Atheist Billboards Go Up in Corpus Christi, Texas

Starting today, the newly-formed South Texas Coalition of Reason will sponsor two billboards reading, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”

“The point of our national awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” explained Fred Edwords, national director of UnitedCoR. “Non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope our effort will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone.”

Reaching out to the like minded isn’t the only goal of the effort. “We want people to know that atheists and agnostics are a regular part of the community here,” added Christian Ferris, coordinator of South Texas CoR. “Non-theists live all over South Texas. We’re your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and family members. And we want to be as free as everyone else to be open about our views on religion.”

The signs cost $5,616 and were paid for by the United Coalition of Reason. They’ll stay up through Easter, just in time for someone to overreact.

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.

  • Dave Muscato

    Woohoo, South Texas CoR & Fred Edwords! They look great. I’m very happy to see this.

    - Dave Muscato
    Public Relations Director, American Atheists

    • Mackinz

      I hope you don’t forget the cameras too, David, sir. The last thing we atheists should want is our message to be covered up in spray paint, or ripped apart by the delusional folks that think this is “one nation under god”.

      • vincent findley

        Talk till you are blue in the face! It will always be one nation under “God” and my response to your thread below will tell why.

        • Achron Timeless

          I have to ask, are you doing this just to test your own faith?

          You’re on an atheist site, and if you think acting like a jackass is going to convert people on the spot, you’re crazier than I thought. As I start off with the assumption that you’re not entirely deranged, I have to question the motivation. Especially if you respond to someone, then have to go respond elsewhere on the same page to tell them about your first response.

          Do you just need a hug or something?

        • Mackinz

          A fundementalist on an atheist blog?

          Amazing.

          By the way, “argumentum ad populum” is a logical fallacy, and what you think contradicts the prinicples that our founding fathers attempted to make eplicitly understood through the Constitution. Good job with your comprehension of history.

          I’ll pray for your children.

          • vincent findley

            So you do Pray? One of the big cahuuuna founders once said ” I swear upon the altar of God, eternal hostility towards any form of tyranny over the mind of man!”

            • Mackinz

              I do not pray. I hope your children do not end up as messed up as you are.

              You also paraphrased your quote: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.”

              Nor do you actually understand that this quote was directed against Christian clergy, as you would if you read the full paragraph. Nor do you realize that Jefferson was a Deist and was referring to the god he believed in, not your Yahweh.

              Here’s the full paragraph.

              “They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion, and this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me. . .”
              -Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800

              Also, have a quote:

              I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves
              Christians.
              -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”)

              This is one of the men responsible for the separation of church and state in the US. Don’t take his quotes out of context, and do your research instead of having your pastor warp your mind and factual history.

              • vincent findley

                The same TJ who attended sunday mass every week? I have to take this from someone who can’t spell form?

                • Mackinz

                  “During the first winter, Mr. Jefferson regularly attended service on the sabbath-day in the humble church. The congregation seldom exceeded 50 or 60, but generally consisted of about a score of hearers. He could have had no motive for this regular attendance, but that of respect for public worship, choice of place or preacher he had not, as this, with the exception of a little Catholic chapel was the only church in the new city.””

                  http://wthrockmorton.com/2011/04/david-barton-on-thomas-jefferson-did-jefferson-approve-church-in-the-capitol/

                  So now that we have that cleared up, stop trying to paint our deist founders in the light of Christianity. All you are doing is making them facepalm in their graves.

                  Hell, you don’t even have to look hard. It’s on Wikipedia.

                • vincent findley

                  So someone speculated this is what he was thinking? Let me tell you some bub, if you attend Sunday worship you believe in “God”. There is only one whether you are Catholic, Protestant,etc.etc. He needed no motive, he believed. As my cousin said, the founders were very smart guys. If they wanted it any other way, the first Amendment would have read after the COMMA mind you, “or prohibit the free excercise thereof except for creches,banners in schools, or starting town council meetings with prayer”. Things like that.

                • Mackinz

                  Yeah, Jefferson believed in a god. He was a Deist. You cannot be a Deist without believing in some form of a god. But he did not attend “sunday mass” because he was a closet Christian; if anything, he was a Deist follower of Jesus’ morals. He attended out of respect for public worship, not because he was lying to everyone when he said he loathed Christianity while also being slandered as an infidel by the “saintly” Christian priests at the time.

                  Honestly, I think you’ve no grasp on what Jefferson actually was.

                  You have let your pastors and religious friends change what Jefferson actually was into a lie.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

            not defending the nutcase troll we’ve got here, but i do wade around the patheos waters occasionally, including some evangelical channel blogs. i don’t mind fundie visitors here; it helps us understand them and what they think (or don’t).

            “sometimes, you’ve just got to mix it up a bit” to paraphrase Hoffa. unlike our troll, i’m respectful and use actual history and science to make the points i make there.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          No, American need not be. After all, that phrase wasn’t widely used for 178 years – until it got stuck into the pledge of allegiance in 1954 after extensive lobbying by religious leaders who were quite willing to compromise the separation of church and state.

  • Mackinz

    I hope they don’t forget to set up some cameras nearby, to catch to guaranteed vandals that will attempt to prevent the spread of atheism.

    • vincent findley

      No we’ll put one next to it that says ” Believe in God? 76% of us do!”

      • Bobbie

        “Oh that’s a good point, let me think for a bit…
        Oh wait, my mistake, that’s absolute bullshit”
        Tim Minchin’s Storm

        • vincent findley

          I beg to differ, check the latest census.

