A Super Bowl Sunday Ad You Won’t See During the Game

American Atheists will have a plane fly a banner over Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon, hoping to get the attention of tailgaters… and the media:

The banner will read “Football beats church anytime – atheists.org.” The banner is scheduled to be in the air from 9:30-11:30 AM local time.

Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists, stated, “We took advantage of a unique opportunity to remind many Americans that their religion is not as important as they like to pretend it is. In many cities around the country the running joke is that football is the most popular religion.”

Mr. Silverman continued, “The banner will be seen by thousands of tailgaters, who clearly agree with American Atheists since they chose to sit on a tailgate instead of a pew. They chose to party with friends instead of praying with preachers.”

Silverman also paid for banners to fly over select cities last July.

Back then, many pilots refused to fly the banners, but there doesn’t seem to be much resistance this time around.

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.

  • Fargofan1

    I’m surprised that the pilots aren’t refusing again. What has changed since July?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

       These are Indiana pilots.  Some of my fellow Hoosiers are willing to put profit first. It ain’t our message they like, it’s the paycheck.

      • Anonymous

        Church is about money too. Look at all the property, assets and politicians they own.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560753834 Paula Coyle

      What’s changed?  Nothing…You’re finding out that the pilots aren’t really all that “Christian.”

  • Alex

    I’m probably missing something here, but how the hell is atheism patriotic?…

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know maybe something about freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

    • pirmas407

      It is supposed to link us to the more Deistic founding fathers as well as try (emphasis on try) to say just because we don’t believe in god doesn’t mean we hate America or aren’t patriotic. 

      • Alex

        I dunno, maybe I just have a general problem with the fact that “patriotic” is not the same as “not unpatriotic”. Kind of like lack of belief and belief in absence.

      • monyNH

        I can see the correlation between atheism and democratic principles (no blind obeisance to gods or kings) better than atheism and patriotism. However, it’s a less catchy slogan.

    • http://twitter.com/Aspentroll Critical Thinker

      I think it’s better than being called Satanic, immoral, god hating, (and the list goes on) by people who claim to be religious.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560753834 Paula Coyle

        Just remember, those people who say that should really understand that they themselves naturally hate God too.

        • Living Faith

           Anyone who hates the word of God hates God. They may pretend they don’t, but God knows their hearts.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t hate the word of God.  Since there is no God, there is no word of God.  What you refer to is a collection of stories written thousands of years ago by humans and attributed to a god.

            Do you really believe a superbeing sat down and wrote a book? Or dictated it?  I find the ability to delusion oneself to such levels fascinating.

            You’d think a superbeing would show themselves, make themselves known, speak to us, communicate in some way, you know, like the good old days.  Hmm…no youtube, no blogs, not even an email.  Dissappointing.

            • Ubi Dubium

              And it’s not like an omniscient god wouldn’t know my email address.  He never even sends me a lousy ecard on my birthday!

          • Alex

            My imaginary friend can beat up your imaginary friend :)

            • TheBlackCat

              That’s what you think!

          • TheBlackCat

            Anyone who hates the word of Darth Vader hates Darth Vader. They may pretend they don’t, but Darth Vader knows their hearts.

          • T-Rex

            Which gawd? How does one hate something that does not exist? Epic fail.

      • Alex

        Oh, I’m in no way saying that being patriotic is bad, I just don’t see how disbelief in deities is patriotic.

    • Methodissed

      I’m with Alex – WTF? What is atheism? A = Without, Theism = God belief. How does that translate to patriotism?

      Patriotism is the belief that the country in which you happen to be born is the best country in the world – a natural sentiment found the world over. Far from being a virtue, jumping up and down to proclaim one’s patriotism simply says, “I’m a proud member of the ignorant unthinking herd.” 

      I wish American Atheists would stop pretending to speak for all atheists, and stop saying stupid shit. If they want to proclaim their patriotic sentiments, then their banner should read, “American Atheists is a Patriotic Organization.”

      • http://www.twitter.com/a_okafor007 Anthony C. Okafor

        I think it’s in response to that George Bush quote where he said atheism was un american

        • Alex

          George Bush is gone. Atheists are still here.

  • Skeptical one

    I don’t really see this winning a whole lot of hearts and minds. If anything, it just comes off as a bit of the typical “arrogant atheist” stereotype, focused on materialism as a call to arms for atheists rather than compassion or progress, and it just gives religious groups more fodder to use against atheism in general. Or in other words, simply poor marketing strategy.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

       I’m a little over the “Arrogant Atheist” meme. To some people, the fact that we’re no longer willing to stay in the back of the closet is an “arrogant” act.

