Pastor: 'atheist billboard is slap in the face to people of faith'

Pastor: 'atheist billboard is slap in the face to people of faith' December 1, 2017

Richard Mansfield, a senior pastor at the New Beginnings Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is not amused by a billboard which has just appeared on his patch.
He is quoted here as saying:

I think they’re trying to give a slap in the face to not only the Christian community but people that have faith and people that have hope.

Asked whether the billboard was intended to take the piss out of faith-heads, Nick Fish, the National Programme Director for American Atheists said:

We do want to get a rise out of them, but the idea is not to be offensive.

Fish said the billboard’s goal is to start a conversation by reminding people that there are millions of atheists in the country.

We want people to critically think about everything they’re being told. We want people to think about what messages they’re getting in church and think about the fact that in this country, we give a really big pass to preachers or churches or to religious beliefs that hold really abhorrent views.

The billboard went up on Wednesday, and it’s not the only one. There are two in Dallas and five more going up in Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that Washington’s Metro has rejected a Catholic ad campaign that promotes “spiritual giving” instead of presents, arguing that the image of stars, shepherds and sheep promotes religion, a violation of the transit system’s rules.

The Archdiocese of Washington said that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority turned down a request to promote its “Find the Perfect Gift” initiative because the image “depicts a religious scene and thus seeks to promote religion,” although it does not include a manger scene, Christ figure or even a cross.
As a result, the Archdiocese this week files a lawsuit challenging Metro’s ad guidelines.

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  • Club Secretary

    “Pastor: ‘atheist billboard is slap in the face to people of faith’”
    Well do what Jesus says, turn the other cheek!

  • Broga

    Great idea. Dangerous for “people of faith” as it might encourage thinking and debate. Must not have that.

  • Angela_K

    “Ignorance is bliss” so some say, could this be what the religious fear most, that their beliefs could be swept away by knowledge.

  • Johan

    Best way to make someone to snap out of an over excited state or even a semi conscious state is to give them a slap around the face. So a good slapping should be good to snap stupefied faith heads out of their lazy gullible mindset.

  • John the Drunkard

    I suspect his real objection is that it might be well-deserved slap in HIS face.

  • Stonyground

    Atheists think that religion resembles fake news, who knew?

  • sowa

    Nice campaign and all but I wish they didn’t use this stupid phrase “fake news”. Sick of hearing it, mainly because of it’s association with you-know-who.

  • barriejohn

    @sowa: Half the time, people are using the term inappropriately. It really refers to misleading stories, not believed by their originators, but deliberately put about to influence opinion and cause harm, not to erroneous reports, etc.
    Here’s a good one:

  • Laura Roberts

    I have to admit the billboard is a bit snarky. I’d prefer to see something more along the lines of: this holiday season, skip church and volunteer at a homeless shelter/hospital/hospice instead. I’m sure a skilled marketing/PR person could come up with a snappy slogan along those lines. Ingersoll’s famous quote (hands that help are better far than lips that pray) might be a start.

  • barriejohn

    Laura: “Skip the manger; help a stranger”!

  • John

    Trump – and his followers – loved to bang on about “fake” news.
    They – at least – should understand the message!

  • CoastalMaineBird

    A slap in the face doesn’t make up for centuries of the turn of the wheel, the Spanish Boot, the rack, the lift, the Pear, etc., etc., etc….