Atheists Draw Christian Followers December 6, 2010

Atheists Draw Christian Followers

Recently, the Dallas – Forth Worth Coalition of Reason put up a generally well-received bus ad:

It’s completely positive. It says that people like us exist.

But that notion was enough to offend some local Christians. They suggested boycotting the buses until the atheist ads were removed.

Despite being offered the chance to pay for their own bus ads, they decided to take another route.

Now, they’re just stalking one of the “atheist buses” with a mobile billboard of their own:

There are four Fort Worth T buses bearing the banner that says, “Millions of Americans are Good without God” on the streets of the city.

But behind one of the buses is a mobile billboard truck with a message reading, “I still love you. -God”

The pro-Christian ad is paid for by a group of pastors and businessmen who don’t wish to be identified.

Umm… that’s a bit scary, no?

Petty at the very least.

And a complete waste of money because it just draws more attention to the atheist bus ad it’s trying to counteract.

No wonder the Christians don’t want to be identified. Even they know they’re embarrassing themselves by doing this. At least the atheists in the DFW ad are out and proud.

Despite thinking the Christian Stalker-mobile is unnecessary, I love one commenter’s suggestion at the news website. Let’s get another car to follow the Christian car with another sign reading, “P.S. But you’re still going to Hell.” 🙂


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  • Hamilton Jacobi

    Ooh, I love a good parade! They’ve even got clowns and everything!

  • This is another example that reality is usually stranger than fiction. It would be funny if the atheist group was actually paying for the Christian truck to get more attention to the atheist sign. 🙂

  • Laura Lou

    If that were really God’s response to the atheist ad, what a patronizing ass!

  • Fett101

    I’d love to see a parade of retorts and rebuttals! It’d be like a mobile message board thread! Total art piece.

  • OMG I’m saved. Thanks anonymous business owners. …who sez us Texans cain’t learn nuthin new?

  • Makes me think of that tee-shirt. We should get another billboard van to follow the first with the message, “I’m with stupid!

  • Justin

    Does anyone else think it’s an absolute waste of gas for a vehicle to drive around doing nothing but countering a message on a bus? At least the bus is supplying transportation. This counter ad needs to also supply transportation or do something productive while following these buses around otherwise I have a whole new reason to think it’s stupid.

  • Amanda

    It’s so much fun living in Texas 🙂

    Signed,
    A face on the bus

  • JD

    Given that one of the major passages in the Christian texts says something about not being ashamed, they’re shameless in being ashamed. Take out an ad without saying what organizations and businesses paid for it? What credibility is there in running an ad like cowards? That’s like the new kind of political ads that we had this year.

  • This is a clear-cut case of not knowing how to pick one’s battles.

    It also reminds me of Orwell’s famous line in Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” You see, in America, if you’re a Christian, you’re more equal than all other people who have a right to believe and speak what they’d like.

    So much religious chatter. Not enough reason to matter.

    Cheers!
    Kane

  • Brian Magee

    Well, isn’t that touching?

    I love the picture of a round earth, given that the Bible writers are pretty sure it’s flat, with corners, and flooded once without all the water running over the edges. That creature’s love is one synonymous with the drunk who apologizes to his common law wife after beating her up and the cops show up with reality TV cameras in tow.

  • Anonymous

    “Stewards of the earth”? Thanks for the pointless extra emissions, you petty Christian jerks.

    At least this stunt shows you up to be the insane folk many suspected you were.

  • Alex

    What the atheists are also saying with this billboard is that they are being good without dropping 10% of their paycheck into a church basket every Sunday. It’s really bad for church business if people think they can be good without paying protection money.

  • God never said that. Check your holy books. They are bearing false witness.

    Isn’t there a law against this? Or are fanatics above the law?

  • Rieux

    I agree that this is a little scary. It’s sort of the bus-ad version of stalking: these Christians are making it clear that atheists cannot be allowed even to announce that we exist without being shadowed by religionists blaring that we are illegitimate.

    It’s a ridiculous misuse of majoritarian power.

  • It kind of saddens me that the bus boycott, once used to fight against discrimination and segregation, is now being used to promote discrimination.

