Ken Ham Puts Up Anti-Atheist Billboards in Times Square and San Francisco

Answers in Genesis’ Ken Ham is taking a page from the atheist playbook and putting up some billboards of his own in San Francisco and Times Square to promote… Creationism? No, that’s not it… his museum? Not quite…

Actually, the billboards’ message pretty much boils down to: “Suck it, atheists.”

We decided on this billboard campaign that will last a month, with a cordial and engaging message: “To All Our Atheist Friends: Thank God You’re Wrong.” We trust this billboard campaign will give many of you an opportunity to witness to people — to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.

I’ll give him this: He has the money to put the messages up in places where they will spur discussion. He might even get national media coverage.

Here’s the problem, though. When the kind of people who tend to live and work in San Francisco and Times Square visit Ham’s website to learn who’s “right,” they going to run into his version of Young Earth Creationism.

The conversations won’t be about why atheists are wrong. They’ll be about why Creationists are so deluded.

So enjoy the media attention while it lasts, Ken, because the aftertaste will be bitter.

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.

  • sam

    Gosh, if I found myself in agreement with someone who thinks dinosaurs lived with humans, I would be deeply worried. Thank goodness I’m not.

  • Frazzah

    I guess that’s one big difference between me and them. They really want a supernatural dictator to rule their lives.
    Even if it were true I don’t see any reason to thank such a monster.

  • LizzyJessie

    To Ken Ham: Reality says you’re wrong.

  • Coraulten

    You obviously never watched the Flintstones.

  • C Peterson

    There’s a terrible flaw of logic here: he’s asking us to thank his god that we’re wrong? That’s the same god that intends to doom all of us to an eternity of suffering because we are wrong? I don’t think that god’s going to be getting any thanks from me!

    And on a personal note to Ham: don’t call me your friend!

  • C Peterson

    Most of us watched the Flintstones. Only a few, like Ham, thought it was a documentary.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Oh, just let him do whatever he wants. Otherwise he’ll perspire and alarm the neighbourhood cats.

  • Kingasaurus

    Remember a while back when atheists and atheist arguments were basically invisible in America, and fundamentalists never felt that they had to spend any money on highly visible public relations to counter them?

    Yeah, well those days are over.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Creationism? No, that’s not it…

    Well, it’s promoting Genesis 1:1, which is about as creationisty as you get.

  • Timmah

    Now AA needs to take up ad space RIGHT next to it that has a picture of a caveman riding a dinosaur and “LOL NO” stamped across it.

  • baal

    “Thank god you’re wrong” is a vague statement.

    You can read it as part of a conversation where the other party has concluded not only that you’ve made a mistake but it’s a good think you did. (Oops! I cut the green wire instead of the red one).

    You can read it as a command, You are wrong so you thank god for you being defective. He made you that way and all.

    From a marketing perspective, all I’m seeing is the word “god” and the word “wrong” in close proximity. It also comes off as chiding.

    Also the light blue / white combo for the “to all our atheist friends” is hard to see on it’s own and much harder to see than the bigger high contrast GOD WRONG part.

    So I’m not all that bothered by these signs and expect they’ll overall backfire.

  • KMR

    I was having this very conversation yesterday with a good friend of mine who happens to be a progressive Christian. We both come from very fundamental backgrounds and have become the only liberal ones in our family. We remarked how “mean” our parents have become. She thinks it simply might be old age. I think it’s the climate of our country and that those who are conservative really feel under attack and also fearful of the changes that are taking place. Anyway it’s hard because literally every conversation we have with them is peppered with politics and rants against homosexuality. We could be talking about landscaping our yards and somehow it’s Obama’s fault that the ground is dry and we’re having a hard time digging. It’s also odd because they know we’re liberal and still feel it appropriate not only to dog our beliefs in front of us but also bring up Foxnews and whatnot to virtual strangers. It blows my mind although she seems to have more patience with it. I want to move where they can’t find me ;)

  • islandbrewer

    I’m just happy he spelled “you’re” correctly.

  • KMR

    Yeah I don’t get it. Why would you thank God we’re wrong? Our asses will therefore be going to hell and what psychopath would thank God for that. How about some compassion, jerkwad.

  • Rationalist1

    I don’t mind it. It shows how (some) Christians treat those who disagree with them. We take the high road and not disparage them, they resort to calling us out as wrong. Most people are smart enough and moral enough to see through it.

  • Craig

    Excellent point. It’s akin to religious apologists. The mere fact they exist speaks volumes about the state of religion in today’s western society.

  • baal

    Faux news is training people to hate their familiy members via ODS*.

    *ODS, obama derangement syndrome, where literally every bad thing from how hard the ground is to your burnt toast is his and the commy leftists fault. Part of the syndrome is that it’s virtuous and you’re a good person if you point these bad things out to everyone – especially to those who give you push back or think you are nuts for saying it.

  • dorcheat

    Damn, but one has to wonder how much AIG paid for a billboard advertisement in Times Square? Surely some New Yorkers must have an idea.

