Atheist Billboard Goes Up in Salt Lake City, Utah!

The Utah Coalition of Reason just put up a billboard in Salt Lake City, and despite its harmless message, it’s almost certainly going to generate controversy:

… These words appear on a prominent billboard in Salt Lake City on the north side of Highway 201, a half mile west of Exit 11/Highway 172. Visible to westbound traffic and on the right-hand side of the road, it faces east. It will remain up through the run of the Utah State Fair. The 14 by 48 foot billboard features the words superimposed over an image of a blue sky and white clouds. It was placed by the Utah Coalition of Reason with $3,678.00 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason.

Reaching out to the like minded isn’t the only goal of the effort: “We hope people will discover that we are a legitimate part of the community,” said Elaine Ball, director of the Utah Coalition of Reason. “Folks like us live throughout Utah. We’re your family and friends, your neighbors and coworkers, and maybe even the person sitting next to you in church.”

An astonishing 13 groups make up the Coalition, a strong local showing from a state that’s well-known for being a mecca for Mormons.

The media is going to be all over this…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent. I like hearing about these billboards in any place but I love hearing about them in parts of the country with overwhelming religious dominance. That’s where atheist will be the most closeted and need to hear they aren’t alone.

    Also I’m really happy that “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone” and “Good without God? Millions are.” signs seem to be dominating instead of the “You KNOW its a myth” ads.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait to see this sign.  Hwy 201 is also known as the 21st South freeway, that connects to I-15 on the east and I-215 on the west, eventually connecting to I-80 heading towards Wendover, NV.

    I’m sure the SL Trib will have a new story about this.  The letters to the editor should be entertaining, that’s for sure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1272787049 Eric Davis

      “God” knows that the Deseret Mormon News will do their best to ignore this development in their paper. Which explains why the Trib is still doing well, and the Des News had severe cutbacks recently. The Trib actually reports news, whereas the Desperate News reports strictly from the Mormon Echo Chamber.

    • Bob Becker

      The Trib story is here:

      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52440403-78/utah-billboard-coalition-lake.html.csp

      Nothing on the DN site yet that I can find. 

  • usclat

    Awesome! We need to do at least that here in Dallas. The major intersection where I live (Hwy 121 and Huffines Blvd in Carrollton) has 4 large churches! Would be a great place for a billboard. Hmmmmmm ….. 

    • AtheistWizard

      Why would next to four churches be a good place for this?  You’re asking for trouble.  Atheism isn’t about attacking churches or trying to insense rage into churchgoers, unless you’re particularly into trying to get hate spewn at you.  Like pouring Epicac syrup into the mouth of an obese youngster who just ate an entire cake, I’d hate to see what would happen to you

      • Lillipadpinki

        I agree with AW. Seems like you’re just trying to push peoples buttons and make them upset rather than standing up for a belief (or lack thereof). This kind of thing is part of the reason atheists get a bad rep. How about just be a quiet, good-natured person and if someone asks what you believe then you can say you’re an atheist. Set a better example and rise above it rather than fighting fire with fire.

        • Axiom71

          be quiet and good-natured – as so many of those beautific religious types are. only someone who doesn’t see the bias would say such a thing. Every day I pass by signs, posters, billboards and bumper stickers telling me to BELIEVE or else. To ignore that and be quiet is the same as not speaking out about abuse or racism…

          get real.

          • Lillipadpinki

            I am real, I’m not rude. Just because they do it doesn’t mean you do. I can point you to a bridge if it’s necessary…

            • Jen Oneida

              This is America, land of the FREE and home of the BRAVE. Our ancestors fought for our religious (among many others) rights. If you don’t like the sign, don’t look at it.  As for the above comments on where appropriate placement be… It is like building an abortion clinic next to a day-care. It is tacky and asking (or even BEGGING) to evoke hatred.  I wake up in the morning (next to an atheist  mind you) and thank the Lord above for another day with him and our children. The kids and I attend a Christian church (not that it matters the religion we are. It is just Christians are the main deity being spoken about on here) every Sunday. We come home to an Atheist who welcomes us lovingly. If we can be together with our VERY strong differing beliefs I do not understand how society cannot function rationally together.

