‘God Fixation Won’t Fix This Nation’ Billboards Go Up in Colorado

The presidential election is just under 200 days away and the Freedom From Religion Foundation is starting a billboard campaign aimed at preventing the “folly of theocracy”:

That “God Fixation Won’t Fix This Nation” billboard is going up in Denver (twice) and Colorado Springs (once). In other words, not far from the headquarters of Focus on the Family and Ted Haggard‘s former church…

“This is the launch of our election-year caveat,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor…

“God fixation is what is wrong with our nation, and we need to place our best energies, time and money in improving this world, and not worrying about an unknowable, unprovable afterlife, or expecting an imaginary god to swoop down to fix our very real problems,” Gaylor says.

All three billboards will be up through the first week of May, serving a dual purpose as opposition to the National Day of Prayer on May 3rd.

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vessey.andrew Andrew Vessey

    That is catchy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aeisiminger Aimee Eisiminger

    I may earn the Captain Obvious award for this but has anyone noticed how religion likes to keep repackaging itself to appear secular only to reveal itself as religious.  Like the Focus on the Family thing, it seems like a good idea right?  Lets keep our families safe secure and happy.  Who would protest this?  But then upon closer inspection you see it is a religious organization in disguise.   I suppose they have to lay their traps but I feel good that at least most atheist/agnostic organizations say exactly what they are or do they?  Are there any secular organizations out there that might be ambiguous or confusing maybe even dishonest in order to get membership?

    • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

       

      “Are there any secular organizations out there that might be ambiguous or
      confusing maybe even dishonest in order to get membership?”

      Nope. Our groups spend much of their time and money reacting and responding to theist infringements on liberty. There’s no need or call for deception and it would only be counter-productive for us on many levels. The fundies need to run front groups in order to establish legitimacy.

    • Rwlawoffice

       Here are a few that might be considered confusing especially if you are not familiar with some of the terms atheists and humanist use:

      Center for Inquiry
      South African Free and Critical thinkers
      South Place ethical Society
      Association of Skeptical Inquiry
      American Ethical union
      The Church of Spirit Humanism
      Committee for the Scientific Exploration of Religion
      Camp Quest
      The Bright’s Net

       

      • MV

        And why would it be surprising to find a humanists behind an organization with humanism in the title (The Church of Spirit Humanism)?  Sure, it could go either way but blame religion for misrepresenting humanism.

        That there are atheists and humanists attached to the first seven shouldn’t be a surprise.  The terms inquiry, free, critical thinker, ethical, humanism, and scientific should be a rather large hint.   None of those terms properly belong with religion.

        The last two aren’t misleading as much as not informative.  Focus on the family, for instance, is meant to promote a positive image despite the fact that they promote bigotry.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          Nothing wrong with including ethics as an element of religion. Dictating “acceptable” behavior is a strong element of most religion. “Ethics” describes that, even if it is poor behavior, or ideas lacking rational basis.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

       I’d agree with Rwlawoffice on the list he gave. The names don’t sound like they have anything to do with atheism. Usually a visit to their website will tell you though but to be fair, “focus on the family”s website states that they are a Christian organization on their front page as well.)
      I don’t think this is really too much of a problem. Every organization needs to come up with a catchy name and its impossible to embody every aspect of the organization into a few words. Should it be called “Focus on the Christian Hetero-afirming Family That Is Pro-Life and is all about Godliness”  and  “Center for Rational Inquiry into Various PseudoSciences including Religion Which we Currently Think is Bunk”?

      • OverlappingMagisteria

         Correction: Focus on the Family says its Christian  in the little blurb under the Google search result. Though its not hard to find Christian bits on the site as well. Point is, I don’t think many people would join an organization without looking at more than their name.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Aside from Rwaloffice’s list, I don’t think the fact that we think their names are misleading means they’re trying to be misleading.  That is, I don’t think that when they were brainstorming the name they were thinking “How can we trick those evil atheists into joining our group?”  Instead they were thinking “What name reflects that we care about families, since obviously those gay-marriaging baby-aborting liberals don’t”

      • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

        I think you implied something that should be stated clearly. Organizations that know what they’re doing select their names very, very purposefully. Naming your organization is part of the branding strategy, and branding is what helps attract customers. Selecting a name like “Focus on the Family” is *designed* to attract anyone who is family-oriented, regardless of their other values.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    Well done, very well done.
    Glad to see an atheist billboard that doesn’t look like it was designed by a color-blind angry 12 year old. Hopefully this isn’t an anomaly.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Like I’ve said before, praying to a God–any God–to fix your real-world problems(economy, terrorists, the existence of atheists) is akin to sacrificing virgins to assure a bountiful harvest.