  • dorcheat

    Definition of friend from Websters:

    1.a : one attached to another by affection or esteem

    1.b : acquaintance

    2.a : one that is not hostile

    2.b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group

    3. one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)

    4. a favored companion
    Ken Ham meets none of the above definitions for this atheist. Ken Ham and AIG are NOT friends of mine.

  • DoctorDJ

    Where does this twit get his cash? He must have some deep-pocketed sponsors to keep him afloat.

  • KMR


  • Sherry Young

    I was on FB for awhile and my crazy Christian cousins in Ohio pretty much disowned me. No problem though because I’m in Colorado.

  • baal

    Any time Ken Ham wants to meet with me to learn how he can assuage his guilt vis-a-vis Nyarlathotep*, I’m ready.

    *autocorrect wanted to change my original misspelling to ‘halfpennyworth’. Total wtf right there.

  • Heisenberg

    What’s really funny about him referencing the Genesis story is that Gen 1:1 starts the first creation story… and 2:4 starts the second one. And if you compare the two stories, you quickly see that they are not in sync; they have different orders of creation.

    If I was trying to convince a Christian that the Bible was not true, Genesis 1:1 is exactly where I’d start.

  • trj

    Billions of people are to be tortured forever and ever and ever? Thank God.

  • ZeldasCrown

    What part of that statement is cordial? It’s pretty much stating that many people are going to hell, where they’ll be tortured for eternity. Not even remotely friendly. The wording and the text (plus the flippant remarks made about why they put the billboard up) make them seem pretty gleeful about it.

    Contrast that to pictures of the various atheist billboards that say things like “you are not alone”. One of these messages is significantly more friendly and welcoming.

  • Carpinions

    I think the ad undoes itself. I mean, seriously: Either they will be seen as idiots for finding worth in Genesis as regards the universe, or people will think they hear messages in Genesis lyrics. They’re also barking up the wrong tree. Their chances of swaying liberal populations is slim to zero.

  • TCC

    I suspect that Hammy’s idea of friendship is about as accurate as his god’s idea of love.

  • KMR

    I wouldn’t say atheists take the high road. At least not always. Some of those Christmas billboards (the myth one comes to mind) are tough. I would say they fit the definition of disparaging.

  • Ryan Jean

    Of course, the one thing we can be sure that the media coverage will miss over Ken Ham’s billboards is that nowhere are atheists asserting that he doesn’t have the right to put them up, or that they are in some mysterious way oppressive to atheists, and so on… That standard only seems to apply when we put them up.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Ham is not kosher.

  • Gideon

    C’mon Ham. You need to be more specific than “GOD”. Out of all the multitude of mutually contradictory gods, which one am I expected to thank? …or did you temporarily forget that yours isn’t the only one out there?

  • linford86

    Except that Christian apologists have existed for almost as long as there have been Christians….

  • The Other Weirdo

    Same place Uwe Boll does.

  • The Other Weirdo

    You are wrong. They are exactly the same, from a certain point of view and for certain values “same”.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    My dad is the same way. He knows that I am liberal, but every chance he gets he goes on about politics and pretty much has fox radio playing every time I am over.

  • The Captain

    Well, great argument, that proves his invisible friend is real.

  • Bdole

    Times Square? Well, you know what they say about a fool and his money.

  • mikespeir

    I’d like to see a study done on the return on his investment. Wasting God’s money, he is. ;-)

  • Artor

    I don’t have any problem with disparaging ignorant Xians like Ham. I don’t think I’m taking a low road either.

  • Michaela Samuels

    Did he also forget what “cordial” means?

  • decathelite

    Yah, there is something deeply wrong with calling someone your friend, then gloating on a billboard about how you’re so much better than your friend.

  • baal

    I like cherry cordials especially after a nice dinner.

  • allein

    “cordial and engaging message”

    I would have gone with “smug and off-putting”…but hey, I’m not in advertising or anything, so what do I know?

  • Heisenberg

    I guarantee that your average Evangelical has not thought too deeply about the two stories. When I was one, I didn’t even realize that they were two separate stories that were mashed together by a later editor; but an historical/critical analysis of the original Hebrew text has drawn that out.

    Here’s the problem, though: The stories could not have come through two different eyewitnesses, because there were no eyewitnesses on days One through Five of creation. The creation story had to come directly from God.

    Look at the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Christians will argue that the reasons they tell the same stories in different ways is that they have different authors with different perspectives. But, that can’t be the case with the two creation stories; only one being could have told the story! And the fact that there are two accounts, differing significantly in details, is evidence that the original story did not remain intact, but was changed as it was passed along by oral tradition.

    Genesis 1 & 2 seem to me to be pretty solid evidence that the scriptures are not infallible and inerrant. And that’s without even dipping a toe into the “creation vs evolution” debate.

  • islandbrewer

    “Adore me all the time or I’ll send you to be tortured in hell forever!
    … because I love you!”

  • DougI

    Oh no, I hope the costs of those billboards doesn’t cut into this scientific research fund.

