated people with above-average intelligence, (but with inflated, yet fragile egos), and their analysis has concluded that religion isn't for them, and that the stance of mainstream religion in regard to various social issues is in opposition to what they've concluded is preferable, which makes it not for other people either.

The problem with that is that intelligence doesn't immunize people from projection bias, and they, like the fundamentalists, tend to see the other side as 'people like me with this unacceptable aberration of belief' Both sides hold their belief as Truth, cannot conceive that the other side holds the opposite belief as Truth, and therefore act with that belief as a basis. Walk a mile in another man's shoes? Who would dare suggest such a thing? (Hint: It's Jesus)

Frankly the whole debate is wearisome. Fundamentalists believe in a literal Truth that is laid down in the Bible (for Christians) and that nothing else can be true if it conflicts with the Bible. Most of them can't really understand most of the archaic language in it, and abhor questioning their religious beliefs to such a degree that they do not acknowledge the myriad contradictions in the Bible. The suggestion that it's a moral guide, not a scientific one falls on deaf ears. Why is it so important to them that the book be literally true? Isn't faith enough without that? It's like riding a bike with training wheels on the front and the back and insisting that they're necessary, when really they get in the way.

Atheists have taken Atheism to a religious level and espouse their non-belief as preferable for everyone, but are so sure about that position that they would never question it. Can people really handle it? Can the masses truly live happily without faith in God? I've yet to see them try to prove that. I've seen a lot of believers who live quite happily. Most of the fervor of Atheism seems to me to be the shouting of the self-doubtful, a 'Look at me! I'm special and so smart because I'm an Atheist, and am therefore better than you ignorant believers.' The Atheist's assertions are more about the Atheist than about God or truth or anything else. It's kind of sad really.

I really wish both sides would shut up, to tell the truth. What's wrong with the belief that God created the Universe, is greater than and outside it, and therefore not subject to Science or natural law, (and therefore cannot be included in scientific hypotheses, so boo to Intelligent Design and Creationism both) and that the only way to understand the universe is through scientific study?

Meh. It's absurd and both sides get quite obnoxious, each screaming 'I'm superior!' at the top of their lungs.

May 27 11 - 7:11pm
SolidWeird

Just because something is an attractive belief, doesn't make it more likely to be the truth. You suffer from the same affliction that all religious zealots do; you WANT to believe in a deity, so you find a way to make it "plausible" (to you). Why not just believe in what we can perceive? Why bother to even "create" a deity at all?

Nov 29 10 - 9:58pm
NotHamish

@LiquidWeird
" Can the masses truly live happily without faith in God? I've yet to see them try to prove that."

It's been proven. Outside of your American-bible-bubble, there are millions of people living secular lives who are perfectly happy without god.

Nov 29 10 - 10:03pm
Hypocritical

I like how atheists bitch about the nativity scene being displayed in towns and such, but they are fine with promoting their beliefs on billboards....

May 27 11 - 7:13pm
Hypocritical

Sorry, I take that back. I just realized how hypocritical I was being by saying that... religitards equally bitch about atheist billboards, but are fine with promoting THEIR beliefs on billboards... drats! Sorry gang! Praise Jesus.

Nov 29 10 - 10:29pm
Brainer

Love the guy who said "fuck Nerve.com" for saying this is atheists declaring war on Christmas. Obviously, this is a person who doesn't usually read this blog, which often satirizes or at least openly mocks Bill O'Reilly and his bullshit war on Christmas. Pretty sure the blog is on a site that's pro-sex and anti-religious persecution.

Nov 30 10 - 12:52am
Atheist

@ all the people trying to say what they think atheist means
Atheist comes from a greek word meaning godless. It does not mean without religion. I am an atheistic pagan. i just don't believe in any gods, as such.

May 27 11 - 7:14pm
Religious

Atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.

Nov 30 10 - 1:00am
Shadowin

@Hypocritical The atheists aren't bitching about nativitiy scenes on private property, just like atheists don't bitch about billboards paid for by religious organizations. It is not hypocrisy. I think like Dame, you don't know the meaning of the term.

Nov 30 10 - 1:04am
Jeh

Disregarding the intended meaning of the billboard, it is technically correct. The word "myth" is used in the study of religions to mean a traditional story accepted as history, whether that be the story of Jesus, or Muhammad, or Buddha. All religions are based on these "myths". Most people would get offended at that statement because the term "myth" has come to be equated with something that is not true, although it is technically correct in the context of this message.

