There has been some concern in the Atheist News group as to the strategy of the American Atheists Association displaying confrontational Atheist billboards in North Carolina at the time of the Democratic Convention there. My perspective of the matter was set forth as follows:
I think the timing of the ads has been very ill chosen unless they are also going to suggest a way to reduce the unemployment rate. In my opinion people really don't care what religion which candidate is right now. They care about which candidate is going to do the most for them in terms of providing financial security. In my opinion the ads will amount to Atheism leading with its chin to be knocked out by theists and fence sitters who will claim that rather than addressing the very serious economic problems that should be getting all but exclusive consideration they are serving as no more than irritating distractions that pull focus off of meaningful solutions regarding who gets what in terms of economical accommodation. Simply put, I think the ads will demonstrate a lack of couth on the part of Atheism that will turn a lot of people off to It. Atheism should not be doing counterproductive things much less spending money on them. If It doesn't come off as something good and nice it is my opinion that it will never prevail because people will be too reluctant to be labeled villains.
Others in the discussion tended to feel that the timing of the ads was inappropriate and that the ads, otherwise, tended to be too harsh to be mind opening. The purpose of this post is to open a debate on the matter.
I could not agree more that these billboard ad campaigns. "Uncouth" as you put it perfectly summarized it. Not an effective way to deliver a pro-atheism message or make people seriously ponder the beleifs that have been drilled into their heads. These ads seem taunting and petty. In fact, they seem to reinforce what a believer is told about atheists.
Give the religious some credit, they know the dog and pony show and how to hack the rational side of the brain and appeal straight to emotion.
The tweets coming out of American Atheist about the billboards are not helping either.
Yeah I don't think these billboards reflect Atheist on a positive note. It does make us look petty.