        • Axiom71

          George Bush once said
          “No, I don’t know that atheists should
          be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots.
          This is one nation under God.”That is why friendly must merge with ACTION and not be some passive motto of those resigned to hide their non-belief in the closet. Come out and make them hear your voice.

      • Waxmus

        I can’t why a sign shouldn’t be placed next to churches or mosques – religious people certainly never hesitate showing their message down our throats! I would imagine that it would be a great inspiration to all those people, especially children who have not been allowed to make up their own mind about religion in their communities…. More signs please! as atheists we need to be a visible and verbal as ‘they’ are….

        • AtheistWizard

          I haven’t had someone try and put religion down my throat for some time.  Putting up a billboard saying “believe” isn’t forcing something down someone’s throat.

          • NightWatchman

            I know what would make me believe…

            If god came down and stopped these mother-mother bullets…  Oh, that was a movie.  Nevermind.

          • SUSAN

            persecution will always walk amongst men as it always has, if a person thinks your not like them then they start throwing stones, oh well you just dodge the stones and move on ,  just like anything else that any one else wants to think, let them it dosnt effect you unless you allow it to, otherwise just ignore it  and live your life. Too many people let all  other opinions bother them, what a waste of energy that could be used productive somewhere else

            • Anonymous

              Sorry, SUSAN, I don’t ignore injustice. I fight it.

      • http://twitter.com/animegirl12182 Jessica Fletcher

        If the billboard said something about god being an imaginary friend or something equally acerbic, I’d be with you, but it’s an inoffensive sign.   Some poor atheist sitting in church who feels alone will probably feel reassured.  I’d imagine that’s who it’s aimed at anyway.

        • susan

          why would an athiest sit in church where all they talk about is God, i dont get it.? is it that they just might be looking for something that they already said is not there, mmmmmmm  im sure i dont know how that works(confusing !)

          • caffiene fiend

            Lots of people attend church to maintain social cover.  It can be damaging to one’s career, social standing, and even safety to identify as atheist in certain parts of the country.  Just because someone attends a church doesn’t necessarily mean they are believers.  

            • Jannie

              umm… you cheer when someone puts up a billboard but you’re being two-faced by going to church when you don’t believe any of it. that’s like a black man going to a kkk meeting… if you’re going to stand up for your rights – be consistent. 

              • Btdt

                Unless you mean to suggest that churches seek the oppression and murder of atheists, your analogy using the KKK is weak. I have been an open atheist for my entire adult life. I have had the good fortune to live in relatively tolerant places as an adult, but in my youth I lived in some areas where non-belief was greeted with harrassment and physical violence. The pint stands: sometimes people attend church so they can live in peace and keep their jobs.

                • Jannie

                  I’m just saying that you’re portraying that your image is more important than standing up for your beliefs… and that isn’t that what this whole shindig is about? or…

                • Caffeine Fiend

                  No. That isn’t what this whole shindig is about.  Do try to keep up.
                  There are atheists who attend church.  The reasons they do so are many and varied.  For a great many, fitting in with the dominant culture  allows them to keep a job, which keeps their kids fed and a roof over their heads.
                  In some areas, fitting in helps avoid having your car vandalized, helps avoid having your kids beaten up on the way home, and helps you have a modicum of a social life. 
                  None of these things are trivial.  The suggestion that someone in that position is somehow making a poor choice by preserving their livelihood and their family’s safety is ridiculous.
                  If I were in that position, I would take comfort in that billboard, even if I had to stay closeted for the time being. 

                • Jannie

                  I would rather move elsewhere instead of lying to myself and my family. Also, there was no need for you to be condescending toward me. 

              • http://profiles.google.com/bcdurden Brian Durden

                Except a black man that chooses not to go to a KKK meeting won’t be ostracized by the community in which he grew up or be divorced if he’s married and lose custody of his children since he’s an unbeliever.

                Your analogy falls very short.  Keep grasping at straws though!

          • Anonymous

            You know what? This kind of condescending BS is what’s offensive. I’m sure that even you can think of reasons why atheists might be going to church. Hmm. They are brought there or forced to go by their parents. Their spouse is a believer and they go to maintain peace in their relationship. There is social pressure to belong to a church and they don’t want to lose standing in the community, perhaps even their employment. They don’t want friends or family to shun them. Or maybe, just maybe, they feel alone and don’t know where else to go.

            • ACN

              Thank you Ibis3.

              Well said.