      Oh, yes, just stay quiet, be Murrika’s “best kept secret” until the day we’re maliciously outed and hauled off to the Dominionist concentration camp…

      • Anonymous

        More than half the battle is just getting noticed. It’s hard to do with limited funds. Silverman has gotten us a lot of bang for the buck. Even Tebow plays football on Sundays!

    • Alex

      I agree, but what would be a better one? It seems that we are rather limited in options. Billboards? Soup kitchens? Cleaning highways? No matter what atheists do, they end up being arrogant snobs either way.

      • Skeptical one

        I agree that atheists will be labeled as arrogant snobs by the religious fundamentalists and even many religious liberals, regardless of our actions and words.

        However, that doesn’t mean that we should slip into the mentality of “they’ll hate us regardless of what we say, so let’s just say anything.”  Being noticed is important, yes.  But if in every instance of being noticed, there is a negative association, I don’t think that’s the kind of noticing that is helpful for the atheist population as a whole.

        If anything, the Arrogant Atheist meme is just a reason to work harder to prove that they are wrong.

        As far as a four-word phrase that is more effective than “football beats church anytime,” I’m not quite creative enough to come up with one!  But I would say, something that catches the spirit of “a different way to come together on Sundays”, might ruffle less feathers and attract more people on the fence.

        • guest

          Change that to “A Better Way to Come Together on Sundays”  and I could get behind your alternative.  Otherwise, I prefer the one being used.  I think we need to ask ourselves why it is so difficult to come up with a better or more “creative” phrasing.  Could it be that the reality is that nothing we decide to use will pass the impossible test of “arrogance” to theists and those who wish not to ever make waves?  That banner is neither arrogant nor offensive,  unless the very idea of atheists suggesting that there is something they consider better than church is, in itself, offensive.  Which it is -  to theists and accommodationists.  Just as the mere existence of atheists is offensive to theists.
          It is time for us to grow up and recognise that we will never avoid ruffling feathers no matter how hard we try, no matter how much care we take to be inoffensive. Our very existence is an affront to theists, so nothing we can say or do will ever be received well.  The only hope we have is to keep trying,  keep communicating and yes, that will offend people.  No movement of an oppressed underclass has ever succeeded without “offending” the more powerful class.  The very act of demanding equality and freedom from discrimination is threatening to the privileged group. They will insist on painting those actions as offensive and “arrogant”.  We should not help them with that.

          • guest

            As a quick exercise:  what would be the reaction if a banner was flown that read “Church beats football anytime.”  Your Local Megachurch.
            I think we all know that this would be accepted as a truism -  and might actually cause some guilt-ridden theists to shuffle with heads bowed in shame right over to the church on the corner instead of tailgating.
            Religion gets a free pass -  it is considered true that church is somehow better and more moral.  At the very least, people would regard it as only fair that the church can hold the opinion that their church IS better than football anytime.
            Not so for atheists.  Atheists are arrogant for liking something else other than religion.  Give me a break.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560753834 Paula Coyle

              actually church has become as much a silly circus at those megachurches as football, so in a way they probably have a point.

              You shouldn’t go to church unless you believe what they are saying. It’s not supposed to be a ‘moral transformation’ program, and I’m sick of those kinds of churches myself.

              I do things wrong and I need to be reminded of forgiveness and acceptance just like everyone else who understands their own weaknesses.

              If you don’t feel you have any, you won’t seek out that kind of fellowship.

              • Living Faith

                 To Paula Coyle: You said “church has become as much a silly circus at those megachurches as football”. Yes, indeed, and the megachurches aren’t alone. Many churches are led away with silliness… even evil false teachings that don’t save anyone from their sinful lifestyles. The “saved in sin” doctrine prevails in most denominations, because that’s where the money’s at. The vast majority don’t go to church to hear the truth that transforms them into holy followers of Jesus, but for smooth talk that assures them God loves them “just like you are”…in the sinful state they choose to remain in. Most despise any pastor who reproves, rebukes, and exhorts the congregation, warning to repent or perish (like Jesus preached). The time has come that most will not endure sound teaching, but instead seek out pastors who walk after their own lusts, and who justify them in their sins…and there is a boatload of such churches who pander to such willful sinners-for money.

        • Klmartin62

           I am an ordained minister, and I can honestly say that I don’t hate any of you. I am very conservative, but you have every right to believe as you will. I offer an alternative belief, but it is not my place to force that on you. Like almost all Christians, I once was an unbeliever as well.

          There are many who will criticize this action, but I have no problem with it. There will always be this same battle to bring people to our differing sides, this is just a tactic to accomplish that task. Were it a church doing it, most would not give it a second thought.

          I will say that the same message could be preached from the pulpit. I believe that conversion to Christianity includes a complete change in a person’s values. So, if football is more important to you than God, that would make football your god.

