Atheist Billboards Go Up in Wichita, Kansas

The Wichita Coalition of Reason just put up the following billboard in two locations thanks to $4,108 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason:

Reaching out to the like-minded isn’t the only goal of the coalition: “We hope people will realize that we’re already a regular part of the community,” said Sean Gillespie, coordinator of Wichita CoR. “Non-theists and skeptics like us live throughout Kansas. We’re your friends, relatives, neighbors and coworkers. Some of us may even be in the pew next to you in church!”

The billboard is also promoting the free Skeptics of Oz conference taking place April 21st-22nd at the Forum Theater.

Incidentally, since March of 2009, there have been atheists billboards put up by the United Coalition of Reason in 29 different states (and the District of Columbia). There’s no reason to stop, either. In a state like Kansas, even a billboard as innocuous as this one stands to be controversial, drawing all sorts of publicity for the coalition groups in the process.

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.

  • Howler.

    Ah Kansas, one of the few states left where they will BURN you as a witch for not being Christian… Gotta love em! 

    • Nathanjewett07

      When has a Christian ever burned someone for not being a Christian? If I am not mistaken we are the ones who get persecuted for our beliefs all over the world. I feel sorry for people like you, and I pray that one day you will FEEL the power of Christ. It’s an something that cannot be explained only experienced. If you want to support these signs being put up that is your own right but it is also our right to spread the word. God help you! Regardless of your beliefs EVERYONE will have to answer to him. It’s not an opinion it is a fact.

      • Erp

         Nathan,

        I suggest you read some history.   Michael Servetus was burnt in Calvin’s Geneva for being a unitarian.   If you want to include hanging, then the Massachusetts Bay Colony hanged Quakers for being Quakers.    Christian pogroms against Jews (which included killing them sometimes by burning) happened throughout history.  It was also usual for the Inquisition to hand those found guilty of heresy or apostasy over to the secular authorities for burning or other form of execution (Cayetano Ripoll in 1826 who was hanged and then possibly burnt seems to have been the last). 

        • Au_catboy

          Erp, learning is against Nathan’s religion.  And unlike the prohibition on judging people or the commandment against bearing false witness, he actually lives by the refusal to learn.

  • Mack

    Your proof that atheists are immoral and harmful to humanity: http://online.worldmag.com/2012/03/28/richard-dawkins-encourages-atheists-to-mock-and-ridicule-christians/

    • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

       Sounds like he’s mocking the beliefs but not the believers. He probably got the idea from the whole “hate the sin but love the sinner” approach. Pointing out errors of fact should not be considered immoral or harmful.

    • cyn thia

      I fail to see how this is proof of anything.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      Wow, Dawkins is 71? I wouldn’t have guessed that.

      • Anonymous

        Looking that good is what you get for living a sinful lifestyle.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey Mick Wright

       Right. Mockery’s harmful to humanity. As opposed to the wholesale slaughter of cities for not believing in the right god.

      Militant Christians are infamous for killing doctors. Militant Muslims are infamous for bombing people. Militant atheists are infamous for…sarcasm.

      Get a life, huh?

      • Mack

        When was the last time a religion has sacked a city? Seriously. Why are we comparing what happened centuries ago to today. Also, try not to look at the outliers. An extremist is named so because they do not fit the prototypical mold. To say that this religion is nuts based off the actions of an extremist is like doing an experiment with the sample size of 1 and then saying that you’ve discovered some important new discovery (like the team that thought they observed particles faster than the speed of light).

        The reason I bring this gentleman up is he may also be an outlier of the atheist community, but he is looked up to as someone people inspire to be more like. 

        The general population of Christians are not striving to become more like the WBC now are they?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          When was the last time religion flew a plane into a building?  Or killed a child because she was possessed by demons?  Or stoned a woman for being raped? Or tried to make someone feel guilty or scared because of what one particular books says?

          Outliers?

          When was the last time an atheist hurt anyone because no god told them to?

          The problem with your outliers, is that they’re so far out there that by contrast, ‘everyone else’ can get away with some real crazy.  If the likes of Dawkins and PZ Myers are our extreme cases, then I’ll take a mocking over a stoning any day.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      If you really believe that, then you’d have to accept that it also applies to a great number of religious people who do far worse, to atheists and to each other.  Mocking beliefs has been a religious tradition for millenia.