  • thingwarbler

    Huge win for atheists everywhere. We’ve moved Ham’s goalposts significantly if he feels the need to spend his $$$ defending himself against the “no God” billboards. Suddenly, the discussion is happening on our turf, not his. Looking good; more please!

  • CoboWowbo

    $100,000 to $350,000/month

  • Robin

    Hey, if all those guys are in heaven, give me hell caue I would NOT want to spend eternity hearing ” I told you so”

  • Rich Wilson

    Why would us being wrong be a bad thing? I personally don’t think the idea of ‘a’ god existing being a bad thing. That god that wants to send you to hell if you don’t kiss his ass, sure.

    But how is the idea of no longer existing bad?

  • Robin

    Think used car sales man, when you read the word friend from Ham and you will have it all in perspective.

  • Matthew Baker

    I would think that Ham would rather throw money at the Ark Park than over priced billboards.

  • Brian

    So, if we are supposed to “thank God we’re wrong,” and God doesn’t exist, then does that mean we are actually right?

    I’m confused.

  • invivoMark

    He left off the rest of that sentence:

    “Thank God you’re wrong, and are therefore going to be tortured in hell for an eternity when you die.”

    What a wonderful thing to say to a “friend.”

  • Rationalist1

    You’re correct, the myth one I disagreed with,

  • Rationalist1

    I would let them disparage themselves. Anyone who would fall for his teachings would be likely to become a non believer and those on the fence would feel less likely to be associated with Christianity.

  • MikeTheInfidel

    Oh look, another fake diagnosis from the LIEberal media. THANKS OBAMA

  • Marisa Totten

    I think you are right. My BIL is atheist, and conservative, and he is one of the cruelest, most judgmental people I know. All the benefits of a fundamentalist belief system without the pesky god to bend knee to.

  • MikeTheInfidel

    When you write out his scientific research budget as a number, you see a lot of zeroes at the end of it.

    And the beginning and the middle. In fact, pretty much just zeroes.

  • Armanatar


  • ZenDruid

    Can we have a pic of Fred and Wilma wearing fig leaves?

  • mikedave

    This is great! It’s like the village idiot wandering through town screaming wild shit, it can only help our side.

  • Anna

    I don’t know if I’m supposed to be offended by this, but I actually find it kind of funny. What Ken Ham believes will happen to the vast majority of people after death is not something that’s going to make them “thank God” the atheists are wrong.

  • rhodent

    My father-in-law is a recovering sufferer of ODS, and we’re about to get a real-world experiment as to the cause in his case. A few years ago when he was living in Indianapolis, he was so bad he once literally turned someone sneezing into an opportunity to rant about Obama.* There are three things my wife and I think could have caused this level of derangement: 1) Fox News, which he watched upwards of twelve hours a day; 2) stress over his mom, who was in her 90s and in very poor health, 3) depression over missing his family (his children and grandchildren all lived near Raleigh NC). After his mom died he moved to Raleigh and didn’t bother to get cable/satellite/etc., and lo and behold he starting acting like a normal human being again.

    Now he’s talking about getting DirecTV. If he goes back to being Obama-deranged we’ll have good reason to think Fox News is the cause; if not, the stress or depression are more likely culprits.

    Given the fact that he’s now in town and we see him much more often, I’m really hoping the stress or the depression was the cause.

    * The person sneezed into the crook of her elbow, and my FIL sarcastically thanked her for “sneezing in the Obama-approved method.

  • sara

    Aww. It was sure sweet of him to spend all that money on an ad that can only get people thinking about atheism.

  • Tainda

    One of my best friends has SEVERE ODS. To the point where she blames ALL federal and state taxes on Obama. Apparently before we never had taxes taken out of our paychecks. News to me!

  • David Kopp

    It’s sad that this kind of billboard put up by an atheist organization would be met with howls of discrimination and intolerance.

  • Celestine Stoltenberg

    Thank god I’m wrong? Why? If I am wrong then he believes I will spend eternity frying in hell. Why would I thank god for that?

  • Brett N

    “…a picture of Ken Ham riding a dinosaur…”

    FTFY. I always felt he looked like a missing link.

  • momtarkle

    He’s not my friend either, but I interpreted his message to be, “We believers thank our god that you atheists are wrong.” That makes it slightly less stupid, right?

  • KMR

    I had a moment of pride with my folks a few weeks back when I found they agreed with me on the whole going to war with Syria conundrum. I thought , “Hey look at that! We CAN find common ground somewhere and maybe this can be our new conversation of choice instead of how marriage equality makes Jesus mad.” But then my same progressive friend nicely pointed out that the only reason they didn’t want to go to war is because they hate Obama and will disagree with him on virtually everything even if he talks about the importance of wiping one’s rear after using the bathroom. Oh the disappointment….;)

  • momtarkle

    Thank god for that, huh?

  • ElRay

    Got to love it. Atheists purchase supportive, non-confrontational adds, and the Theists purchase self-righteous, insulting billboards. How christian.