          I pray that I don’t offend anyone when I say God bless you all, but I do pray that He will do so. Enjoy the game. I will get the score later, but I do enjoy watching just as much as most.

          Love and grace,
          Leon Martin

          • Living Faith

             Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and know the perfect will of God thereby. If you are of the world, the world will love you and your worldly council, but if you’re not of the world, the world will hate you. Jesus told His disciples that the world will hate them for the Word’s sake (his name is called the Word of God). Most pastors don’t endure that, and teach fables the world loves to keep a job.

            • TheBlackCat

              How come no one can seem to agree on what this “perfect will of God” is?  Let me guess: people who agree with your views have the “perfect will of God”, and people who disagree with you don’t?

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for posting, but don’t bother praying. We don’t need it and you are wasting your time.

    • Nordog

      I don’t know, the football banner idea seems to be a bit in a middle ground between kittens and Jesus=Unicorns rhetoric.  Sure, there are untold numbers of those who will be upset by this one, but remember, no matter what anyone does, there will people getting upset.

      The Atheism is Patriotic one is odd imo.  I think this has been discussed before, but I don’t think atheism has anything to do with patriotism one way or another.  Perhaps it would have been better to have said “Many patriots are atheists.”  (Despite the fact that on an early discussion thread here about the Pleadge of Allegiance, many atheists explicitly rejected patriotism in principle, regardless of country.)

      • Anonymous

        You don’t think atheism has any relation to patriotism, and neither do I, but the Christian wingnuts do. They are busy conflating atheism with immorality, deviancy, homosexuality, communism and anything else they don’t like. It’s an entrenched opinion and it needs refutation. Even if it is bald assertion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560753834 Paula Coyle

      Nah, I think they have a point. I’m a really conservative Christian.  The attention, emotional energy, status, time, and money we give to sports in this country definitely does amount to an idolatrous religion.

      • Living Faith

         I agree 100% Paula. The sleepy denominations are the reason the judgment of God is upon America. My wife and I chose to visit a church close to where we live. The bible study is great, but I’m now to where I’m wondering what this pastor will say NEXT that is in opposition to scripture, or justifying the ungodly. He recently exalted Pat Tillman (once a notable football player and a soldier) who was killed by “friendly” fire in Iraq as an example for Christians to ‘forsake all’. I wrote him a letter, saying Tillman was a ATHEIST, and never an example for Christians to follow. His reply was empty and lame; he mostly said he didn’t know. I hope he apologizes for the sermon to the congregation, since he “didnt know”.

        • TheBlackCat

          Right, of course, because atheists can never show moral, upright, selfless behavior that others should emulate.  Thanks for demonstrating your blatant bigotry for everyone to see. 

        • Wintermute

          Of course, if you or your pastor actually knew anything about Pat Tilman, you’d know that classifying him as simply ‘theist’ or ‘atheist’ is an unfair simplification, and the one thing he clearly never wanted was to be used as the rope in an ideological tug of war, whether over politics or religion. But I guess when you’re playing for the kingdom of god, lying and using people is just a means to an end.

        • Anonymous

          Your pastor may be an atheist. It’s surprisingly common.

          When you see him promoting compassion from the pulpit, treating others as equal regardless of their sexuality, and refraining from imposing his views about abortion on all women, there’s a good chance your pastor doesn’t believe in God at all, and is trying to gently educate you toward a more progressive worldview.

      • Ubi Dubium

        It might be an idolatrous religion, but it does less harm than evangelical christianity does.  Football fans are not lining up to deny people their civil rights, or control reproductive freedom.  Nobody has ever told me or my children that I am an evil person, or am deserving of hell because I didn’t like football or root for the right team. 

        I recommend the Church of Baseball as being much better, though. Less violence, and more services. 

  • Mary Hosbrough

    I agree with Skeptical One.  I mean, it is OK, but surely we could have come up with something better.  It doesn’t really represent me, who dislikes football and enjoys church (the Universalist Unitarian church).

    • Living Faith

       the Unitarian church is atheist, isn’t it?

      • Ubi Dubium

        No, it’s not.  The Unitarian church has no dogma, and does not tell it’s members what to believe.  So, Unitarian churches have an interesting mix of christians, pagans, atheists, deists, and assorted everything else.  It’s more about exploring ideas, sharing what people have in common, and social activism.  Oh, and potlucks.

  • BlzBob

    I work every other Sunday in retail. I had a woman ask me why I had to work on the Sabbath and I let her know that it was so she could shop. 

    • Dustin

      I used to work at a movie theater that was open 365 days a year, Xmas included. I lost count of how many people said it was such a shame I had to work on Xmas.

      What in the actual fuck goes through people’s heads is beyond me…

    • John8-36

      Sabbath is Saturday, Sunday is The Lords Day.

