Hey everybody, I'd like to get your opinion on this.

I'm in South Carolina and I proudly drive around with atheist signs put up in the back window of my car. I rotate them out based on whatever mood I'm. Sometimes I'll have stuff like "Blasphemy is a victimless crime", "You don't need god to be moral", "Imagine no religion" (with the twin towers), or even a copy of the "There's probably no god, so stop worrying and enjoy your life". Now I've been doing this ever since I left religion almost 5 years ago. (Most of the time I was in Jerry Falwell's HQ of Lynchburg, so moving down to SC wasn't too big of a change)

In all that time I've only had a couple of people honk at me to give me the finger, and a handful of religious tracts left on my windshield. Yeah, I get nervous sometimes but it's a bit of a rush and I have yet to have anything thrown (or shot) at me. However, there are some people, namely my parents, who are constantly upset about this. They're not religious, but they're afraid I'll get physically hurt or the car will be keyed by someone who is offended. I understand their concern, but the way I look at it: the fact that this is even a possibility is all the more reason I need to speak up and make my existence known. They'd prefer I just stay quiet and blend in, ignoring the fact that just about every car down here has a Jesus fish on it, you can't throw a stone in any direction without hitting a church, and politicians go out of their way to out Jesus each-other. I feel staying quiet doesn't help anything. I'm a citizen and I have the right to express my opinion. To not exercise my rights out of fear of reprisal is just plain wrong. Am I out of line on this?

Tags: Carolina, South, bumper, car, stickers, violence

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"I was a little afraid they were going to pull me out of the car and hurt me..."

This is why you buy a gun. You have a right to speak you views, and if someone is going to harm you because of it, you remove the threat from society.
Keep displaying the bumper stickers. I live and work in the rural southern part of Illinois. Probably not as bad as South Carolina, but the people down here do take their fire and brimstone seriously. I have an "Evolve Fish" on the tailgate of my truck. I also wear a tie in Court that says, "This Is What An Atheist Looks Like." Mostly in response to another attorney who is also a minister and wears ties depicting the crucifixion. I've been called as a witness in child welfare cases, and when asked if I will swear, "so help you God," I always say "No," and make the judge re-do the oath leaving God out of it. We're bombarded in the US with images, signs. billboards and constant reminders of the Christian religion in one form or another. I'm of the opinion that this allows, in part, the insidious creep of superstitious ideas into governmental proclamations, decisions, and other matters of public policy. It may be a small thing, but I think it is important to remind others that non-theists are participating citizens, too.
Wow. Seriously? An Imagine license plate in Fl.? I would have never imagined.
Thanks everybody for the responses so far. @Brookelynne Smith Wow...sorry to hear that happened to you. I love the irony though. There's even a sticker to capitalize on it: "Honk if your religion makes you intolerant"

@ Jaume I think the benefit is great, even if there might be immediate potential risks. In my view we're one of the last populations to have to wrestle our rights from those in control. Women, blacks, and LGBT (though LBGT is still fighting) have all made major strides, yet it is perfectly acceptable to publicly blame atheists for this thing and that. I'd like to see the day when people react in disgust when someone says "those damn atheists are to blame" the same way they would react if someone said "those damn niggers/jews/faggots/etc are to blame". Everyone's jaw should drop and see them as the bigot they are. I think we need to actively fight for our rights to be equal citizens. Women, blacks, and LGBT didn't get those rights by staying quiet for fear of bad outcomes.
Then, as I said earlier, go for it.

Although I have to say I'm a bit worried by the confusion you seem to make between 'benefit' and 'purpose' here, and even more so when you assess the benefit of your personal action as if it were collective action. The benefit may indeed be great if more people join in, but I doubt your own contribution to it will be any more than marginal in either case. On the other hand, your car will be keyed just the same. It wouldn't be so bad if atheists were more organized, like the women/black/LGBT-rights groups were or are.
Well Said!
I live in Marietta, GA: I had the "evolve" decal and the dinosaur eating the cross decal on my car, my car was keyed and slammed into with a shopping cart, my daughter had the "darwin fish" bumper sticker on her car and someone cut the darwin part out of it, so she replaced it with a sushi fish, I am debating whether or not to put my decals back on my car, I dont like dents and scratches.
That's horrible, sorry to hear that. :-( I know it'd be a big hassle, but if you caught somebody on film doing that you'd have a nice fat lawsuit.
I hate those stupid fish decals but you dont see me freaking out
I've had things like that happen for having pro choice stickers. And then stupid people telling me "that's what happens when you have bumper stickers". It's still the other person who reacted.
I'm with you Dustin. My parents are not all that religious either and told me the same thing. I live in PA, which has some fundamentalists, but not as much as SC. My bumper sticker is, "don't believe in god, you're not alone." I never had any problems aside from some kids yelling out the window at me once. We can't give into fear.
I had a Coexsist sticker on my old car, then when my little sister got to driving age and inherited it, she took it off (going through a babtist phase). I was pretty pissed when I found out. I know you think Jesus is super awesome or whatever, but what the hell is wrong with getting along with everyone else? Blah.

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