A Grammatically Incorrect Response to the Iowa Atheist Bus Campaign

I realize there are some Christians who are not fans of the atheist bus ads in Iowa.

I realize that some religious people think they’re clever by saying “we don’t believe in atheists” in response to atheists saying “we don’t believe in a god”… even though that first statement makes no sense.

I realize that, while I may be a Grammar Nazi, not everyone cares about proper spelling and punctuation and where the apostrophe is supposed to go.

But this church sign in front of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Ankeny, Iowa that reader Dave saw is just ridiculous:

Don't Believe in Atheists

A little part of me just died. Maybe they can toss in a few English lessons during Sunday School…

  • Cindy

    I actually called the church up the street this summer and left a message that they had used “to” where they meant to put “too” on their sign. They called me back and thanked me! And changed their sign!

  • http://infophilia.blogspot.com Infophile

    Hey, at least they spelled “atheists” right. Give them that much credit.

  • Nessa

    They did get the first apostrophe in the correct place. You can’t really expect them to be perfect!

  • TJ

    Maybe that’s how God told them to use apostrophes. Are you arguing against the Almighty? :)

  • http://brigno.tumblr.com Brigno

    Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Mat. 5:48

  • Per

    Hmm…I feel stupid, but english is not my first language so I guess it is ok…I don’t see the error :-( Can someone explain…

  • Cindy

    It should be “you’re” not “your’e”.

  • mikespeir

    So they do believe in God but they don’t believe in atheists. They believe in some being they can’t see, hear, feel, smell, or taste, but don’t believe in Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, et al, whom anyone can see or hear. (They might get slapped if they tried to feel, smell, or taste them.)

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    If everybody on the planet were to become an atheist (or theist), there would still be the exact same rate of spelling and grammatical errors.

    There is no causality (or or even correlation) here.

  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    Welp, they saw through us, guys and girls. We’re actually not real at all. Just figments of Charles Darwin’s imagination. That explains it, yep.

  • http://anti-mattr.blogspot.com mathyoo

    Maybe it’s just confirmation bias on my part, but it does seem that very religious people are more prone to grammar and spelling errors than atheists. I suspect that it’s not a direct correlation, but rather that there’s a tendency for atheists to have more education than theists. There also seems to be a bias against education in general among the religious, and somewhat of a disregard for the value of grammar and spelling. Even when spelling or grammatical errors are pointed out, they seem to want to persist in continuing to make the same errors, rather than learning from their mistakes.

  • http://www.toxicshaman.com toadbile

    Don’t believe in grammar?
    “Yer not alone.”
    If your mistake is sufficiently awful we will assume it’s a rustic affectation. Really bad spelling hain’t distinguishable from colerfull character.

  • chancelikely

    The sick thing is that I’ve met people who actually believe this. To some, it’s just a “witty” retort, but I’ve heard it argued often by nuttier Christians that atheists “secretly believe” and are just “denying” God because they want to sin.

  • littlejohn

    What do you call an obviously accidental oversight that didn’t involve a keyboard? As a lifelong newspaper copy editor, I’ve often pondered that question. “Typo” is out, as no typing was involved. The occasionally suggested “writo” is out since, in this case, no handwriting was involved. Any suggestions?
    BTW, in the newspaper biz, the mistaken use of an apostrophe to denote the plural (as in “The Jone’s” is known, for obvious reasons, as the “mailbox apostrophe.” We copy editors fight a never-ending battle, but not, it would seem, for the American way.

  • http://superstitionfree.blogspot.com/ Robert Madewell

    Apostrophe Fail!

    Mathyoo, I don’t think so. I’m pretty bad at spelling and I’m an atheist.

    At least they didn’t spell it athiest. I love it when they do that. Because, I can say, “I’m the athiest because I’m athier than you.”

  • Scott Turner

    Isn’t the church’s sign a bit threatening?

    Atheists generally don’t believe in god(s) because there is no convincing evidence. But there’s plenty of evidence for the existence of atheists. So what are they trying to say?