      • Living Faith

         Where in scripture did the Lord designate Sunday as His day? BTW, I don’t observe any day above any other.

        • TheBlackCat

          So you don’t follow the ten commandments?  Good to know.

        • Barretts

          LOL – yes, please show me. I am going to make you open the book.

        • Arden Hodgins

          In the Old Testament, God called the Sabbath “My day”.  In the New Testament Sunday is called “the Lord’s Day”.  It is the same language being used.  There is a transfer of day – but not an abrogation of the Sabbath principle.  It is only fitting that the greater work (that of redemption) should supersede the lesser work (that of creation).  The work of creation deserved a special day for rest and worship.  The work of re-creation through Christ’s redemptive work deserves to be elevated and recognized by a ‘new’ day.  This was the apostles’ practice and continued to be the practice of the church for 2000 years.  Until, of course, dispensationalism cam on the scene.

        • Arden Hodgins

          In the Old Testament, God called the Sabbath “My day”.  In the New Testament Sunday is called “the Lord’s Day”.  It is the same language being used.  There is a transfer of day – but not an abrogation of the Sabbath principle.  It is only fitting that the greater work (that of redemption) should supersede the lesser work (that of creation).  The work of creation deserved a special day for rest and worship.  The work of re-creation through Christ’s redemptive work deserves to be elevated and recognized by a ‘new’ day.  This was the apostles’ practice and continued to be the practice of the church for 2000 years.  Until, of course, dispensationalism cam on the scene.

      • Dan

        Many Christians say that Sunday is the new Sabbath because that was the day Jesus was (supposedly) resurrected. It is extremely common in conservative Christianity to refer to Sunday as the Sabbath.

  • Ferencs3

    Maybe you all should stop and take a look at the terrible condition that America is in and see how it coincides with the removal of our founding fathers faith in Jesus Christ from schools, tv, government, ect….WAKE UP PEOPLE we were one nation under God, now due to this out right mockery of Him, much grief is headed America’s way.
    Jesus said, ” I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by me” I am ashamed of the direction of our country.

    • Anonymous

      Yes someday people will see the mockery religion makes of morality.

      • Dragon22

        Not to mention that our founding fathers wouldn’t know what the f**k TV is. You are the type of person who preaches the stuff straight from FOX news opinion. I’ll bet you I could quit more of the bible than you could, and more of the Constitution.

        • Dragon22

          Also, autospeller sucks! I meant quote, not quit. Although that is pretty close to the truth, anyway. ;)

        • Lee

          So what if you could quote anything. People have this idea of what the church is and what people are supposed to do. You let your own kind shape your ideas of Jesus. If you met a true Christian perhaps you would see that there is a reason the Bible says “many will be called but few chosen”. You let these people playing religion who are no different than you shape your idea.

          • Skeptical one

            “So what if you could quote anything.”  Apparently, you mean to say that direct quotes from your religious texts only matter if they are used to support YOUR side of the debate?

            “You let your own kind shape your ideas of Jesus.”  Maybe he does, maybe he also allows Christian viewpoints/quotes/texts influence his decision on what to believe about Jesus, too.  You’re making a presumption here.

            “You let these people playing religion who are no different than you shape your idea.”  Does that mean that he should only be shaping his ideas based on people YOU agree with?  Doesn’t that strike you as a bit of a disingenuous manner of trying to get to truth?

          • TheBlackCat

            Let me guess, “true Christian” is anyone who has the same beliefs you do?  No True Scotsman much?

      • Truthprojectde

        One day people will realize there’s no basis for morality apart from God. If we’re products of chance and not creation then all just is and everything that happens is natural…nothing can be unnatural because where would that come from.

        • TheBlackCat

          There is nothing unnatural about morality.  A society that does not have morality cannot and will not survive, it couldn’t even be considered a society to begin with.  So there is a perfectly natural reason for morality. 

          And there is moral behavior amongst animals, moral rules are universal amongst known social species.  We can actually predict the moral rules animals will follow using mathematical equations about the evolution of traits.

        • Anonymous

          If we’re “products of chance” then the world would look exactly as it looks now. After all, it’s investigation into the world which led to the conclusion that all life on earth evolved, rather than magicked into existence by some super being.

          You seem to be arguing that the bad things in the world could only come from your creator God, and if you were wrong then everything would be perfect.

        • Anonymous

          “no basis for morality apart from God”

          Which part of “Do unto others…” requires God?

          You think we’re all too stupid to figure that out for ourselves without a divine revelation?

        • Anonymous

          So, you mean that if you started to doubt god, you would go on a killing and raping rampage because your morality exists only because of this god you talk about?

          Wow, you are messed up.

