Woke up to another American Atheists press release in my inbox. Dave Muscato apparently takes his job pretty seriously. :P Anyway, two more of their “Go Godless” billboards are going up in Texas. From the press release:
Featured on the two new billboards are former Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Texas Governor Rick Perry. The billboards promote American Atheists’ 50th Anniversary Celebration & Convention, which will take place in Austin, Texas the weekend of March 29th.
The Huckabee billboard reads: “Amend the Constitution to what I say are ‘God’s Standards.” Below is an invitation to “Go Godless Instead,” with the website atheists.org.
The Perry billboard reads, “His solution to school shootings? Prayer,” in reference to a January speech from this year.
Good stuff. However, I think most Texans will see those billboards and cheer at the quotes.
Here’s the part of the press release that really stuck out to me:
American Atheists approached several Texas billboard companies, but all refused to run the Perry design in Austin, the city in which Perry resides as Governor. When contacted by CNN about the rejection, one billboard company did agree to run the design, replacing a billboard featuring Sarah Palin.
This is important. When religious people are doing things that are shameful, though not necessarily illegal (but also when they’re doing illegal things), we need to take the fight public. When it becomes apparent that people are watching, a lot of times the instinct of self-preservation will take over and people will behave as if they’re accountable.
I recall one of the first cases I got handed when I was the high school organizer with the SSA was an administrator who had been stonewalling an SSA club at Stephen F. Austin High School for over a year. Then USA Today called them to run a story on it.
“Brian Lisco, 18, a senior Stephen Austin High School in the Houston suburbs, found his efforts to form a club were delayed for three months by one hurdle after another. At one point the principal said he could have the club — if he just called it a Philosophy Club and did not affiliate with the Secular Student Alliance.”
After five attempts to get a comment from that administrator, USA Today finally received an email with a single sentence: “He can have his club.”
Put a spotlight on the people who want to win for Jesus by conniving. Make it clear they won’t be able to be underhanded in the dark. Good job, American Atheists.