Atheist Billboard Goes Up in Oklahoma City September 6, 2010

Atheist Billboard Goes Up in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Coalition of Reason has formed and they have put up a billboard of their own!

The board faces south and is on the corner of I-44 and NW 10th.

It’s an interesting phrasing on the billboard and I wonder if it might be slightly off-putting to anyone who takes it literally — which they obviously shouldn’t. If you no longer believe in a god, the last thing you want to do is join any group that might resemble a church. So “join the club” doesn’t sound as pleasant as a simple “You’re not alone.”

That said, I hope this billboard gets some positive publicity… preferably, not because it gets vandalized.

(via ERV)

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  • muggle

    I like it. It’d have got me.

    I can remember wishing for something with other Atheists way back 16 years ago when I lived in Denver and then reading about an organizatoin in the paper about some group with the promising name of the Freedom From Religion Foundation protesting a 10 Commandment monument on City property that made me glower every time I had to pass by it. I still belong. 🙂

    I think Atheist groups need to promote themselves more. Signs like this are great and this one will totally catch any lonely Atheists wishing they knew someone, anyone, who didn’t equate a nonbelief in god with worship of another entity they also don’t believe in.

  • Sarah

    Hubby and I are originally from OKC. He bets it will be defaced before the week is out. I’m more optimistic, and say it remains unmolested for 2 weeks.

  • Ben

    I want a billboard like this in Omaha, NE where I live! There are plenty of “God” billboards but none like this that I’m aware of. I know there is an Omaha Atheists Group but not sure how big they are or if they have money to do this. It’s pretty conservative Catholic around here but an “in-your-face” sign like this one would undoubtedly get some press and negative press at that. It would be nice to be on the map though.

  • Julie

    I disagree, I think a lot of people who are formerly religious and just starting to embrace atheism will want a church-substitute to give them the same sense of community. In some cases, atheist clubs I’ve been to have resembled nothing so much as a church, which a charismatic group leader and a bunch of acolytes repeating everything they say. At at least one of these meetings the other members were completely ignorant of other skeptical issues like anti-vax, TAM or prominent names in the atheist and skeptical communities. It was like they lived in a bubble.

  • Bridget

    This is RIGHT by where I live. I need to check it out before it’s defaced. I’ll be glad if it makes it a week 🙂

  • Tim

    Here’s a good idea; every time a new billboard goes up, we atheists start a pool going on how long before it gets vandalized. Everyone contributes $5 for a bet, and whoever wins gets half of the pot and the other half goes towards the Secular Student Alliance or another group like them. There’s the idea, now someone with the capability to realize it get to it. Who’s with me?

  • Brad

    I hope this one is spared from the Haters and the Vandals. The irony is that the very people who claim high moral ground are the ones who will commit petty crimes to deface the billboard. Anti-Atheists (an oxymoron)

  • At least it doesn’t say:
    “There’s an app for that.”

  • VXbinaca

    lol, “Don’t believe in God? There’s an app for that”.

    Good to see more signs up.

  • carlie

    I kind of like it, because it’s a little flippant. “Join the club” is commonly used as a sort of snort-retort that it’s no big deal because so many other people deal with it too. “You are not alone” is nice, but very somber and serious-sounding. “Join the club” is more like “God? Meh.”

  • The Other Ben

    I’ve got a pool going on this very billboard, if you want to place a bet on how long it will take before it’s defaced by Xtian zombies. I’ve still got prime slots open for 3 days and 2 days. Personally, I got “less than 24 hours”, which for Alabama, I think is a pretty good bet.

    I’ll be the guy out there the very next day “un-defacing” it.

  • Alex

    It would be nice if someone could get a webcam aimed at that billboard. It would be interesting to watch the vandals at work.

  • catsnjags

    better than the webcam would be a motion triggered razor wire cage that would activate as they came down from the sign. “Honest officer, I was just walking past and this wire trapped me in here.”

  • I always thought that “Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone” could sound like a theistic message. Something like “You may think you are alone, because you don’t believe in God, but there is a God, so you are not alone“.
    Join the club is better.