          • Ferencs3

            morality  or the law better known as the ten commandments is written on all of our hearts and conscience. This is written in scripture…We all have it written on our hearts, we are still capable of sin but as the ten commandments show us our sin, and that we cant do it on our own and it points us to the need of Christs redemption.Then we have a free will to either accept or reject

    • wright1

      If you’re not a Poe… you should refresh your knowledge of how religion was and is practiced in this country. Before the Revolution, the various English colonies (all Christian-majority) had a fine tradition of persecuting religious minorities: they exiled them, denied them full rights in their own communities, even killed them sometimes.

      The Constitution put a stop to that, by specifically denying the federal government the power to endorse any particular faith. This is one of the strengths of American society and has, for the most part,kept sectarian violence to a minimum.

      YOU’RE the one that needs to wake up, Ferencs3. The 1st Amendment protects YOU from persecution just as it protects others from yours.

      • Ferencs3

        First of all, it was mentioned in one post that Christians were haters of atheists.  Not true, dont hate you at all. In fact I feel sorry for you that you are blind to the truth that God has so clearly set before us. If you do not make the decision to surrender to him as Lord on this earth, you will someday as it says in Isaiah, Romans and Phillipians that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Unfortunately it will be too late  then. I do not stand here as an innocent person condemning anyone but scripture says blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. And my friend yes our country was mostly christian in the beginning and it did decline as it has had its up s and downs since then. Mainly that is because some are really not true believers. Christ says when he returns will he even find faith  on the earth and this means that there isnt much true faith. Also, I am thankful for the first ammendment, but I am warning you all our there who deny Christ, the wrath is coming. Look at Sodom and Gamora. Look at the immorality in New Orleans and Katrina, or New York and the planes, or the tsunami several years back in a land that was full of pagan rituals and much evil. Im telling you the wrath of God is coming on this nation.However, the good news is if you trust in Christs  death  on the cross to be your righteousness and know that there is nothing you can do to earn your way to heaven that it is all about Him and what He has done to redeem us, you will be saved, and when the wrath does come and if we are still here, if you are saved will have the hope of eternity. He is a God of love and Mercy but He also is the judge. also to the person who commented on Fox news, I do not watch it. All stations are biased in one way or the other. My allegiance is not to any political party but to Jesus Christ . amen thankyou to my  God and Savior Jesus Christ. His grace is sufficient for even me. 

    • Living Faith

       Ferencs3, I am too. God is ashamed of people who are ashamed of Him. God sees the sins of everyone, regardless of how often their pastors tell them otherwise. Billy Graham says God doesn’t see his sins, all he sees is Jesus. Few question that statement, or go to the bible to see if Graham is right or wrong; they just believe him. There are MANY false teachers like Graham who assure those who despise God that no judgment from God will ever take them. See “Sycamore full version” on you tube to understand that 911 was a harbinger of much worse catastrophe coming upon the US for it’s continued pride and defiant rebellion against God…even church-goers resist the Holy Spirit and worship the same idols this nation worships. Yes, football is the most popular religion among ‘Christians’, and manifests their lukewarmness and hypocrisy.

      • Dan

        So God is responsible for 9/11 huh? If that was true then you gladly worship a moral monster. How very enlightened of you.

        • TheBlackCat

          Agreed.  We have a supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good being, and the best way he can find to change peoples’ behavior is to murder thousands of people?

          • Anonymous

            It didn’t work back in Noah’s day; it didn’t work for Sodom and Gomorrah; it won’t work now.

      • cipher

         Apparently, LivingFaith = DeadBrains

      • T-Rex

        Your blasphemy will bring Zeus’ wrath down upon us all. He will now release the Kracken. Thanks.

        • Anonymous

          I find your lack of faith disturbing. With such lily-livered lack of obeisance to the elder gods, I am certain that you will not be eaten first.

    • Dan

      Ferencs3,Many of the founding fathers didn’t have faith in Jesus Christ, so you are wrong historically. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Paine, etc. weren’t Christians. John Adams was a Christian, but a Unitarian and didn’t believe Jesus was eternal or equal with God.

      And the one nation ‘under God’ stuff wasn’t added until the communist scare in the 1950s. We aren’t a Christian nation, read the 1st Amendment.

    • cipher

      Yes, those atheists in Western Europe have even more domestic problems than we have. Oh, wait…

  • lacepace

    Not at all trying to start anything, i am just unsure and curious why athiests are so determined to convince the world there is no God …. If you believe there is no God then what does it matter to you that someone belives in “nothing” ? 

    • Wintermute

      Lacepace, I think many atheists would agree that if believers did what they have to do in their homes, and their churches, without trying to impose their values on society at large, we’d have little quarrel with you. I personally have no need to deprive anyone of a belief system which gives them comfort if it’s not harming others, though obviously I’d prefer people don’t believe things I think are false. 