I have no doubt that the people in charge of designing the billboard would know that the common person reading this billboard would be unaware of this, and more familiar with the colloquial meaning, thus angering and upsetting them. There are more reasonable ways to appeal to people of faith, although not many that could be expressed on a single billboard.

Nov 30 10 - 1:20am
drew

i love how many atheists, who claim themselves to be so smart, think that all christians think alike. revealing this ignorance demonstrates to me that they are too lazy to explore that all christians do not think alike, are not all neanderthal knuckle draggers who hate gays and women. it is a lot easier to lump all together. it takes work to do anything else and who knows - if they stumble across the fact that there really are liberal progressive christians and that there is a loving God then they might have to act on that knowledge or belief and most probably do not want to be bothered. that is okay. as a liberal christian i do not like to be lumped in with the hateful christians. believe me there is a big difference.

May 27 11 - 7:16pm
droo

i love how many religitards, who claim themselves to be so smart, think that all atheists think alike. revealing this ignorance demonstrates to me that they are too lazy to explore that all atheists do not think alike, are not all neanderthal knuckle draggers who love gays and women. it is a lot easier to lump all together. it takes work to do anything else and who knows - if they stumble across the fact that there really are conservative regressive atheists and that there is no loving god then they might have to act on that knowledge or belief and most probably do not want to be bothered. that is okay. as a liberal atheist i do not like to be lumped in with the hateful atheists. believe me there is a big difference.

Nov 30 10 - 2:29am
Columbo

@drew, Hey man. 99% of atheists don't hate you because you believe in god. We don't think ALL christians are "neanderthal knuckle draggers who hate gays and women" (that's pretty harsh, btw). Atheists fight extremists (ie. West Burrough Baptist Church). I personally don't mind anyone who prays to a higher being (it's just not my gig). The reason I left christianity mostly had to do with some of the people in my parish (the old ladies were very mean) and the number of people who took the bible literally. (I feel it should be viewed as a a book of stories with morals that we should look to a learn from). I'm sure you're a cool dude.

May 27 11 - 7:17pm
Spock

Columbo was a cool dude.

Nov 30 10 - 2:44am
falcodanderfluff

I'm an atheist, and personally I have no problem with people who have religion celebrating it. Just as I made my choice they have every right to make their own choice. What annoys me most are "atheists" who rally against some religions, but not others. Atheists taking every opportunity to attack the values or practices of christianity or judaism but will openly defend islam, only makes the divide worse. For every religion I have studied I have found things that I vehemently disagree with, however when I have children I will happily let them make up their own mind about what path they will take. I know some atheists who would disown their children if they find religion...

May 27 11 - 7:18pm
Kirk

I'm an atheist and I defend TOLERANCE. Therefore while it might seem that I am defending Islam against Christians, in fact, I am defending tolerance against intolerance.

Nov 30 10 - 9:29am
Thruxomatic

Ultimately, as Jefferson put it, this neither "picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." If you Christians consider this an attack, then you need to spend some time overseas to see what real persecution looks like. There's a lot more blood, trust me. Dissent, even dissent that hurts your feelings and makes you angry, is still just dissent. It isn't persecution until it actually costs you something other than hurt feelings.

Secondly, you Christians need to understand that non-believers get targeted all the time by billboards just like this, so what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Google the Living Waters billboard for a mild example and the ingodwetrustusa.org billboard as a more extreme one. That latter openly questioned the patriotism of atheist Americans and is openly divisive, considerably more so than a billboard that labels the Christmas story as a myth, something the vast majority of historians openly acknowledge anyway.

Nov 30 10 - 11:57am
Orax

Well, let's see here...

Are people who see that sign subsequently unable to go to church? Does it silence preachers across the land?

No.

Does the sign incite hatred, does it deprive people of their civil rights, does it oppress a minority?

No.

Does it misrepresent atheism, does it unjustly criticize religious people for ideas they do not hold?

No.

Might it stir a little resentment, maybe even sting Christians a little bit because it reminds them that atheists exist and DISAGREE with them?

Yes, and that's a good thing that does them no harm. We're here, we're just as much a part of society as they are, and we're not going to sit quietly anymore.

May 27 11 - 7:20pm
Thorax

I couldn't have said it better, dude.