    • Fred Edwords

      The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason launched in March 2009 with a billboard in Dallas and one in Forth Worth. Theirs is an active coalition. Check them out at http://www.DFWCoR.org .

  • Slickwilly

    I still enjoy how people thrive on atheism only striking against a Christian ‘god’.  That’s not true atheism.  That’s abnormal bigotry.  At least do it right so that the REAL atheists don’t have to put up with idiots who just hate the Christian churches.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.wolfsmith Mike Wolfsmith

      I don’t see any mention of Christianity anywhere.  I would guess that Mormonism is a bigger religion on Utah anyways.  

      • susan

        This is what one would expect from a state full of morons, whoops i mean mormons :)

    • Jake

      None of what you said is relevant to this post in any way.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      If this were a predominantly Muslim country, then you’d see billboards such as “Don’t believe in Allah? You’re not alone,” (if we weren’t murdered for being infidels first). Fact is, this is a predominantly Christian country, so it makes more sense to target Christian fence-sitters than it would to target Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or Hindu fence-sitters.

      Also, who’s perpetrating hatred of Christian churches? Where do you see that anywhere in the above post? What blog are you on right now?

      • Slickwilly

        My reply was to the people who posted further down, i just didn’t reply to them.  Read all the posts before flaming please.  I’m just trying to put the flames out before the fire gets too hot.  Intelligent representation is what the billboard represents, so that is what I am trying to ensure is used when discussing it.

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          You should have said your comment was in reply to other people’s comments. When I see a comment alone like this, I (like most others — see the comments above mine) assume it’s in response to the post itself.

          If you’re replying to a comment, perhaps it would be best to follow Disqus convention and use the “Reply” link below one of the comments, to avoid further confusion.

        • Patrick Dunn

          For some reason, your post appears at the top, so it’s natural to assume it came first.  Even if it was a reply to other posts “further down”, that probably should have been mentioned. 

          But your post still deserves to be flamed.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.wolfsmith Mike Wolfsmith

          this bigot was the first to comment

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Dunlap/1418932885 Kenneth Dunlap

          You aren’t too sharp, are ya son?

          • Slickwilly

            I love your comment.  Way to step out and make a name for yourself.  

            I love how you guys endlessly flame.  I’m surprised you 14 year olds aren’t calling everything “gay”.

    • Anonymous

      OK so I’ve read the post again and I’ve read the comments section and I fail to see where anyone has advocated “only striking against a Christian ‘god’.”. At most I’ve seen a discussion of targetting areas especially rich in religious institutions. In the US that means churches (though in Utah specifically it would actually be temples, I think).

      It’s perfectly natural that attention is mostly centered on the Christian religion in an atheist community based in an overwhelmingly Christian country. That does not mean that religious faith generally is off-limits and it most certainly does not constitute an “abnormal bigotry”.

      • Slickwilly

        I prefer to meta-contextualize some of my arguments.  I’ll make it easier so that my comment can’t be taken as egregiously as it appears to have been.

        The easiest thing to understand from it – if all we do is center our attention on Christianity due to it being an ‘overwhelmingly Christian country”, then we’re going to lose the argument every time.  

        Even mentioning “Dawkins” to a Christian gets you angry looks because all they see is some over-watered tart media darling instead of the rational, cogent claims of the rest of us.  

        And yes, attempting to elicit function thoughts from Christians results in abnormal bigotry because they will always take talk of atheism as an attack unto their very core. 

        But if you think you’ll get your point across by talking to Christians about how their religious faith is wrong, by all means, “preach on”.  Just watch what colors you wear, as anti-christian is looking a lot like christian in terms of hate these days.

        • Anonymous

          if all we do is center our
          attention on Christianity due to it being an ‘overwhelmingly Christian
          country”, then we’re going to lose the argument every time.

          The up-front problem with this is that it’s patently not “all we do”. For instance, this post on which you’ve put your flag of denouncing anti-Christian bigotry has nothing to do with Christianity and is one of the major visible activities that the community is involved in at present.

          Even mentioning “Dawkins” to a Christian gets you angry looks because
          all they see is some over-watered tart media darling instead of the
          rational, cogent claims of the rest of us.