      However, when believers try to use the law to deny homosexuals their civil rights, or deprive women of control over their reproductive futures, or otherwise do horrible things in the name of their faith, then you’d better believe I have a problem with it. And you’d better believe that I’m going to fight you tooth and nail.

      Ads like this are probably targeted more at the ‘closeted atheists’ and the people who are questioning their faith, with the goal of helping them realize that they’re not alone and that it’s good to ask questions. It’s no different than the billboards I see everywhere with slogans like “Do you know where you will go when you die?” with the exception that atheists don’t have 200+ years of religious privilege to make it more palatable.

      In short, believe whatever you like, but get used to the idea that religion no longer holds a monopoly in the marketplace of ideas and we have just as much right to put our views out there as anyone else.

      • Living Faith

         yes, it is good to ask questions. Question whether it was good for Sodom and Gomorrah to allow perversion as they did, even to the point of demanding they be given the right to rape angels. Question if God did the right thing to pour fire and brimstone on them. Question if murdering the unborn should be allowed or not, in the name of a woman’s “choice”. Hasn’t murder always been a crime? Why should it be normal behavior now? Question if it’s really the Christian thing to do  – to take up arms to kill alleged enemies and their children and their wives, when Jesus commanded to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. Question the sincerity of organizations, which for money seek to please men’s lusts, and not speak honestly for the God they’re supposed to represent.

        • TheBlackCat

          “Question whether it was good for Sodom and Gomorrah to allow perversion
          as they did, even to the point of demanding they be given the right to
          rape angels.  Question if God did the right thing to pour fire and brimstone on them.”

          I would think an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving being would have found a better way.  Especially one with a history of mind control.

          “Question if murdering the unborn should be allowed or not, in the name
          of a woman’s “choice”. Hasn’t murder always been a crime? Why should it
          be normal behavior now? ”

          Murder has always been a crime (unless God demanded it), but abortion was not considered murder in Jesus’s time.  It was not considered murder until the Catholic church you hate so much decreed it so with no biblical basis whatsoever.  The Bible says repeatedly and explicitly that the unborn are not considered on par with the born, and also says explicitly that killing the unborn is not a crime.

          “Question if it’s really the Christian thing to do  – to take up arms to
          kill alleged enemies and their children and their wives, when Jesus
          commanded to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.”

          Wait, weren’t you just talking about how Sodom and Gomorrah were good things?  What about the reconquest of the holy land after Exodus?  There they either massacred everyone, massacred everyone but the virgin women that they took as sex slaves, or (if they cooperated) robbed and enslaved them. 

          “Question the sincerity of organizations, which for money seek to please
          men’s lusts, and not speak honestly for the God they’re supposed to
          represent.”

          Pot, meet kettle.

        • Wintermute

          Yeah, do me a favor and don’t reply to my comments in the future. You’re an idiot and the association does me no favors. Nor have you managed to say anything interesting yet despite near a dozen posts blathering on about the will of god and how most christians just don’t get him the way you do. If your god is so amazing, why don’t you go sit in a dark room and pray he do something about all us sinners who seem to be doing quite fine without him.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger/featured GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I think the proposed airplane banner is great. For those who complain that something better could be done, I say “Awesome…. and [most importantly]… go for it!”

    Just be ready for the fact that when you propose your idea, there will be lots of folks (doing nothing themselves to promote the ’cause’ of reality-based living) who will criticize you for it. 

    There are MILLIONS of nonbelievers in this country, so there is NO advertising campaign that will hit the “perfect” tone for ALL of us. But personally I support (both with my words and with my wallet, e.g. membership dues, etc) getting these messages out there.  The more the better. The more varied the better (some associated with football, some associated with Xmas, some re: African-Americans, some re: senior citizens, some re: the Bible Belt, some that are funny, some that are more confrontational, some re: Islam, some re: psychics, etc.).

  • Follower of Jesus

    Just to clarify this, many churches have services on Saturdays so they have already attended church. Second, just because one attends a church service doesn’t make one a Christian. It is a relationship  with Jesus that allows Him to be Lord over my life. So are you saying Christian can’t take vacations because they’ll miss church? Going to church is part of  assembling with other Believers as scriptures addresses. Would I hope that a church wouldn’t close on Super Bowl Sunday? Yes.  Because if only 1 person attended it would be worth having the doors open. Just as Jesus came to save the world, if only 1 had received Him I believe He would have still died on the cross. Will I be in church on Sunday? Yes. Will I attend my church’s small group on Sunday at 5:00p.m. to 7:30p.m. and study our lesson? Yes. Will I judge those who choose to close church or not attend church? No, because then that would make me a hypocrite, wouldn’t it?

    In Christ
    Friendly Christian

    • wright1

       I’m noticing more Christians like you showing up here; it’s heartening to this atheist. Please keep raising your profile as a group, we need to know you’re out there.

