In Omaha, People Are Offended by Billboard for Atheists

This is the atheist billboard that just went up in Omaha:

The organizer of the Omaha Coalition of Reason doesn’t think it’s controversial and he’s right:

“We put it up as a beacon to let them know that they’re not alone,” explained William Newman.

Newman is with Omaha’s chapter of United Coalition of Reason and the man behind the sign.

“The billboard is designed so it’s not [denigrating] anyone’s religion. We’re not coming out and telling people that there is no God and we’re not trying to convert anyone to Atheism,” he said.

But leave it to the local news team at KMTV to find people who are offended by it:

Emlyn Forsuh added, “I was raised to believe in god and now someone says they don’t believe in god so I don’t like it.”

,,,

While people we spoke with say yes to free speech they’re against the billboards message. Meghan Hart is one of them. “Everyone own what ever they want to do I guess but it’s just going to stir up emotion,” she said.

Yes… because we all experience so much emotional distress when we find out not everybody agrees with our bad ideas.

This is really the best part about these news clips. Atheists put up inoffensive billboards and local media finds people who are somehow offended by the non-controversial statements. They look crazy. Atheists come out ahead.

(Thanks to Bob for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Silver_fox-trot

    I find it funny when they go “Im for Free Speech and American Apple Pie*, except if the people dont believe exactly as i do, the. Its oppessing me.

    *Apples originally came from Asia, which i find hilarious.

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithacollyer Keith Collyer

       and probably evolved to help apple trees to be propagated by bears doing what they do in the woods

    • Efrique

       And apple pie in England dates back at least to Chaucer. Neither apple pie recipes nor the filling are especially American.

    • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

       Most Americans aren’t originally from there either.

  • Cincinatheist

    Minor nit to pick. I don’t know if the reporter transcribed the quote wrong, or if the UCR representative used the wrong word. But instead of “degenerating” anyone’s religion, I think he meant “denigrating” anyone’s religion. 

    Although religion and degenerates could be apropos too, I guess. ;-)

    • Cincinatheist

      And I just read the original story, and now see in Hemant’s blurb above the sic is noted.  Carry on. Nothing to see here.

  • WoodwindsRock

    How in the world is that even remotely offensive? I just don’t get it…

    • Reginald Selkirk

       It’s a huge affront to the Flat-Earthers.

  • 3lemenope


    Yes… because we all experience so much emotional distress when we find out not everybody agrees with our bad ideas.

    The sarcasm aside, a whole lot of people really do have trouble with this. You know the old rule about no politics or religion at the dinner table? That’s why. People can become really tightly attached to their opinions, and become deeply emotionally invested in their rightness. Religious opinions are only one of an entire class of such opinions that can cause derangement as people attempt to defend them.

  • Tainda

    Wow, how in ANYONE’S mind is that offensive??  Maybe it’s offensive to those people because they don’t believe and won’t even admit it to themselves.

  • Rob

    Maybe it’s offensive to those people cashing the cheque from the Moron’s that advertise on your  site.  

  • Matto the Hun

    I’m glad the news station has gone out of their way to find Christians that are sad in their pants over this. I think that for more thoughtful Christians and theists it’s another straw on an increasingly over burdened camel. This is just the sort of thing that led me to see religion’s shallowness and bullshit.

  • Jasmyn

    I can see how American Atheist offended people with their “You know it’s a myth” billboard campaign a few months ago.
    This one is as inoffensive as  it is possible to be, though. I think that sometimes people just need something to bitch about. Apparently their lives are just too damn good, so they need to find something to get in a tizzy over-even though if they’re not atheists this billboard isn’t targeted towards them.

  • atheistreverend

    Those people must be so sheltered in their religious community, the belief in a god so ingrained in them, that the mere idea of someone not believing the same thing they do sort of smacks their brain in the face. I think the billboard exposure is good therapy for them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775088636 Kirsten ‘Bunny’ Graves

       It’s Omaha man.  To find someone NOT a Christian is like finding someone who doesn’t worship the Huskers.  They are out there, you just have to look and you scare a lot of people when you find them. 