  • Danny wuvs kittens

    Put fucking claymores on it so christfag vandals get their fucking legs blown onto the fucking highway.

  • rbray18

    can’t wait to watch the news now,if this billboard is even mentioned here it’ll be done in a fox news sorta way,distorting facts and killing logic.should be mildly entertaining 😀

  • Chakolate

    I think the double-entendre is great! Sure, ‘join the club’ is idiomatic, but it’s also a way for the CoR to say, ‘Join us!’

  • Jeff

    I’d recommend two minor changes that, in my mind, are significant: Lower case g and plural. Don’t believe in ‘gods’? Join the club.

  • Jay

    It dumbfounds me why people would feel it necessary to vandalize signs like these. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen this time, but it likely will.

    Any reasonable and logical person (and unfortunately, those don’t exactly describe most theists) would see that as an outreach and a sign of comfort aimed at closet atheists and people who are starting to doubt, and not as an affront to any religion at all.

    Conversely, put up a sign espousing mystical theistic drivel, intended to convert or insult nonbelievers, and it’ll be met with acclaim and praise.

  • Personally I keep waiting for the sign that states.

    “Don’t believe in god!
    No seriously don’t, it’s stupid”

  • If you no longer believe in a god, the last thing you want to do is join any group that might resemble a church.

    This is certainly not true. The *only* part of my faith I miss is the social aspect. I had friends and “family” that I no longer have. The emptiness left behind after leaving that life has never really been filled and for several months (or more) after embracing my unbelief I seriously considered going to church anyway just so I would be surrounded by people.

  • Juno

    I live about an hour south of OKC and I am willing to bet it doesn’t make it a week here. We tolerate other religions here, but atheists cause an uproar.


  • L. Vellenga

    there’s a club?

  • Dan W

    Good billboard, and I also like the “Join the club” bit. I bet it’ll be vandalized in less than a week.

  • flatlander100

    Ya know, guys, I’m starting to get the impression that some in these parts are, well… kind of rooting for the billboards to be vandalized as a way to (a)generate more ink and publicity about them and (b) as still more evidence of the intolerance, irrationality and willingness of the faithful to commit crimes [however minor] in the name of holiness.

  • Sarah

    flatlander 10,

    I can’t speak for others, but i would be thrilled beyond belief (heh) if my fellow Okies take the high road on this and prove to the world the truth that they’re more than a back of drooling rednecks. I’m just not holding my breath that there won’t be a single doofus who gets likkered up and spraypaints it this weekend or next.

  • The weird thing about the phrasing “join the club” (given the way it’s usually used in English), is that it implies that “I don’t believe in God” is a complaint, and a common one at that.

    “We’d all like to believe in God, buddy, but life isn’t fair! Join the club!”

    Not a message you hear from much of anyone on the theist-to-atheist spectrum…

  • Sarah A.

    I grew up in Oklahoma and couldn’t escape fast enough. The vast majority of people there are Christo-Zombies. They would sooner loose their right arm than explore the possibility that their sky god is bogus. The worst part is their hatred and intolerance for anyone who doesn’t goosestep to their church tune. I predict the sign will be defaced within 24 hours.

  • Courtney

    Belief in God or non-belief in God really isn’t the issue here. The question is this: Are the people of Oklahoma City going to do more than just pay lip service to the concepts of the First Amendment — or are they going to abandon those principles?

    Freedom of religion and freedom of non-religion both must be protected. If a so-called “Christian” or anyone else defaces this billboard because they disagree with its message, then that person should probably re-examine their beliefs about a great many things — including the Constitution.
    I believe in God — and I am thankful for this billboard. Some might think that’s a contradiction…but it’s a strong part of my faith to believe that everyone deserves a voice.

  • Richard Wade

    Jeff’s suggestion of substituting “gods” for “God” is a very good idea. It takes away the specialness of the local Christian god, and relegates it to the same status of all the other gods, including all those in which the Christians do not believe.