  • EuropeanCommunist

    Such a waste of money. Imagine how many zip-lines he could have build in his theme park instead!

  • momtarkle

    But, he didn’t say that.

  • momtarkle

    Excellent point.

  • Ricardo Fischer

    “Only an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing being could prove the existence of the God described in the Bible.” Hahahaha! He’s just using it against himself! Conclusion – it is not possible to prove god existence… how does he knows that god is “an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing being”?

  • invivoMark

    Right. Christians have a hard time actually accepting the logical implications of their beliefs.

    But that is exactly what he’s saying. “Thank God [you're going to be tortured for eternity].”

  • C Peterson

    I don’t know. Is “idiotic” more or less stupid than “moronic”?

  • Matt Bowyer

    Yeah, they can’t just ignore us anymore.

  • destroyideas

    How is being smug an opportunity to witness?

  • Heidi McClure

    Hammy is looking desperate here. And really kind of mean.

  • destroyideas

    I’m surprised the AiG poster didn’t have that.

  • Tainda

    Many editors later… lol

  • Matt Bowyer

    Anyone who thinks I deserve eternal punishment just because I don’t worship their God is no friend of mine.

  • Tainda

    Oh Ken, I’m reborn! You are so right. This billboard has saved me from eternal damnation.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Bizarrely, even if it said the exact same thing, Christians would be howling about it.

  • Ed Adams

    Hate to admit it. It’s pretty effective. Especially for folks who don’t know it’s the work of young earth creationists. We’re going to have to up our game.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    If he wanted to convince us, why didn’t he post the message in 3-D?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Ben Kenobi either got kicked in the face too little or not enough.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Let’s say then that the real sign is how increasingly desperate and convoluted the apologetics are getting. They’re literally far worse than Bill Clinton’s “definition of ‘is’”.

  • baal

    Why do you think it’s effective? I’m convinced it’s fail for the reasons I’ve mentioned below and for the reasons other commentors give. How are you seeing it?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Don’t call me your ham, pal!

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    I just woke up my household laughing.

  • momtarkle

    To atheist up, I guess I’d label Ham as “ignorant”. Stupid, moronic, and idiotic imply inferior mental capacity and are not PC.

    Personally, I don’t mind when people call me stupid, or moronic, or idiotic because I’m pretty sure that I am not those.

    Want to wound me? Call me “silly”. That is probably true sometimes, even when I don’t know it.

    Don’t tell anybody.

  • Ed Adams

    it’s visually striking, graphically well designed and offers a snappy retort that is easily remembered and reinforces deeply ingrained prejudices against atheists. the vast majority of people will not take the time to go to their site to see how crazy they really are. ours is not a culture of deep thinkers.

  • The Other Weirdo

    “But honey, I did not cheat on you. I was thinking of you the whole time, so from a certain point of view, there is no other woman.”

  • Spuddie

    I wouldn’t consider him either. He knows what he is saying is bullcrap and making tons of money doing it. Ignorant people don’t Gish Gallop.

    If he was simply ignorant, he would be capable of being convinced otherwise. People pushing a nonsense position put out positions they know to be full of crap hoping one will stick.

  • momtarkle

    Here’s a recent photo:

    I hate it when you elitist intellectual atheists make me have to think and look up things.

  • newavocation

    Come on! Ken knows the biz. More page hits from his faithful equals more money donations for the ship to nowhere he will never build.

  • momtarkle

    Enlightenment, from a Wiki site:

    The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education. Sam Harris describes the technique as “starting 10 fires in 10 minutes.”

    The formal debating term for this is spreading.[1][2] It arose as a way to throw as much rubbish into five minutes as possible. In response, some debate judges now limit number of arguments as well as time. However, in places where debating judges aren’t there to call bullshit on the practice (like the Internet) such techniques are remarkably common.

  • allein

    “Only an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing being could prove the existence of the God described in the Bible.”
    Well, I agree…but it hasn’t shown up to prove it, has it?

  • linford86

    I don’t disagree that the apologetics are changing or that this is a sign that atheism is rising in prominence in our society. However, one thing that bugs me is the kind of narrow view of history many in the atheist community seem to have. I recently gave a talk on early atheist history where I read some passages from Jean Messlier, la Mettrie, and d’Holbach to the audience. Several people told me that they were shocked to hear something so strident and millitant from the 18th century. Apparently, they thought that kind of atheism was born with Richard Dawkins or something.

    I think the kind of change we’re seeing, if it exists, is much more subtle.

    Early Christian apologia was focused on arguing against the Pagans — so, obviously, apologetics has changed a lot since then. But early modern (17th century) apologetics were focused on combating atheism, even though it was a bit of an invisible enemy (thousands of texts were written about atheism before there was any written record of atheists — apparently, people could sense that atheism was coming and were afraid). So, Christian apologetics responding to atheism is nothing new.

    What is new is the presence of large scale, organized secular, Freethought, and atheist groups in the media — groups like American Atheists. And as those groups get more attention, we should expect to see responses. (Though it could be debated as to how “new” is really new!)