      • Mack

        I didn’t say it didn’t. I agree it would apply to everyone. Mockery is stupid. I don’t do it. I would like to think 99% of my conversations are rational. Of course sometimes I give in once in a while and it never goes as well as intended when I do.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Wait, I thought mockery was immoral and harmful to humanity.  Now you’re just saying it’s stupid.

          Your claim that ‘atheists are immoral and harmful to humanity’ is extremist over the top rhetoric.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    It looks great!

    Is there a pool on how long it will take before they vandalize it?

    • Mack

      Nah, not in Wichita…never…

  • afinch
    • Anonymous

      Heh heh. That’s fun. Thanks for the link.

  • ORAXX

    Whether it be Kansas or New York City, places are never strictly one thing or another.  Given the cultural climate of Kansas, I suspect there are many free thinkers who keep a low profile as a matter of self preservation.

    • Greg

      Kansas and everywhere else, in my experience.

  • Choicetunes

    Let the defacing campaign… begin!

  • Anonymous

    Billboard looks great!  Way to go Wichita  Coalition of Reason.  Isn’t Westboro Baptist near Wichita?  I suppose we will hear some BS comment from them pretty soon about this.

    • Hammerud

      It seems to me so much of the problem with atheists is not with God.  It is with religion.

      • Anonymous

         It is not that simple.  I do not have a problem with “god” because I do not believe “god” exists.  That would be like saying I have a problem with unicorns.  I have a problem with religions because they are the source of so much pain, suffering, bigotry, etc in the world today–and claim they are acting in the name of this non-existent “god”.

  • Kathleen

    So excited to see the billboards as I live in Wichita! I will make a point to drive to the closest one this weekend in fact, just so I can point it out to my husband. Will also be watching for the response…should be interesting.

  • Tex

    I would love to see some of these popping up here in “Louisiana’s Other Side”

  • Hammerud

    You might be good without God, but you also are dead without God.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      If you want to make up your own definitions for words like ‘dead’ then you can say pretty much whatever you want.

      You might be saved with God, but you are also purple with God.

  • Hammerud

    On faith: Some time ago, at the Outer Banks, I watched pelicans skimming across the ocean in formation. Anyone who thinks such a thing of beauty is the result of time plus chance has a lot more faith than me. It says of King David, referring to God, that he “mused on the work of thy hands.” God has made His reality evident in the creation (Romans 1:20, Psalms 19 and 104:24 etc), but not everyone has “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Don’t fall into that category. In Christ, God has paid for the sin that separates us from Him. If you have a heart to know God, call upon Him, trust in Christ. Acts 2:21; John 3:16

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Anyone who uses ‘chance’ or ‘accident’ to describe evolution doesn’t understand it.

  • Kim

    “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” Luke 23:24

    • Wilddwarfaxeblade

      Is
      God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and
      willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then
      why call him God? -Epicurus-

  • Nathanjewett07

    What I don’t understand about you Atheist is, if you don’t believe in God why do you care to put up bill boards talking about God? You spend 4,000 dollars on a sign to declare your disbelief in God while Christians spend thousands of dollars to go on missions to help the less fortunate and spread the word of God. Hmmm…I’m not called to judge someone else but maybe you should think about that.

    • Au_catboy

      What I don’t understand about you christian is, if you care a millionth as much about the less fortunate as you pretend to when you find it convenient, why do you keep regurgitating idiotic nonsense about atheists when you could be feeding the hungry? 

    • Au_catboy

       And why do you think this passive-aggressive bullshit is going to convince anyone of anything?  We’re not as stupid as you are, we get that you are judging us, even though the zombie on a stick you pretend to worship supposedly forbade you from doing that.  We understand that you consider thumbing your nose at people who don’t share your delusions infinitely more important than actually living up to the rules of your faith.  We think you’re an idiotic asshat for it, and pretending that you’re not doing what you quite obviously are doing only makes you look dumber, less honest, and more like a shithead. 