  • http://mimi-n-moe.blogspot.com/ Karen

    I think they believe we are all angry at God or something bad has happened to us to bring us to deny a god’s existence. So, they don’t really think we are atheists…instead we are angry teenagers slamming the door in God’s face…and they most likely believe we will come around and get “saved.”

  • http://myspace.com/rox1smf Rox1SMF

    I saw this one awhile back. It’s especially ironic since this is a church AND school!

    http://twitpic.com/6uxk7

  • http://www.reasonabledissent.com/ Carl

    I’m just happy they knew to use the one with an apostrophe at all :) It’s still apostrophe abuse, which drives me crazy, but I count this as half-correct.

  • ATL-Apostate

    There just joking.

    /smirk

  • Sven

    Religious history is full of ignoring the obvious, how else can they believe what they beleive.
    Their message is no surprise. Another “la-la-la, I-can’t-hear your” statement. What is shocking to me is that they are actually proud of their ignorance.

    Afterthought: If they do not believe in atheists, than who initiated the bus-campaign? It must have been a theist! But how is that possible?

    PS: My native laguage is not English so please forgive me for any grammer/spelling mistakes I may have made :)

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-8922-Portland-Skepticism-Examiner Charlie

    Their point is that it doesn’t matter whether you believe in gods any more than it doesn’t matter if Baptists believe in you. Both exist, from their point of view, so both statements are equally ridiculous in their point of view.

    I don’t see this as threatening at all. It could even be intended as light-hearted irony with atheists in on the joke.

  • Drew

    Crispian Jago’s Velma card states that her Weapon Of Choice is “loosing” her glasses.

    As a grammar Nazi, Loosing vs Losing is one that gives me fits. I know that makes me a looser lol.

    In any event, both are typos – I forgive tehm. ;)

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-8922-Portland-Skepticism-Examiner Charlie

    Their point is that it doesn’t matter whether you believe in gods any more than it doesn’t matter if Baptists believe in you. Both exist, from their point of view, so both statements are equally ridiculous in their point of view.

    I don’t see this as threatening at all. It could even be intended as light-hearted irony with atheists in on the joke.

    Of course, I may be overly optimistic…

  • Ramon Caballero

    I thought it should be like this:
    “Don’t you believe atheists?”
    “You are not alone”
    Or “Don’t you believe to atheists?”
    I am an atheist and I don’t even believe IN atheists, why should I?
    (and English is not my first language)

  • J B Tait

    @Carl: Yes indeed. That was my thought. Your’e is better than “your” or “ur” which have become all too common.
    @Robert: Thank you so much for the word “athier.” I can’t wait to use it.

    I am glad they don’t believe in us. Now we can think as we choose without having to worry about them trying to interfere or report us to their mailing list.

  • Andrew Morgan

    I can definitely read it as a lighthearted joke that atheists are in on, as a previous commented has said.

    Incidentally, the Catholic Encyclopedia makes a similar claim on the page for atheism:

    “The most trenchant form which atheism could take would be the positive and dogmatic denial existence of any spiritual and extra-mundane First Cause. This is sometimes known as dogmatic, or positive theoretic, atheism; though it may be doubted whether such a system has ever been, or could ever possibly be seriously maintained. Certainly Bacon and Dr. Arnold voice the common judgment of thinking men when they express a doubt as to the existence of an atheist belonging to such a school.” [Emphasis mine] (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02040a.htm)

    So, if this isn’t a joke, the sentiment might not be as crazy (crazy = uncommon) as we think.

  • http://angelofharlots.blogspot.com Nena

    I understand people who are not native English speakers making mistakes like this.

    I do not understand how people can be so bad at their native language, though. It seems to be unique to English, too. Is our language really that hard? Maybe it is, and I’m some kind of weirdo.

    Littlejohn, you didn’t close your parentheses.

    I know. I’m a bitch.

    I think Hemant and I should get married and make little language-freak babies.

  • zoo

    That’s a really weak comeback. It’s so much easier to prove the existence of a group of people than a non-corporeal being.

    Does remind me of a sign I’ve seen for a few weekends now. There’s a church where “everyone” is welcome. Telling, since we can easily list who’s not included in “everyone” :P.

