What type of alternate reality do I live in?
I am one of those nontheists who doesn’t believe all religious people are crazy. In fact, I am often criticized by my atheist brothers and sisters for being to lenient on believers. However, even I can’t understand how anyone can be offended by the recent atheist billboards. They are so calm compared to the pious billboards that proliferate across America. Here are four examples of these signs:
I honestly ask, what’s so bad about any of these? They are not making judgments against anyone. They are not proclaiming that any people are bad or wrong. They simply are trying to inform nonbelievers that they are not alone. And please tell me, what the hell is wrong with being good for the sake of goodness? The world would be a much better place if even the religious lived by this motto.
Nonetheless, every city in which these ads have appeared have been bombarded with complaints from offended believers. For what? Check out this idiotic video clip from blow-hard Sean Hannity:
Here’s what the site Subway Sights had to say about Mr. Hannity’s regurgitations:
Hannity’s argument is that intolerant leftist New Yorkers are okay with atheists buying subway ads but would be outraged if Christians did the same thing. The problem with this thinking is that Christians have been putting up pro-Christianity ads in the subway for years and nobody cares.
Christian advertising isn’t as omnipresent as Dr. Zizmor’s rainbows, but the average straphanger has seen plenty of it on the train. There are ads for all kinds of competing churches, each offering their own flavor of Christianity and their own path to salvation. One ad even extols the virtues of giving up your life and becoming a Franciscan monk. Meanwhile on the platform, the Jews for Jesus hand out pamphlets, the Latter Day Saints hand out tracts, and the Scientologists give stress tests. There’s even a semi-permanent proselytization center in the Times Square station (among other places).
The most ridiculous part to me, is the selective memory the complainers must have. I can hardly drive five or ten minutes from my house in Atlanta without seeing some type of religious billboard. I’m not even talking about polite signs advertising churches. These signs are extremely offensive, and don’t even pretend to be polite. For those of you who might have been living on a desert island the past several years, here’s a small sample.
These are not even the worst ones. I purposely avoided all those which contained the threat of Hell, or pictures of aborted fetuses. These are just common, everyday, run-of-the-mill church billboards. (Feel free to use this picture as you want. Copy it, e-mail it, post it on your blogs. I don’t care.)
We need to confront these phonies who claim to be offended. They cannot proclaim free speech with one breath, and censorship with the next. Free speech is for all: especially those with whom you disagree.
As usual, comic strips can can “preach” the truth with far less words. Case in point, the latest from Atheist Cartoons:
To quote another comic great, “Nuff said.”