Atheist Billboard Goes Up in Lakeland, Florida

A billboard reading, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone” has gone up in Lakeland, Florida (near Tampa), courtesy of the Atheists of Florida:

A local news channel ran a piece on the story. About 1:10 into it, they interview a couple very entertaining anti-atheist folks about it. One guy just calls it stupid. An older lady says it’s bad because children shouldn’t be raised like that, without a god.

(But the Catholic Church is ok?)

Publicity is the goal, though. The Atheists of Florida are capitalizing on the media blitz by hosting an event for Christians, atheists, and whomever else has a question for non-theists.

A panel of atheists will be available to address your concerns and to satisfy your curiosity on Monday, November 23. We will be in the Lakeland Public Library Meeting Room at 6:00 p.m. This is free and open to the public. We will speak very briefly to provide a five minute introduction, then open the floor to you.

That’s a smart way to follow up. If you’re in the area, consider joining their group and bringing religious friends to the panel discussion!

(Thanks to Kim for the link!)

  • Jake

    I’ve been waiting for an atheist billboard to come up in Florida, I just wish it was a little closer to me. Lakeland is a couple hours away.

  • http://thedefaultposition.wordpress.com/ markystar69

    good for them to set up an operation to field questions.

    that’s what I love about the atheist community of austin. they’re ready and willing to engage and discuss and debate.

  • Anna

    They are having an annual meeting this Sunday @ noon @ Lettuce Lake Park (Tampa). I’m going to check it out, the park is 5 minutes from my home.

  • MH

    The Boston Council of Reason is running the Good without God ads on the T. I saw one yesterday on the Red Line.

  • http://www.ethicalfocus.org Ken Karp
  • zoo

    I wish I could remember what’s in Lakeland that makes this rather funny for me. Eh, either way I tend to associate Lakeland with Christians (there’s something there that people from church would periodically attend), so the outcome could be very interesting. . . .

  • mkb

    Congratulations to the Atheists of Florida and to Nj COR. What exit is the sign near on the Turnpike?

    I love the idea of the community meeting in Florida to answer questions. I hope that idea catches on.

  • Valdyr

    The news station doesn’t even describe it properly. A billboard that “questions your belief in God”? That’s not even what it fucking says! It’s explicitly for people who already don’t believe.

    As for the braindead citizens interviewed on camera… some might say that they weren’t representative, or that the news station only kept footage of the most outrageous comments, but in my experience, this type of reaction IS representative of the average person. I particularly liked the one man who seemed literally unable to comprehend a dissenting opinion: “That’s just stupid. That don’t even make no sense… ‘Don’t believe in God.’” That was essentially my reaction upon learning about the existence of atheism at age 12.

  • Alan E.

    I went to the news website, and the first comment I saw was this. Pure classic.

    Posted by ( kate06 ) on 11/02/2009 at 07:56 pm.

    I do belive that alot of intelligent people belive in Jesus. I do know that this country was founded on it. Why do you think America started. For our freedom of religion and Freedom of our speech. George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and many more founded this country on God. You take God out, and you have this complete AND utter chaos, people killing each other, CHILDREN KILLING THEIR PARENTS, AND PARENTS KILLING THEIR CHILDREN, RANDOM KILLINGS FOR A PAIR OF SHOES, and drug addiction that is out of control.Families vanishing, and no protection from our God (talked about this in the bible written over 2000 years ago). This is where we need to be verbal and state our religion get our facts out there so people will start seeing the wrongs of this country. WE are not perfect people we all are wrong in one way or the other, but for now it is hard to hear certain gestures on this site. We all are human and we need to find our peace and humility again. WE ARE ALL GOD’S CHILDREN HE CREATED US OUT OF HIS OWN IMAGE YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT!! Each child you have the more trouble he gets in the more punished he/she gets. The same with us the more we stray from God and ignore he exists the more he punishes us. We all fall short of the Glory of God and we all have sinned. No matter the religion no matter where you are in life. This is why we need to stand together as a nation. God would start to shine his light once again and we would once again be a great nation.