Nov 30 10 - 12:58pm
A_Pickle

@LiquidWeird:

"What's wrong with the belief that God created the Universe, is greater than and outside it, and therefore not subject to Science or natural law, (and therefore cannot be included in scientific hypotheses, so boo to Intelligent Design and Creationism both) and that the only way to understand the universe is through scientific study?"

Well, because that would be outside of the accepted scientific method. If something is outside our universe, how do we know it's outside our universe? Because a 2,000 year old book re-interpreted a few hundred times says so?

I'm sorry, it's just quite a bit more likely that the book is a collection of myths given the era it spawned from, and that no truth spawns from it.

Nov 30 10 - 4:57pm
Craig

@falcodanderfluff

Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are two of the three most prominent atheist writers and they certainly rail against Islam, and consider the most vile and detestable religion in common practice in the world. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushie are prominent atheists from Muslim backgrounds whose writings and speeches often involve Islam. I know few in the atheist community who "defend Islam" unless by "defending Islam" you mean defending against discrimination or violation of rights of the majority who, like the majority of any religion, mostly just want to live their lives and let others be. If Christianity draws more focus, it is because it is the dominant religion of our culture. And while most people aren't actively doing anything worth attacking, the churches they belong to often do preach and act and seek to influence society and government in ways atheists oppose. If they're saying "we can't give gays equal rights because god says so," or sheltering pedophile priests, or opposing scientific progress in the name of their god, then the Christians out there who let their churches get away with it are going to have to put up with being offended when we say in return "Your god doesn't even exist, and your positions aren't justified."

Though I think this billboard is poorly focused (trying to aim at atheists, skeptics, or not-sures who "go through the motions"), I think the controversy it causes is illustrative of Christian privilege and the desire of many in society to protect Christian privilege. Where is the mass outrage at billboards that warn "Hell is real," or ask "Will Your Eternity be Smoking or Non?," or even more benignly proclaim that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season?" This billboard and others like it are aggressive reminders that Christian faith is not universal, that non-believers are a part of our society too, and that unconsciously or not, there is a deference and privilege afforded to Christianity in our society with the assumption that Christianity is the normal or natural state, that churches can make whatever statements they want, and can try to influence society and government however they want (absent the true extremes like Westboro), but that should atheists speak their minds in similar manners, they are being offensive and need to shut up and go with the flow.

May 27 11 - 7:21pm
@Craig

Forget religions. Just think "TOLERANCE". Nobody is ever going to manage to convicne everybody to think the same way. What we have to do is develop an attitude that allows people to think their own ways IN HARMONY.

Nov 30 10 - 6:34pm
W0RM

If God is real and all powerful do you think he made a video of him raping Mary? Cause I'd like to see that!

Nov 30 10 - 6:49pm
James Leighton

I walk down the street every day and am bombarded by signs telling me I'm going to burn in eternal hellfire for not taking up a certain belief system do you see people like me crying over it? no because I don't believe it to be true,

so if you believe in a higher supreme being and someone says other wise GET-THE-FUCK-OVER-IT

Nov 30 10 - 7:21pm
rae

i find that very offesive. these people are only trying to change your mind, theyre not trying to show you option. displaying such blunt opposition is not very smart. it will only offened ad anger

May 27 11 - 7:23pm
@rae

I can see that you're very angry. So angry that you didn't use your grammar! Naughty child.

Nov 30 10 - 7:39pm
Hello

I have higher moral then god thats why i not belive in him, i have read the bibel and its unbelivebel how any normal person thinks god is good or that he exist.

May 27 11 - 7:24pm
@Hello

Oh, hi again rae. I see that your spelling hasn't improved either. Remember, Jesus sends misspellers to hell to burn in eternal damnation! See you soon.

Nov 30 10 - 7:45pm
Hello

You KNOW it's a myth, or is all other hundreds of religions also true?

Nov 30 10 - 7:49pm
steven stoops

Here is my issue. It seems like atheists such as the ones who put this billboard up and the likes of Bill Mahr are more obsessed with Jesus and religion than religious people. If they were true atheists they would be indifferent to people who beleived in a diety or what they would call mythology. I am a Christian and I cannot say I ever get obsessed with people who are atheists. What is driving their obsession? Are they seekers?

May 27 11 - 7:25pm
steven stools

ROFLMFAO stop fantasizing, fool. They're just people. Typical religitard ambition of "converting" people perceived as "seekers". Jesus christ, what a fucking moron.