      • pandurata

         Good to know that there are some atheists around. When I was an exchange student in Omaha in 94/95, I quickly learned to try and avoid talk about religion. Not that this was really possible. Now I wouldn’t mind discussing it, but back then, being a 17-year old, somewhat awkward temporary guest just getting the hang of the language and never before having to explain my atheism, it was quite an “experience”.  The impression I got was that people would be able to accept it if you belonged to some strange cult that worshipped whatever. But not believing in anything divine was just too much to wrap their head around.

        Being from the former East Germany, even nowadays I never hear people ask others they just met if they are religious, or what church they go to. If it comes up and someone happens to mention that they believe in a God, he/she usually just receives an “okay…” and then the conversation moves on, because people just don’t care and most don’t get how people can hold such a belief. To go from that to the complete opposite was an eye-opener, to say the least.

        Would have been nice to meet some fellow atheists back then, but luckily as a teenager, there are other things to focus on… If I lived there now, I would definitely be part of a secular group.

      • Rmurchshafer

        Now you have me conflicted.  Since I do worship the Huskers can I still call myself an atheist?  In the fall I have two things going against me when I work at Creighton; wearing Husker red and being an atheist.  

      • http://wordsideasandthings.blogspot.com/ Garren

        That’s not the impression I have of Omaha, but my perspective is probably skewed because I only go there for liberal communist critical-thinking Library Science classes.

  • Alex

    Derp te derp. I think we already have it down to Pavlovian level: ring the bell, the fundies are offended.

    • Randomfactor

      It behooves us, then, to keep on ringin’ that bell to keep the fundies in a lather.

      • Sinfanti

         Or if we ring the bell enough, will they eventually become desensitized?  Should that perhaps be the goal here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-De-Fleuriot/611844223 Mike De Fleuriot

    Was there not an Atheist sign a couple months back that just says American Atheists, and pinheads got upset about that.

    I wonder what Muslims and Hindu’s have to say about such billboards,  would any reporter be willing to ask them their opinion on it, because after all, these signs are also against the Hindu and Muslim positions.

  • 00001000_bit

    Please. It’s the same story every time one of these goes up.

    It isn’t:
    “People Are Offended by Billboard for Atheists”

    It is:
    “People Are Offended by Existence of Atheists”

    We’ve gone as non-offensive as can be (see Richard’s “Atheists.” ad) and people still get their pants in a bunch. It isn’t about what we say; it’s the fact that whether we say anything or not, our very existence means there are people who think they are wrong, and they hate that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-George/100000198120124 Joseph George

    I’m sure that everyone has seen this brilliant piece by The Thinking Atheist, but I thought I would post it because it is very relevant: http://youtu.be/-j8ZMMuu7MU

    • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

      Hadn’t seen it. FANTASTIC. Thanks.

  • Gemini68182

    I live in this community and am SO HAPPY & EXCITED that this billboard is up! On Fox42 News, I was impressed by one christian woman’s comment- she said something along the line of, ‘this is why we live in America…so different views can be expressed’. She didn’t seem the least bit upset about it. I just wish all *christians* felt the same way…Keep it up OmahaCoR! 

    • Falconer33

      I’m in Omaha also, all I’ve seen is an anti-evolution billboard. I’ll have to drive by and take a picture!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    “I’m in support of free speech. But an inoffensive billboard clearly attacking my religion? AW HELL NAW.”

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    This coverage is the mildest, least ridiculous example I’ve seen yet. In the recent past, ads with this same message calling out to other nonbelievers have been met with organized protests, demands to have the billoard taken down, vandalism, and the “man on the street” interviews have included spittle-spraying hatred.

    The handful of people interviewed in this news clip gave only milquetoast disapproval, and much more of the footage was Newman giving very clear and positive explanations about the UCR and the billboard’s purpose.

