Voicemail Responses to Nashville Atheist Billboard November 5, 2009

Voicemail Responses to Nashville Atheist Billboard

Earlier this week, a billboard went up in Nashville for a group called Secular Life.

An offensive, hateful, evil billboard. One so awful, a number of people denounced it!

Which makes sense, I guess… just look at all the blasphemy:

fresh green grass with bright blue sky

You can imagine what happens when you put a phone number on an atheist billboard.

There were a lot of phone calls in support of the ad… and a handful against it.

My first thought: How could anyone be offended by this ad? They don’t even say anything offensive!

My next thought: I need to hear these calls…

Your (non-)prayers have been answered. Check it out:

Anyone besides me glad they included subtitles?

(Thanks to Nick for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jeannette

    For the record, not all Tennesseans are that ignorant, and we don’t all use terrible grammar. Some of us are capable of speaking English properly.

    Unfortunately, there is a large number of this element, so easily offended, and so quick to make snap judgments.

  • Jasen777

    The only go to show why the billboards are needed. Hopefully someday such a billboard won’t be news and won’t get any reaction.

  • Ornery Alien

    Apparently, a raspy menacing voice was all it took, and I am now ‘cured’ of my atheism. “BELIEVE IN GOD! BELIEVE IN GOD!” Sure! Whatever you say! Please don’t hurt me!

  • StarScream

    I have to call Poe’s law on that “BELIEVE IN GOD BELIEVE IN GOD OR BURN IN HELL” caller.

    Maybe I’m wrong. But that’s the nature of the Poe.

  • Philbert

    Most of it sounds pretty believable given what I’ve heard in personal conversation, but the “BELIEVE IN GOD” chants sounded like a teen prank call.

  • Christine

    “maybe it’s you people who don’t believe.”

    uh, exactly.

    People responding this way just proves the effectiveness of the ads (and the need.) But where’s that Christian love and acceptance they preach so much about?

  • JD

    I guess some people are so insecure or threatened in their beliefs that they have to heckle in some way.

  • Jerad

    I love these responses videos, but I wish they would start off with an image of the billboard in question. Just to make it easier to pass on to say “see how crazy people can be!”

    Just a thought for the makers of these. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing!

  • Matt

    I simply could not listen to all of those ridiculous calls. I would completely understand some annoyance if the billboard said, “Damn all of those Christians! Atheists are the best!”

    Instead, it simply said, “Not religious? You’re not alone.”

    Look at the *wicked* purpose of this group:

    Secular Life is a network of friends, families, and communities that are non-religious. We embrace a life free of superstition and full of inquiry. Our goal is to provide awareness, education, resources, social events, and community to anyone interested in a secular life.

    Regardless of what you call yourself, if you are looking for a religious-free zone that is focused on building a quality, secular life and community then you are already among friends at Secular Life.


    They are offering community support and fun events for atheists that may be experiencing difficulties with friends and family due to their lack of belief? Furthermore, they are legally advertising for such a group?! RAGE!

  • Christian Love at its finest.

  • Richard Wade

    These people are very confused. Confused about what the sign actually says, confused about what it means, confused about who put it up, confused about who the sign is trying to reach, confused about what rights they have and what rights Secular Life has to express themselves, confused about what recourse they have, and, in the voices of more than one of those calls I am sure I detected the sound of beer coursing through a confused prefrontal cortex.

  • littlejohn

    Actually, we can’t make fun of their grammar it our guys can’t spell “its.” In the possessive, there’s no apostrophe.
    That aside, those voices sounded weirdly familiar to me. I grew up in southern West Virginia. No wonder I became an atheist.

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • llewelly

    How can you have friends if you don’t go to church?

  • mattincinci


    christian billboard via Roy Zimmerman

  • All that Christian love just sounds sooo much better with that hick accent!

    But seriously, these religious nutjobs clearly have no understanding about the First Amendment and freedom of speech.

  • False Prophet

    @Jeannette, I remember Nashville as the city that built a full-sized replica of the Parthenon, complete with 42 ft. statue of Athena. It’s also a gallery for American artists. That place is fantastic!

  • N

    I said this in a comment on YouTube, but I want to say it again here. Thaddeus, who put the video together, rocks. There is no way I could have responded to those people with such grace and class.

  • Nick Fotopoulos

    This video is by and far not an accurate depiction of the over all response, or of Nashville in general. We weren’t at all surprised that the majority of the responses we got were fairly warm and friendly. Nashville is one of the friendliest cities in the country. It’s not at all uncommon for complete strangers to strike up conversations while your waiting at the crosswalk, pumping gas, or while your standing in line pretty much anywhere.

    @Richard Wade

    Beer and/or youth.


    Thanks for posting our updates, it has helped more people find our little oasis here in Nashville.

  • Siamang

    AWESOME VIDEO! Great job Nick and Thaddeus.

    I would second that the head of the video should have an image of the billboard. That way the video is self-contained and explains the whole thing.

  • juan

    Yep. Sounds like typical fundamentalist haters.

  • Nick Fotopoulos

    Grammar has been corrected:

    it’s = its

    anyway shape or form = any way, shape, or form

    (does that comma belong before ‘or’? Grammar has never been my strong point…)

  • Great job on the video.

    Richard Wade’s comment about these callers being confused is pretty accurate. I think they see themselves having to defend against anyone that poses a threat to their own beliefs.

    Seems rather shallow and vain to me.

  • mattincinci said:


    christian billboard via Roy Zimmerman

    Anyone else notice that the “E” in Eternity and the “H” in Hell were both Red? If you put both of those together you get “EH”, which is a slang term commonly used in Canada. Also, red is the primary colour of the Canadian flag.

    That means Canada is Hell!

    Sweet, you guys are gonna love it here! When the snow thaws next July, boy did the theists ever get that whole hellfire thing wrong, and assuming you’re dead, we can put our spring coats on and have a big ol’ barbecue before the August first snowfall. 😉

    And no, before you ask, I can’t get you Santa’s autograph!


  • David D.G.

    False Prophet wrote:

    @Jeannette, I remember Nashville as the city that built a full-sized replica of the Parthenon, complete with 42 ft. statue of Athena. It’s also a gallery for American artists. That place is fantastic!

    I thought that was Memphis, Tennessee, not Nashville, that had the Parthenon replica. I remember it because it seemed ironic to me; I felt that the city should have made a replica of an Egyptian temple rather than a Greek one, since there is also a city in Egypt named Memphis.

    ~David D.G.

  • David,
    Nope, it’s Nashville that has the Parthenon. Memphis has the Pyramid.

    I am sitting in Memphis right now, so you may take that as authoritative information. 🙂

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