Nov 30 10 - 7:54pm
Steven Stoops

You say you have read the Bible? I think even an Atheist such as yourself cannot deny that the New Testament demonstrates a good ethic to live by. What beef do you have with kindness, love, compassion, caring for neighbors, feeding the poor, etc.?

May 27 11 - 7:26pm
Steven Sloops

Because I love fucking war, jackass! I fucking love invading countries, dealing blood and death, and killing shit for no good fucking reason! That answer your question, you brain-dead corpse of a pillow biting juice drinker? Sincerely, George Bush.

Nov 30 10 - 8:03pm
God is not so greate

God has killed more people then satan!!!

May 27 11 - 7:27pm
Steven Stoops

Uh, well, only if either actually EXISTED.

Nov 30 10 - 8:06pm
Dani, a non american

I never understand why American Atheists care so much, or why American Christians feel the need to shove it in people's faces. Here no one really cares, if you want to believe or not believe, whatever, leave everyone else alone.

May 27 11 - 7:28pm
@Dani

Where the fuck are you, retard?

Nov 30 10 - 8:15pm
Hello

Well start do kindness, love, compassion, caring for neighbors, feeding the poor and stop hunting gay people, dont blow up abortion clinics, tell the pope that condoms save lifes, stop molest children,stop thinking that creation is a theory, stop starting wars, stop suicide bombers, stop Muslims killing Christians (and vice versa), stop Jews killing Muslims (and vice versa), stop Protestants killing Catholics (and vice versa), stop Shiites killing Sunnis (and vice versa) etc, etc, etc.

Nov 30 10 - 8:41pm
future

your futile religion(s) will be wiped out.... atheism is not a religion, but remove the label and it is part of what is rationality, the golden opposite of religion. this negativity and rationality will prevail ultimately... simple to see what humanity will eventually choose at the rate people are gaining intelligence thanks to the internet and other important advancements in science and technology. religion does not give results. give up your petty idea of existence or it will be removed via biological death of the brain..

Nov 30 10 - 9:00pm
Hello

Why wont god heal amputees, he cant lol.

May 27 11 - 7:29pm
@Hello

He can't lol? Fucking right he can lol, well, if he existed. How about, Hello can't spell or use grammar because he/she is a fucking retard? That's a lol.

Nov 30 10 - 9:17pm
aera

It is so easy to attack the other side. Personaly I agree with Gandhi and his political and religious teachings of non violence (even though I am an athiest, I can still do my reasearch). If we were so "intellegent" as a group of people we wouldn't be catagorizing the religious as an "other", we would find a way to demonstrate that it is ideas, not people that we hate, and we would be using our words much more sparingly and make our actions much more prominent. The last thing we need to do is spread non- religious propoganda around to counteract the religious. Attacking the "other side" only causes the same emotional response and offence it caused us when we were at the other end.

If we wan't to cause any change we need to demonstrate how much more efficient and respectful we can be as a rational people. Prosocuting and violence on a physical or verbal level only shows how primitive athiests are, even though we bost being on a higher intellectual plane.

Plus, by attacking people on a personal level you will never gain any support for your actions. If history shows you anything it is that we should be more focused on letting the general population know the truth about the Church, and how it is anything but a positive force in society. The religious feel like you are a threat, and they need to feel like you are helping them.

May 27 11 - 7:30pm
@aera

Then try reasearching [sic] how to spell "research".

Nov 30 10 - 9:21pm
adam

@steven stoops

Being an atheist does not mandate being indifferent towards religion and the people who follow them because while there religion maybe untrue and there God(s) may not exist the people who follow and act on those beliefs definitely do exist. So often the religious will try to forced there beliefs, practices, perceptions and misperceptions onto society and into law that there is a need among atheists to push back which is why the reason why atheists “get obsessed” with theists and there religion.

If you want there is a blog posting by Greta Christina that touches on this

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheis...

Nov 30 10 - 9:30pm
Rolland

I'm agnostic but I think this is the kind of dick move you'd expect from Religious people who want to force their views on others. Let people celebrate whatever it is they believe in, so we actually have a right to defend our views when they attack ours. Let them set up nativity scenes in public places, because fact of the matter is most of USA is still Christian.