  • Were I not already convinced that believers include the most ignorant and wasteful and arrogant of humans, this would surely convince me. Ignorant for thinking their “follow the bus” truck will do anything but increase the number of active atheists, as it gives us just another reason why rational thinking is not just another option but necessary for the health of the planet. Wasteful, because as Justin pointed out the truck is doing nothing productive driving in circles all day and adding to traffic congestion and pollution (I oppose all “mobile billboard” trucks doing any type of advertising for the same reasons, not just ones with religious messages). And arrogant because, supposing a god does exist, they presume to speak for it! Were I a deity I would strike them mute for their audacity, but of course one doesn’t exist so they’ll continue to babble on.

  • Vanessa

    HAHAHA. What are they, 5 years old?

  • Richard L

    So now the atheists will have to buy a truck and stalk the other truck with a response?

  • Jim

    And isn’t that exactly the kind of thing a stalker would say? God, you got dumped. Get over it.

  • epe

    And to think it’s the atheist community that is constantly self-flagellating over acting ‘too dickish.’

  • When they’re damning Greg Epstein, there’s clearly no hope for us dirty atheists.

  • This is just one big, mobile “NUH UH.” Lulz.

  • spink

    teeheehee!

    this seems a bit unsustainable

  • Richard Wade

    They’ll love you to death.

    The pastors and businessmen who don’t wish to be identified say a great deal in their silence. What are they afraid of?

    Atheists: “Millions of people are good without God.”
    God: “I still love you, even though you’re being good without me.”
    Atheists: “Would you prefer that we’d be bad without you?”
    God: “Good or bad, I’d prefer that you bring your money to the preachers.”
    (That insight thanks to Alex, several comments above who nailed it with:

    What the atheists are also saying with this billboard is that they are being good without dropping 10% of their paycheck into a church basket every Sunday. It’s really bad for church business if people think they can be good without paying protection money.

  • Dan

    Total waste of gas.

    And I second just about everything everyone above has said.

  • Come on? This isn’t bad really – it’ll get media coverage (as demonstrated by this post, and pointed out in the post) for both parties. It’s not clever. But it’s not downright stupid. Put yourself in the position of having to come up with a response to a message that attacks your product in business – and you could do worse than having your branding out an about wherever you’re being criticised.

  • Anonymous
  • Richard Wade

    Nathan, you said,

    Put yourself in the position of having to come up with a response to a message that attacks your product in business – and you could do worse than having your branding out an about wherever you’re being criticised.

    Please explain how the atheist ad is an “attack” on anyone. The ad essentially says, “Hello there, atheists exist and they are good people.” I cannot see, without a great deal of paranoid, chip-on-the-shoulder, eagerness to be a victim how anyone can conjure up an “attack” out of that.

    The woman-on-the-street interviewed in the Fox News report above said, “I think it’s an insult to Christianity.” It is? How?

    It seems to me, the “insult” is that we exist. The “attack” is that we’re no longer hiding. If that’s all it takes for Christians to feel insulted and attacked, then life is going to be tough.

  • Rich Wilson

    I think they were smart enough to realize that their boycott was likely to fail, and would have looked very foolish. I prefer this to the boycott, in that at least it’s a message, as opposed to a ‘shut up’. Ads on the busses saying “Millions of Americans are Good with God” or even “Better with God” would have been far preferable of course. I do think there are some people who are better with God than they would be without God. I just wish they’d stop projecting that.

  • Rich Wilson

    Wait, what?

    Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief has come out against the atheist ads on buses.

  • Anonymous
  • “I still love you and I’m going to follow you around until you love me back.” Genius. Sheer genius. Who thought of making g0d look like a whinny 14 year old boy who hasn’t got over his first crush? What next? Will a Christian rock band catch the bus and sing love songs to the passengers? Will they start phoning the bus company at night and just hanging up without saying anything just so they can hear the sound of the bus company’s voice.

    How embarrassing.

  • mkb

    I think that y’all are guilty of the same thing that Christians often are — not reading and responding to what is really being said. Some Christians apparently read Millions are Good Without God as a statement that believers can’t also be good. It’s not. The little mobile billboard says that “I” or God still loves people who are good without God. That is not an attack or a negative statement. Nor is it a statement that a person can’t be good without God. A silly statement? Yes. An environmentally unfortuante way of expressing it? Yes. But not a whiny or stalkerish one.

