Don’t believe in God?
Join the club.
That holiday message is brought to you by your fellow atheists.
Yes, the atheists are recruiting.
I checked out the ads that the Freedom from Religion Foundation posted on its website. One billboard shows a woman saying, “Keep your theology off my biology.” One featuring comedian Julia Sweeney says, “OMG, there is no god!” Cartoonist and ex-Mormon Steve Benson says on his, “I freed my mind when I left God behind.”
They’re catchy, like those abstinence T-shirts that show a baseball diamond and read, “I gave my word to stop at third.” Maybe the ads are meant to mock Christians. If so, that’s unfortunate. It reinforces the stereotype that atheists are arrogant, smug people who think they are smarter than religious folks.
Some atheists are harsh in their portrayal of believers, calling God an imaginary friend. They call religion a virus, a hoax that brainwashes people. Well, the truth is, some brains need a good washing.
… One billboard shows Santa saying, “Yes Virginia … there is no God.”
That’s just mean.
I don’t know what qualifications Ms. Brett needed to get her own column, but they couldn’t have been much. She’s wrong about the facts and mistaken about her opinions. (There’s not even mention of an attempt to get in touch with reps from the American Humanist Association of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to get their side of the story.)
Most of the billboards that atheists have put up are not about “recruiting” anybody. Atheists are already out there — our numbers are in the millions so matter how you want to slice the demographics. Many of the billboards’ messages reach out to those atheists to simply let them know they’re not alone. That’s what the “Join the Club” billboard is all about. It’s not about “converting” people to atheism — it’s about getting the people who are already atheists to mobilize and connect with one-another.
Even if they were attempting to create atheists, so what?
Evangelical churches proselytize on campuses. They have TV stations designed to convert you. They have entire genres of music and books and video games (generating millions of dollars a year) dedicated to getting people to believe in a god.
We put up a few billboards asking people to reconsider their faith, sharing our own beliefs about religion in the process and there’s an uproar?
Yes, I know.
How. Dare. We.
Look at the wording on that AHA billboard: “Consider” Humanism. Consider. Think about it. Mull it over.
That’s the least threatening “recruitment” attempt you will ever see.
Meanwhile, Ms. Brett doesn’t seem to have a problem with the Christian threat that if you don’t buy into the Jesus myth, you’re going to be burning in hell for all of eternity.
Check out one of the FFRF ads:
Damn, that Kendra is *so* mean.
And look at this one!
Katie, stop mocking those Christians!
Those are among the billboards that Ms. Brett condemns.
You know what? God is an imaginary friend. Religion is a virus. Religion is a hoax. Religion does brainwash people (even if Brett seems to think that’s a positive thing).
It’s about damn time we get the courage to say so.
And if your feelings get hurt because some atheists are honest about god’s (lack of) existence, that’s just too bad for you.
What’s funny is that Ms. Brett ends her piece with a call to be good “for goodness sake.”
Maybe in all that research she did, she missed the American Humanist Association ad from 2008:
What did Ms. Brett say about the atheist ads again…?
It reinforces the stereotype that atheists are arrogant, smug people who think they are smarter than religious folks.
Here’s smug for you: When it comes to matters of faith, we are smarter. We’re the honest ones. We’re not the ones making up stories. We’re not the ones offering false hope.
We respect people so much that we want to tell them the truth.
Ms. Brett’s problem is that she can’t handle the idea that atheists are just becoming more vocal.