It’s amazing how much publicity a couple atheist ads can get.
For a while, American Atheists President Dave Silverman was seen all over FOX News Channel for the “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason!” billboard.
A quick history: After the ad above went up on four buses earlier in the month, some Christians boycotted the transit system and one Christian group stalked the buses with Christianized vehicles of their own.
And they’re not letting up:
“We just wanted to reach out to them and let them know about God’s love,” said Heath Hill, president of the media company that owns the van and one of the businessmen who arranged for the Christian ads. “We have gotten some pretty nasty e-mails and phone calls from atheists. But it’s really just about the love of God.”
“It’s a season to share good will toward all men,” Mr. [Rev. Kyev] Tatum [Sr.] said. “To have this at this time come out with a blatant disrespect of our faith, we think is unconscionable.”
“I’m not against them getting their message out,” said the Rev. Julius L. Jackson, pastor at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. “I just don’t think it should be on public transportation.”
One pastor is quoted as saying the atheist ads are fine, but it’s the Christians who think Christmas is the only thing worth celebrating this time of year who get the most space.
Despite all this, Terry McDonald of the (DFWCoR member) Metroplex Atheists is the voice of reason:
“We want to tell people they are not alone”… “People don’t realize there are other atheists. All you hear around here is, ‘Where do you go to church?’”
“It can be pretty lonely for a nonbeliever at Christmastime around here. There is so much religion,” Mr. McDonald said. “We thought, ‘What the heck? Nobody owns December.’ ”
Clearly a hatemonger…
As long as the Christians complain, these ads will keep springing up in new cities. United Coalition of Reason director Fred Edwords explains why when discussing the Fort Worth controversy:
“That’s more brouhaha for the buck than we have seen anywhere,” Mr. Edwords said.
Keep the ads coming, both positive and blunt. The reactions keep our message in the spotlight and the spokespeople keep things reasonable.
It’s the critics who come off as bad sports.