          Considering the majority of Americans (the vast majority of which are Christian) can’t name more than 5 commandments, I’d actually be mildly impressed with one (outside the blogosphere) who knew who Dawkins is, let alone had formed an opinion on him. In any event I don’t know what you are arguing for (against?) with this sentence.

          And yes, attempting to elicit function thoughts from Christians results
          in abnormal bigotry because they will always take talk of atheism as an
          attack unto their very core.

          Sorry but what is a “function thought”? Google doesn’t know and neither do I. If I understand correctly you are saying that Christians “will always” take talk of atheism as an attack. Even if we accept that this will “always” happen (which I don’t, though it is true that some will always find room to be offended), I again fail to see your point. What do you perscribe then?

          But if you think you’ll get your point across by talking to Christians
          about how their religious faith is wrong, by all means, “preach on”.
           Just watch what colors you wear, as anti-christian is looking a lot
          like christian in terms of hate these days.

          You again fail to demonstrate where this is being advocated. Certainly almost all of us would advocate that religion should be as open to criticism as any other point of view (political, economic etc.) no one really thinks this is enough. In addition you seem to be saying that telling someone their religion is wrong is “anti-Christian hatred”. It can, depending how you say it, be rude and unhelpful, but hatred? On par with telling gay teens they are sinful and headed to eternal hellfire? Really?

          • Slickwilly

            Sorry, I must talk to more intellectual people than you.  

            You should go into demagogy, though.  Your misconceptions about what common people know go a long way towards your goal of….well, flaming me, as you clearly don’t have one of your own.  

            But then again, I should stick to concepts you can Google.   You’re great at what is commonly called Apophasis – that’s something you can Google and then become an automagical expert on.

            Also, seriously, you’ve been trolled.   Hard.  Jeez.  

        • http://atheistsofutah.org Dan Ellis

          This sign is in no way meant to attack or demean anybody. It is simply an attempt to reach out to other non-believers in the state to let them know there are a growing number of non-religious groups they can turn to for support and a sense of community.

          • Slickwilly

            Way to sum it up.  I got riled up by someone else and lost the purpose here.  

    • Sionedazure

       Having lived in Utah all my life, I can tell you that Mormons believe in Christ every bit as much as any other Christian. They just believe a bunch of other nonsense as well. This whole “Mormons aren’t Christians” bs is really just a pissing contest between religions.

      • Nprfan2002

        Depends on your definition of Christian.  The early church defined it w/ the Nicene Creed.  LDS belief does not fall under this definition.  Further you can be a satanist and believe in Christ (that he existed and was God).  Does this make a satanist a Christian?    

        • Clogwogs2

          Muslims believe in Jesus, does that make them Christians?

        • Erp

          Bit tricky for the early Christians to define it by the Nicene creed when that didn’t exist until near 300 years after the start.   The earliest creed may have been “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9) and belief in the resurrection of Jesus.

          The LDS are Christians though not in the mainstream (which is frankly defined by the Catholic/Orthodox combo who make up the overwhelming majority of Christians). 

      • Jen Oneida

        Mormons are NOT Christians. CHRISTIANS do not put any other God above the Lord. Nor do we bare witness to FALSE PROFITS! i.e. Joseph Smith and Perv Master Warren Jeffs.

        • Scottyb

          Wow, you really don’t know much about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

        • ACN

          Nor do we bare witness to FALSE PROFITS!

           I’m going to assume that one was a freudian slip.Don’t think I’m not laughing.

      • Anonymous

        In my judgement they’ve moved far enough from the Nicene Creed that they can’t be considered unorthodox/heretical Christians, but are a religion of their own as much as Muslims are.

    • Fe

      American is a christian nation. We are looking at that point with these billboards. if we were in another country then it would be a different deity.

      • Clogwogs2

        One of those signs should be put up in Pakistan!

      • Clogwogs2

        One of those signs should be put up in Pakistan!

      • guest

        America is a multi-nation state. Christendom is a multi-state nation.

    • jeff

      And how do you do it “right” ,, I do not see the word “christian” anywhere on that billboard ?? what you on about??

    • susan

      enjor your atheism now because it won’t be “forever lasting” :)

      • susan

        not meant for you slickwilly..

  • http://diaryofamessylady.wordpress.com/ Lauren

    Love it! Hopefully this ad will be able to spend its time peacefully, being seen by thousands of people, without any bad press or vandalism.