  • fea24

    so the lesson is that we can be atheist and it doesn’t matter because God will love us anyway? So, what’s the point in acting like a boring believer?

  • Please explain to me how this is not stalking?
    I read, I comprehend, I still find it childishly offensive- like holding my finger 1/2 an inch from your face, saying ‘im not touching you’.

    I think that y’all are guilty of the same thing that Christians often are — not reading and responding to what is really being said. Some Christians apparently read Millions are Good Without God as a statement that believers can’t also be good. It’s not. The little mobile billboard says that “I” or God still loves people who are good without God. That is not an attack or a negative statement. Nor is it a statement that a person can’t be good without God. A silly statement? Yes. An environmentally unfortuante way of expressing it? Yes. But not a whiny or stalkerish one.

  • Claudia

    I love it. The sheer immaturity of it is hilarious. Is there media team composed of 4th graders?

    I think the best thing about it is that it’s going to make more people notice the atheist sign. A bus you might miss, but you’ll notice a bus being doggedly followed by a Jesus-van. Besides, the money they spend like this is less money to persecute GLBT folks.

    Seriously now, how weak is your faith that you find the very notion that other people are fine without it as a threat? Do they not realize how pathetic and weak these overreactions make them look?

  • mkb, they’re literally stalking the atheist ads. How is it not stalkerish?

  • Tim

    What petty, trifling, immature basket cases the Christians must be!

  • I too hate those truck ads of any sort even when it’s utterly for something I like or support. They’re obnoxious at best.

    mkb, it’s the action, not the message. A competing ad on the bus (they could have used the same exact one they’re putting on the truck for Pete’s sake) would have sufficed but, no, that obviously wasn’t intimidating and overshadowing enough.

    So, instead of turning the other cheek or responding in a kind by putting their own ad on the buses, they’re spending more money (which could go to doing good deeds) and causing more pollution and traffic congestion to flex a little Christian muscle and actually hire a big truck that, as pointed out does harm instead of good (rather making the Atheists look better than them which is comical as hell and which is why we definitely should just stick with what’s already up on the buses and not stoop to their level) by way of pollution (both air and noise) and traffic congestion, to follow the buses with the ads in a sorry attempt to taunt that looks more pathetic than anything. It’s a lame attempt to bully.

    How creepy. Perfectly legal and within their rights to do but creepy.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Because there’s nothing more attractive than desperation. I doubt anyone would ever pay particular attention to these ads if the Christians didn’t throw a fit every time one went up.

  • Secular Stu

    Come on? This isn’t bad really – it’ll get media coverage (as demonstrated by this post, and pointed out in the post) for both parties. It’s not clever. But it’s not downright stupid. Put yourself in the position of having to come up with a response to a message that attacks your product in business – and you could do worse than having your branding out an about wherever you’re being criticised.

    But they don’t have to come up with a response. This is marketing 101. They could’ve just ignored it. That’s what you do when you’ve got a huge lead over your competitors. Imagine a small coffee shop chain criticizing Starbucks. Why the hell would Starbucks respond to some podunk coffee shop?

    All this is doing is 1) helping the atheists’ bus ad get on TV, reaching far more people, and 2) making the Christians look weird and insecure.

  • kisakisa

    i find this highly hilarious and sadly pathetic

  • Troglodyke

    I wonder how many people see the truck, and, not knowing about why it’s there, just see it as an advertisement for the church?

    I’m sure there are plenty who don’t connect the two. It would be easy to miss that the truck is a reaction to the bus if you didn’t know it already.

    In that way, it will likely just be ignored as much other Xtian advertising is.

  • Wow, that ad is batshit crazy! They could at least pick a few people up on the route. Then they’d be doing something other than looking nuts.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    T Ray: God never said that. Check your holy books. They are bearing false witness.

    I’m with T Ray. Pretending to speak for God is blasphemy.

  • Kurt

    The second truck hired should say something like, “Anyone who claims to transcribe God’s thoughts is a scam artist.”

    Er… not very catchy, but that’s the idea.

