i'm curious as to what the A/N community thinks about this form of advertising. 

personally, i like it.  no doubt, they tend to incite controversy, and many people misunderstand the intent and message.  still, even bad publicity is better than none at all.  take this for example:


in Harrisburg, PA this billboard went up just the other day to the utter outrage of local, African Americans in the community.  it quotes the Bible (with the source underneath), saying "Slaves, Obey your Master."  of course, the angry mob directs their ire in the wrong direction, totally missing that it is their Holy Book whose message is being repeated.  naturally, the billboard was vandalized and partially torn down on it's first night. 

similar controversies have arisen in Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, and most recently New York City.  the timing is ideal, as the upswing in Atheist converts is breathtaking.  strike while the iron is hot, as they say.  question is, are the billboards actually garnering converts or just stirring up hatred towards Atheists?  if it is the latter, should we still be in favor of this tactic? 

what say you?

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OH! I like this idea. I know when I was called a "mother-fucking bitch and a pig" by one person I responded by stating I was a mother and a pig (I am messy) but didn't qualify for the other qualities. 

Ernest Perce V, the group's Pennsylvania director, said it wants the House to repeal the resolution approved in January. He vowed to keep the billboard up and to put up similar ads around the state targeted at legislators who backed the proposal. Perce said lawmakers should not be celebrating a book that he calls "barbaric." "We want Christians to accept all of the Bible and to accept the wicked parts as well," he said.


Perce is absolutely correct, USA citizens should know the facts behind the religiosity of some of our people and what that really means. When people say the church “feeds the hungry and takes care of the ill”, they are really saying, “we go downstream and pick up the bodies” when they could be going upstream and finding what is impoverishing so many people. The religous raise tremendous amounts of money with their campaigns playing on the hearts and minds of gullible people. Furthermore, with the preaching of USA religious people to a people who turn the preaching into voodoo, torture and murder does no one any good. 

Perce was in the news last month in a case that involved his marching in a Halloween parade dressed up as a zombie version of the Prophet Mohammed and being accosted by a Muslim man who was offended by the costume.


The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, not freedom from speech. USA stands for individual rights and cannot be expected to stand up for one against another in speech. If you are a Muslim and I am an atheist, we each have the right to our speech and can expect protection of law enforcement and the courts. If one physically assaults another, that is a crime, regardless of who does the aggressing. If one destroys property, that too is a crime and should be dealt as such. 

Important corollary:

No one has the right not to be offended.

btw, i spoke with an old high school friend who lives in Harrisburg earlier today.  he's not religious, mostly Agnostic (perhaps a deist, even though he wasn't familiar with the term).  he did not like the billboard for the same reason as you - the picture.  he likened it to how many Christians use hatred and bigotry to further their agendas, and he thought it would turn people off to Atheists.  i still disagree but i also see the other side of the argument. 

A district judge threw out harassment charges against the Muslim man for lack of evidence and told Perce his actions were offensive to the Muslim faith.


Good for the judge to throw out the harassment charges against the Muslim, but it should have been on the grounds of freedom of speech. As to Perce, is there a law against offensive speech? If that is the case, I have a few family and friends who need to be arrest for offending me and my atheist beliefs. 

You are getting the story confused. Watch his video of the whole trial!


My Mom is a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation out of Madison, WI.  They are always showing pictures of their Atheist Billboards in their newsletters.  They are awesome, although not as controversial as this one seems to be.  Theirs show a real person with a message next to them such as "I'm your friendly Neighborhood Atheist", or "Good without god", etc.

These sound as though they would create less anger in those who need to read these messages, and perhaps open doors for their inquiring about freedom from religion. I think you may offer a better tactic than I ... much gentler. "Your friendly neighbor" sounds like a good option to me. 

Not my tactic, Freedom From Religion's tactic.  But they are cool signs and it shows them with real, every day Atheists.  The people on the signs even have their names on it I think.  I wonder how many of them get tracked-down and harassed?

A few thoughts...

There is no way to make any of these inoffensive. The sign in question is not in any way racist, it's exactly to the point. The message intended is about religion and the state, the two are being mixed by the state with their "Year of the bible". This is already offensive.


The verse is from the bible, the picture, …an example from the history of the nation, founded supposedly on secular principles. It is not racist, not even close… it's just a historically correct reminder of things that have been sanctioned by the state, …corrected -> but still part and parcel of the bible the state wishes to celebrate. The image is not on characterizing a black person as inferior; on the contrary, it's pointedly illustrating a cruelty of bigotry that was inflicted on human beings, by human beings and still supported by a bible that, …unlike a constitution, …is not subject to amendments.


It's an image of an American slave.

It's a verse from a Christian bible.

Here's an example of this particular hypocrisy that is quite germane:


This billboard was considered okay, and not offensive:


An atheist group in Ohiocontracted with a sign company to put this up:

They were refused on the grounds that the message was "obscene, unnecessarily offensive and/or not in the best interests of the community at large. Though, at first they were refused after the contract was accepted, with no explanation why. 

This current issue isn't about black people asserting that they're rightfully offended, it's about Christian people asserting privilege, both in ignoring both the spirit and letter of the Establishment Clause, as well as the entitlement to be offended by biblical scripture, …only if expressed by non-Christians.

"white people can oppress black people at the same time."

How is that billboard oppressing black people? 

Do you think that all calendars with pictures of nude women in them are oppressive to all women? After all, it can be shown that nude pictures of women have been used to objectify, so thus denigrate them.

Does this make it a default?


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