    I’m hoping that this is a sign that the public is becoming inured to this “controversy,” and eventually it will no longer be a newsworthy story.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775088636 Kirsten ‘Bunny’ Graves

       Richard, it did provide great entertainment this morning at least.  A local right leaning radio station got ahold of it and the DJ about blew a gasket.  When people started coming out of the woodwork, it pissed him off even more.  Hmm…acceptance and no longer newsworthy might not be as fun now that I think of it.  ;)

  • Chris Kilroy

    Be sure to check out the FB page of the local news sites out there and the commentaries on those pages. It gets really crazy on the interwebs. 

  • Baby_Raptor

    Wonder what that lady would say if you told her that attitudes like hers are one of the big reasons people are fleeing Christianity. Would that “bother” her too?

    • Bubba Tarandfeathered

      She’d probably just stare at you with eyes glazed over and a blank expression on her face, then promptly tell you she off to get her families dinner a McKFC before the Wednesday service begins.

  • Annie

    “I was raised eating meat, and now I learn there are vegetarians.  I don’t like it.”  I wonder how Emlyn Forsuh would respond to this sentiment?

    William Newman did a fantastic job.

    • snoozn

      Heh, you’d be surprised. I was a vegetarian for fifteen years and was quite low-key about it, as I did NOT want to be identified with PETA-protesting-the-steak-house types. But not uncommonly when it came up, people would get really defensive and explain to me how important meat was and how they would never give it up and be shocked that I could survive on such a weird diet. And this wasn’t arguing against anything I’d said — I never told anyone else what they could/should eat or even that my diet was in any way superior.

      So yeah, given Emlyn Forsuh’s comments on the billboard, she probably would react badly to vegetarians as well. You can’t be moral without meat!

      • Annie

        Ha!  Good point.  I forgot about the militants… on both sides.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Evans/1017276335 John Evans

        Everyone has their thresholds. Mine is I don’t eat the meat of animals that use tools.

      • Fantastic_spork

        This has happened to me all the time. I don’t debate with people about eating practices, but people still get defensive when they see I’m not eating any meat and tell me all about how they need meat and would never give it up. 

      • A Reader

        I get the same reaction! One time the girl behind the fast food counter shouted at me for “just” eating a salad & fruit (I checked online–still 500+ calories).

  • LesterBallard


    Emlyn Forsuh added, “I was raised to believe in god and now someone says they don’t believe in god so I don’t like it.””

    That one says it all. Even if atheists stayed in the back of the bus, so to speak, believers still wouldn’t like our existence.  That might make other believers doubt, or disbelieve. Then where would organized religion be?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Best comment so far: Says,”..not coming out and telling people there is no GOD”. A nativity, a cross, a statue, a Ten commandments display, etc., doesn’t come out and say there’s a God but are removed from public display in public areas/bldgs. So much to free to express.

    That gave me a laugh.

  • TheAmazingAgnostic

    In the past, I’ve criticized the FFRF’s atheism billboards for being too inflammatory and controversial.

    Nothing about this billboard is even slightly offensive.

  • Nathan

    What I don’t get is why you people have to announce that there is no God. It baffles me why you care so much about something you care nothing about. What is there to know about Athiests? If you don’t believe in God who CARES, right? I don’t get it. We believe in something as Christians so we feel like we have to tell people who don’t know about God. There are a growing number of people who have never even heard about Jesus Christ. What if those same people never hear about Athiesm? The difference is, if there is God, people who do not hear about Jesus Christ are in danger of eternal death. People who do not hear of Athiesm, uhhhh…. You get my point? At least put up a sign about something you do believe in instead of something you don’t. Put up a sign that says, “Do you believe we came from a monkey? Join the club”. Or whatever it is you people believe.

    • Nathan

      Correction, announce that you do not believe in God. I’m sure I will receive some critism for that so I had to clarify.

    • Annie

      “You people”…

      “There are a growing number of people who have never even heard about
      Jesus Christ. What if those same people never hear about Athiesm?”  (sp. atheism)

      Everyone is born an atheist… children don’t come into this world believing in a god or gods. It’s a learned behavior, or as some might prefer, a “lifestyle choice”, which thankfully, actually is reversible.