  • http://se4n.us seanmacdhai

    well, we aren’t dealing with folks who are highly educated =/

  • Adam Tjaavk

    Ramon

    Your first example – dropping ‘in’ – would be better expressed as “You don’t believe atheists?” or “Don’t believe atheists?”. Though your first is not wrong, your second example – introducing ‘to’ – is not and couldn’t be an English expression.

    _____

  • http://brielle.sosdg.org Brielle

    Lately, I’ve been taking pictures of stupid church signs here in Idaho. I’ve considered setting up a whole new website just to allow submissions (sorta like failblog).

    Happiness is watching the churchgoers scratch their head in confusion as to why we find their ‘catchy’ phrases amusing. :-)

  • Stephen P

    I do not understand how people can be so bad at their native language, though. It seems to be unique to English, too.

    I wonder what you base that ‘unique to English’ on? How many languages are you in a position to compare?

    The Dutch equivalent of screwing up apostrophes in English is to muddle up d’s and t’s at the end of a word. A ‘d’ at the end of a word is pronounced the same as ‘t’, and lots of less well educated Dutch people struggle to work out which to use.

    Having attempted eight or nine different languages at various times, I have a theory (oh, all right then, a wild hypothesis) that every language gets as many complicated and illogical features as well-educated speakers/writers of the language can cope with. And consequently that less well educated members of the language community, let alone people learning it as a foreign language, always struggle.

  • Richard Wade

    Of course, it’s probably just a childish comeback of the snotty “Well, then we don’t believe in you either. So there, nyah nyah nyah.” variety.

    However, I do think the sign tells more about their attitude than may at first be apparent. The second meaning of “believe” is to support or to favor, as in “I believe in free speech,” or “I believe in fair play.”

    Rather than denying our existence, I think that the sign reflects the attitude that atheists should not be supported or favored as human beings, and their rights as people should not be supported.

    THIS SIGN IS OFFENSIVE TO ME! I REFUSE TO GO INSIDE THAT CHURCH! ;)

  • Farks

    Us atheist’s arr reel an wez nott aloan.

  • http://angelofharlots.blogspot.com Nena

    Stephen, you are right, I don’t have a lot on which to base my assertion; the only languages/peoples I have any real connection with are Brazilian (Portuguese speaking), Japanese, and Mexican (Spanish speaking). Though I struggle with the rules of their languages (of which my knowledge is extremely limited), they seem to have a very good grasp of them.

    Maybe I just surround myself with grammar nerds no matter what country I visit, though. It’s possible.

  • sc0tt

    It appears the offending apostrophe is not only misplaced, but also mounted backwards, or maybe it’s really a comma.

  • Richard Wade

    I just sent the following prayer request to this church:

    Dear Pastor Bradley,

    I am an atheist and I have a sincere prayer request.

    Please pray that you and your congregation will be able to rise above the petty tit-for-tat mentality that is reflected in the recent message on your sign in front of your church, “Don’t believe in atheists? You’re not alone.” The bus ad message that you are imitating is not an attack on religion, but simply a message to isolated atheists that they have friends.

    Please pray that you and your congregation will be able to accept the reality of the existence of the good, moral and caring people in your community who do not believe in gods, but who still deserve the same respectful treatment that you show to each other.

    Please pray that you will lead by the example of your conduct, your compassion, and your open-hearted and open-minded approach to those who are not convinced of your beliefs, rather than participating in the suppression of those people and their rights, as has been sadly typical in society.

    Please pray that you will see that the measure of your Christian virtue is most vividly shown in how you treat those who disagree.

    Please pray that you can show love and respect to non-believers who have done you no harm.

    Thank you for your time and consideration of this prayer request.

    Richard Wade

  • Stephen P

    Stephen, you are right, I don’t have a lot on which to base my assertion; the only languages/peoples I have any real connection with are Brazilian (Portuguese speaking), Japanese, and Mexican (Spanish speaking).

    Fair enough then – that’s a reasonable basis. It would interesting though to hear from native/fluent writers of other languages whether they think there are a lot of bad writers around.

