Atheist Bus Campaign in… Madison, Wisconsin!

Thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, buses in Madison, Wisconsin will be displaying the following ads over the next two months:

dawkins_large


dickinson_large


butterfly_large


darrow_large


twain_large


hepburn_large

I’ve never said these words before, but I think I have a sudden urge to ride public transportation in Wisconsin.

  • http://cannonballjones.wordpress.com/ Cannonball Jones

    Those ads are gorgeous, I wish we had those ones here in the UK. Much more thoughtful and well presented than the original ones I reckon.

  • Lynx

    I think a couple from Paine and Jefferson would be great too. Take some of the really patently anti-religion quotes from Jefferson. That’ll throw the hard-core theists for a loop. They’re education tells them that absolute truths are that religion is good and the founding fathers were good. I’d LOVE to see them resolve that little puzzle.

  • Ubi Dubius

    Lynx:

    Their resolution to that puzzle is easy (in the sense of predictibility).

    1st-Those atheists are making up quotes-he never said that. You can’t believe what those atheists say. Jefferson and all the founders were True Christians(TM) who interpreted the Bible literally and supported Prayer in Public Schools.

    2nd-Those quotes are wildly out of context. They don’t mean what you think they mean. Jefferson and all the founders were True Christians(TM) but had to use the language of the Age of so-called Reason, which Atheists misinterpret because they are blind to God’s Word revealed in Scripture.

    3rd-Jefferson was an atheist who supported slavery, war, adultery, immorality and the unconstitutional expansion of governmental power. True Christians(TM) see through his lies and always have.

  • TheWireMonkey

    I used to have a friend who was a bus driver in Madison (that was almost 20 years ago). I wonder if he has the honor of driving one of these.

  • Anne

    Gorgeous is not the word I would use for them.

    And you don’t need a quote from Katherine Hepburn to tell you that we should be kind to each other..isn’t that normal????

  • http://humanism.meetup.com/164/ Steve Schlicht

    This billboards are just awesome!

    We’ll be posting them on our messageboard and sending them to everyone in our contact list.

    I have a dream as well…to see these signs in my home state of Mississippi.

  • Richard Wade

    Any bets on how soon they get vandalized? This is America. Land of God, guns and spray cans.

  • http://asad123.wordpress.com Asad

    I like the Hepburn quote.
    As for the Dawkins quote, I’ve read The Old Testament and I’ve also read the original Star Wars trilogy. I think Jabba the Hutt is a far more unpleasant character than God.

  • Dan

    It’s probably just the graphic designer in me, but I kind of wish the images of their faces were all rendered the same. Perhaps if they had one illustrator create all the portraits…

    But oh well, I can’t complain! Let’s hope these spread to other states! :)

  • John Sherman

    I would have never in a million years thought Butterfly McQueen was an atheist! There’s always something new to learn.

  • chancelikely

    I’d like to see my two favorites, from Douglas Adams and George Bernard Shaw, respectively:

    “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

    “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.”

  • Kevin

    I don’t get the Emily Dickinson quote…

  • June

    Richard Wade
    Any bets on how soon they get vandalized? This is America. Land of God, guns and spray cans.

    If you have never been to Madison, it is a wonderfully liberal city. Lots of students with open minds.

  • RBH

    Anne asked

    And you don’t need a quote from Katherine Hepburn to tell you that we should be kind to each other..isn’t that normal????

    Well, that all depends on how many times you’ve been told that atheists reject God just so that they can rape, murder, and indulge all their hedonist fantasies without fear of divine punishment.

  • http://failingtheinsidertest.blogspot.com/ Jeffrey

    Another one of the hundreds of gems they have to choose from:

    “I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

    Frederick Douglass

  • http://www.freewebs.com/guitarsean SeanG

    Cool! I’ve always known that my home state’s capital is one of the most liberal cities in the country. But even this is impressive with that much variety. I really need to move to Madison. I’ll have to visit soon and see if I can get some pictures.

  • Hank Bones

    Does anyone have photos of the billboards up in Madison? I just moved from there last year, I think a few of them are near my old house….. Makes me wonder what made me move to Arkansas…..

  • Dave Huntsman

    I actually think the quotes are off the mark, for a campaign in the U.S. (except for Butterfly McQueen’s; which needs to run, not in Madison, but Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington, DC).

    A better Hepburn quote is:
    “If there is a god and I try to lead a good life; then fine. If there is no god and I try to lead a good life, then fine”.

    I also think for an American campaign that contains important quotes from Jefferson and Madison about the absolute need for a secular government, protection of non belief, etc. etc. are much more important for a campaign in the U.S. than quoting attacks against religion from Europeans (even though I personally agree with those myself!). Tens of millions of Americans literally believe without question that all of the founding fathers were evangelical Christians (almost none of them were), and don’t know that the secular government was specifically fought for an voted on.

    I’m a member of FFRF. I agree with their Darwin billboard (ie, evolve beyond belief), which is perfect for 2009 and should be in every city. But most of these billboards miss the mark, and will not do the job that needs to be done.

  • http://cannonballjones.wordpress.com Cannonball Jones

    I think Jabba the Hutt is a far more unpleasant character than God.

    Man, I thought I knew Star Wars but I missed the bits with Jabba commanding genocide, the slaughter of women and children, rape, incest and all that. Is that an x-rated version of the trilogy you read? That stuff’s even in the kids version of the bible…

  • TheRadicalRealist

    Very cool. They should put some in Milwaukee. The city’s flooded with retarded church “ministry” billboards.