      • Nathan

        Everyone is not born Atheist, they are born vulnerable and innocent. When someone is not taught religion and scientific theories they cannot make an educated decision one way or the other. I don’t think evolution should be taken out of school but I do believe religion should be taught as deep as any subject especially evolution. It’s simply not fair to the kids to not give them the option to chose their own fate.

        • Annie

          “It’s simply not fair to the kids to not give them the option to chose their own fate.”

          And yet, most churches do this all the time.  At what age are most  people baptized?  Or indoctrinated into a religion in the form of being taught that it is the “one true religion”, going to services, etc.?

          If children were raised free of religion AND free of being taught reason, I suspect they would still develop tools for reasoning such as cause and effect.  But I doubt they could create (from their life experiences) some complicated belief system about an all-knowing, all-seeing creature who has the ability to save them for eternity or throw them into a fiery hell… depending on his mood and the child’s actions.

          • Nathan

            I was baptized at the age of 28. My church will not baptize anyone until they fully understand the reasoning for being baptized. Jesus himself wasn’t even baptized until he was nearly 30. I don’t know why some churches think they can alter the word of God to fit their own desires, but if you are a true Christian you follow the bible word for word and do not deviate from it. I cannot control what other “Christians” do, only what I do. All I can do is try and educate myself and others how to be the best possible Christian imaginable. Jesus Christ was an example of perfection. To be Christ-like is the only way to inherit eternal life. And by the way, I don’t know about everyone else but before I even knew who Jesus was or knew anything about religion I knew that there must be a supreme being, a “God” if you will. Call it a sixth sense or whatever you want, there is no way that God does not exist.

            • Annie

              You never deviate from the bible?  Ever???  Even on the really silly stuff, like not eating shellfish?

              I think you are more of the exception than the norm in not being baptized until you were 28. 

              If a god exists, he is incredibly brutal.  He lets me, a nonbeliever, live a normal, healthy, and even privileged life, while he lets some of those who adore him die slow, painful deaths.  He allows children around the world, who have never even heard of him, dig through garbage to try to avoid starvation, he allows the babies of devout followers get terrible diseases and die, etc.  I could go on, but you get my point.  And please don’t mistake this as me being angry with god, as I am not.  I simply do not see any reason to believe a supreme being of any sort exists. 

              • Nathan

                I can understand why you might not believe in God. It is very difficult to believe in something you will quite possibly never know exist until you die. Personally I would rather not gamble with my soul. Just look at it this way. The only thing that I am giving up by being a Christian is my selfishness. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If there is no God, I will just die like everyone else, but if there is a God I live forever in heaven with my closest friends and my savior and creator. I will not know the difference if I die and nothing happens because I will be dead. I do not fear death because I know what comes after death. It’s really a wonderful feeling. I do have days when I doubt my faith as I’m sure you will have your days when you say, “I wonder if there really is a God?”. I will take my chances with God.

                • Nathan

                  As for God letting believers suffer and non-believers live healthy fullfilling lives. I am a believer and I live a very good life now that I have kicked my habits. I suffered in the biggining of my life and I’m sure I will face suffering again at some point in time. God allows certain things to happen to people for different reasons. A test of faith, to see how they will react. It is not to be cruel but to simply see if they are truly committed to their faith. As for letting non-believers not suffer and live wonderful lives, there are reasons for that as well. God has a plan for everyone. You are in a plan whether you choose to follow the plan is up to you. Without God you would have nothing, not even a breath to breathe. My point is God doesn’t do these things to be mean, he has reason behind everything he does. I don’t understand him sometimes but I try and not question why just thank him for what he has given me. You see it as immoral and hateful, I see it as he is teaching us. It’s all perspective. You can’t let things of this world blind you from the truth. The truth shall set you free.

    • TheAmazingAgnostic

      Interesting question.

      People with any sort of cause will want to promote it. Even if the cause is as trivial as banning swear words or eating more vegetables, there is somebody or some organization that wants to get their message out to the world and get more people to join them.

      The billboard says “Don’t believe in God? Join the Club.” It is much more of an invitation to skeptics in the community than it is an attempt to get more people to become atheists.

