Plane goes up, plane goes down. American Atheists are flying billboards July 4th

American Atheists are pushing the highly successful billboard campaign model to a whole new level this Independence Day.

Planes with banners that read “God-LESS America” or “Atheism is Patriotic” will be flying across the skies of 27 states. North Carolina will not be one of them this year, sorry Fort Bragg area!

plane goes up plane goes down david silverman bill oreilly meme

Just in case you somehow weren’t aware of the internet meme stemming from American Atheists President, David Silverman’s interview with Bill O’reilly, watch this video.

This is clearly going to be another high profile bout of media interactions. These mainstream press segments pave the way to normalize atheism and increase tolerance and respect for our community. David Silverman is brilliant at this.

CNN profiled the story:

“I’m a patriotic American. I served my country. I get out there and celebrate the Fourth, too,” Blair Scott, who calls himself a proud atheist, proclaimed.

“This America belongs to everyone.”

Blair, the communications director for the New Jersey-based American Atheists, said atheists in the United States often feel alienated and face accusations of being anti-American because of their lack of belief in God.

To combat those notions, his group is using Independence Day to say atheists love their country, too.

— snip —

The American Atheists hope to draw attention and spur public discussion through their campaign on Monday.

“It’s going to remind people that atheism is at that ballgame and at that beach and at that parade. We are patriotic people,” Silverman said.

From American Atheists:

Why are we doing this? How many times have you heard theists refer to atheists as un-American, anti-American, or un-patriotic? How many times have you heard theists insist “there are no atheists in foxholes?” These canards are an insult to all atheist Americans who love and support the United States. The very fact that we stand up to defend the constitutional separation of church and state, fight for the civil rights of all non-theists, and work to ensure true freedom of religion is one of the most patriotic things anyone can do! By defending against theocracy, we are acting patriotic and defending the founding document of this country. What better day to emphasize this than on the birthday of our great country?

This campaign is not about pushing the “atheist agenda” or shoving our views down people’s throats. This is about advertising and raising the tide for all atheists across the United States. This is about getting Americans to recognize the role atheists play in this country and our dedication to its constitution. This is about generating public discussion about atheism, religion and the role of religion in politics and our national identity. This is an opportunity for public discourse about the very issues that are important not only to us, but to every American (whether they realize it or not). For more details about why atheism is patriotic, please visit our Patriotism article HERE.

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  • Don

    “What better day to emphasize this than on the birthday of our great county?”

    While your county may indeed be great, I think you meant to say “COUNTRY”.

    Typo finding fee waived for the holiday. 😉

    • Justin Griffith

      LOL. Thanks. That was a quote from the American Atheists website, and I passed the correction on to them. They are busy as hell so it’s not likely to get corrected there today – but just so you know – nearly all website admins and bloggers do appreciate that.

  • Jane

    Tide goes in, tide goes out — Hello Moon. Two things, I wonder how many people go on Bill O’Reilly’s show and just want to punch him for his arrogance; also, this is a great reminder of how we need to represent ourselves in a way that is informative, not authoritative.

  • Gary89436

    Amazing how coordinated it was, too! Almost as though it was planned by a higher power, now?

  • Justin

    What really blows my mind is that more than a year ago Richard Dawkins was interviewed by Bill and he said the EXACT same thing – “The tide goes in. The tide goes out.” And Richard said that we have a detailed understanding of why the tide goes in and out. Obviously Bill didn’t believe him because he never looked it up on Wikipedia.