  • Alexius

    I only live forty-five minutes away from Madison and we never get buses here, which I think is ridiculous since there’s lots of back-and-forth commuting in these surrounding towns. Still, next time I’m in Madison, perhaps I’ll stand around for a while and see if I find one. =)

  • mikespeir

    What happened to my comment? I mean, it wasn’t profound or anything, but….

  • http://blog.myspace.com/johnpritzlaff John Pritzlaff

    Once again I am proud of my state!

  • llewelly

    To those of you calling for quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Frederick Douglas – neither was an atheist. Thomas Jefferson rejected every miracle in the bible – up to and including the miracle of the resurrection, and (therefor) he rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ. However – Jefferson nonetheless believed in a creator. Frederick Douglas said many negative things about the white Christianity of the south, but he nonetheless continued to believe in god.

    The best single book for explaining and placing in context the beliefs of important Americans is Susan Jacoby’s Freethinkers .

  • llewelly

    As for the Dawkins quote, I’ve read The Old Testament and I’ve also read the original Star Wars trilogy. I think Jabba the Hutt is a far more unpleasant character than God.

    Jabba the Hutt could only be ‘far more unpleasant’ than the OT god if one had a secret all-consuming fear of one day eating WAAAY too many twinkies.

  • http://thegreenbelt.blogspot.com The Ridger

    @Kevin: Dickinson says medicine/science is better than faith.

  • http://alitheiapsis.wordpress.com/ Aly

    The Emily Dickinson one is really, really bugging me. Each of the others is surrounded by quotes, and if the Dickinson one were formatted in the same way, it would have single quotes around “faith” and double quotes around the entire thing. Why, FFRF? Why??

  • joanna

    T

    The best single book for explaining and placing in context the beliefs of important Americans is Susan Jacoby’s Freethinkers .

    I agree. She’s got a new book out now that I’ve been meaning to find but I can’t recall the name of it. Has to do with religion.

    I’m living about 45 mins from Madison myself and will be going there tomorrow for the Garden Expo. Looking forward to seeing if I can locate these billboards. Madison IS a beautiful city. The state capital is gorgeous. There are these iron spiral stairs that you can take up to the top for a beautiful view of the city. The University of Wisconsin Madison is nearby and wellknown for it’s advanced research with stem cells and other bio-medical research.

    Also Madison has a nice free zoo that I’ve been visiting for about 15 years with my kids. They take donations and have a very reasonable gift shop too (Henry Vilas Zoo). If you’re familiar with the primatologist, Frans De Waal (books include: “Our Inner Ape”, “Chimpanzee Politics”, “Good Natured”) some of his work with rhesus monkeys was out of this particular zoo!

    If you bike ride or like to hike, Madison’s very accessible. It’s kid friendly too for all you parents out there! There’s a fantastic farmer’s market around the state capital all spring, summer, and fall. They close off the streets.

    There, I’ve done my gushing over Madison Wisconsin now. Can you tell I LOVE it? I should do a vacation guide for it, ha.

  • joanna

    I’ve been reading over the Emily Dickinson quote as a clever rhyme. In my opinion she seems to be calling faith a human invention. She uses the term “see”, meaning “seeing visions” or “seeking understanding” maybe?

    Dickinson understands the microscope as a more practical, useful way of seeing…more useful than faith. Especially in medical emergencies. (More useful than prayer, perhaps??)

  • CatBallou

    Aly, I assume it’s not in quotes because it’s a poem, not a statement. But I’m just guessing.

  • johnnyess

    Dave Huntsman – Why do you say “Europeans”? Apart from Dawkins, all the quotes are from Americans.

  • http://missjecka.livejournal.com Jecka

    I think this is brilliant.

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  • Jabba

    I think Jabba the Hutt is a far more unpleasant character than God.

    It’s because I is fat isn’t it.

    Fat and ugly people are not necessarily bad.

  • http://alitheiapsis.wordpress.com/ Aly

    @CatBallou:
    The only situation I can think of in which you wouldn’t use quotes would be if it were being cited in a paper and it were longer than four lines. This fits neither of those.

    In fact, my English teacher uses quotes on poetry longer than four lines quite often.

  • Wendy

    THAT IS SO AWESOME!!!!

    Not a very constructive comment, I know, but….. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hal in Howell MI

    “Faith” is a fine invention
    For Gentlemen who see!
    But Microscopes are prudent
    In an emergency! – Emily Dickinson

    Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999) http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=177763

    That is the complete poem by Dickinson. I don’t really see the need for additional punctuation. It is not an excerpt or a quotation.

  • plum grenville

    “Faith” is a fine invention
    For Gentlemen who see!
    But Microscopes are prudent
    In an emergency! – Emily Dickinson

    Not one of Emily’s better efforts. Nor overly clear for the purposes of this campaign.

    Personally, I prefer the statements that actually imply an argument against theism, like Dawkins’, and don’t simply rely on coming from an Admired Famous Person. Who the heck is Butterfly McQueen, and how does her fame in whatever field she’s famous for lend credibility to her views on religion?

  • Geoff

    Ride the bus every day in Madison, haven’t seem one of these yet. Look forward to it though.

  • http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com C Woods

    They started in England, moved to Canada, now the U.S. if a bunch of nutjobs don’t destroy them. Tomorrow the world.

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