      That is what I like about it; the billboard isn’t asking you to do *anything* or *believe* anything. It is not dogmatic or offensive; it’s just a welcome sign.

    • AnonAtheist

      First off, as others have pointed out, this particular billboard’s message was simply an advertisement to non-believers that they are not alone and that there is a group out there where they can connect with other non-believers.  The vast majority of humans enjoy and desire social interaction, and often times revelation of a person’s non-belief can cause people to shun, ostracize, and “defriend” him/her. In short, people like being part of a community.  Atheists/Agnostics/Nonbelievers often lack a community, as their nonbelief prevents them from being an accepted part of a church community.  So, we form our own communities.
      As for why some of us announce our nonbelief to others; well, there’s several reasons for that.  One of the reasons some atheists/agnostics speak out is because they sincerely believe that religions like Christianity have a harmful effect on people.  These effects can range from willful, stubborn, uncorrectable ignorance of what accepted scientific theories like evolution actually say, to the previously mentioned shunning/hatred/fear/killing/etc. of people who don’t think the same way they do.  Not to mention the various negative, irrational attitudes espoused towards gay people and women, among others, and the resulting religiously-fueled drive to legalize treating these people as second-class citizens.  Remember “Separate But Equal?”  Religious people were on both sides of the aisle, with both sides appealing to their particular interpretation of their “sacred scriptures.”  The fact of the matter is that many Christians are motivated by their belief to treat other human beings without respect, love, or compassion, and to continue to try and maintain a system that treats these “sinners” in less-than-equal ways.  Inevitably, when dealing with these kinds of religiousites, some of us often end up critizing the very religion that is the source of many of these negative attitudes and beliefs, in the hopes that by shedding their religion, they might become more reasonably compassionate for all their fellow humans.
      Another reason why some of us speak out is because we don’t think Christianity/Islam/Hinduism/etc. is true, and we think people ought to seek truth, regardless of how it makes them feel.  In other words, we think you’re wrong and you ought to change your mind about Christianity/Islam/Jainism/etc.  While this reason does not consider practical motivations for belief, such as comfort from the inevitable march of death, a sense of belonging to something larger/having a greater purpose, it is nonetheless a valid reason for speaking out. I know I’ve written a hell of a lot, but I’d like to ask you to seriously consider one last thing;  What if you are wrong about Christianity?  How many hours will you have lost worshipping the non-existant?  How much money will you have given to organizations that, while claiming to be charitable, often end up spending most of the money they get on their employees?  How many people have you cut yourself off from , or not allowed yourself to get to know because they thought differently than you?  How much of what may be the only life you ever get….. will you have wasted on a lie?

      • Nathan

        I will tell you this about myself. I grew up in a family of non-believers and Christianity wasn’t even an option for me. My parents never took me to church although I was always interested. It wasn’t until I had went down a path of drugs and sexual addiction almost completely destroying my will to live did I find Jesus Christ. I’m going to tell you right now, I would rather spend my short life worshiping something that might not exist then spend an eternity wishing I had. I can’t make you understand the power. The life changing undiscribable feeling you get when you KNOW there is a God. You just have to experience it for yourself. Unfortunately if you don’t give God a chance it will most likely never happen for you. As for the large majority of Christians that think they are saved, I’m sorry to say that even most are not even going to receive eternal life. As a Christian, when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord, you must do exactly what God has commanded. Yes Jesus died for our sin, but accepting him with all you heart and soul is the only true way into heaven. One can say yes I’m a Christian but live another way when behind closed doors. I am guilty of this myself from time to time. Christianity is a day to day struggle, fighting temptations of this messed up world. This is something that I am very passionate about and when people bash Christianity simply because the large majority of so called believers are gay bashing or spreading hate because someone doesn’t believe in their beliefs it makes me wish those people would not call themselves Christians. I hope you weren’t turned off by one of these people and I pray that someday all of you will see the light before its too late. I try to spread love around as much as I can. I fall off track as well but we all do. That’s why God sent his only son to die for you, for me and for everyone after us. EVERYONE has the option, the free will to chose. For those of you who think “free thinking” isn’t accepted in the church are so so wrong. I chose to follow Christ, I chose this life and for me, it’s the best decision I have ever made. I truly hope you at least can consider checking it out and not just blowing it off because you think it’s ignorant. God bless and goodnight.

