London Atheist Group Prepares to Hand Out Godless Condoms

The University College London Union Atheists, Secularists & Humanists are preparing for their organizational fair at the beginning of the year and they plan to hand out condoms with skeptic-friendly phrases on them:

Right now, here’s what they’re considering:

Science: keeping you safe since 1919.

Nothing gets past reason.

Protect thy neighbour as thyself.

We won’t tell you where to stick it.

It’s your decision.

You can vote for your favorite here.

Alex Gabriel at The Heresy Club loves the idea:

I think this is brilliant. It shows atheist communities are sex-positive; we support you having as much or as little sex as you want, however you want, with whomever wants it too, and we don’t think you need permission from God or the Pope. We support contraception giving women control over their bodies, and advances in science that protect us from STIs. We don’t call consensual sex sinful, we celebrate it in all its forms.

Considering how many other groups will likely be handing out Bibles and pamphlets informing everyone how they’re destined for hell if they don’t accept their version of Jesus, this is a welcome alternative.

Though I would take the advice of one commenter:

How about ‘Nothing gets past reason’, followed by ‘But condoms only work like 97% of the time’ in small print below…


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.

  • Gus Snarp

    Yeah, but “Condoms only work like 97% of the time” is not accurate. The real figure is that out of 100 couples using condoms, and saying they use them correctly and consistently, two pregnancies will result over a year of sex. There’s an average number of condom uses for each couple there too, that I don’t recall off the top of my head. It ends up at more like a one in 8000 chance of pregnancy per condom. In other words, condoms prevent pregnancy 99.875% of the time. Maybe more if you’re really good about using them correctly, which I’m betting not all the couples studied were. I don’t know the research on their prevention of STDs, I think it’s a bit harder to study.

    • TheG

      With a 1 in 8000 chance, my wife and I will have an accident when we use condoms (have one kid and don’t want another) sometime… Ummm… By the year 2812!

      Isn’t that around the time the Temporal Cold War will start?

      • ReadsInTrees

        That’s not how probability works. If it’s a 1 in 8000 chance, it could STILL happen the next time you have sex. 

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          Which is why it’s always a good idea to use more than one method of contraception!

      • JohnnieCanuck

        Now calculate for me how many trials it would take for the accumulated odds to be 50-50. Four thousand? Eight thousand?
        It’s not intuitive.

        In your situation, I recommend a vasectomy, the sooner the better. It’s too easy to get careless. Trust me. We are glad to have had her, but we too were thinking we should stop there.

        • Michael

          Don’t forget that not even a vasectomy is 100% reliable. As above, more than one method is preferable.

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Can’t vote, because I’m not a member of facebook.

    Ironic that an Atheist group forces me to be a member of a different group in order to vote.

    • Rosemary

       You need more emphasis on the first part of your pseudonym.  Hehmet has no say over who hosts the survey to which he linked.  It happens to be hosted by Facebook so, obviously, if you don’t have a free Facebook account then you can’t vote.  What is your problem, dude?

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Welcome to the internet. Also, you might want to look up the definition of irony. A blog post encouraging someone to join a group and vote for something is only ironic if you have the same understanding of irony as Alanis Morrisette(sp?).

  • http://twitter.com/AlexGabriel Alex Gabriel

    Well, you try getting that much text onto a 3.5×3.5cm bit of foil! ^^ (Seriously though, I imagine the standard-issue back of the condom wrapper will have a disclaimer like that on.) Thanks for sharing this!

  • Michael

    Why 1919?

  • Proteios1

    One piece of advise to atheists. Be secure in yourself. You don’t always need to characterize yourselves relative to God. It’s demeaning to whatever you believe this week that you are constantly whining about religious people. It simply declares loudly that reason alone isn’t enough to rally people to your battle cry. Yu need an enemy. One you don’t think exists. Try using the reason you tout and not the irrational exuberance of those you condemn. Get over it and move on.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      We have. It’s those whacky theists trying to mess with our rights and government that we take issue with, but hey, don’t let pesky facts like that get in the way of your holier-than-thou ranting.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      We are secure in ourselves. The problem is that religious people are constantly going on about their gods, saying that their gods want us to do this and don’t want us to do that, and are forever trying to insert their gods into public policy.

      It’s not about seeing religious people as enemies. But the only opposition to premarital sex and contraception comes from the  religious sphere. With that in mind, isn’t it appropriate to for an atheist group to put sex-positive messages on condoms, to highlight the difference between secular and religious communities’ attitudes towards sex?

    • Christinatrin

       Ya see, you’re mistaking the assertion that YOU’RE not an enemy of the atheist community to mean that NO ONE religious is. Let’s take that argument one step further- that must mean you think you’re the only one around who matters. Both statements are ridiculously false. But, if you’d like to tell the right wing pundits who compare us all to Hitler, christian and islamic extremists who wish us dead and eternally tortured, families who disown their children over their ‘loss of faith’, and the overwhelming amount of people who would bar us from holding any sort of office inanely citing a lack of ‘God given morals’ to “get over it and move on”, then you are certainly welcome to.

      Oh, wait.

      Nevermind.

      • Christinatrin

         By the way… it’s spelled ‘adviCe’.

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

    It’s cool, but I’m not sure that handing out condoms is going to get anyone noticed at an English university – they’re pretty much everywhere. Where I was there were just big bowl fulls (with quite a range) kept on the bars free for the taking.


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