    Sad, but that probably won’t happen. Le sigh.

  • Nikki SAAG W.

    GOOD! BTW, you don’t have to disbelieve the God thing to be Atheist. Atheism has 0 to do with “God”. It’s a lack of belief in ALL deities.

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      “you don’t have to disbelieve the God thing to be Atheist”

      Um. Yes, you do. You have to not believe in a whole range of other deities too, it’s true, but you can pick out any specific one of them, and you do indeed have to disbelieve in them. The term for someone who disbelieves in all the gods except the Christian one isn’t “Atheist”, it’s “Christian”.

  • ollie

    Salt Lake City and Park City aren’t that bad; well, at least compared with Bible belt regions in the southern US.

  • NightWatchman

    What a waste of money.  Someone give me $3K so I can put up a sign:
    “Do you like breathing air? You are not alone”
    Does this group really think anyone believes he is the only person who doesn’t believe in a god?  If yes, they have more issues that organized religion; if no, they don’t have much “faith” in their fellow atheists.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      I know of plenty of people who thought they were alone in being atheists. Especially if you live in the Bible Belt, or in Mormon Country USA (Utah). If you’re surrounded by 99.99% theists, of course you’re most likely going to feel like you’re alone as an atheist.

      Careful, NightWatchman, you’re showing your ignorance.

      • AtheistWizard

        Maybe if they don’t have….the internet.  We’re no longer surrounded by theists, we’re surrounded by whomever we make a part of our online community.

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          My claim of your ignorance is based on the fact that you wrongly assume that most atheists know full well of the abundance of atheists surrounding them. You have no evidence for this, only your argument from ignorance that you can’t conceive of the possibility that many atheists don’t realize just how many others like them there are in the world, or even their own community.

          As for the internet, not everybody will think to Google “am I alone as an atheist?” or something similar. Hell, most people can’t even Google the lyrics to a song to figure out what song it is they heard on the radio, or Google answers to their homework questions — if they could, then places like Yahoo! Answers (with an abundance of simple questions that can easily be answered with a quick Google search) wouldn’t exist or thrive.

          Just because you personally found it easy to realize the abundance of atheists around you, doesn’t necessarily mean the same is true for every other atheist out there. I have personally spoken to many fellow atheists and nearly all of them have agreed that they felt alone as atheists — especially if you’re the sole atheist in a large, extended family of very religious theists.

          • NightWatchman

            Al Gore invented the interwebs so people could check the facebook status update of god.

            Please don’t pretend people today don’t know how to look for answers.

            Thank you for the giggle.  

            Is your generalization of atheists (one based on the sample of people you’ve personally spoken with) that much different than mine (saying atheists know they aren’t alone in their thinking)?

            If I had to guess, and I will, more people than not know how to search for answers using sources outside of their neighborhood.

            Ding ding — round two complete.  Scoreboard.

            • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

              People like you, who are willfully obtuse and arrogant about their opinions and arguments from ignorance, are nearly impossible to debate with. I know it’s some kind of pathetic game to you, but I’m presenting evidence, while all you’re presenting are fallacious arguments from ignorance.

              And if this is in fact some sort of game to you, wouldn’t it make more sense for others to keep score, and not one of the “players”?

              • Guest

                I think you can use the number of likes as your measure for score-keeping.  10 to 1 at the moment, in your favor TerranRich.

              • NightWatchman

                You’ve been trolled. 

                • ACN

                  Hint: This doesn’t make you look like less of a moron.

                • NightWatchman

                  Please continue to feed the trool.

              • Slickwilly

                You can’t win arguments by simply calling people obtuse or arrogant.  You brought facts, NightWatchman brought facts.  Why not posit something again instead of everybody else here constantly badgering each other?  C’mon TerranRich, you seem like one of the few here that actually understand things.

          • Slickwilly

            Oh my god what is with some of you and thinking Google is the master plan for everything

      • NightWatchman

        I served a Mormon mission.

        I think I know a bit about Mormonism in Utah.

        Check please.  This dinner is ov’a.

        In today’s age of technology, if the people you know weren’t bright enough to Google “Am I the only atheist on the planet?” I dare say their faith isn’t the only thing suffering ignorance.

        But the world would be more interesting if I thought like the people you know.

        I am the ONLY person on the planet under 65.  There couldn’t possibly be other people my age in areas I can’t see at the moment.