  • csula

    I don’t see this as threatening at all. It could even be intended as light-hearted irony with atheists in on the joke.

    Of course, I may be overly optimistic…

    Just a tad Charlie, just a tad :)

  • sven

    @Richard Wade

    Forget it, you´ll just receive a lame, standard email.

    Our message was certainly not intended to offend anyone especially atheists. From our perspective as Christians it is as absurd to deny the existence of atheists, as it is to deny the existence of God. I could have said, “We find no evidence to prove the existence of atheists.” To say there is no evidence for the existence of God, just doesn’t make any sense. Just the fact that you and I are able to communicate denotes a creator. You and I are surrounded by infallible proofs of God’s powerful presence… air, water, the sun, people who love, blue sky etc. If we just evolved, why couldn’t we have just as easily have evolved into perfect people who don’t have to rely on spell check?

    I am looking at the watch on my wrist. My watch didn’t just evolve from nothing. It has design, intelligence, and organization. Somewhere my watch has a creator. Logically we know that anything left to its own without some intervention from a rational external source doesn’t grow in complexity it degenerates, it decays, it moves from organization to disorganization.

    The bottom line is, God does exist and his unconditional love for you was clearly demonstrated by Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection from the dead. This is a historical fact, and to deny God’s existence and his offer of salvation is to miss out on the reality of our need for a savior and the meaning of life itself.

    I say this with all compassion – most of the people I have met that deny God’s existence have come to that conclusion due to some trauma in their life. They have concluded that if there were God he should be doing a better job at taking care of me. I fully understand that mindset. The answer is, man was given free will, because without free will love cannot exist. Man chose to rebel and our world became a fallen place dominated by man’s sin. That’s why we need Jesus. He is the remedy.

    I will pray for you to find the reality of God’s love for you as is fully demonstrated in Jesus, God’s son.

    Aparently they DO believe in atheists, they choose tp post a delusional message.

  • sc0tt

    The Dutch equivalent of screwing up apostrophes in English is to muddle up d’s and t’s at the end of a word. A ‘d’ at the end of a word is pronounced the same as ‘t’, and lots of less well educated Dutch people struggle to work out which to use.

    The Spanish equivalents are adding or omitting a silent ‘h’; and mixing up ‘v’ and ‘b’. Not as prevalent as apostrophe abuse in English but it does happen.

    And I think that apostrophe in the sign is a backwards upside down comma.

  • medussa

    But Richard, you forgot to ask them to pray for an english language education!

  • CatBallou

    What a patronizing and ignorant letter from the pastor! And as someone who went to high school in Ankeny, I can say that it represents the quality of public education and discourse there quite accurately. The watch analogy? Lame. Very lame.

    For every person who was “traumatized” into atheism, there must be a hundred thousand who were “frightened” (or brainwashed) into Christianity. Emotional states are not at issue. Reason is.

  • Zar

    Don’t believe in spellcheck? You’re not alone.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    The pastor doesn’t know his thermodynamics. While it is true that a closed system will tend towards equilibrium, it is not true locally or of an open system. If energy can flow into the system, then the local system can produce highly complex organization. We are fortunate to live in an open system (the earth) where the sun provides our planet with lots of free energy to allow the formation of all sorts of complex and interesting structures including life itself.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-8922-Portland-Skepticism-Examiner Charlie

    @Sven, @Richard,

    “Aparently they DO believe in atheists, they choose tp post a delusional message.”

    I really think you’re over-reacting on this. His message was not delusional; it was an attempt at humor on the part of the pastor because he disagrees with the atheist bus ad. He admits that it’s ridiculous to say atheists don’t exist; he just thinks that ridiculousness applies to not believing in gods, too.

    The fact that the guy thinks atheists are wrong doesn’t make him a jerk, and it’s much better for theists to respond with humor than to respond with violence or attempts at censorship. Further, by failing to appreciate the humor, even it is at atheists’ expense, we’re only going to fulfill the stereotype of atheists as embittered and unreasonable.

    Cut the guy some slack. His email response was reasonably respectful, especially since he probably thinks you’re in league with the anti-christ.