May 27 11 - 7:31pm
@Rolland

Yes, right, most of the USA is still Christian... in your wet dreams. If the USA was Christian, they would be fucking waging wars against other people. What a crock of excrement.

Nov 30 10 - 10:04pm
Austin

Excuse me, Rolland, but public spaces belong to ALL of the public, not just Christians. I suggest you brush up on the intentions of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

And Mr. Stoops, religion is irrelevant to morality and ethics. The surest way to create moral individuals is to build a society where desirable behaviors are rewarded, and the hoop-jumping frivolities of religion aren't a requirement for that, nor is any supernatural foundation of any kind - including an invisible sky pixie.

Nov 30 10 - 11:35pm
Jasonshane

To all the liberal Christians who state 'they are against extremism in any guise' and describe fundamentalist and atheists as outliers on the bell curve of belief. YOUR WRONG!
You and your fundamentalist brethren have at least one thing in common. Your belief in god, I don't care which god! Just because you don't believe in a vengeful, misogynistic, gay hating god does allow you to hold the high moral ground. A belief in god (no matter how benevolent) is still a belief in an omnipotent and omniscience being without any empirical or verifiable evidence. Atheism is not at one end of the spectrum of a belief that allows you to hold the middle ground between non-belief and fundamentalism.
Atheists reject the existence of god, any god, your god, fundamentalists gods, Zeus, Yewah, Mars and any other god you wish to through in the mix. I have more respect for the extremist fundamentalist than the so called liberal Christians, at least they usually have an excuse for their belief either through a lack of education or an upbringing where they are brainwashed from birth. But the middle ground holding educated, western 'I hold the high moral ground' liberal Christians have no excuse, so I can only presume that their belief is held through lack of intelligence or for the reason that to acknowledge there is no god will somehow take away the crutch that holds their life together.

Dec 01 10 - 12:07am
steve irwin

look. the bottom line is that XMAS isnt even a real "christian" holiday. It is a FACT that it was taken from the PAGANS to try and convert people to christianity. so holy rollers just admit that your religion just made this holiday up to convert people and go to church this XMAS and have fun. I also agree with the previous post about "god" billboards I get offended when i see what they are trying to shove into my kids head and i believe in the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. about time athiests started working together to support logic and reason

Dec 01 10 - 12:33am
JohnF

I'm a Christian and I'm grateful to live in a country tolerant enough to allow this billboard. The message of the Bible naturally divides, and even tells the reader explicitly that it will do this. It's because Jesus was an extremist...wanting all of an individual, or none of him or her. The early Christians had excessive evidence to convince them of the divinity of Christ. We modern Christians are more removed and have to trust the words of the book (after living these 45 years, I consider its truth to be the "odds-on favorite"). I respect Christians and atheists who have heartily chosen sides. As C S Lewis has noted, a perusal of the gospel stories (in comparison with stories of Zeus, Aphrodite, etc.) has the ring of truth. As a Christian, I should examine and see. Sadly, the vast majority of Christians (and many atheists, probably) have not. One should not put aside reason when choosing to put one's trust in Christ. The way I see it, pitting Faith vs. Reason creates a false dichotomy.

Dec 01 10 - 1:51am
Austin

Good grief, C.S. Lewis? REALLY? The liar, lunatic or lord nonsense? Mistaken, misreported, or mythical would be more appropriate. When I slogged through Lewis, I found myself constantly wondering, "Is this really the best they've got?" He didn't make a single argument that a reasonably smart teenager couldn't demolish. Alternately, try Dawkins' "The God Delusion", in which he adroitly exposes the arguments Lewis makes for the rhetorical fluff they are.

Dec 01 10 - 11:17am
Alva K. Zarro

What do I think? There is absolutely no use in thinking; religion has nothing to do with thought. But then I'm just a robot from the planet Zoth. We have no problems with religion there. Our goal is to have all evil spirits sent to planet Earth before Andromeda slams into the Milky Way.

Dec 01 10 - 8:26pm
Christ

Stupid christians..

Dec 02 10 - 12:03am
Motorcycle Fairing

Hello

Awesome blog, great write up, thank you!