        • Annie

          Nathan, I hope you won’t mind me being blunt, but it sounds like you replaced one… or rather two… addictions (drugs and sexual addiction) with another (Jesus).  That’s how I see it from where I’m sitting.

    • Nohm

      Hi Nathan,

      Please look up “Pascal’s Wager”.
      Thank you.

    • Nohm

      Nathan wrote:  ”
      It baffles me why you care so much about something you care nothing about.”

      We care about it when it affects us, and as you can see by the attempts to get creationism into public schools, or children who die because the parents don’t believe in taking them to the doctor, or religious people who fly planes into buildings…

      We care.

      • Nathan

        You don’t want creationism in schools yet it is okay to teach a theory as the truth? Yeah that’s much better. All religions should be taught to a degree as well as evolution so the children can choose for themselves. You don’t want Christianity taught in school because you know kids would much rather believe they can live forever in peace then just die. Let them choose, instead of forcing science theories on them! We all have free will and if you choose to not believe in religion then at least you had an option!

        • Casey Braden

          Nathan, I’m sure that upon further consideration you would realize that doesn’t make any sense.  I’m sure there are plenty of religions that you don’t want your children being taught.  Would you allow your child to be taught about Scientology, or Satanism?  We send our children to school to learn facts, and unfortunately for you, no religion qualifies as fact.  We teach science because its claims can be tested and evaluated and replicated.  If your magical religion could be proven factual, we would teach that! 

          And yes, I want scientific theories taught as truth.  Your very comment displays your lack of understand of science.   A scientific theory is different from the common usage of the word “theory.” 
          Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge available to us.  You seem to think they are something like mere speculation. 

          The reason we care about our non-belief and the beliefs of others is because people’s beliefs affect their actions.  They cause people to hate or teach pseudoscience as fact or attempt to deny others rights by forcing others to conform to their ideas of morality.  You know what I do believe in?  Truth.  And basic human rights for all.  At the end of the day, I would imagine we care about many of the same things.

          • Nathan

            It’s funny how you can sit there and claim evolution as fact when you know very well it is just a theoretical as anything. How can you claim something is fact you know nothing about? How can these scientist prove that we evolved from a single celled organism over millions of years? How do they truly know how old this world is? Carbon dating right? I watch a lot of science shows an I’m actually very entertained by science. I really like how every so many years a new theory comes out and they alter the “truth”. You see one thing about my beliefs is, they are constant. They never change. They have been the same and will be the same my entire life. The bible is complete and until the savior returns the history will not change. Whether you chose to believe it or not but the bible was written by people who actually were there and lived it. Your theory of evolution was written by a dead guy who on his death bed questioned his very own theory. It is what it is. No matter how much evidence you claim you have neither “theory” will ever be considered a “fact”. I chose to believe in Christ because I do not have any reason not to. I study the bible and even though some of it seems far fetched at times when you break it down and examine it thoroughly it makes complete perfect sense. Especially when you discredit all the bolony they tried to feed you in 7th grade science class

            • TheAmazingAgnostic

              I rarely try to argue the subject of evolution with creationists anymore; it is completely futile.

              Even still, I will take apart some of your other statements. Darwin did not “question his own theory on his deathbed”; that allegation was made up by Lady Hope, and Darwin’s own daughter said that it was false.

              New “theories” are not easy to create; since you claim that every so many years a new one comes out, I’d like to see you give a complete list of all the theories you remember seeing in your lifetime.

              You claim that science is not worth believing in because it changes all of the time. The difference between science and religion, Nathan, is that no scientist claims to have found “absolute truth.” We can be 99.9% sure of things, but never 100%. The scientific method itself tends to create a sort of healthy skepticism about new findings. Science is always fixing and amending itself, and that is a good thing, not a bad thing.