  • Richard Wade

    Well, at least the pastor’s email to sven is not entirely pre-written. It seems to address specific things that sven had said. Sadly, there are the usual misconceptions about evolution, the ignorance of how natural selection works, the oh, so annoying misuse of the seond law of thermodynamics, all of which sound like he gets his education from fundamentalist websites.

    Showing him that these are faulty canards is probably a waste of time. Let him believe whatever he wants about the existence of his god. The only thing that I’d take any time arguing with him over are his absurd beliefs about atheists. One is the stereotype that atheists deny the existence of God, rather than simply lack belief, and the other that we are traumatized into turning away from God.

    The only “trauma” I’ve ever suffered is accute irritation from the endless claims by self-appointed Christian psychoanalists telling me that they know me without meeting me. He says that he gets this idea from “most of the atheists” whom he has met. For that to be true, then the total would have to be three atheists, and two said they were traumatized. If he actually got to know many atheists, he’d see that most of them either simply always needed evidence for belief, or came to need evidence. What he thinks is evidence is not what we do.

    If Pastor Bradley responds to my email, I’ll post it on this blog. Maybe it will be a productive dialogue if I can keep it focused on the nature of real, live atheists instead of invisible entities.

  • Richard Wade

    Charlie,
    Please cut me some slack. I haven’t said any of those things about Pastor Bradley mentioned in your comment, nor do I think them. You seem to be attributing the reactions of other commenters here to me. I am hoping for a respectful dialogue that will clear up his misconceptions about atheists, and that is all.

  • sven

    @Charlie, @Richard Wade
    Here’s my original email:

    Subject: Appreciate the joke, one question remains

    Hello there,
    I saw your “Don’t believe in atheist..” statement via the internet. I can appreciate the joke.

    One issue keeps bugging me, if you don’t believe in atheists, than who do you believe initiated the bus campaign?

    Kind regards
    Sven

    He clearly responded to nothing specific in my email, therefore I assume the respons to be automated.
    Also, I clearly WAS treating his message with humor.
    The only humor I see in the pastor’s reply is unintentially :)

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-8922-Portland-Skepticism-Examiner Charlie

    Richard,

    I know you didn’t say all those things, and Sven’s comments were understandable. Such are the hazards when you address a comment to more than one person, which was a mistake on my part.

    I’m not trying to give you grief, either. I sincerely hope you’re not reading any contempt in my comment, because I respect your work.

    My point was this: if we’re going to change attitudes toward freethought, we’re going to have to be realistic in our expectations for Evangelicals. From what I’ve seen, I’d much rather deal with pastor Bradley than most of the Baptist ministers I’ve met.

  • sven

    @Richard

    No grief taken.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.iowaatheists.org Dave

    Sven’s response is almost identical to one sent to one of our members. The original discussion is at

    http://www.meetup.com/Iowa-Atheists-and-Freethinkers/boards/thread/7517283/0/

  • Siamang

    Just the fact that you and I are able to communicate denotes a creator.

    So God created the internet?

    You and I are surrounded by infallible proofs of God’s powerful presence… air, water, the sun, people who love, blue sky etc.

    Wait, so air exists, therefore God? I think your standards of logic are worse than your grammar!

    If we just evolved, why couldn’t we have just as easily have evolved into perfect people who don’t have to rely on spell check?

    Evolution doesn’t imply perfection. You know what implies perfection? Being created by a Perfect Being. So, by your own reasoning, you can’t have been made by God.

    I am looking at the watch on my wrist. My watch didn’t just evolve from nothing.

    Gee. A watch. How original. At least Ray Comfort changed the argument to be a Coke can.

    It has design, intelligence, and organization.

    Wait, your watch has INTELLIGENCE? Seriously?

    Somewhere my watch has a creator.

    So do I. Mommy and daddy.

    Logically we know that anything left to its own without some intervention from a rational external source doesn’t grow in complexity it degenerates, it decays, it moves from organization to disorganization.

    False. Please provide the rational external source that makes minerals grow elaborate crystals in caves.

    The bottom line is, God does exist and his unconditional love for you was clearly demonstrated by Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection from the dead.