Dec 02 10 - 8:57am
Revelen

I live in a fairly quiet, peaceful town. It's one of the older towns in the area, with a bit of an "antique" vibe to it, as well as a "hip with the hop" sense. It's in America, so pretty much everyone is Christian. Now, since I live here, most everyone I know/love/care about is also Christian. I'm not. My parents were very careful to raise me with no religious/irreligious preferences, so that I could choose for myself. Beyond saying, "hey, there's a couple bibles kicking around a few of the bookshelves, if you want to read 'em," I had absolutely NO family-based religious contact. I read an illustrated children's bible when I was about eight, and mentally placed it in the same category as "The Brother's Grim," that is to say, some ingenious stories, but written by someone with a reaaally warped sense of morality. However, up until about fifteen, I would have called myself Agnostic, in the "fence-sitting" sense of the word. Then I read the King James Bible. After working through that thing, I was still agnostic, but definitely and agnostic atheist.

Quick discussion of terminology here, just so we are all on the same page, linguistically.
Theist-One who believes in a god, from the Greek "theos" for god, and "ist" signifying a belief int he veracity and/or benefeit and goodness of.
Atheist-One who lacks a belief in a god, from "theist" and the prefix "a" in this case signifying without. Note, it does not specify a belief in no god, only a lack of belief in one.
Agnostic- From "a" without, "gnosis" knowledge. Essentially, the word signifies one who does not believe it is possible to know something, and to be 100% proven right. Basically a scientist- nothing can be proven, only shown to be more or less likely.
Gnostic- One who does believe you can both know and be confirmed to be 100% correct.
Note, the difference between knowing something, and it actually being true. Some people know there is a god, some know there isn't, clearly knowledge is not proof of veracity.
So one can be an gnostic theist, who believes in a god and believes they can be 100% certain; an agnostic theist, who believes in a god but realizes they can truly be certain; a gnostic atheist, who believes it is possible to know that there is no god; or me, an agnostic atheist, one who cannot believe in a god, or at least any god they have heard speculated about, but yet realizes that they are not godlike enough to say with 100% certainty. So, I am know that based on my knowledge of the world, and my understanding of its workings, any god except for perhaps a deistic god is for me a completely irrational belief. However, I am unwilling to go on any faith based premise, so while rejecting any form of theistic/religious belief, I will also not identify as a gnostic atheist. These people are, I think closest to the truth, but still guessing, like the rest of us.

Back to my main point. Religion fascinates me. I find it intensely interesting as a social/poltical/historical force. Horribly inaccurate and damaging at times, but also at times wonderfully beautiful and comforting in its fallacies and misinformation. What I run into when seeing discussions of religion is what has shown up repeatedly in this thread. "Well, I live here in this tiny sector of this one town in this one state/province/district of this one country, witnessing the views and actions of my own tiny circle of acquaintances, so I feel comfortable in asserting that religious/irreligious folk exhibit characteristic X." My question to you is, HOW?!?!?!?!

I, living in the aforementioned liberal community which I do, with my personal sphere of acquaintances, would assume that christians are usually nice, friendly, liberal minded yet personally socially conservative folk, who like to have a good time and dress up in pirate penguin costumes while dancing to "shake your booty" in the anual town parade. I would assume based on the few atheists I know that they are essentially the same. They just have more free time to hang out Sunday morning. Only real difference. Based on my background, religious belief or lack thereof creates almost no tensions, and has little importance on society, let it be, keep it to yourself, forget it, whatever, it matters not. If it makes you happy and it harms none, do it!

Now, my girlfriend grew up in a town about ten miles North, in a family based religious community (Christian) bordering on cult status. They are delightful, kind, wonderful, loving people, and have, after some intense family fights and discomfort, managed to accept that their daughter is playing with fire, or living unmarried with a very nice but very atheist boy. They have never held my lack of belief against me, but view it as unfortunate, and extremely dangerous for her. HER view of Christians is also as mostly kind, helpful people. BUT, having been in contact with more fundamental biblical literalists, she would (and does, unfortunately) tend to perceive the whole of Christianity as an ignorant, willfully blind group of people who are nice until you disagree with or are different from them, in which case all "Hell" will break loose, and woe be to you.

So, growing up ten miles apart, I the atheist think Christians are nice, accepting people while she the Christian thinks they are bigotted, behind-the-times dictators of other people's personal lives. Both are true, in some cases. Both are wrong in most cases.

