Atheist Hits the Streets of New Orleans During Mardi Gras

Last year, atheist Doug Stewart hit the streets of New Orleans to “preach” atheism. He presented an alternative to all the fundamentalist Christian preachers who try to do the same thing (but are completely serious about it).

He did it with an amusing sign (courtesy of commenter Siamang, who suggested it):


That was last year.

This year, he was back in action.

For the conversations I had with the general public I went out of my way to not be pushy with atheism. I never stopped anyone and I would definitely never use a megaphone. There were a significant number of people that approached me and mentioned they were religious but didn’t appreciate the way the Christian fundamentalist were trying to shove religion down their throat. If the conversation seemed appropriate, I took the opportunity to inquire about their religious beliefs and ask, as politely and unassertively as I could, why they believed what they believed.

He also had a little bit of help from complete strangers who wanted to join in on the fun:

I think I need to stand on the streets of Chicago and try this out. It’s clearly the best way to meet women:

Doug could use some help with one thing:

I only have a message on one side of my sign and would like ideas for the other side. It would be great if it had something to do with Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina, whatever. But above all it has to be pro atheism instead of anti-religion.

If you suggest something Doug uses, your prize will be to see it on the other side of his sign next year!


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  • Here are my slogan ideas:

    Atheism: God is not watching your titties. I am.

    Atheism: Don’t be shy. There is no man in the sky.

    Atheism: Don’t be shy. There is no man in the sky. Unzip that fly!

  • False Prophet

    How about: “We only get one shot at this, so let’s do it right” and the name/URL of a Katrina/New Orleans reconstruction charity.

  • TychaBrahe

    “Katrina, Haiti, Chile, Indonesia

    Is it easier to believe that God hates hundreds of thousands of people, or that sometimes shit just happens?”

  • marsmar


    because reality is awesome and doesn’t demand you to wake up early every Sunday”.

  • “Smile, there is no hell!”

    With a big Yellow Smiley face.
    (I stole this from AAF – Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers – student group at U of IL – they rock!)

  • Revyloution

    “Don’t understand why God would send us Katrina?
    Neither do atheists!”

  • “Invent a better reality”

  • Parse

    I’d vote for Revyloution’s slogan, as it’s better than the best I can think of: “Atheism: You don’t need to fear our God’s wrath!”, “Atheism: Providing two hands working by default”, or “Atheism: God? Who Dat?”

    Yeah. I’d go with Revyloution’s.

  • “You say He sees everything?
    And you STILL did that thing in the shower?!”

  • “What Would An Atheist Do?”

    “Give up religion for Lent.”

    “Mardi Gras Beads > Rosary Beads. More colors and variety.”

    “Welcome To New Orleans. No faith required.”

    “Katrina Couldn’t Stop Us. Have Faith In Each Other.”

  • Isabel Jones

    It is a good time to be here, God is in South America right now.

  • I love these guys with their counter signs. Nice to see at least some opposition to the Jesus Saves crowd.

  • Jeff Purser

    Atheist – Intelligent, but NOT designed

  • Hugh

    Seeing that it’s Mardi Gras…

    “Christ died for your sins – make it worth his while.”

  • maddogdelta


    Nice to see at least some opposition to the Jesus Saves crowd.

    My favorite was a T-shirt from around 10 years ago, back when Miroslav Satan played for the Buffalo Sabres. It said “Jesus Saves……..but Satan scores on the rebound”

  • Flah

    Tony did my offer first: Give up religion for Lent.

    But “make it worth his while” is fantastic.

  • And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. John 5:13

    Hmmm, I guess it takes alot of interpretation to see the titties. LOL

  • Tiffany

    Ahhh… it’s so refreshing to see myself show up on blogs weeks after Mardi Gras ended. Yes- atheist signs attract chicks- and atheist chicks are the hottest. 🙂

  • Laura

    I like False Prophet’s suggestion, or “Atheists: We also believe that this lifetime is our only chance to do good.”

  • One life remaining. Make the most of it.

  • Joffan

    My sign suggestion: “Atheism: Life with no holds barred”

    Dress suggestion: Sew a white ribbon around the neck hem of your tee 😉

    Robert M: Don’t forget the man was impotent before the cure!

  • muggle

    I like Dan Barker’s line: “Life is unbelievably good.” Maybe stress the unbelievably by capping or underlining.

    Failing that I really like Hugh’s.

  • ed42

    How about a little tongue-in-cheek: “the truth will make you free”?

  • funkshun


    This city will be godless, not chocolate.

    Sorry had to get a barb in on Mayor Nagin.

    Yes I am from NOLA 🙂

  • ckitching

    I don’t know. I think I’d rather see a Cthulhu sign.

    Cthulhu: Why choose the lesser evil?

    It might not be obvious to enough people, though.

  • Like it. I think the nuns at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are always better.

  • Siamang

    Glad to see this is becoming an annual tradition!

    I feel as though I was there, but not in spirit!

  • Ubi Dubium

    My favorite was a T-shirt from around 10 years ago, back when Miroslav Satan played for the Buffalo Sabres. It said “Jesus Saves……..but Satan scores on the rebound”

    Or: “Jesus Saves but the Mongol Hordes”
    Or: “Jesus Saves and takes half damage”

  • Revyloution

    Ubi Dubium, I always liked

    ‘Jesus saves, but Buddha invests.’

    Clever play on words and theologies. (assuming the Hindu version of Buddhism)

    I thought my contribution above was clever, but I would throw my weigh behind “For Lent, give up religion” That’s pretty damn clever.

  • Flah the Heretic Methodist

    The Bible instructs us to “test the spirits”. I suggest starting with a 12-year-old Scotch.

  • Hah, dude I just found this website and it *rules* – that sign is awesome, I kind of want to stake it out next to my mailbox on the front lawn!

    Just a bit of a sidenote, us non-folkish/non-universalist Odinists fall into that ‘none of the lent’ stuff, too. 😉

  • french

    @Revyloution, Hindu version of Buddhism?? Really?