              Finally, I think I can add a little portion in this unnecessarily long post explaining why creationism is not a scientific theory. Creationism starts off by declaring the Bible to be a source of absolute truth, meaning that it is not open to disproof. Next, creationism asks science, which deals only with the natural realm, to prove the existence of the supernatural. Asking science to prove God is like asking your refrigerator to cook a pizza; it simply will not work. In the end, creationism results in a strange hybrid of religious philosophy coupled with “science” and tailor-made for apologetics. That’s a sham, and a mockery of what science is truly about.

              • Nathan

                I agree it is futile.

            • Casey Braden

               The very fact that your beliefs CANNOT change despite mountains of evidence to the contrary shows that your beliefs are in no way based on reality.  And you obviously did not read my first post thoroughly, because a scientific theory is the graduating point of a ton of facts and observations.  It is greater than a fact.  Science adjusts itself based on new data and evidence.  When YOU are presented with new evidence, you stick your fingers in your ears and say “LA LA LA  CANT HEAR YOU!”

              And I have read the Bible.  I have examined the Bible.  And that is why I am an atheist.  It is inconsistent, contradictory, and full of an immoral and hateful god.

              • Nathan

                Explain to me the parts of the bible that are immoral and hateful? How God is hateful? How Christianity is so horrible for humanity? You mean the part where God says love you neighbor like yourself? How about don’t lie, or don’t cheat on your spouse? How about don’t murder? Yeah you’re right sounds pretty horrifying.

                • Straw

                  How about the part that says that a good person who lives a life that does no harm to others is sent to eternal damnation because they do not believe in a god? Is that your loving god?

                • Nathan

                  Honestly, if you do no wrong, meaning you do not sin, you should inherit the kingdom of heaven without Jesus. Unfortunately we all sin. Which is why we need Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life so that we would have a chance to inherit eternal life. You chose not to believe in him and follow him. In a sense you are casting yourself into eternal damnation. God could have created you without the ability to choose but he didn’t, he gave us all free will. Your life and your decision. God is perfect, God is loving and God is all-knowing. Someday I hope you can understand, he truly loves all his children but he cannot force you to love him back.

                • Casey Braden

                   Sure, Jesus in the New Testament said some nice things.  But I would urge you to read the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus again, since you clearly have forgotten all of the horrible things God did in those books.  The God of the Old Testament wasn’t exactly a “love your neighbor” sort of God.

                  “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of
                  Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and
                  there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.  Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.  But all the young girls, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” Numbers 31: 16-18

                  I shouldn’t have to explain the Bible to you, since you claim to know it so well.  I could point to countless other passages that display the jealous and violent nature of the God of the Bible.  And surely you don’t condone the practice of slavery, right?  Because the Bible is completely okay with it.

                • Nathanjewett07

                  While I do not claim to know the bible front and back as I am very young in my faith. I do know that God had almost given up on mankind before he sent Jesus Christ to save us. Jesus gave him hope again. You have to look at it as a whole. As a parent do you not punish your children for disobeying you? I know I do. Essentially that is what our relationship represents with God. He is our father and we are his children. When we disobey he sometimes punishes us in a way we question why he would do such a thing if he loves us. As a child I remember thinking that very same thing when I would get a spanking or get punished by my parents. Did they hate me? No. Did God hate us before Jesus no. He simply wanted us to understand the seriousness of it all. Whether you understand the things he did or not it was for the good of humanity overall not individually.

                • Casey Braden

                   I have absolutely no evidence that your god exsists.  But even if I did, I would not worship him.  You keep talking about how much he loves us.  My parents love me, too.  The difference is, when I don’t live up to their expectations, they don’t torture me for all eternity.  In fact, I would guess that nothing I could ever do would make them torture me forever.  So are my parents more loving than God?

                  Even ignoring the vile and vengeful god of the Bible, the idea of your loving god is completely inconsistent.  The promise that the Christian god, as it seems to me, is “I love you.  Love me back, or else I will torture you for all eternity.”  I’m sorry, but to me that doesn’t agree with the whole “God is love” thing.

