Friday, November 13, 2009

Atheist Billboards and More Examples of Religious Morality

          I know that we've all become familiar with the atheist billboards and bus ads that have been going up over the last year. And one thing I have been happy to see is that these billboards have all been respectful, most of them not insulting theists, but simply letting non-believers know that there are many more out there who feel like them. Most of these saying something like "Don't Believe in God? You Are Not Alone", or "There's Probably No God, So Stop Worrying and Get on With Your Life", or "Not Religious? You're not Alone".
          I wholeheartedly support these billboards because not only are they letting non-believers who may feel isolated, "stuck in the closet", and totally alone about their atheism, that there are groups of like minded people nearby and that they are certainly not alone. These billboards are also getting the message out to the general public that we are atheists, we are living among you, and that we are decent, normal people.

          Well, the funny thing is that, although I see billboards about God all the time (some of which are even threatening hellfire to non-believers), but everywhere that these billboards have went up there has been huge amounts of controversy, complaints, vandalism, and threats from religious individuals against these billboards.


          The picture above is of one such billboard that was put up in downtown Cincinatti recently. Nonetheless the billboard had to be taken down within a couple days after the owner of the building began receiving violent threats, and told the billboard company that it had to be removed.

          Fortunately the billboard has been relocated to a place along the highway heading towards the suburbs that is owned by the billboard company, not a private building owner. Now all the intolerant, hateful bigots who want to complain can complain to their hearts content.

          Shawn Jeffers, from the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason (the group who sponsored the sign) had this to say:
"Everything that has happened shows just how vital our message is," Jeffers said. "It proves our point, that bigotry against people who don't believe in a god is still very real in America. Only when we atheists, agnostics and humanists come together and go public about our views will people have a chance to learn that we too are part of the community and deserve respect."

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