    Fake. If he was resurrected from the dead, where is he? If you say Heaven, I say “dead”.

    This is a historical fact,

    I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean.

    and to deny God’s existence and his offer of salvation is to miss out on the reality of our need for a savior and the meaning of life itself.

    Gotta get the sales pitch in there somehow, huh? How much commission do you make on each new convert?

    I say this with all compassion – most of the people I have met that deny God’s existence have come to that conclusion due to some trauma in their life.

    Yeah, the trauma of being lied to by bullshit preachers. And frightened as children by people playing guilt-games in order to indoctrinate kids in their fairy-tales about dungeons and fire and evil spirits. Begone, seller of snake oil. We don’t fear you here.

    They have concluded that if there were God he should be doing a better job at taking care of me.

    I have concluded that if there were a God, his followers would have thought of a better sales pitch after 2000 years of frightening children for a living.

    I fully understand that mindset. The answer is, man was given free will, because without free will love cannot exist.

    Question for you then: Can God do evil? If not has He no free will? Then is God incapable of love?

    Question 2: Provide proof for all your answers to question 1. Proof does not consist of you flapping your jaw.

    Man chose to rebel and our world became a fallen place dominated by man’s sin. That’s why we need Jesus. He is the remedy.

    There’s that sales pitch again. Please provide proof up front that “sin” exists, and not just evil. “Sin” being evil proclivities that passes from parent to child because of some apple some imaginary dude in an old story ate.

    C’mon dude. Everyone with two skeptical brain-cells to rub together knows that selling sin is like the deodorant company inventing “B-O” so they can sell you the cure. It’s all a scam.

    I will pray for you to find the reality of God’s love for you as is fully demonstrated in Jesus, God’s son.

    Keep selling those magazine subscriptions. The oldest con in the book. “God talked to me and He brings a message to you! The message is: ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR PASTOR!!!! ALWAYS DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU TO DO!!!! Blessed be the Word of God!!!!”

  • Richard Wade

    @ Charlie and Sven,
    Sorry if I sounded like I was snapping at you, Charlie. I agree with you that Pastor Bradley seems more workable than many Evangelicals whom I have encountered. I also take your point about lightening up and not having a chip on our shoulders.

    Sven, seeing your original letter, yes, I agree that he responds to very little that you said. He does say that the sign was not meant to say that we don’t exist, so that part seems to be a response to you, but yes, the rest of it does sound pre-bottled, since you asked nothing about that stuff.

    I think Pastor Bradley may have found himself swamped by emails from atheists, judging from what I see on other sites, such as the one linked for us by Dave. (Thank you, Dave.) The good pastor may be frantically cutting and pasting responses written for different emails, including some that may have expressed offense, or others that might have brought up the other issues he mentioned. Sometimes people can get flustered and may over-generalize when they feel overwhelmed.

    Sven and Charlie, clearly there’s no grief given or taken between the three of us. We’re all fine. And actually, I hope there’s no grief for Pastor Bradley either.

  • ChameleonDave

    What do you call an obviously accidental oversight that didn’t involve a keyboard? As a lifelong newspaper copy editor, I’ve often pondered that question. “Typo” is out, as no typing was involved. The occasionally suggested “writo” is out since, in this case, no handwriting was involved. Any suggestions?

    It’s called ‘a punctuation mistake’. If they had changed a letter, it would be ‘a spelling mistake’. It’s really rather irrelevant whether it was done with a keyboard, a pen, or big pieces of plastic. It’s also irrelevant whether the person wishes to claim that it was some sort of oversight rather than ignorance. A mistake is a mistake.

    ‘Typo’ is nothing to do with ‘typing’ (it is a typographical error); therefore, ‘writo’ is absurd. The traditional term for what you are referring to there is a ‘slip of the pen’ (or simply a ‘mistake’, as mentioned above).

  • Siamang

    Richard, here’s the insult as I took it:

    You and others responded to the sign to talk about the existence of atheists and your attempts to gain recognition and respect as actually existing human beings.

    He responded with a canned sales-pitch.

    Respect Fail.