  • I get why those Christians who are so offended are acting like this but this is starting to get quite ridiculous.

    Here’s an idea: Let’s start boycotting our local malls because many of its shops carry jewelry, art and clothing that depict Christian symbols and references. Let’s also follow the shop owners around carrying signs about how they’re selling lies and false consolation.

    Of course we wouldn’t do this because we’re not insecure, spoiled little brats.

    Oh, those persecuted Christians. They’ve always been able to have their cake and eat it too. This is an example of their constant need to force feed it to us publicly.

    *facepalm*

  • Rieux

    MikeTheInfidel, exactly. I’m flabbergasted at mkb’s statement that this isn’t stalkerish. I can’t imagine how any printed message could be delivered in a more stalkerish way than this one is.

  • JustSayin’

    fea24 said:

    so the lesson is that we can be atheist and it doesn’t matter because God will love us anyway? So, what’s the point in acting like a boring believer?

    Good point, ’til you remember that he’ll send your ass to hell in the end, too.

    Remember, my little ones, he loves you regardless, but eternal damnation awaits if you don’t love him back.

    The cognitive dissonance essential to holding such a worldview should cause one’s head to implode, but alas…

  • coley

    I think its kinda funny that the atheists’ bus ad isn’t attempting to convert anyone, it only attemts to display the fact that there are millions of good Americans out there who don’t believe in god. It is not being obtrusive or crass. It’s the same size as every other bus ad in the entire city. The Christian truck, however, is GIGANTIC and draws quite a bit of attention to itself and on top of that has the EXPLICIT goal of converting people to Christianity. Even the guy who was representing the advertising company said that if “even one atheist comes to god, that’s all that matters.”

    The atheists were just trying to let you know that we’re good people too and because all of a sudden they publicly make their presence known, you have to convert them? *shakes head*

  • Rieux

    One thing that occurs to me: how obvious is it, to someone just walking down the street (or driving next to these vehicles, etc.) in Fort Worth, that the billboard truck is actually replying to something on the side of the bus?

    Surely there will be a reasonable number of people who see a billboard truck blaring “I still love you. -God,” don’t even notice the bus, and think this is just ordinary Christian proselytizing (though it adds to traffic gridlock, air pollution, etc.).

    …No?

  • The Other Tom

    What I find interesting is that the christians, who supposedly believe that their god is the all powerful creator of the universe who interferes directly in the lives of each and every individual person, think it’s just fine for them to put words in this god’s mouth. Rather presumptive of them. Don’t they think that might piss this god thing off, especially since as someone pointed out above, it allegedly said something negative about bearing false witness?

    And if they really believe this god is all powerful, shouldn’t they believe it can speak for itself?

    Really, these christians’ behavior leads me to think they don’t believe in their own religion.

  • I always take issue with those who don’t want to be named when they put their money up for these kinds of ads. Transparency at it’s worst.

    The question I ask is: why don’t they want their names known? They want their rebuttal message out there, but they want to hide behind it. Doesn’t make sense to me. It’s coming across that they are ashamed of what they are doing, even though some may use the “we don’t want to dilute the real message” scapegoat.

  • L.

    How much of that money that was spent on the rebuttal could have been spent on doing something positive for mankind, like they supposedly say only christians are capable of doing? How many soup kitchens, homeless, down on their luck families could have been helped instead of acting like petty teenagers who feel they need to somehow one-up the competition?
    It’s so easy for them to cry foul and complain that something is offensive when they feel their beliefs are attacked, yet think nothing of the rights of the atheists.
    It’s sad, really sad.

  • numsix

    Did anyone ask this yet:

    Does anyone know if they ere giving free transportation to the people they asked to boycott the bus?
    After all, they stop at the same places?

    Just wondering.

  • The best counter message that the group could come up with is too play the emotion card.

    How typically Christian.

    When faced with an argument they can’t counter rationally, they try to play to base emotion.

  • CJ :)

    I dunno – personally I think it’s funny.