What we find however, is that you cannot form your opinion of a vast group of people spanning six continents, hundreds of languages, thousands of cultures and millions of societies based solely on your interactions with a tiny handful from one area in one society. Would you pick the three dandelions in your front yard, examine them, and proclaim all flowers to be bright yellow, many petaled, and bitter tasting? I hope not. So please, don't do it with people. Not Christians, not Muslims, not Jews, not Taoists, not Hindus, not atheists, not gays, not straights, not shark physiologists, not landlords, not tenants, not European Caucasions, South Africans, Latin Americans, Pacific Islanders, North American Natives or Eastern Asians, not jump-ropers, not runners, not pacifists, not politicians, not communists, not even Neo-Nazis. Agree, disagree, fear, love, people are different.

I live in a small apartment with three Christians, none of them hold anywhere near the same views as the other, and they ALL think I'm dead wrong. Same cultural upbringing, so different. We frequently have long discussions on religion, faith, science and skepticism, staying up all night disagreeing, probing questioning. And yet we are all close friends, with never a quarrel between us.

The key is understanding and respecting one another. What would Jesus do? Mohammad? Socrates? Buddha?

Understand, learn to love and respect, and everything else becomes moot. Understanding begins with talking to each other, not name-calling, ear-plugging, and "Hitch-slapping."

Thank you.

Dec 04 10 - 4:56pm
Dodsendoche

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

Dec 05 10 - 1:31am
Christina

I look at this sign and I feel offended. It's not because there's a group of people who disagree with my beliefs and religion because everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's just when one wants us to celebrate "reason" by an atheist standpoint, it's offensive to myself and any other higher educated and open-minded Christian. I understand the point of the billboard but I think that it comes off as rude. The same thing can be said from Christian signs condemning people to hell if they do not share the same belief. The hypocrisy of my religion irks me because it is not up to us to decide about someone's soul but that does not tear me away from my faith in a higher being. I am constantly attacked and antagonized for going to mass and getting involved with my church from atheist peers at school. Why should my life be mocked and looked down upon because my views aren't proven by science?

Dec 06 10 - 1:46am
Jasonshane

"higher educated and open-minded Christian" If that's not an oxymoron then what is!

Dec 07 10 - 11:38am
best registry cleaner

Thanks for best news!

Dec 13 10 - 11:33pm
rasta

atheism, christianity, buddhism, hinduism.....it's all the same. nothing-ism: that's were the peace is at

Jan 07 11 - 2:35am
loyavaslush

hey,
found this sweet app for fb, shows you who's looking at your facebook profile in real time
and with logs, fun way to find the fb creeps lol
http://stopfbspying.info/

Gotta jump through a few hoops to get it but worth it

Jan 07 11 - 10:27am
loyavaslush

hey,
found this sweet app for fb, shows you who's looking at your facebook profile in real time
and with logs, fun way to find the fb creeps lol
http://stopfbspying.info/

Gotta jump through a few hoops to get it but worth it

Mar 11 11 - 12:43am
complete blood count test

Outstanding share! Don't give up!

Jun 26 11 - 12:38am
hmmm

it is a very sad thing to see people who openly reject God... why? Because HE is very real and will one day hold each of you accountable to every word that ever left your mouth and typed... the sad thing is most of you will not realize how big of error you made until your descending into the pits of hell.... If this offends you then good....cuz He said The Truth would offend the lost... Here's a test for the "Real Atheist" out there...that like to talk big or come across to be really smart... If there is not spiritual world; God, devil, angels, demons, etc then it will not bother you to try something that you believe doesn't exist...tonight when you go to bed openly invite the most dangerous of demons into your room and/or house.... if you don't believe then no big deal... but if you get scared....what's the problem...thought nothing like that existed! Hah...that should weed out a bunch of you trash talkers....why do all the tuff guys only talk boldly behind a computer? Atheist are just liars anyway....you just don't like being told that you will be held accountable one day to a God...The God that has the power to kill you and throw you in hell....don't let arrogance send you to hell....we've all been wrong in our lives before...don't be wrong on this.... If i'm wrong then i guess after my last breath i turn to nothing...or jump somewhere back into the universe in a different form of matter....but if you're wrong....mmm....very sad.....eternal consequences.... over a Free Gift that you openly rejected.... Jesus Christ....The Great IAM.... repent and put your trust in Him....before it's too late.... burn or bow.....up to you

Strong Christian that doesn't waiver from a silly bill board....

Dec 09 11 - 7:49am
FOr Real

if your an atheists don't celebrate christmas or easter, please and send your kids to school on that day if you hate it so much goodbye