    (It may be that this part of his brain is broken by years of frightening children for a living, and so that he is intellectually unable to carry on a conversation without a conversion attempt as the primary content. However, anti-social tendencies, while understandable, are still anti-social.)

  • thilina

    I find this response from the church so confusing.

    We accuse religion of making no sense, being illogical and acting like children.

    And there response is to make no sense, be illogical and act like children.

  • Takma’rierah

    Somewhere along the line I think I started automatically reading “Jesus” as “Jebus” in my head. It’s not even intentional. Hm.

  • medussa

    thilina, you made me laugh. A lot. I want that as a bumper sticker….

  • Eric

    The second line has many errors, the corrected text should read, “You’re a loon.”
    I have no idea where the extra characters or strange ordering crept in.

  • http://www.stuff.com Lix0r

    Wow, imagine how surprised I was to see this story… I live in Ankeny.
    I just drove over to the church to see if the sign was still up. It is, and it’s actually spelled correctly on the other side facing east. Hope I can get my picture taken in front of the sign tomorrow when the sun’s out. =)

  • Pingback: There’s a fail… | The Good Atheist

  • stogoe

    As a grammar Nazi, Loosing vs Losing is one that gives me fits.

    I try really hard and mostly succeed in not being a grammar pedant, but even I have to scream in my head when people mix up ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.

  • stogoe

    I think that apostrophe in the sign is a backwards upside down comma.

    If it is, it’s because they never give you enough of the letters you want to use on those kinds of signs. You see it all the time on fast food signs, too – 1 is used instead of L, etc.

  • http://atheistweb.org Chris

    What these people need is some hard evidence that atheists exist. Maybe I should punch them on the nose – hard – and then they’d believe.

    (only kidding folks)

  • «bønez_brigade»

    Tell Dave to submit it to Wordspl*sion! [sic].
    (since it’s his image and all that)

  • http://www.twitter.com/Frinker Frink

    Actual sign on a Baptist church in Lincoln, IL on the opening day of the last Harry Potter movie: “God is the Potter, not Harry.”

    WTF does that have to do with ANYTHING?

  • BillE

    I doubt my comment will make it to the light of day, but here goes…. For people who “supposedly” do not believe in God, atheists spend a lot of time talking about God. The reason is that they are not being honest. They know in their heart that there is a god but they prefer to “reject” God. They then mask their contempt with a supposed unbelief which is as transparent as the air that we breathe. Even if God Himself stood before them, the atheist would find a way to reject him. That describes a condition of near total depravity. Trust Jesus Christ. Believe.

  • BillE

    Frink said==Actual sign on a Baptist church in Lincoln, IL on the opening day of the last Harry Potter movie: “God is the Potter, not Harry.”WTF does that have to do with ANYTHING?
    ——————–

    Frink, if you read the Book of Romans in the Holy Bible, there are a few verses which describe that mankind is as clay and our Father God is the potter who molds us as he wills. It is famous to anyone who believes and actually reads the bible. God made the believers and he made the atheists. Whether you believe, reject or simply don’t care, God has created you just as he intended you to be. Some will see eternity in Glory and some will see eternity in damnation. This is God’s justice. This is a “Reformist” Christian view, also called “Calvinist”– one which carries weight with anyone who earnestly believes and studies the scripture.

  • BillE

    Just a thought… is there a message in the fact that atheists, by in large, are politically liberal? Is atheist belief a direct result of believing strongly in government intervention and less personal freedom (Socialism)? Does the liberal mind reject one God, while embracing their new “Socialist” god? Doesn’t this indicate that the atheist has a “faith” as strong as any Christian?

  • «bønez_brigade»

    @Frink,
    Being the potter doesn’t necessarily mean that one is also the planter. So, God the Potter could actually be a servant of some great Planter/Harvester (e.g., Cthulhu).

  • «bønez_brigade»

    @BillE,

    I doubt my comment will make it to the light of day, but here goes….

    (using your POV for a moment here…)
    So, you’re saying you knew in your heart that your comment would get posted but you instead chose to “reject” that knowledge?
    And now that the evidence is in, do you still reject that knowledge?