    But that’s a very far cry from saying that the tide has turned or anything like that. One could have said precisely the same thing at several points in the past and been completely wrong.

  • Ogre Magi

    I freaking hate christians

  • Billy Ross

    Surely the Billboard should read “Thank God we BELIEVE you’re wrong”.

  • randomfactor

    Can’t burn us at the stake either…

  • momtarkle

    I mostly agree, but I do think that awareness and, maybe “tolerance” (Don’t hit me!) of atheists has increased in the last few decades.

  • momtarkle

    Good one!

  • momtarkle

    Better watch out… say that and they’ll start forgivin’ you!

  • momtarkle

    “Edits”, Tai, “edits”.

  • KMR

    I DID think it visually appealing. Stupid yes but the design is good. You may be right though. Not a lot of people in our culture can consistently recognize stupid and because of that it may be successful [sigh].

  • martinrc

    So he is telling the theists with atheist friends that the theist is wrong? “to all your atheist friends, its a good thing you are wrong, meaning the atheists are right.” Well I knew that, I didn’t need a billboard to tell me that.

  • momtarkle

    In case you missed it, here’s a bit more gratuitous sauce for this goose:

    I like this part: ” this nation has seen an incredible attack on Christianity with lawsuits filed to have Christian symbols removed from the culture—so they can
    impose their religion of atheism on the culture.” Dig it, group, WE’RE RELIGIOUS!

  • JT Rager

    Funnily enough, they’re both targeted at atheists. I wonder which ones the Atheists will respond to more favorably…

  • Anna

    Here’s the problem, though. When the kind of people who tend to live and work in San Francisco and Times Square visit Ham’s website to learn who’s “right,” they going to run into his version of Young Earth Creationism.

    I don’t think they even need to go that far. San Franciscans aren’t used to seeing these kinds of billboards. I have a feeling the vast majority of people are going to be annoyed by the preachiness itself.

  • linford86

    That might very well be right, at least restricting ourselves to looking at a very narrow historical window (in, say, the latter half of the 20th century/beginning of the 21st).

  • Don Gwinn

    Thought-provoking. Thanks!
    I’ve read some of apologetics from earlier days, and also some of the atheist/non-religious writings from the 18th century (but my impression is that a philosophy student would have picked up a lot more, since that seemed to be the only discipline where the subject was coming up much.)

    I don’t think it was a case of the apologists of the Renaissance or late medieval periods anticipating that atheism would rise in the future and hoping to pre-empt it; I think they realized that atheists were hiding all over, blending in with believers, and that it was impossible to ferret out an atheist who was willing to keep his or her mouth shut about it and go through the motions. I think they saw atheists the same way McCarthy saw Communist infiltrators in the 1950s and Pat Robertson saw devil-worshipping Satanists torturing and sacrificing in barns and basements in the 1980s. Neither man actually knew whether their enemies were really there, but neither man was really predicting that their enemies would become real later on–each man simply assumed that his enemies were operating at that time but in secret, and that was why they were hard to find.

    So the apologists suspected that there were secret atheists all over (and they were right.)
    McCarthy suspected (I think?) that there were Communist infiltrators in America, even as he waved his famous blank piece of paper (and he was right as far as that goes, although he was lying about having any idea who they were.)
    And Robertson and his allies suspected that there were teenage kids sacrificing cattle and the occasional baby to Satan because Iron Maiden told them to . . . and he was wrong about that. But the common thread is the idea that just because we can’t see them, that doesn’t mean they’re not out there!

  • Don Gwinn

    I’ll chip in if it’s Betty and Wilma.

  • Harley Quinn

    Wow, does he really think he’s said something we haven’t heard and easily dismissed before? He thinks we’re wrong; we’re pretty certain all evidence points to the contrary. And I’m not his friend. Moving on now…

  • Jeffrey G. Johnson

    Dear Ken Hamm,
    Try letting God speak for himself. Oh…I didn’t think so.

  • IAmAGuest

    Wait, wut.. He is thanking God we’re wrong, the very same God who sends people who are wrong to an eternity of torture!?

  • Thaigrr

    Actually, Ken Ham, “thank god you’re wrong”, because if your beliefs were actually true, then the vast majority of humanity would be going to hell.

    And not just the non-believers and the unevangelized, but also the vast majority of Christians, who have been cursing and damning and burning each other for millennia, over biased misinterpretations of their silly ancient texts.

    I think we should all be pretty damn thankful, that Ken Ham’s god along with his malevolent afterlife plan, is sheer fiction.

  • trj

    Agreed, this will definitely affect his museum’s scientific research.

  • Steve Jacoby

    I think he can expect a huge backfire in 3.. 2.. 1..

  • Andrew

    lol didnt ken ham just file bankruptcy?

  • cyb pauli

    I’d be more impressed if Mr. Ham put up a billboard of peer-reviewed, reproducible, empirical data that support his claims about God and evolution. Then I would really feel the sting of being wrong.