        Oh, and please expand on your ad hominem attact of my ignorance — I’m sure I’ll get a chuckle out of it.

        • JimG

          “Oh, and please expand on your ad hominem attact of my ignorance — I’m sure I’ll get a chuckle out of it.”

          You know, if you really want to demonstrate your superior intelligence, you might get some help in writing a coherent sentence. From context, it appears that you are alleging an ad hominem “attack” that accuses you of ignorance, rather than consisting “of” your ignorance. Thus far all you’ve demonstrated is fatuousness.

          • NightWatchman

            Big words.  I don’t understand.  Someone please put up a billboard to tell me how to cope.

        • James B

          Wow, you should tell that to restaurants, car dealerships, hospitals, music events and other things I’ve seen advertised via billboards. You’re great insight might save them money. Or maybe those companies, churches and even atheists know something you don’t, advertisement and billboards works in spreading their message.  

    • Michael Thelen

      In Utah, the Mormon culture is so pervasive that yes, many atheists growing up Mormon tend to think there is something really wrong with them. We atheists can sometimes feel alone in the larger religious culture, but an atheist in a Mormon family and culture can feel especially isolated. When I first de-converted, I didn’t know whether my family would freak out or how many other people felt the same way. I think reaching out to these people with billboards is a fine idea.

    • JimG

      I rather suspect the sign merely alerts people to like-minded people nearby, thus connecting them with peers and an organization; you’ll note that it specifically points viewers to a website for Utahns.

      • Dean

        That’s just silly, clearly people will automatically know Salt Lake City has plenty of atheist organizations since it’s so well known for its tolerance and encouragement of freethinking. It’s not like the Mormons feel a need to post any billboards in the area, I bet you couldn’t find a single one, a person would have to be stupid not to be able to find a Mormon temple in Salt Lake City without information from a billboard. Ever hear of the internet? Billboards are obsolete. Posting a Mormon billboard in Salt Lake City is such a waste, like putting up a sign asking if people breathe air.

        • Susan_s49

          Actually, there are Mormon billboards everywhere here in Utah. Commercials too.

          • Anonymous

            Psst. I think Dean was being snarky. Wonderfully snarky.

    • Jdogsblog

      Atheists at byu? They think they’re alone. The 70 y-o couple in Sandy who still goes to church for community? They think they’re alone. You’re example below about not seeing other people below 65 is ridiculous, of course you do. At my work of 30 people almost all employees talk about church (Mormonism) an such and there’s maybe 3 people who are openly not LDS but no open atheists. Ends up there is another atheist but not being open about his unbelief I never knew for a long time.

      Long story short, yes, you can think you’re the only in your group of friends. Or that there are no groups or organizations you can go to. 

      • NightWatchman

        Thank you for giving us permission to “think we’re (sic) the only ones in our group of friends”  to believe a certain way.

        I sure wouldn’t want to be able to make my opinion and options heard without being told only the opposite is true.

        Oh…wait… is this what being an atheist in Utah feels like?

        Anyone else find it odd how some of the people posting to ‘protect’ the people supporting this billboard all to easily shoot down the ideas of others?  Ironic.

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          If your ideas are borne of ignorance and logical fallacies, then yes, you’re damn right we’ll shoot them down, and quite easily, too.

    • Dean

      Could you possibly be any more literal? Sheesh.

  • Kagloekler

    stupid. next the agnostics are going to have a sign saying “dont know what to believe? you are not alone” faith helps a lot of ppl through tough times, this sign just pokes fun at that. atheism helps nothing whatsoever why does it need a movement? i dont believe in aliens but i dont think i need to make a billboard to validate that

    • Subterminal

      Then ever other religion shouldn’t put up billboards or make their religion a “movement” because they don’t need to validate it. Your logic doesn’t make sense. Faith also hurts a lot of people, by urging them to sit around and do nothing about actual problems and just have faith that a god will help them.

      Also, out of everything to believe in, Aliens are actually the most likely to exist.

      • Marguerite

        Exactly.  I think atheism helps a great deal, by compelling people to look at the world as it really is.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Ugh, again with this. This billboard isn’t poking fun at anything or anybody. It is reaching a hand of friendship and camaraderie to fellow atheists — agnostic or otherwise. It is letting them know that they’re not alone. Please, tell me how this billboard in any way pokes fun at theism or faith.