    For people who “supposedly” do not believe in God, atheists spend a lot of time talking about God. The reason is that they are not being honest. They know in their heart that there is a god but they prefer to “reject” God. They then mask their contempt with a supposed unbelief which is as transparent as the air that we breathe. Even if God Himself stood before them, the atheist would find a way to reject him. That describes a condition of near total depravity.

    That doesn’t even make sense, and it shows that you haven’t a clue as to what atheism is. Have you ever actually met an atheist and listened to his/her side of things (with your fingers out of your ears, that is)? Proof of this entity you call “God” is not something we’d reject, as we tend to be the ones who are interested in learning all there is to know about the Universe. It’s somewhat telling, though, that your god can’t seem to perform an act so simple as that which you mentioned: standing before us.

    We are, indeed, being honest by saying that we don’t believe in a god and also by giving reasons as to why we don’t believe in one. If you have some evidence to present that moves your god out of the Tooth Fairy category, then please present it to us. Otherwise, scurry back to your troll hole.

    FWIW, I also spend a lot of time talking about psychics, perpetual motion machines, ghosts, UFOs, cryptozoology, quack medicine, and lots of other pseudoscience and new age nuttery. Are you going to tell me that I actually believe in that stuff, as well?

    Trust Jesus Christ. Believe.

    Show some evidence. Now.

  • Richard P

    in reference to his evolving clock analogy.
    I was this video a while back and this is a perfect example of how erroneous these claims are.

    Evolution IS a Blind Watchmaker

  • Richard P

    ah my dyslexia kicked in..
    No I wasn’t the video, I saw it….

  • Richard P

    or was it my schizophrenia…
    It’s so hard to keep track of it all….

  • Richard Wade

    BillE,
    You said,

    I doubt my comment will make it to the light of day, but here goes…. For people who “supposedly” do not believe in God, atheists spend a lot of time talking about God…

    Well, it did make it to the light of day, as they all do here, and so did your subsequent comments, and now in the light of day we can all see that you don’t know what you are talking about, and we can all see why.

    Read on. Don’t be afraid. Here’s a chance for you to grow:

    After that introduction, you then proceed to tell us about our thoughts and feelings in elaborate detail, rather than asking us. Your transparently plagiarized scripture-based amateur psychoanalysis of us indicates that you arrogantly and proudly pretend that YOU are like your god, that you know all about us without having to show the courage to meet us with an open mind and open heart and to actually talk with us.

    If I were presume to tell you what you are all about inside, without having taken time to get to know you, you could correctly tell me that I am full of crap. But I don’t do that. I can only get clues about you from your statements and then ask you about them, trying to get some understanding. Your statements suggest that you seem to think that it is okay for you to pass harsh judgment on others whom you do not know.

    This makes you very ineffective at getting anyone to agree with your views, or even to give you basic respect. Your apparently prideful pretense that you have special insight into others, when you are also apparently unaware of your own conceit and arrogance will earn you nothing but disrespect and dismissal.

    So instead of immediately disrespecting and dismissing you, I’m asking you. Is any of that so?

    BillE, take a lesson from your own savior and learn to be humble and sincere. ASK humble and sincere, information-seeking questions of people, rather than passing summary judgment on strangers. Don’t ask rhetorical questions like those you asked about athteists’ social and political views. Those are just more arrogant and ignorant statements.

    Did you come here to actually learn something new about real people, or to just toss out some snide heckling and then run away?

    Show that you have enough maturity to actually have a respectful dialogue with us, with an honest interest in us, or else go back to your friends, if you have any, and keep reinforcing your ignorance and bigotry about other people.

    I’m willing to talk with you respectfully, if you are. You won’t have to lose your beliefs about your god, but you will be free of your incorrect beliefs about atheists.

  • randy

    Just wanted to say actually some christians do believe evolution just not the theory about human beings evolution. I believe Pope John Paul II himself accepted Darwin’s teachings. ;o] just wanted to clarify that there lol. Oh and if you are going pyscho because they accidentally misplaced an apostrophe you are totally anal lol.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X