  • phranckeaufile

    Or John McCain.

  • Kevin

    Every generation has its period of New Atheism that flames out as quickly as it blew in. The Roman Empire couldn’t quash Christianity when it was no bigger than a Boy Scout troop. But knock yourselves out; generational amnesia allows the momentary inertia of the movement to believe the illusion that it ever had a lasting chance.

  • dcl3500

    Damn shame we can’t make him prove we are wrong.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    If American Atheists does not get into a Ad war with AiG then they are a bunch of pussies. This is an ideal opportunity to use some great atheist quotes, such as Hitchen’s “Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Evidence”.

    Keep pointing out that AiG has not yet managed to provide any evidence for their claim that gods exist.

  • Pattrsn

    Not only atheism, just look at the history of atomism and you’ll see the future of science.
    Christianity will crush all in its path!

  • linford86

    Well, a few things…

    1. When I said the “early modern period”, I didn’t mean the late medieval or Renaissance periods. I meant the 17th through early 18th centuries.

    2. Was the theological discussion of the atheism threat — the so-called “atheism scare of the 17th century” — due to the kind of paranoia we’ve seen over communism and Satanism in the 20th century? Well, some of it was something like that. Certainly, the witch and werewolf trials that were happening at the same time were due primarily to a kind of paranoia that arises when traditional systems of authority are being called into question. Some portion of the atheism-accusations were in the same vein. And church authorities dealt with atheists in much the same way that they were also dealing with Soccinians, Arrians, Deists, and other heretics.

    However, 3. there was something much more interesting going on with atheism. There is a Catholic doctrine — the preambulae fidei (or the “preamble to the faith”) — according to which one must first prove, by Reason alone, that God exists before one can have faith in divine revelation. Unlike many Christians living today, who simply have faith that God exists and do not believe that God’s existence can be proven, there was a large theological tradition that tried to prove the existence of God. Theologians and philosophers who engaged in this activity, such as Jacques Abbadie, developed quite rigorous and sophisticated arguments. In the process of doing so, they both a. invented atheistic arguments to argue against (because they couldn’t find any) and b. argued against each other, showing why each other’s “proofs” of God’s existence failed. In what has been called “fraticide” (by historian Alan Kors), they destroyed each other’s arguments for the existence of God. D’Holbach actually lifts several of his own atheistic arguments from Abbadie.

    In addition, thinkers at the time imagined a slippery slope from Descartes’ mechanical conception of the world to atheism. Descartes was himself sometimes accused of atheism. A large part of this fear was that the new sciences — especially the new physics — might be used for heretical purposes. For these folks, they really did see atheism as a threat on the horizon. And, to a large extent, they were right. They understood the atheistic implications of their work, sometimes better than we do now, even though many of these people were, at least initially (or, at any rate, publicly), atheists. This fear finally comes to a height when Pascal tells Napoleon that he has no need for God in explaining the origins of the solar system using the nebular hypothesis.

  • Ian Dodd

    Did anybody double check this story or its sources? ‘Cause any amateur photographer worth his expired Kodachrome would recognize that second image as a Photoshop mock-up.

  • RobMcCune

    Every generation has its period of New Atheism that flames out as quickly as it blew in.

    No, actually atheism was a fairly constant minority in the centuries since christians stopped murdering people for it. Since the mid nineteenth century it’s been a prominent intellectual force that has gained mass appeal over the past decade. Of course christian amnesia prevents you from seeing the forest through the trees.


    It can be a little painful at times, but as long as we are some semblance of a free society, the best way to deal with fools, is to let them speak. Ken Ham has spoken, and no one particularly cares.

  • Matt D

    What a transparent fool Ham is.

    Still, there are more than enough religious people who aren’t Christian (or part of a sect of them) who won’t be amused by this at all, AND Ham’s public pontificating seems to only raise Atheisms profile.

  • Matt D

    Well then, I’m glad that I live in modern times, where Atheists have access to science and technology that can reveal illusion.

  • painperdu

    Nice observation. Progress!

  • Pseudonym

    Ken Ham and AIG are no friends of mine, either.

    Having said that, remember when atheists used to shake their heads sadly when theists would complain about “strident atheists” when all atheists were really doing is saying “we think you’re wrong”?

    Ken Ham puts up a billboard that says, pretty explicitly in fact, “you’re wrong” and all of a sudden it’s a clear sign of defeat.

    What’s up with that?

  • ginalex

    Exactly. Just like all the tea party people who are scared of Obamacare for fear it will grow and become popular, same thing. These creationists are running scared.

  • Ed

    Your lot hasn’t been able to quash the existence of non-Christians, despite having 2000 years and numerous violent forced conversion/cleansing periods to do so. That would seem to indicate that atheists and people of other faiths absolutely /do/ have a lasting chance. I mean, shit — religions that you people thought you had completely wiped out have actually been reappearing! Man, has that got to stick in your craw.