                • Nathan

                  What you need to understand is God loves you. He doesn’t want ANY of his children to be banished from himself. That is why I am here. I am what we Christians like to call ourselves a disciple of Christ. (I’m sure you know this). You can surely understand that he cannot just let everyone into heaven for non are worthy but most are just unproven. If he wanted to be could have made it impossible for us to think for ourselves but that would make this life meaningless. We have to show him that we are worthy of the life that he had originally designed for us. You understand? I’m sure you do.

        • Discobisc

          Wilful misunderstanding of ‘theory’ as hypothesis and scientific ‘theory’. Do you feel the ‘theory’ of gravity should be taught in schools Nathan?

    • mobathome

      Please!  Don’t feed the trolls.

    • Coyotenose

       Jesus, you invoke Pascal’s Wager? Do people still do that?

      It’s very telling that you have no problem with people like yourself who constantly announce that there is a God (a malicious one at that) and anyone who doesn’t believe their unsupported assertion is immoral and will suffer for eternity unless they agree to be shamed all their lives. Now THAT is immoral.

      If you want a sign that says positively what atheists believe in, how about “Do You Understand That Religion is Irrational Hooey that Harms Humanity? Join the Club.” Oh look, that’s effectively the same thing as the negative statement “Don’t Believe in God? Join the Club.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Sweet/1280927267 James Sweet

    I want to hug 
    Emlyn Forsuh.  The quote from him/her is absolutely priceless.  It is the most hilariously honest complaint about atheist billboards that I have yet to hear.  I love it!!!

    • allein

      It’s a him, and in text it reads a little differently than how he actually says it in the video (the transcription could use a comma or two, at least). But yeah, that was my favorite part, too.

  • Gunstargreen

    It’s very telling that they were more pissed off and offended by the the idea that there’s a “club” or rather, a group of atheists out there, than the message of the billboard itself.

    I also like that they had to make it clear that the conference isn’t using taxpayer money. Doubt they’d bother making that distinction for a Christian conference of some sort.

  • Gunstargreen

    It’s very telling that they were more pissed off and offended by the the idea that there’s a “club” or rather, a group of atheists out there, than the message of the billboard itself.

    I also like that they had to make it clear that the conference isn’t using taxpayer money. Doubt they’d bother making that distinction for a Christian conference of some sort.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R4XWKTKI2GIRNTSWTJRKRB5HTU D

    It causes pain in Christians minds because it makes them think. They want everything to just stay the way it is, where whatever they believe is right. They don’t want to have to re-think their lives, because they are afraid of the outcome of thought. Suddenly they are no longer right. And if you’re not right….then what are you? Afraid.

  • A Reader

    Emlyn Forsuh added, “I was raised to believe in god and now someone says they don’t believe in god so I don’t like it.”
    At least she’s completely honest with her reasoning. “What?! Somebody respectfully disagrees with me?! I am offended!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/simpleatheist Ray Higgins

    Since they are going to be offended anyway, I’d like see billboards more direct at theist.
    something like:Yes we don’t believe in your god So get down off your cross,built a bridge with the wood,AND GET OVER IT!!!!!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    I just see it as more exposure & free advertising. It’s gotta be a win  ☺

  • Discobisc

    Tbh, I think it’s because deep (very deep) down many Christians know that God can’t be real. But they have so much invested (their whole character sometimes) they are afraid to confront the obvious. And having someone say the Emperor’s new clothes don’t exist, well, it threatens to collapse their whole system, and they haven’t been taught how to cope without Father God looking out for them. So they are against any expression of atheism. Btw, Hans Christian Andersen must have been an atheist, right?

  • Nathan

    Although this does not really relate to the subject at hand directly I think you all should read this article. I do not agree with everything in this but it does have an interesting perspective from a self proclaimed atheist. http://www.bigissueground.com/atheistground/cauthen-homosexuality.shtml. Read and let me know what you think.

  • ORAXX

    Religion has all the answers but they sure don’t like people asking questions do they?


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