Sacramento Atheist Billboard Vandalized February 17, 2010

Sacramento Atheist Billboard Vandalized

It’s not the worst act of vandalism you’ve ever seen, but it happened nonetheless, and it just shows why these billboards are so important:

We’re not lost at all.

Atheists are proud of knowing precisely where we stand, even if it may seem insignificant to others in the grand scheme of the universe. It’s honest and inspirational, as Richard Dawkins said so beautifully in Unweaving the Rainbow:

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

The vandalism isn’t working either.

Clear Channel will be replacing the billboard free of charge — and the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason is getting some free publicity.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Not only have the vandals lost their moral compass, it looks like they never even had one in the first place.

  • JD

    On one hand, each vandalism is usually perpetrated by a single individual, it only takes one person to make a whole group look bad, but on another, there’s been enough hypocrisy to go around the group. It is amazing given the time and effort it takes to deface a sign, maybe fifteen minutes or so, that not even one minute wasn’t used to contemplate the hypocrisy and criminality of the act.

  • Charlotte

    Apparently those xtians weren’t good with god, defacing property & all.

  • andyinsdca

    If I wasn’t so paranoid, I’d say an atheist did this to garner free publicity.

    But, I’m not paranoid, so I wouldn’t even think it.

    /controversy=free advertising

  • It would be a great publicity coup to catch one these idiots defacing the sign and have them arrested, only to later drop the charges in an act of kindness and charitableness.
    The morons would be humiliated, denied a martyr and atheism would come out smelling like roses.

  • everettattebury

    It’s sad. For Christian believers, being atheist really does mean that we are doomed to an eternity in Hell. They feel compelled to do anything they can to rescue us from the fate which they imagine awaits us.

    They are so traumatized by their religion. How can they be expected to behave rationally?

  • Aaron

    I pass this sign everyday on my way to work. I don’t know if I was the first to say anything, but I emailed SacCoR about it. It is right there on the Yolo causeway, not bothering anyone.
    Local rock DJs had an arguement over it. One said mockingly that a good moral Christian must have done it (he was on our side), and the other blamed the SacCoR for putting up such a horrible sign that craps on “everything that is good”.
    I think they both work for Clear Channel, but I am not sure.

  • Valdyr

    I like the question mark after “also lost”. It implies uncertainty. You really should be committed to your message before you vandalize something with it. (Seriously, how do they get up there? Aren’t those billboards like 30 feet tall?)

  • I live in Sac-Town and we were surprised that it took so long. As of yesterday, it has been fixed. I believe there are ten in the area, and only one got hit. It would be cool if idiots didn’t do it at all, but one out of ten is cool, right?

  • Paul Zimmerle

    I never bought into the whole ‘but you survived such great odds, dying won’t be so bad’ argument. I still don’t want to die. Here’s hoping for life extension in my time!

  • Haha, what a lame excuse for IRL hax. -_-

  • What’s funny is I was truly lost before I found atheism. How’s that for turnabout?

  • Steven

    I love Lost! (I have to assume this is a shoutout to the TV show)

  • Talynknight

    I think you are all misreading this. Obviously some poor guy named Al was So Lost that he found himself on a billboard and thought he’d use spray paint to ask for directions in the third person. “Al so lost?”

    Take that Occam.

  • cypressgreen

    That wasn’t what I was expecting Dawkins’ quote to say. Let me fix it my way:

    “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born, so to speak.
    The potential people who could have been here living life to the fullest along with me but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those “unborn” could have been greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. But by mindlessly following tradition and failing to think freely, they have never truly lived, robbing themselves and society of happiness, love and genius.”

    ‘Cause how can you die if you never truly lived to begin with?

  • Dana Dee

    This Dawkins quote is one of my all time favorites. What beauty! Take advantage of your life, every day. Live it. 🙂

  • qwertyuiop

    I wonder if they’re shouting “hate crime” like they would if it were a religious sign?

    What I’d like to see is the guy caught in the act, and for them to use a life size picture of him vandalizing the sign and incorporate it into a new sign saying: “This guy is not good with God. Are you?” or “Millions know that vandalism is a crime without God. Do you?”

  • plublesnork

    Could someone please describe the billboard and the vandalism for us vision impaired folksies?


  • muggle


    Billboard reads, “Are you good without God? Millions are.”

    Vandal added, “Also lost?”

    You’re welcome.

  • muggle

    And I agree that it’s pretty cool that only one out of ten got hit.

    I’d say that does say don’t paint all Christians with the same brush that

  • MH

    In Boston the Answers in Genesis crowd has been running an ad campaign on the T. I recently saw one of them vandalized to change the meaning towards an atheist message.

    Now it would be wrong for an Xtian to blame all atheists for the actions of a single person. So we should view this act likewise.

  • lizzyshoe

    @krissthesexyatheist Are you sure you’re looking at the same billboard? As of today, it’s not fixed, and it’s was also vandalized just about as soon as it went up (I first noticed the board on Friday, and it was vandalized then). Really upstanding of CC to fix it, no charge.

  • plublesnork

    Thanks, muggle. Much appreciated.

  • Derek

    “And I agree that it’s pretty cool that only one out of ten got hit.

    I’d say that does say don’t paint all Christians with the same brush that”

    Thanks for that. Incidentally, I’ve begun local talks with churches about speaking out against this sort of idiocy. It should be interesting to see how I’m received.

    Cheers and Excelsior!

  • muggle

    Good job, Derek! I’ll return the favor and continue to speak out against anti-theism, which drives me up a wall.

    I’m sincere when I say I don’t believe belief is a choice. And who really cares as long as we’re respectful of one another?

  • ckitching

    andyinsdca, plenty of people have already suggested that these defacements are done by atheist groups to get free publicity. While this is not impossible, I do think it’s rather improbable. Even if we assume that all atheists are incapable of moral decisions as some Christians claim, it would still be a terrible idea. The minor amount of publicity would be far outweighed by the risk of getting caught and causing massive damage to your own organization (Can you imagine the headline for something like that?).

    Frankly, even if your goal is to get the sign defaced, it’s easier to just put up the signs and wait. There’s bound to be a few unruly teenagers or irrational adults out there that would do the job for you without getting your own hands dirty. With ~80% of the population professing belief in god(s), it’s almost guaranteed to happen eventually.

    It’s even hard to say if this was done out of malice by someone blinded by their faith or for a cheap laugh by someone who gets a kick out of trying to reverse the sign’s message.

  • Cecilia

    “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see….”

    Any clever people out there want to try their hands at turning “Amazing Grace” into an atheist “anthem”? Certainly the above-quoted words apply very much to folks who have left religion behind! I actually think “Amazing Graze” is a beautiful song (especially love it on bagpipes – yes, I am into the schmaltz…)
    so would be nice to have a lyrics I can get my head around!

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