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Because people keep trying to modify my behavior based solely on a particular interpretation of a particular god(s).  That’s it.  If you stopped using God to explain why some people shouldn’t get married, or on what days one can buy alcohol, or what decorations should go on public property, or what I should be promising to my county, or what should be written on my money, or what my kid should be taught in school.

      If you want to tell me what to do or not to do, then have a good reason, not one from your God that I don’t believe in.  And I know, you’ll say you don’t.  Fact is, you do, you just don’t think of it because your Godly reasons are so ingrained into your psyche they’re as natural as tying your shoes.

      (Edit- that first one is one heck of a train-of-thought-run-on, but I think you get the point)

    • http://www.facebook.com/tribillio Emma Holton

      “You spend 4,000 dollars on a sign to declare your disbelief in God while
      Christians spend thousands of dollars to go on missions to help the
      less fortunate and spread the word of God. ”

      I want to use Norman Borlaug as my response. Instead of praying that the hungry would be fed, instead of telling the hungry comforting fantasy stories
      about eternal bliss, Norman got busy. He got a Ph.D. in plant pathology
      and genetics, and used his scientific training to figure out how to
      modify existing plants so that they would produce more food per acre and
      better resist disease. As a result of his work, poor countries can
      afford to feed much more of their population on the same amount of land,
      and Norman’s crops have saved nearly a billion lives.

      You speak like ‘we Atheist’s’ are some type of menacing, money-loving miscreants when really we are the ones who create the hope Christians pray so much for.

      Science, is our truth. Science gives us hope for a better future not just for Christians, but for everyone regardless of religion, creed or bias.

  • Nathanjewett07

    I’d like to ask everyone in here who doesn’t believe in God a couple questions. What hope do you have in your life? What is the purpose of your life? God gives people comfort and something to hope for. Gives people a sense of purpose in this messed up world. I ask you the next time you’re struggling with something in your life, pray. Ask the “non-exsistant” God for direction, he listens even when you don’t believe. He is not Santa Claus or the Easter bunny, he is very real. I will give you a bit of advice, if you don’t have any hope in your life you better hope you “Athiest way of thinking” is correct. I will certainly pray for you. Just know that no matter what, even if you don’t love him he will always be there for you.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Before I take the time, are you really interested in an answer, or are you just preaching?  You start with questions, but then end with statements that make me think you’re not really interested in hearing what any of us has to say.

      • Nathanjewett07

        I would like you to think about the questions. I don’t need an answer personally no. You seem like an intelligent person and I’m not trying to insult you, I genuinely care about people including you. I am called out by OUR God to make disciples and that is all I am trying to do. Just give it some thought. I wouldnt have come back if I didn’t really want to hear some feedback but you’re correct I don’t need an answer. That is between you and God.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          We have thought about those questions.  Many on here came from deep faith, and fought to keep it.  Some of us have tried to find it.  I’m sure your concern is genuine, but it’s also nothing new to any of us.

          • Nathanjewett07

            Well if you have lost your faith, I pray you can learn to trust in God once again. I used to be a nonbeliever as well. I used to live for myself. If it didn’t benefit me I didn’t want anything to do with it. I would satisfy my needs and wants only to feel empty at the end of the day. Like something was missing. God feels that void, its indescribable it truly is.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Nope, never had faith.  I’ve believed in some crazy stuff, but once I figured out Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, there wasn’t any room for God either.

              I’m happy that a belief in God helps you focus your life more positively.  From my point of view what you’re missing is that you expect everyone else to be the same way.  You can’t imagine a positive life with more than living for yourself without God.  I personally can’t imagine depending on a God I know doesn’t exist, but so be it.  The best we can do is to trust that the other person is being honest in presenting their view.

              Do more good than harm.  Make the world a better place.  With or without God.

              • Nathanjewett07

                Nobody says you have to be a believer in order to be a good person. I know plenty of non believers that are very good people. If you are truly happy believing in evolution or whatever it is you believe in, so be it. Just like to give people another perspective on life. God bless.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Nobody says you have to be a believer in order to be a good person.

                  Sadly, a lot of people do say that, which is a a large part of why atheists put up billboards.  I’m glad you don’t.


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