  • mkb

    Stalking involves harassment, intimidation, an implicit or explicit threat. It is not mere following (althoug following if you have been asked not to follow could be stalking). Just as the words “rape” and “lynch” should not be trivialized by using them out of context, the action of someone who responds to your statement with a statement of love shouldn’t be called a stalker. Despoiling the environment, yes, but stalking no. In the Lincoln Tunnel situation the Catholics could respond by putting up a nearby billboard. When you’re talking about a city bus system where only 4 buses have the ad, the only way to make sure that someone sees both messages is this. I think it’s silly. I think it’s environmentally irresponsible. I don’t see why you all aren’t laughing at them, instead of wagging your fingers at them and calling them stalkers.

  • Rieux

    Stalking involves harassment, intimidation, an implicit or explicit threat.

    If you don’t see the intimidation in this very tactic, I’m not sure you’re paying attention.

    It is not mere following (althoug following if you have been asked not to follow could be stalking).

    Nonsense. Constant following of another person obviously becomes stalking at a certain point regardless of whether the followed person gets up the guts to protest. Under your version, shy people can never be stalked.

    the action of someone who responds to your statement with a statement of love shouldn’t be called a stalker.

    Wow: “a statement of love.” I’m sure no stalker ever wants to deliver a message like that….

    When you’re talking about a city bus system where only 4 buses have the ad, the only way to make sure that someone sees both messages is this.

    And the relevance of the truck-sponsors’ perceived need to “make sure that someone sees both messages” is what?

    Absolutely any kind of stalking could be justified (well, “justified”) by an argument that it’s the only way to “make sure” of some particular kind of exposure.

    I don’t see why you all aren’t laughing at them, instead of wagging your fingers at them and calling them stalkers.

    How about because (1) they are stalkers and (2) their action, as an abuse of majoritarian power, isn’t funny?

  • I’m not an atheist, but sometimes I get so embarrassed by the idiocy of my fellow theists that I wish I was.

  • Anonymous

    Threatened boycott of Fort Worth buses has no noticeable impact
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/12/06/2684075/threatened-boycott-of-fort-worth.html

  • mkb

    I guess you’re right Rieux, I must not be paying attention because I hadn’t noticed that people in the billboard truck were threatening or harassing riders of the buses. Where did you see that link because I missed it.

    When billboards are vandalized, we have a right to be outraged. When bus boycotts are threatened we have a right to be outraged. When people do foolish things, we should laugh.

  • Wow. The follow-on billboard truck behind the “i still love you – god” should read “Since when?”, or “Oh! So that’s why there’s hunger, illiteracy, war, famine, pestilence, apartheid, pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, and global corporate gluttony!”

  • Give Fox credit for keeping atheists in the news. Even as they make those with negative opinions of atheists feel secure with their ideology, they are at the same time broadcasting to many others that are watching story after story and may finally realize they have not given their religious beliefs much thought.

  • Rieux

    I guess you’re right Rieux, I must not be paying attention because I hadn’t noticed that people in the billboard truck were threatening or harassing riders of the buses.

    Which, of course, no one has asserted.

    You simply don’t comprehend—or refuse to contemplate—what stalking is.

  • Samiimas

    I’m gonna weld a giant ‘I STILL LOVE YOU’ sign to my car and follow my ex-girlfriend as she drives around town. I expect mkb to show up at my trial and explain how it’s not stalking. I was just following her because this is the only way to make sure she can see my statement of love. After all, as long as I don’t make an explicit threat or harass them it’s not stalking…

  • Sinfanti

    IF there were a god, why would he need any people to do his PR work? The fact that the buses aren’t being stalked by a message of 10 feet tall letters of hovering fire is just one more sign that the atheists have it right.

  • stark

    I have to say… the newsreader did a pretty good job. I mean, the ‘insult to christianity’ is a pretty null ‘otherside’ statement. If anything, the reporter/editor knew they could ‘poe it up’ a bit.

  • When you’re talking about a city bus system where only 4 buses have the ad, the only way to make sure that someone sees both messages is this.

    Or they could have put the exact same message on — wait a second — their own bus ad!!!

    Um, yes, actually following is stalking under TX law:

    https://www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/stalking.shtml

    ” A stalker may follow a victim off and on for a period of days, weeks, or even years.”

    “How do I Know if I’m Being Stalked?