    Suggested future billboards:

    Don’t believe in gods?
    Join the club.

    Don’t believe in gods?
    Neither do we.

    It’s okay to not believe in gods.
    Plenty of good people don’t.

    Don’t believe in ANY of the 2,870 proposed gods?

    We don’t either.

  • I like those, Richard!

    I’ve long thought that we should stop harping on the biblical deity (capital G-god) because it’s playing right into theists’ hands. When we talk about deities, I think we should strive to be neutral. I would love for atheists to be more inclusive by saying “I don’t believe in gods or goddesses” or “I don’t believe in deities” rather limiting our statements to the very narrow “I don’t believe in God.” That just makes Christians, Jews, and Muslims feel like their god is special and the only “real” one on the block.

  • CJ

    The news coverage has started here. Amazingly, the Fox affiliate has given it the best shake so far. The flood of new members has already started, so the board has more than paid for itself. Even Telemundo did an interview with Nick, the group president.

    I was a little worried the media would just ignore it. Boy was I wrong.

  • Heidi

    I really like this one. It makes me think “ooh, there’s a club!” LOL.

    I’s also love to see one that says:

    It’s Not Just You

  • Danny wuvs kittens

    The thing is anna, when’s the last time you heard somebody say that gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married because Zeus wouldn’t approve?

    In the U.S, Christians are the most intolerant people that exist. They spread their intolerance to new members of their flock.

    How many kids have been disowned by “good” Christian mothers? How many people have read books like “to train up a child” that advocate having practice church sessions, where everybody sits around for 3 hours, and if the kids move or talk, they get hit with a leather strap. Its practice for church.

    How many people have incredibly hostile work, school and social environments as a result of this venomous religion? Forget the crusades. Forget the spanish inquisition. Those happened long ago. What atrocities are Christians committing NOW?

    In muslim countries, muslims replace Christians. In america though, as of now, Christians are the ones in power.

    Christianity is evil. Christians are not, but they contribute to the monster that is Christianity. They must be fought, directly and hard. When the hindus take power, we will fight them. When muslims take power, we will fight them. For now, the U.S(and many areas of the world) is a theocracy. This has to stop.

  • CJ – “…more than paid for itself”

    We’d need more than 250 dues-paying members (at $20 a pop) to make up the cost of the billboard.

    (From the desk of the AOK Treasurer)

  • Ctsinger

    The only real. Problem I have with all of these comments is the fact that 1. I didn’t think aitheists were prostiletic 2. Christians are bashed rightly so for the hatred and judgement they shell out. I can only imagine that this message boards counterpart probably looks as ignorant and close-minded as this one. I just can’t help but snicker that this forum has much of the characteristics of the stereotypical southern baptist pot luck you all claim to want to be different from.

  • The thing is anna, when’s the last time you heard somebody say that gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married because Zeus wouldn’t approve?

    Who mentioned Zeus? I don’t disagree with your assessment of Christianity, but what I was trying to say is that atheists lack belief in all gods and goddesses equally, and we should express that. So many theists seem to think it is just their god that we have a problem with. They need to be reminded that their deity is not the only one that human cultures have created. When we constantly talk about their god as “God,” we are playing right into their hands, perpetuating their belief that their god is so important and so much more likely to be real than all the others.

  • Heidi

    I just can’t help but snicker that this forum has much of the characteristics of the stereotypical southern baptist pot luck you all claim to want to be different from.

    Concern troll is concerned.

  • Rick

    I tend to agree with Anna. Some of the comments here only differ from a bible-thumpers’ rant in perspective.

    On a different note (and so that Heidi doesn’t sling the “troll” word around), I think a better wording for the sign might be “Don’t believe in God? Welcome to the club!” It implies that you are already part of “the club” instead of having to join up.

  • L Campbell

    I am SO glad to see this organization.

  • Tallulah

    We should all have the right to believe in what we want and not be made to feel ashamed. Good people don’t have to believe or join an organized religion just to be excepted. I teach my children to be honest, good people just like any other religion does. I am not ashamed.

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