    • jdm8

       Don’t give them any ideas!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

      Well, sacrificing virgins does reduce the number of people depending on the harvest, so they’ve got that going for them

      • Tom

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s the actual reason such things get established.  As a slightly less extreme example, maybe that’s what happens when a religion becomes established that incorporates mandatory periods of fasting – in an agricultural economy just marginally above subsistence, a few short periods of almost-but-not-quite-starving-to-death, carefully spaced out, might just eke out the results of a poor harvest enough to save you from actually starving to death over a slightly longer period after eating too much too soon.

      • The Other Weirdo

         But that still doesn’t affect the bountifulness of the harvest. One thing is not like the other.

  • Because Its Interesting

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I find the wording confusing.

    At first, I read it as an anti-atheist billboard– interpreting it to mean that atheists were wasting their time fixating on religion when the country has so many more urgent problems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Leithiser/593361421 Chris Leithiser

    Needs kittens.

  • AnonymousSam

    Wording aside, I have to agree with it. If everyone in America miraculously converted to the same religion tomorrow morning, I don’t think it would solve any of our problems. We would still have a screwed up economy where white men with a lot of money control the government. We would still be killing people in the name of hypocritical ideals. Homosexuals would still be oppressed and would now have issues of self-loathing from their faith telling them that they are horrible people. Women would still be considered secondary to men.

    If anything, it’s likely that many of these problems would get worse, but they would not go away.

    • jdm8

      Agreed.   Assuming everyone does convert and pray, etc., what happens is that even if you settle the question of which religion, now there’s going to be a big power struggle over which subset or interpretation of that religion should be followed.  The fact there are several thousand denominations in Christianity, many of them formed from acrimonious divisions, attests to this.

    • Douglas S.

      I disagree a bit, we would still have alot of problems yes, but 1) homosexuals and women would be far less oppressed if there wasn’t a hateful-power-hungry-cult…i mean church ;) trying to “punish them for there sins” and 2) if u think the sprital problem wont do anything, maybe u should remember that when taking a quiz (or fixing a nation) you solve the easy problems first :)

  • Godfree

    I am always delighted to see the next ‘milestone’ in membership reported.  Wonder what it was when Dan Barker sent me a F.T. copy around 1985-6 ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

    Hrmph. I’d go take a picture of one of the ones here in Denver, but the map that they have totally disagrees with the locations they give in the article. Anyone know which is accurate? I don’t really want to waste a ton of gas driving all over town for hours.

    • SteveD

      I agree.  The map appears to show three locations, one of which might be a match–but C-470 does not appear on the map at all, nor does anything close to it.

    • MelodieMadness

      Hi, I happen to know where one is. It’s on I-70 East heading from the Evergreen / Idaho Springs area to the Lakewood / Denver area. If I remember correctly, it is right before exit 271, to 6th avenue. I pass it every day. :)

    • frizzlefrazzle

       I wouldn’t go by that map.  I’d guess the Colfax billboard is just south of Sloan’s Lake, and the other is out by the Denver West shopping area.

  • Oberon

    Near Ted Haggard’s current church as well as his previous church.  He’s been recalled back in to the ministry here in Colorado Springs.  

    • SteveD

        If the reported Colorado Springs location is accurate, the billboard is at least seven miles away from New Life Church.

  • newavocation

    Just glad Dan Barker is on our side!

  • joezamecki

    Beautiful billboard, excellent timing. The FFRF rocks again. 

  • Reason_Being

    That billboard is well done—and it really is not offensive, though I suppose that someone will find it so.  Hopefully, these will get to stay up a bit longer than most….

  • Miller-walt

    Religion is the root of all evil. Our ability to reason and distinguish fact from fiction divides from beasts. Morals through reason will eventually prevail.
    Eighty four year youngster.   


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