    The stalker may, on more than one occasion:

    Follow the victim and/or victim’s family or household members, or”

    Took me about two seconds on google to find that. Do a little basic research next time, please.

  • William

    Is there any coincidence? that the Christian ad is on the short bus?

  • Jeff

    Sinfanti, I saw your replies to “better_with_him”. Whatever you say, s/he just keeps repeating that you haven’t responded, because you aren’t saying what s/he wants to hear. What a moron. Arguing with these people is, for the most part, futile.

  • Roger

    Stalking aside, though I think folks point out correctly that this qualifies, I only saw one mention of persecution.

    Personally, I see this as the Christians funding this idiocy agreeing with the ‘woman on the street’ that this is a direct insult to their faith and must be met directly. The old Scotch/Irish/Southern code of honor in full, ridiculous bloom.

    Despite being a significant majority in the US, Christians even here have a rather scary persecution complex. While acknowledging historical and current persecution of Christians was both widespread and heinous, it simply isn’t happening in the US.

    And the previous and current persecution is and has been by theists of other stripes, not athiests. There has never been a howling mob of athiests bent on killing and sacking and burning religious structures in history, ever.

    Not withstanding the grotesque lies that Stalin’s and Mao’s and Pol Pot’s mass atrocites had anything to do with athiesm. They and their followers simply paid lip service to athiesm, correctly realizing that any organized religion would be a danger to their power.

    The old communist Polish goverment relearned that lesson quite recently when the Catholic and Union-led Solidarity movement toppled them.

    MY favorite anti-Confederate sentiment that I wish I could afford to have on my car is “You lost, get over it!” I’d say to the majority Christians in the US, “you won, get over it!”

  • As usual, theists frown on any free speech but their own. “Boycott the buses until the ads are removed.” If the atheists made a similar statement, imagine the noise theists would make. When they attempt to suppress free speech, it’s fine. Hypocrites, as always.

  • Chase

    First of all, if you’re Atheists, you’re wrong from the start…
    There is only two different arguments. One is for evolution and one is for creation. Evolution cannot be proven and isnt even science. In the scientific method, it even states that something must be observed to be proven. Evolution requires the mutation of an organism into a more complex being… never been observed. Yet I do agree that there is “Genetic Recombination”, which is what darwin was “observing”. The leading Evolutionist and Atheist was even stumped over this fact… I will provide the link at the bottom to the video.
    Then you have to take into consideration the odds of us being here without a God. This includes the moon’s position, the earths orbit, complexity of the human body, DNA cannot be randomized, conditions had to be perfect. The odds are 1 of 1 Trillion of this occurring. Therefore, since the only other legit argument of our existence is creation, that leaves the rest of the possibilities to the existence of a God. The odds of there being a God are undeniable. The ignorance it takes to say that there “is no God” is just idiotic.
    Tell me this, did humans create math?
    Nope. 1+2 = 3 whether you like it, or not. If you didnt know it, it would still be fact. And if a tree fell in the woods, then it fell in the woods… and thats why you find trees that have fallen, whether a “person” heard it or not.
    So what if a few Christians say some stupid things… does it really bother you that much?
    Another thing. Morals would not exist without a God that created this universe. We would be more like personality less aliens with the need to only survive without the need of one another. And atheists can’t even have an argument with that, since morals are proven existence of good and evil. If this is not true, then that means from an atheist point of view, they could kill themselves and it would mean nothing to anyone. So why would that person’s argument be a valid one when it comes to morals? It wouldn’t have a single bit of value, the same way they believe their life has no value. We all know the human race won’t exist forever… So now what? “Contribute more to society”? I know thats what you were thinking… what about those who are parylized for life? Oh well, those people dont matter… apparently you dont either. Thats why your contribution in life is to right a hatred blog about Christians. When you find the courage to be less ignorant and actually realize the odds of us being here without a God are slim to none, you’ll have a lot more purpose in life. And you will finally have the answer to the question ever human being has pondered at least once. “Why am I here”?

    Here is the link to the video I promised.

  • Chase

    The link didnt Post…
    and my sp check for write** not “right” and every*** not “ever”

    heres that link. copy and paste it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uz1CiDDIq4&feature=related