          • baal

            You (vincent) might want to hop on the youtubes and watch Tim Minchin’s Storm. you may then want to catch up on the Pew Center’s research on religiosity in the US (hint, it’s dropping). One big reason for the drop seems to be a problem with coverups for certain illegal and immoral acts done by priests. Closely aligning with republican politics seems to be another.

      • flyb

        Oh, all it takes for something to be correct is for the majority to believe in it? Silly me. At what point, do you think, did the earth stop being the center of the universe and flat? Was there a vote or something?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Please do. It would embrace the point that this is a pluralistic nation, and not everyone trusts, let alone believes, in any gods.

        Would you also please petition for our motto to say “In God ~76% of Us Trust”?

        • vincent findley

          That’s fair, as long as it also says all others pay cash.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Hey, what agreements Chase and I come to is none of your business!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        And you are entirely free to do so, as it should be. And everyone else is free to point out the fallacy of argument ad populum, as it should be.

      • RobertoTheChi

        Oh well…if the majority of people are delusional then it must make it right…

      • JohnnieCanuck

        Does that 76% include Muslims, Sikhs and Mormons, as well as Catholics and Protestants? They all claim to believe in God. Most of them also believe some or all of the others are worshipping a false god and won’t be getting their ticket out of here stamped for Heaven.

        They can’t all be right, that’s guaranteed. They can, however, all be wrong. Got any valid evidence to show us your god exists?

  • Claude

    Excellent. This is how it’s done!

  • Rain

    It would make a great coffee mug or a great tie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dennis-Blankenship/2359238 Dennis Blankenship

    I just can’t get over the irony of putting up billboards for people who deny the divinity of christ in a place named Corpus Christi. Or of christians holding bible camp at a place named Devil’s Lake.

  • Mackinz

    A fundementalist on an atheist blog?

    Amazing.

    By the way, “argumentum ad populum” is a logical fallacy, and what you think contradicts the prinicples that our founding fathers attempted to make eplicitly understood through the Constitution. Good job with your comprehension of history.

    I’ll pray for your children.

  • Mackinz

    I do not pray. It was a joke that means that I hope your children do not end up as messed up as you are.

    You also omitted two words from your quote: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    Nor do you actually understand that this quote was directed against religious people. Nor do you realize that Jefferson was a Deist.

    Also, here’s another quote
    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of
    our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and
    Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

  • WA

    This type of message is my favorite for these billboards. Not a fan of most that I’ve seen. Just let people know we’re here and how to be a part of the community, and that’s it.

  • ashes

    I’m so happy we finally have one here in corpus!!! it’s crazy down here haha

  • r.holmgren

    “The point of our national awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States”

    And the best way to do that is make fun of people who think differently than we do.
    Sounds like a good plan – to those who don’t need God in order to be good people.
    thesauros-store.blogspot.com

    • blasphemous_kansan

      Oh yeah, you’re a real role model in this regard. I managed to get through your blog entry called “how I overcame my hatred” before the screaming blue caused me enough physical pain to leave the site. It’s really enlightening to learn about how you hate the things you hate a little less than you used to hate them because of some new things that you hate. It really sounds like you’re overcoming the hatred. Or not.

      If you believe that you need a god in order to be a good person, then you are failing in this regard on the most basic level.

      Oh, and that snap about your wife going into Wal-Mart for “necessary items” *wink wink* was simply knee-slapping hilarious. Those wimmin-folk are funny with their shopping, amiright?

      Seriously, if you’re going to hop onto an atheist blog and judge the morality of others, maybe don’t link to a blog that reveals you as both a hypocrite and as someone with a simply awful sense of web-design.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      Your statement confuses me. How does “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” in any way count as making fun of anyone?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

    I’ve always liked these billboards. They’re pretty, peaceful, and completely nonthreatening. Of course, that never seems to matter to vandals. I expect they’ll be targeted before long.

  • Bethany

    I am concerned as to the integrity of Christian Ferris to be leading any group of people. This is a man who is quoted as saying “My parents burned me with cigarettes and I’m ok-I don’t know how you raise mindful children without burning them” He then defended this again. Then when called on it, as the leader of the group, classic excuse….it was sarcasm. Oh yes, let’s not forget his comments on the first amendment…”The First Amendment is ONLY necessary to protect the speech of assholes and idiots – your right to say stuff that everyone agrees with doesn’t need protecting.” Don’t believe me. Look for user name Xian comments on Caller.com

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I don’t know how you raise mindful children without burning them

      So what happened when you called Child Protective Services? Didn’t they investigate? What was the result?

      • Bethany

        I found this information in a quote last nite. I do not know if he is a parent, but have called the hotline in Texas Abuse/Neglect hotline and filed a report today. I didn’t know this person as of yesterday and was not familiar with him until I saw the article online. When trying to better understand his views, I found his statements. I have never believed atheists are “bad” and don’t judge any group by an individual. But I am also not one to place my trust in any leader.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I’m amazed that anyone really thought that statement was serious, but given that you did, I applaud you for carrying through.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      I am confused as to your source.

      A brief Google search finds your cigarette quote as appearing only on this page and no-where else in the searchable web as of five minutes ago. The first amendment quote appears on the Caller website, but only as anonymous commenter ‘Xian’ making a personal statement – it is not attributed to Ferris. How do you make the connection from an account handle to a real person? And specifically to Ferris?


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