  • Possibly Dangerous Atheist

    Atheist and…conservative? And cruel and judgmental? That’s an unusual combination–you should assume your BIL is an anomaly among atheists. While many of us are outspoken (theists are too!) and we often get _frustrated_ by all the stupidity, most atheists I’ve met are very tolerant and non-judgmental. Ask yourself whether your BIL’s cruelty comes from him missing out on God or whether it’s an unrelated flaw in his personality–would he still be a mean person if he converted to some religion? I bet he would.

    As for the rest of your comment, keep misrepresenting it if you want but atheism is simply not a belief system (it’s non-belief, neutrality: what you get when you take away the belief system) and it makes little sense to call it “fundamentalism,” which is characterised by rigidity and strict adherence to something: I’d love to hear what you think atheism requires a strict adherence to. BTW, not believing you have to bend knee to a pesky god is pretty nice; you should try it.

  • Nancy Shrew

    Most expensive passive-aggressive note ever?

  • Catgrin

    There’s a current Kickstarter campaign for a documentary on just that subject. Here’s the link.

  • Marisa Totten

    You missed the point. Religious influence or not, the conservative agenda – that others are beneath “me” because of: socio-economic status, gender or race – is on reliant up an individual’s ability to judge others as beneath him/herself. That is a trait which transcends religiosity. You are quite right, it’s a persoanlity flaw.

    Additionally, you seem to have pegged me as religious, which I can assure you I am not. I never suggested atheism to be a belief system, rather my point was quite the opposite, that one doesn’t NEED a belief system (religion) to be cruel and judgmental. In the case of my BIL, he quite nicely fits your definition of fundamentalist despite a lack of religion, as no amount of data or fact can dissuade him from certain political ideology he has maintained an almost religious-like adherence to most of his life. Indeed, this “belief” of his was given him by his parents.
    I’d love to hear you show me what I said that makes you think I said anything about atheism at all, except in reference to a lack of religion. I really don’t understand how you could have so completely missed the entire point of what I wrote, but if the flaw was in my conveyance then I’m willing to entertain that notion.
    Finally, I am an atheist. And have been my whole life, having had the pleasure of being raised by atheists. Trust me, I’ve never bended a knee except when I fell down.

  • RuBall

    I just drove past the “San Francisco” one this evening. If anyone cares to know, it’s a digital billboard on 880 in front of the Oakland Coliseum. About 4 or 5 different advertisements cycle every few seconds on this board.

  • TCC

    After some more thought, perhaps we should all take solace in the fact that it appears that the set of “Ken Ham’s atheist friends” is likely null, and so the sentiment on the billboard applies to none of us.

  • TCC

    It’s a digital billboard. There’s an NYT article on it as well with another photo.

  • Possibly Dangerous Atheist

    Sorry about that! I completely misinterpreted your comment; it appeared to me that you were attributing “all the benefits of a fundamentalist belief system” to atheism in general instead of to the exceptional position of your BIL, and then I went and essentially based my entire response on that misinterpretation. Armed with my misconception that you had called atheism a fundamentalist belief system, I indeed pegged you as religious right away.
    Thank you for clarifying your point, it’s a good one. I would like to complain that your comment was a little ambiguous, but still my fault for making assumptions. Have a nice day!

  • Jon Doee

    Thanks for making Time Square much more harder to deal with, ham… First that mor(m)on billboard and now this…

  • Rob Green

    Yes, by all means raise the profile of the issue, Mr Ham! I wonder if these people are genuinely deluded or just big liars. I believe Leviticus has something on lying…ironic…unfortunately irony is lost on the over zealous. Let alone any other humour that isn’t offensive to someone.. I suppose they wouldn’t recognise a paradox either unless it grabbed them by the short and curlies and hurled them into the very abyss they warn us about so diligently…they know not what they do, lol

  • Dave Godfrey

    I honestly don’t see the point of this campaign.

    1. Ken Ham has atheist friends? I don’t think so. He clearly regards us enemies, so the campaign is already predicated on a lie.

    2. I don’t believe in God, so just who am I supposed to be thanking?

    3. Wrong about what?

    4. Does Ken Ham truly believe that atheists like myself are going to see this and think “you know what, there is a god after all”?

    Sorry Ken, you’ve managed to sink below the level of pathetic with this one.

  • Marisa Totten

    I wish there was some sort of bowing smiliey I could insert here. Alas, I’ll just say “no worries!” and we’re friends again.

  • evodevo

    Same with mine – he and my sister are atheist, but politically CONSERVATIVE …. course, it helps that he’s career military and gets that from his father, but still – there ARE conservative non-religious atheists out there. Oh, and hates Messicans.

  • guest

    Actually it is good that people in SF and NYC learn who Ken Ham is. Seriously, it is possible to live a fab secular life in the big cities and ignore the idiocy that mires many Americans. They need to be exposed to the ugly truth of AIG’s existence.

  • Graham Twomey

    A child sees the Ad – Mommy what is an atheist? Well dear they are people who do not believe in god. Child – You don’t have to believe in god? Sounds like a good opening conversation to me!