    • T-Rex

      A relatioship with Jesus is akin to a relationship with Frodo or Harry Potter. There is as much proof of the existance of Frodo and Harry Potter as there is for the existance of your particular imaginary friend. Grow up.

  • Kathy

    I’m confused.  When did prayer and praise and church get limited to Sunday?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QEV2EPZCSYGHHEGY6GP67XQFHI Lisa

    This ultra conservative child of God agrees with you.  The idolatry of football is rampant. 

  • Annie

    I like the sign, especially since it will be flying over the stadium from 9:30 – 11:30, which is prime service time for many congregations.  The religious who see it will be cooking up brats instead of sitting in a service, so they obviously agree with the sentiments.  If you’re in church instead of tailgating when the sign flies over, it obviously doesn’t apply to you, right?

  • Imtelling

    It’s not a sin to go somewhere on Sunday.  It’s not a sin to miss a church service. It’s OK that Tim Tebow plays football on Sunday.  Jesus Christ is now our Sabbath rest, not any day.

    • Annie

      In some religions, it is a sin to miss church on Sunday.  I was raised in the Catholic church, and to miss communion required one to go to confession before you could receive communion the following week.  Just because some followers prefer to disregard this rule, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  This is what surprises me the most about the religious… their ability to pick and choose which rules they choose to follow, and which ones them deem as unimportant and disregard. 

      • loubob

        where does it say that “rule” in the Bible?

        • Annie

          Wouldn’t be in the bible, but in the Code of Canon Law.  I’m sure all denominations have some “rule book” they use… or do they just make up stuff as they go along?

          • paige morrison

            No all denominations do not have a “rule book” that would be Muslims and Catholics. You might want to check out Christianity. 
            That is the problem: the code of Canon Law is not God’s law. Those laws were made to control man, God sent Christ to set us free.  And we are free indeed, so if you want to go see football and have a beer and bratwurst, you can say “praise God” during touchdowns and God isn’t ticked off you are not sitting in church. He is probably protecting the Christian players on the field and yelling “catch that football!!!” My God loves a good time, laughter and loving one another. That is true Christianity. And my preacher is a nutcase football fan. Our church sent him to a playoff game for his birthday and guess what? It was on a Sunday. Baptist Church. Yes, we love Jesus.

            • Nordog

              “No all denominations do not have a “rule book” that would be Muslims and Catholics. You might want to check out Christianity.”
              You realize, don’t you, that Catholics are Christians too?

            • Annie

              Dear Paige Morrison-

              If you are going to visit an atheist site, please at least have the consideration to read the entire thread before you comment.

              And how reassuring it is to know that your imaginary friend is protecting players in a game, while he lets countless children starve to death each year.  What a guy!

              Also, you may want to ask your pastor about the “rules” of your church… baptist churches often list them as a church “manual”, “handbook”, or “bylaws”.

              How nice of you to send your nutcase preacher to a playoff game.  I hope he had a lovely time.

            • Living Faith

               paige, I agree with your own assessment of your pastor: “my preacher is a nutcase football fan”. A “fan” is a fanatic. A person who is a fanatic about violence and foolishness like football is certainly also a nutcase. He’s obviously got other such fanatics deceived into thinking one can serve his lusts and love Jesus too. No, God is not swilling a beer and yelling “catch that football!”, and true Christianity is not “loving a good time”. The cross was no “good time”, but it’s what Jesus calls His followers to take up daily, and to deny themselves, not to please one’s flesh. Most professing Christians qualify as lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, and an admitted “fan” wouldn’t deny it if he were honest with himself.

            • T-Rex

              Jesus is a fictional character from a horribly written fictional book. Nothing more. Wake up.

          • Living Faith

             Most, like the Catholic church, make it up as they go.

            • Ubi Dubium

              Not most.  All.

    • Living Faith

       It sickens me to think that a person who professes to know God gets paid big money to “hit” the members of the opposing team, that’s also getting paid big bucks to entertain “Christians” and others by such idiotic violence to put a pigskin ball at one or the other side of a field. Were the games in the Colosseum much different? Men are getting brain and other permanent damage to entertain people? How stupid is that? And PRAYING that their team wins? Is God betting on the Lakers?

    • Anonymous

      I always wondered what would happen if the Broncos started playing Tebow at tight end or fullback. Would he still get the same privileged treatment by his followers or the press? Would Jesus play fullback or waterboy? 

