Center for Inquiry New Year’s Ad in Times Square Wishes Everyone ‘Peace and Enlightenment’

My organization, the Center for Inquiry, is capping off its Living without Religion campaign with one last ad in Times Square this week, with good wishes for the the New Year. It’s a 15-second electronic billboard ad, which you can see below, with two “slides” saying, “Millions express joy & goodwill without religion,” and ending with, “Wishing you peace & enlightenment in the New Year.” (Our press release is perhaps the warm-and-fuzziest one we’ve ever put out.)

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After Getting Rejected by One Company, Atheist Billboards Go Up in Vancouver Through a Different Vendor

Earlier this month, we learned that Pattison Outdoor Advertising, a billboard vendor in Vancouver, British Columbia, rejected atheist-themed signs without offering an explanation:

It’s not hard to guess why they said no since owner Jim Pattison is an evangelical Christian.

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‘Millions of Americans Are Living Happily Without Religion,’ Declares New Atheist Ad Campaign

As we know all too well, billboards that even suggest that people don’t believe in God can be offensive to some. Billboards suggesting that people who don’t believe in God are happy might even be worse.

But that juxtaposition of godless and joyful is what the Center for Inquiry is offering in its latest major ad campaign:

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Rediscovering ‘The Human Bible’ (A Little Too Late)

Since February of last year, Dr. Robert Price has been hosting his solo podcast The Human Bible for CFI. It’s a show in which Bob brings his encyclopedic knowledge and his trademark humor to demystifying the many layers of myth and conjecture about the Bible. The bad news is that it’s coming to an end (at least as a CFI podcast, though Bob does his own thing as well). Funding and listenership were, of course, among the big culprits.

And I admit, I had kind of lost track of it myself. You see I have to consume a great deal of skepto-atheist media in my work, usually very quickly, so even things that CFI produces, things I really love such as Point of Inquiry and the magazines Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer, can pile up. [Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Tomorrow, Atheists Will Protest for Free Expression: We Have to Make Them Care

Tomorrow, a coalition of atheist and secularist groups will hold (mostly) coordinated protests on behalf of the jailed atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. My employer, the Center for Inquiry, is among those leading the effort. I’m writing so that I can convince you to attend one, if you’re near enough to do so, and to share the fact of the protests with everyone in your social networks. Why? Because, yeah, it’s about the bloggers, but it’s not just about the bloggers.

Atheists in the U.S., in Canada, in Western Europe — we are by no means everyone’s favorite ideological/”religious” minority. But we, for the most part, enjoy the same liberties and freedoms that everyone else does in our respective countries. Folks might complain about us, write pointed op-eds, rail against our evil secularist incursion into government, or troll us with angry comments and blog posts (oh wait, that last one we do to each other), but we’re okay. We’re still at it. We’re, for the most part, safe.

The fellas in Bangladesh, they do what we do, they think similarly to the way we think, and they’re in jail because of it. More who are like them have been threatened with arrest. A newspaper editor who has been an opponent of the government’s was arrested, and they cited his reprinting of quotes from the bloggers as one of his crimes.

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