      Just because you don’t see the need for atheists to get together and form communities where they can meet like-minded people, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist. It’s along the same line as “Like Star Trek? Visit our convention!” Would that be attacking Star Wars fans?

    • Anonymous

      Please detail in what way this sign “pokes fun” at anyone? How does a simple message of outreach from some nonbelievers to others, who may feel isolated, poke fun?

      Faith helps people through tough times? That’s nice, but nonbelievers have tough times too, and some of them would like if they could have a community that didn’t ask (or demand) that they turn to god(s) in those tough times. You don’t feel like you need a community or a movement? Super. Not everyone feels that way. This billboard is for them.

    • Dean

      What I’m hearing is that you interpret a sign indicating that not everyone believes in God, and if you don’t, here’s a website; as poking fun at faith. It seems like hearing we exist is what bothers you. And that’s why we need a movement, because of people like you.

    • HGee

      Poking fun would be “Believe in God? You’re stupid”. This isn’t poking fun. Pointing out that atheists exist is not “poking fun”.

    • Anonymous

      Do you see an overwhelming population of alien-believers demanding that everyone else live by the contradictory and often malevolent dictates of an ancient alien book, and fervently attempting to subvert our laws to enforce it?  Perhaps that’s why you don’t need a billboard.  But that’s exactly what the various Christian sects are attempting to do, and why non-believers need to join together in a more cohesive community.

  • Anonymous

    They could have said “Don’t believe in magic underwear?” You are not alone.

    • jeff

      you really think that is the same ??  true they are both ridiculous but I doubt anyone would think of religion at all if they seen a billboard saying “dont believe in magic underwear”   … Do you ?? 

      • Anonymous

        You don’t know Utah! Everyone here would know exactly what was being implied.

      • http://www.thehummingbirdhollow.com/ Beck

        Anyone in Utah would understand that in a heartbeat.

      • Kathague

        yeah, i just recently heard about “magic underwear” i’m from ohio, never heard of it before

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T554S5F3NJUNREHGZ3EXYQQVEU Kansas Lindsay

        I think the author of that comment was joking. *watches it fly over your head*

    • Kace159

      The way they put it with “don’t believe in god?” is just a generic call out to all atheists, just to let them know that they aren’t the only ones with such beliefs, to put “don’t believe in magic underwear” would be a direct attack on Mormon beliefs. And completely uncalled for. Then it wouldn’t be an atheist billboard, but an anti-Mormon billboard. Atheists don’t want to attack and belittle others for their beliefs, they just want to be accepted for their own beliefs

  • http://nathankennard.com Nathan R Kennard

    I want to take my children to see the sign. Although my children have not expressed a sense of isolation, this billboard conveys a positive message. A person lacking god belief should know they are not alone. The message of this sign calls to mind earlier sets by the group postmormon.org.

  • Kali

    I saw this on the way home from school today. Needless to say I had a little bit of an “Oh my Reason!” moment. I was utterly shocked that the billboard went up, but extremely happy.

  • http://heartfout.typepad.com/blog/ Heartfout

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52440403-78/utah-coalition-billboard-reason.html.csp?page=1

    A news article about it is up…and it seems to have been met pretty well actually.

    • Dean

      Good to hear, when these signs are greeted with a yawn, they’ve served their purpose.

  • Lindsey S

    Almost brought a tear to my eye. Totally going to drive out and get my picture taken in front of it. Can’t wait to see the local reaction. It sucks ass being an atheist in a sea of mormons (but still probably better than the bible belt).

  • HGee

    Does anyone else get the feeling that at least 4 of the posters in this comment thread are, in fact, the same person?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HNPP6FR7A76AFJB5IV6RT6YW6M M

    Wow i hope this pisses off the Osmond Family.

  • Scottyb

    The sign is so true.. Even if you don’t believe in God, you aren’t alone. God is still there.

    • susan

      could you be a little more contradictive with this statement? I think not !

    • Sven

      Sorry Scottyb,
      The god you speak of is only in your head.

      • Clogwogs2

        He is in my heart.

        • Sven

          Clogwogs2,
          If that’s what makes you happy, enjoy it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Zack/100002112399954 Robert Zack

          He is certainly not in mine.

