Taking the Christian Symbols off the Car

Comedian Demetri Martin has this one-liner:

To me, a bumper sticker is… like a little sign that says, “Hey, let’s never hang out.”

A few more thoughts also come to mind when I see someone still sporting a “Bush/Cheney ’04″ sticker on their SUV…

So I’m (pleasantly) surprised to hear a Christian urging other Christians to remove the religious bumper stickers and symbols from the back of their car.

What are Steve Sjogren‘s reasons for this?

  • The Message of The Scriptures is Repeatedly “Prove your faith by your integrity, consistency – that is, not flash, but essence.”
  • THE TRUTH: Traffic Conditions Are Beyond Your Control, Period. Thus You Will Tick People Off With Your Driving On A Regular Basis No Matter What…
  • The Primary Push Behind Such Symbols are Marketing Companies
  • As We Drive With Symbols On Our Cars, Not A Single Positive Thing Will Come of This
  • One Word: WHY?

He talks about each of those in more depth here.

I’ve never put an atheist bumper sticker on my car… mostly because I know the only purpose it would serve is to rile people up. It’s not like anyone is going to see my Darwin Fish and go, “What?! Of course! Evolution! It all makes sense now.”

Helen also reminds us of the reactions-to-secular-bumper-stickers discussion on IIDB.

(via Conversation at the Edge)


[tags]atheist, atheism, bumper sticker, Christian, evangelical, church[/tags]

  • Kate

    Awww man, Hemant…you reminded me of my Darwin fish again. :( (big sigh)

  • Richard Wade

    To paraphrase Demetri Martin, any kind of bumper sticker identifying the owner as an atheist is like a little sign that says, “Hey, please vandalize my car.”

  • llewelly

    However if you are going to an interview with a company you fear to be overly religious, a Darwin fish (on a car other than your own) in the parking lot is a big confidence-booster; even if you know it will get vandalized, you know you are not alone.

  • Kevin

    Mr. Hemant, I was wondering if you could tell me the source of that quote by Mr. Martin. I want to add the quote to a random quote display on my website, and I like to add a source whenever I can.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    Yes, the “hey, you aren’t alone” factor is a good one, especially after this 2004 election.

    And sometimes stickers can make a point; one of mine reads “When Clinton Lied Nobody Died”. :)

  • athenebelle

    Actually I do see the “darwin fish” and see evolution (not atheism).

  • http://www.drzach.net Zachary Moore

    Steve Sjogren is an awesome guy. I used to go to his Vineyard church in Cincinnati- his basic message is of “servant evangelism,” i.e., actually doing good things for people instead of preaching at them or condemning them to hell. Christians could do a lot worse than getting on board Steve’s train.

  • Jen

    I agree. I tend to think bumper stickers in general are tacky, but Christian bumper stickers always make me think the person is a little crazy and completely obnoxious- fair or not. And nothing makes me madder than being trapped in traffic behind someone with an snide, self-righteous abortion bumper sticker. I never thought about how they also make bad drivers seem to be bad Christians- but I guess it is true, because if I see someone who is really loud about their faith, I hold them up to a much higher standard, which they usually fail to meet. Usually, they tend to be judgemental in that “I can have premarital sex, but if you have gay sex, you are going to Hell” type of way.

    And can we please convince people to remove all those ribbon magnets from their cars too?

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    I have a rule… if a person has more than two bumper-stickers, they’re probably the kind of person you wouldn’t want to have lunch with.

    Even if you agree with them… they’d probably be insufferable with their own opinions and never shut up.

  • Scotty B

    I also like the “hey, you’re not alone” factor. In my small town of ~4,000 where I’m the only atheist I know, I would be delighted to see something that identifies someone as atheist/pro-science/free-thinker.

    I have the FSM ‘pirate fish’ decal on the back of my car. A little more subtle in that the only people that would ‘get it’ would be folks I’d probably want to hang out with, and those who would likely be offended by it don’t get it anyway and may even find it amusing.

  • Shana

    Scotty B – while vacationing in Hawaii I saw the FSM bumper sticker and almost died of shock!! I was SO excited to see someone with it and proud that I could explain to my husband what it meant. It is reassuring to see little signs that tell me I’m not alone. :D

  • Mriana

    The only symbols I had on my car were Trek bumper stickers: “My other vehicle is the Enterprise.” “Vote for Picard and Riker in [such and such a year]“. :lol:

    Oh I sometimes I wish I had a car again, then I remember why I gave it up the car and when to public transportation.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Mr. Hemant, I was wondering if you could tell me the source of that quote by Mr. Martin. I want to add the quote to a random quote display on my website, and I like to add a source whenever I can.

    Kevin– One version (probably a more accurate one) can be found here:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0826314/quotes

    :)

  • Vincent

    Siamang said,

    September 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    I have a rule… if a person has more than two bumper-stickers, they’re probably the kind of person you wouldn’t want to have lunch with.

    Even if you agree with them… they’d probably be insufferable with their own opinions and never shut up.

    This morning I was in traffic behind a person with 4 bumperstickers, all about vegetarianism (things like: love your body-don’t eat meat). The vanity license plate said GODLY.

    p.s. When I see a FSM fish or Darwin fish I wish I could talk to the person. I know we have something in common – kind of like they had a bumper sticker of my alma mater.

  • Kevin

    Kevin– One version (probably a more accurate one) can be found here:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0826314/quotes

    :)

    Thanks.

  • Jim

    Evolution? Is that old 19th century wives tale still around?! And here I thought we were in the 21st century! What next? 1st century Jesus was a carpenter stickers? Or 2nd century Mohammad and the camel joke stickers? Sigh. Everyone knows these stickers are just to cover up the rust anyhow.


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