Springfield Area Freethinkers Will Put Up Atheist Sign in Illinois State Capitol Rotunda

If you’re in the Springfield, Illinois area Friday afternoon, the Springfield Area Freethinkers are putting up the following sign in the Capitol Rotunda at 3:00p!

All the details are here. Be there and take pictures before the conservatives start complaining about how the atheists have just ruined Christmas for everybody!

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.

  • freethinkingteacher

    Thanks for the promo, Hemant! I’m pretty pleased with how the sign turned out, and hopefully it can raise some local awareness and let other secular people know that there’s a place for their voices as well.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      That is a wonderful statement, and a gorgeous illustration. You did an excellent job. Are you the author of the text?

      And it includes the Orion Nebula M42, one of my favorite deep sky objects! Nice.

      • Guest

        I contributed to it, but the lion’s share of the credit for the language should go to our group’s leader, Janet Factor.

        And I do think that the photo is one of the best parts. It should be – it cost us a fair amount to get the rights to it! Well worth it, in my opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barefoot.bree Barefoot Bree

    Now THAT sign I absolutely love! Peace and love and brotherhood – oh, and reason! Not a word about myths or hatred. Yes, more of this, please.

    • starskeptic

      I think it’s a bit sappy and awkwardly phrased – but, seconded: more of this, please.

      • Noelle

        Aw, but nothing says Christmas like awkward sap. I like it.

        • starskeptic

          Point taken…

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Go to a very dark place to look at the stars. Take own source of light pollution. lol

  • Sarabird

    As if I needed another reason to wish I were going home for Christmas. Maybe I’ll ask my ultra-Christian mother to go in and take a picture of it for me, yeah?

    Great sign, Springfield!

    • freethinkingteacher

      There will hopefully be some photos and video from the dedication this afternoon, which I’ll be happy to send this way.

  • WoodyTanaka

    WTF?? This is sign that supposedly touts reasons and it asserts that the Earth is tilting her face to kiss the wakening sun??? Besides being god-awful poetry, there’s nothing rational about the statement. The entire 1/2 of the Earth south of the equator is, what, leaning her ass out of the dozing-off sun??

    • Dan

      here! here!, the earth is a sphere!

    • Lurker111

      Yeah, this too came off for me like a dump of purple prose. Not particularly inspiring or snappy.

      • starskeptic

        I agree on the execution – could do with some re-writing; but it’s a nice thought, and I also would like to see more along these lines…

    • starskeptic

      WTF?? how about playing some other notes, Woody -your tune’s getting stale; yup – because 1/2 of the Earth is on a different schedule from us means we can’t party…

      • WoodyTanaka

        Feel free to ignore it if you like.

        • starskeptic

          I’d like it if you’d just ignore us – as in leave the adults to have a conversation.

          • WoodyTanaka

            You think very highly of yourself if you think you’re being an “adult” when you can’t even stand the fact that other people have different ideas than you and/or think your ideas are stupid.

            • starskeptic

              No – I simply don’t think very highly of you. You can project your faults on as many people as you like – it still isn’t going to make them true.
              Walking around with your little bag of turds waiting to drop in somebody else’s punch-bowl isn’t contributing to anything.
              It reads like a 15 year old’s idea of a what a comment should be.

              • WoodyTanaka

                Again, feel free to ignore it. This movement will not get stronger by pretending that every piece of garbage that “our side” produces is a jewel or a gem of immense worth. It’s not. It’ll get stronger by mercilessly weeding out that which does not advance the movement’s primary goal of getting religious out of public life.

                • starskeptic

                  “This movement” is bigger than you and your fixation on beating the opposition.

    • freethinkingteacher

      This is just an absurd criticism. It’s a metaphor, FFS; of course it’s going to sound absurd when taken to its logical conclusion, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have utility or that it isn’t rational.