        • Outcast

          Your heart pumps blood.
           

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Zack/100002112399954 Robert Zack

      Still there and doing absolutely nothing.

      • scottyb

        He literally saved my wife’s life two days ago while we were rafting. The raft had gone over a rock and thrown most of us off, but my wife and a few others were stuck on it and the raft was stuck against the rock in the hole. After about 5 minutes of not being able to move and risking any minute the raft could flip and they could be pinned against it in the water, they said a prayer and immediately afterward the raft came free. Miracles are not a proof that God is there, but often are shown after an exercise of faith.

        • Parse

          We’re all glad that your wife (and everybody else) is safe.  That being said, a) causation does not mean correlation, and b) in the eyes of a believer, there’s no outcome that you wouldn’t see your god’s presence.  The raft came free after prayer?  Behold God’s power!  The raft didn’t come free immediately, but they managed to get out of the hole?  God helped them do that!  The raft flips and nobody got hurt?  God protected them!  The raft flips, and somebody got injured?  God saved their life, and prevented them from being hurt more! The raft flips, and somebody got killed?  God works in mysterious ways, and he protected the rest of us!

          If you’re determined to see the presence of a beneficial god, you’ll see Yahweh’s handiwork in everything, no matter the outcome.   However, to those with a more skeptical mindset, we see your ‘miracles’ as indistinguishable from common chance.  If you’d like to convince us that miracles (and thus God) are real, you’ll need to provide reliable documentation of an event that couldn’t occur by chance (or slight of hand) – the most common example of this is regrowing lost limbs.

  • Dan W

    I suspect some morons will complain and/or vandalize it,  thus giving this group more publicity.

    Btw, what’s with the trolls upthread all of a sudden? Did some theists from other sections of Patheos come across this blog recently?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1295187097 Micah McAllister

    Awesome sign!  For anyone transitioning out of the dominant Utah religion (mormonism), you’re invited and welcome to join LifeAfterMormonism.net, a social network for former mormons: http://www.lifeaftermormonism.net

  • NickDB

    I didn’t realise that Judaism, Islam and Christianity had a different god? Thought it was the same magical sky fairy, with the only difference is that Muslims call him Allah and Jews and Christians call him God.  

    • Anonymous

      Depends upon whom you ask. As a historian (by education), I’d say that they all have different God concepts despite sharing an overlap in some scriptures.

  • Anonymous

    I’m Mormon, live in SLC, and this doesn’t bother me. In fact, it bothers me more when my fellow Mormons treat atheists (and others with differing beliefs) badly, even in their own families — simply because of those differing beliefs. I’m glad there’s something that helps people feel more welcome. I also appreciate the spirit in which this billboard is done, unlike the competing billboards in NYC during Christmastime (“You know it’s a myth” “You know it’s real”). I’m guessing atheists in Utah wouldn’t like it if Mormons posted a billboard saying “You know the LDS Church is true, just join it!” I wouldn’t like it, either. You’re always welcome in my neighborhood.

    Just curious, isn’t this close to another billboard in West Valley that has the scripture about being saved by grace? I’m not saying it’s reactionary or anything.

    • Anonymous

      p.s. There’s a Buddhist temple in my neighborhood. Beautiful, and the people there are so nice. Somebody spray-painted “Jesus” on the sidewalk in front of the main gate to it. I believe in Jesus, but that pissed me off to no end.

  • Bob Becker

    Pleased to see one of the better billboards has gone up right here in the belly of the beast.  So to speak. 

  • Mckinsey Cox

    Have to say, when they mentioned how they might be the person next to you in church… what is someone who doesn’t believe in a god doing in a church? That seems more like someone who is confused than a nonbeliever.

  • Driller1

    Let me know how that works out in the end for you buddy!!

  • Padrezzito

    The equivalent to:  Darn, I got absolutely nothing to do!

  • Neek

    So you talk about people shoving their beliefs at you, If you believe you’re way of believing is right, wouldn’t you want to share that with people you love? If you think it makes you happy, wouldn’t you be a selfish person to not want to share it with someone. Whether it’s agnosticism, atheism, theism, or polytheism. Whats wrong with asking or sharing what you believe out of love, and let them decide if they want to learn more or not. Thats the misconception here.

  • Theist

    Same as saying: YOU ARE GODLESS?
    ME TOO


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