  • paige morrison

    We are not here to judge the atheist. They have been judged. Christians won’t be turned from God because of some silly banner. That is the difference between being a Christian and an atheist, we really believe in something that exists. If we want to go to a football game, drink a beer and have a bratwurst and sit and on a tailgate, God is with us, and there at the game. He is not ticked, because He is busy protecting us and the Christian players on the field. Our Pastor may be there too on a Sunday because he loves football and one year the whole church sent him and his family to a playoff game of his favorite team, ON A SUNDAY, and we prayed for his team in church that day. And guess what, it wasn’t a sin. We are free in Christ. That is the message, and He loves us, we live a godly life because we love Jesus, not because we are scared of Him. Read your Bible, it’s a love letter to His creation. And He likes football.

    • Dan

      I’m encouraged by your attitude. As many problems as religious fundamentalism cause the US, it is nice to see Christians, even Baptists, ignoring their spiritual history and getting more caught up in sports than Jesus. Anytime I get discouraged by the Rick Santorums of the world it is nice to be reminded that many American Christians are so wishy-washy, devoid of doctrine, and so unserious about their faith that they count drinking beer and watching football as some type of religious experience because “Jesus is right there.” The vast majority of Christians throughout history would even recognize American religion as Christianity, and that is very encouraging to me. Please tell your pastor to keep the watered-down pseudo-Chrisitianty coming! We atheists see it as much better than traditional Christianity.

    • Dan

      Oh, and where in the Bible does it say God loves football? I don’t remember that in Sunday school or Christian college classes. Are you in the habit of just making up stuff about the God you believe in? When I was a Christian I would have considered that extremely blasphemous. I think maybe you need to read the Bible more.

      • Nordog

        I believe the thinking, in syllogistic form, would go like this:

        God love everything except sin.

        Football is not a sin.

        Therefore, God love football.

        I think the fact that football is not a sin is found in the Book of Revelation.

        Personally, I don’t like football, so count me as agnostic on this one.
        ;-)

        • Nordog

          not sure why I’m dropping the “s” off of “loves”.

        • Ubi Dubium

          I read the bible, and I got this syllogism:

          God is jealous.
          God is love.
          Love is not jealous.

          Wait …what?

          • Nordog

            LOL!

      • Anonymous

        Naaahh… God loves soccer, aka the real football

    • cipher

       Read your Bible, it’s a love letter to His creation.

      “Dear Creation,

      Love me , or burn in hell for eternity.

      God”

      Yep, that’s about right.

    • Wintermute

      Just as a point of logic, if you’re going to state unequivocally that god is protecting football players from harm (though I guess he does a lousy job, what with all the traumatic brain injuries), you may also want to consider why he allows millions to starve, die of disease, and be obliterated by natural disasters. Otherwise you kind of sound like a dumbass.

    • T-Rex

      Paige, you are delusional, as are all theists. Until people like you give up their imaginary friends and stop believing fairy tales are true, your kind will always be seen as delusional. Here’s to your getting over your delusions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbarrettwolf J. Barrett Wolf

    There’s no percentage in worrying about religious people calling atheists ‘arrogant’.  They believe anyone who doesn’t cower before their particular flavor of god is arrogant.

    There are a few Christians who get that they can believe in god whilst allowing others do as they will, but they are a small minority  – one with which most atheists have no quarrel. It’s the rest of the hoard that is the problem for atheists, the Constitution and the nation.

    Until and unless critical thinking is taught in schools and people aren’t primed by parents, preachers and politicians to believe whatever fairy tale they’re told, only the more reasonable and intelligent people will understand, and reject, the fallacy of religion.

  • Ubi Dubium

    Where did all these fundigelicals come from all of a sudden?  I don’t think I’ve seen any of these guys here before.  Did some Fundie blog link to this post?

    • cipher

       That’s the hilarious aspect to this – they’re all Googling the word “SuperBowl”. Just put that in the header, and you get more Christians in a few hours than you’d ordinarily get in a month.

    • Anonymous

      You have to tip your hat to Silverman, he does get us noticed.  
      “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Mohandas Gandhi

    • Anonymous

      I think the mix of sensible people and religious wingnuts is quite refreshing. At least some of them will read what we write, even if they don’t understand it.

  • Anonymous

    One good thing about seeing a plane flying an atheist banner is that you no they’re not going to fly it into a building.

    • Origanalgandalf

      except maybe into a church

  • Gcrocker

    At one point in my life I had it all figured out.  I was raised Catholic but didn’t see that it made any difference in anyone’s lives so I was an athiest.  I meet some crazy people who actually believed God had answered their prayers – yeah right.  I remember the exact words of my first “real” prayer.  “God if you are there I really want to know!”  I got an answer and it totally changed my life.  With out Jesus in my life I would have never have been able to be good husband and father.  I was just too selfish before.   

  • T-Rex

    It should say, “only delusional idiots would choose church over football”. Fuck religion.

    • Nordog

      I have this theory that you and FSq are the same person.  If not, then you two should get together and compare notes.


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