      And if your criticism is that the statement ignores the southern hemisphere, well, of course it does. We’re in the middle of Illinois. Any perspective we have on the solstice is naturally going to be from our vantage point in the northern hemisphere. If we had tried to use language that was inclusive in that regard, the sentiment would have been far less effective.

      • WoodyTanaka

        “It’s a metaphor, FFS”

        Yes, I understand it’s a metaphor. My point is that it’s a rather hackneyed and lame metaphor. It reads like a 15 year old’s idea of a romance novel. “Dear Diary, On December 21, I turned my head and the Sun kissed me. I think I’m in love… -Earth.”

        “Any perspective we have on the solstice is naturally going to be from our vantage point in the northern hemisphere.”

        Yes, and that provincialism is part of the problem. Rather than wallow in it, you could have used the opportunity to help fight it, and to help replace it with a more rational view of the world.

        “If we had tried to use language that was inclusive in that regard, the sentiment would have been far less effective.”

        The problem is that it would have been far less effective in creating the kind of amorphous, joy-to-the-world meaningless pap that is the stock and trade of Christians at Christmas time. You intended to keep the Christmastime pap, but excise the Christmas. That, itself, was the big-time fail here.

        • starskeptic

          It’s our pap and we’ll cry if we want to…

        • freethinkingteacher

          The problem is that it would have been far less effective in creating the kind of amorphous, joy-to-the-world meaningless pap that is the stock and trade of Christians at Christmas time. You intended to keep the Christmastime pap, but excise the Christmas. That, itself, was the big-time fail here.

          We wanted to send a positive message and express common values with the community we live in. You call that “meaningless pap”; we call that outreach. The same impulse that drives the “good without god” sentiment is what underlies our message. If you don’t agree with that, fine, but you haven’t given any reason why your approach should be preferred in our case. Certainly, it’s not any kind of “fail.”

          • freethinkingteacher

            Really wish I had that edit feature right now…

          • WoodyTanaka

            Yes, I have given reasons, both on this post and others. Specifically, whoever wrote this sucks. It’s lame to the point of inspiring mockery. Further, the point of doing “outreach” instead of trying to persuade the state to stop infusing public spaces with religion is a fool’s errant because the Christians will have no problem ignoring your “common values” nonsense to push their Jesus stuff.

            Clear enough for you?? OR should I pretend to be a 15 year old?

            • starskeptic

              No need to pretend, Woody…acting that way comes naturally to you.

              • WoodyTanaka

                Coming from the likes of you, I’ll take that as a complement.

                • starskeptic

                  Coming from the likes of you, after 9 days – I’ll take that as a failure in reading comprehension.

    • Tobias27

      Actually, I think it is imagery – nice

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QIOCTUX55ZX6IP6OYWJGP4IAYI Ruth

    I’ll be damned, finally an atheist sign with a good message. Good job!

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    I don’t think I can get to the Capitol in time today, but I’m glad the sign is going up. If you don’t like the sappy poetry . . . well, sorry you feel that way. I like it. ;) Now I’m off to my son’s holiday party at the kindergarten. Happy holidays.

  • Tobias27

    I really liked this sign ! I would like to suggest a new rule ala Bill Maher – No one gets to gripe about graphics or script unless they create something better and put it forth for public consumption. It’s easy to complain – do something better !

  • freethinkingteacher

    A note for those criticizing the type of message being sent here: When we set up this display today, we had several members of our group show up, but another person – a state worker who’d apparently heard about the display – dropped in to help and to participate in the dedication as well. It was entirely unexpected, but here was a secular individual who expressed appreciation that such a message was being put up in a public forum. Sometimes, just having a competing message is enough, even if that competing message isn’t intended to spark controversy or provoke public action.

    • starskeptic

      Yes! – nicely said…

    • WoodyTanaka

      Wonderful. You’re successful at preaching to the choir. Why don’t you concentrate on that for a thousand years and see how much progress you make.

      • freethinkingteacher

        Who says that we’re concentrating on that? Seriously, pull your head out of your ass.

      • starskeptic

        choirs need love and support too – try it some time.


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