  • Rob McClain

    When I imagine the sound inside Ken Ham’s head, I imagine I hear the same sound that a power pole transformer makes right before it starts boiling out PCB’s and shooting sparks like a 200 lb Roman candle firework. Blub-blub-blub…fzxxzzxzzxzxxtttttt….POW!

    He wants us to accept that atheists are wrong without evidence, and he wants his flock to keep following him, keep rattling the turnstiles at his dinosaur park, and continue stuffing money into a collection plate based on evidence that’s been disproven so many ways to Sunday you need a Twister spinner to point to them all. It sickens me to live in a nation so devoid of basic skeptical and critical thinking skills that a charlatan like Ken Ham has money to try and challenge reasonable people in the public sphere.

  • XCellKen


  • abb3w

    I’d disagree about it being all that anomalous, based on social psychology work by Altemeyer. Atheists tend relatively low-RWA, so they tend not to be prejudiced from fear; however, SDO is uncorrelated, so prejudices from contempt tend neither more nor less than the overall population.

    It’s much less surprising when you remember that Ayn Rand was an atheist; and some Randite Capitalists seem pretty fundamentalist in their attitude towards her writings.

    Saying that atheism is “not a belief system” seems an oversimplification, and the sort that seems intended to minimize the impact of unpleasant information to help resist persuasion. (In technical jargon, a mix of Attitude Bolstering and Message Distortion.) While the term refers to a theological position of “non-belief”, it also therefore defines a class of “belief systems” that include that position — and the word is also used to refer to either. Furthermore, there are correlational clusters of the position, defining which of the “belief systems” that are atheist are most culturally prevalent. The predominant member of the class in the US appears to be “secular humanism”; however, the variation also encompasses Marxist Communism (presently nigh extinct in the US) and Randite Capitalism — which seems the second most prevalent strain of “belief system” for atheists, though the difficulty distinguishing its theist and atheist strains increases uncertainty considerably.

    You might find both Altemeyer’s (free) The Authoritarians and Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America’s Nonbelievers (non-free, co-authored with Hunsberger) to be illuminating.

  • Matt D

    That’sa spicy meatball!

  • Matt D

    You know, they love it when people get emotional, because that’s how they maintain their own faith. Like bullies, they look for people who are off guard, then swoop in, or wear you down by tackling you daily until you submit.

  • CoboWowbo

    Look at it this way, that’s $100k-$350k not going to that Noah’s ark project. :)

  • Matt D

    I may be cynical about the man, but I suspect his projects are something he siphons money for himself on, whether they go anywhere or not.

  • Mark

    This is good news, it shows you that he is worried. Laughing at his web site is the best way to respond to this persistent fairy story belief. The emperor is not wearing clothes and we are pointing that out. Atheists are always going to be not liked because we are pointing out the bad news of their silly fairy story’s happy endings.

  • Marisa Totten

    What a koinkydink, we are military as well. My BIL is active duty AF, my husband (his brother) is active duty Army. My husband is more conservative than myself but still liberal (perhaps my influence, I’ll wear that badge with honor) but the rest of the family is party line republican, currently trending libertarian. Though I doubt any but my BIL have heard of Ayn Rand, let alone read any of her works or studied her political philosophy, they mimic her in so many ways. My personal favorite is the way they harp about needing to “get back to the Consitution” since I’m painfully aware that none of them have ever read the document. And yes, I’ve quized them about what’s in the Consitituion. Collectively, they fail miserably.

  • Matt Ranson

    It’s good to know that these YECs feel threatened enough to start an anti-atheist billboard campaign.

  • anonymous

    Ken Ham, just go suck a kangaroo dick. The sexual tension is clearly killing you both. You have so much in common. The country you come from, your intellectual capacity…

  • Keiv M. Salmon

    simple atheist retort billboard: “Prove It!”

  • Don Gwinn

    Fascinating. Thank you!

  • Itarion

    I dunno… Cordial doesn’t seem the right word to describe that. Frankly, I’m insulted. Cordial words don’t insult.

  • guest

    Ken Ham is a troll.

    But any publicity is good publicity, right? And Ken Ham’s version of Christianity is easy to refute. So I think this will backfire and create a lot of new atheists.

  • islandbrewer

    Those lightning attractors? Those are zip lines?

  • islandbrewer

    I think that needs Mr. Garrison’s voice, “You go to HELL! You go to hell and you DIE!”

  • Candy

    KMR, what do you mean your parents dog you and your beliefs re: Obama? Did you mean your views?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Apologies for the late comment, but I have some anecdata for your experiment.

    Roommate’s dad lives with us. He had a heart attack around the time the ACA was being debated, and was put on medical leave for 6 months. During those 6 months, he did nothing but sit around and watch TV, with Faux becoming more and more of what he watched.

    Before the Faux take-over, he was an independent, supported unions, judged candidates on their views and made an effort to get informed. Post-Faux, he’s a diehard Teahadist whose only sane view is that he thinks LGBTs should be able to marry.