The votes have been tallied up and here are your picks for the top five atheist billboards from 2012! Keep in mind that votes were given to the best, most controversial, and most talked about billboards — not just the ones that garnered the most media attention or were the most hotly debated.
#5) With 387 votes: Skepticon: “Kittens Are Cute” (Springfield, Missouri — April, 2012):
This billboard was created in an attempt to prove that even an inoffensive, non-controversial billboard could cause controversy simply because it promoted an atheist message/event. That plan may have backfired, though, since complaints about it appeared to be non-existent
#4) With 397 votes: American Atheists: “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!” (New York, New York — December, 2012):
This Times Square billboard was sponsored by an anonymous donor and was controversial from the moment it went up. AA President Dave Silverman debated its “offensiveness” with Sean Hannity, dealt with a FOX Business Channel host who used the interview to laugh about the murder of AA’s founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and caused Bill Donohue to say Silverman was trying to “draw blood” with the message.
(Tie) #2) With 493 votes: Minnesota Atheists (with American Atheists): “Please Don’t Indoctrinate Me” (Minneapolis, Minnesota — January, 2012):
My guess, based on the comments, is that people voted for this billboard (and its counterpart) because they were horrified by the design. However, the campaign earned some impressive media coverage (none of which focused on what the billboards looked like).
(Tie) #2) With 493 votes: Backyard Skeptics: “Atheists Make Better Lovers” (Westminster, California — February, 2012):
(Note: The image’s watermark was removed in the final version of the ad.)
This was my favorite billboard of the year. I thought it was creative, funny, and controversial, yet not so aggressive that it was poking a stick at religious people.
#1) With 676 votes: American Humanist Association: “Kids Without God” (Washington, D.C. and Moscow, Idaho — November, 2012):
This campaign tackled both childhood indoctrination and the idea that God is imaginary. Both ideas are controversial enough on their own. When combined, it was hard for religious people to ignore. (Not to mention: any time you anger the Creation Museum’s Ken Ham, you’ve probably done something right.)
Thanks to all of you for voting! It’s hard to top the variety of signs we saw this year, but I have no doubt this year’s bunch will be even more creative, giving us new opportunities to spread our message to the masses.
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