    Because right now we don’t have Christians killing each other because of things their god told them…

  • Alan E.

    After watching the news piece, I think that first guy they interviewed summed up the exact intent of the billboard.

    I won’t pay attention to it, cause I believe in the Lord

    He is not who this board is for! It’s for those people who already don’t believe or are doubting that the christian god exists.

  • sli

    Hey heeey! I live in Lakeland! Anyone happen to know where the billboard is? I want to see it.

  • BlueRidgeLady (Formerly Anonymouse)

    Wow. These people are incredibly simple. Also..punctuation exists for a reason. It ASKS if the reader doesn’t believe in god. It doesn’t TELL them to do so.

    It should be removed because you don’t agree with it? It’s not even addressing Christians! There’s a church on every corner in many parts of Florida. Should we destroy them because I don’t agree with their messages?

    Read the first comment on this video. Lol, apparently Abe Lincoln founded this country. On god. (Even though he was born 30+ years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.)

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  • Jonathan

    I grew up in Lakeland and currently live in Tampa. While the people interviewed in the story are not wholly representative of the population, their general sentiment is definitely the majority in the area. I may have to go to their meeting to see how it turns out…

  • Randy

    This is a pretty scary take on the event

    http://www.talk2action.org/story/2009/11/2/161111/295

  • Alan E.

    Randy, I tried to comment on that story to explain why a heavily religious area is a better place for the billboard, but I can’t find the add comments spot.

  • CAL

    I live in St. Pete just south of Tampa, and I knew when I heard some people were upset over a billboard it would be somthing like this. While the billboards make me smile for the outrage they cause among the religious, it saddens me because no one seemed to care about the No Seperation of Church and State billboards from a while back. Those were the ones that should cause outrage. Lakeland is more overly christian than St. Pete, but we (the people, certainly not me) just elected a creationist whackjob for mayor. Oy vey

  • Charlie

    Of course we knew that it would stir up some controversy. The true Christians in the area, and were there a lot of true Moslems in the area, possibly even moreso, are not used to having their comfort zone poked at. And, I hate to say, it appears to be that most are not well enough educated for them to read the words on the billboard and understand their purpose.

  • Edmond

    Let’s try Clearwater next!

  • Heidi

    Heh, my dad lives in Lakeland.

    @zoo: Lakeland is where they filmed Edward Scissorhands (you know, the town that is Tim Burton’s & my vision of hell) and The Waterboy. I think that makes it pretty funny.

    @sli: The video says it’s on Memorial somewhere.

  • God Retardent

    The sign can be seen on Memorial Blvd close to interstate 4. The local godbots have their panties in a wad, and have made statements that gawd will destroy the sign.
    ############ (sounds of crickets churping)

  • aimee

    I would LOVE to see one of those billboards go up here in South Carolina. Could you imagine the chaos THAT would cause. I would love to just sit back and watch all of the BTs go at it. There are more churches here than there are Starbucks in Seattle. The billboard would last all of two hours before some un-enlighened fool would be burning it to the ground.

  • ginny

    All I an say is, just wait until you are standing before the ONE who created you and then let’s see what you say!!!!!! (course if you are still an athiest at that time it is going to be too late). Sorry, but you will be Hell bound at that point. A lot of people like to “slam” Jesus, but He is the one that gave up His live for everyone (that will believe). Oh well…you’ll see.

  • http://thedailyatheist.blogspot.com/ Rodney

    Wow. Everybody believes in god! We have a lot of churches and black churches! LOL!

  • Tom

    I would like someone to show me where in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution the words that say we are a christian nation founded on the ten commandments and the holy babble. Can’t because the words do not exist. They only exist in the brain washed minds of fools. They listen to their priests and pastors and never question the BS.

  • http://www.AtheistsofFlorida.org Rob Curry

    Atheists of Florida news:

    Regarding the public Q&A panel discussion on Monday, you may find it interesting to note that the first reporter to confirm he will be there is from EO Dutch Public Radio.

    This is a religious broadcaster in the Netherlands known for its Creationist Christian viewpoint.


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