What’s It Like to Have an Atheist Car? January 24, 2011

What’s It Like to Have an Atheist Car?

Normally, the way people link their vehicle with religion is by putting a few bumper stickers on it:

I know atheists who have done that, too.

Some atheists have taken a different path by purchasing their state’s ATHEIST license plate:

Since his state’s ATHEIST plate is already taken (by August Berkshire, above), Minnesotan Bjorn decided he wanted something far more overt.

When he purchased a used smart car in 2009, he turned it into a driving advertisement for the OUT Campaign and Camp Quest of Minnesota.

He drove in it for 10 months. No vandalism or anything like that.

Now that he’s ready to buy a new car, what was the result of driving in an atheist-mobile?

… A handful of conversations at gas stations and parking lots and a few thumbs up on the highway. I’m sure most of the people I work with have no doubt how I view the God issue, but no one has brought it up. My goal for having the decals was to gain awareness, just as the Out Campaign is supposed to do. I think to some degree, that happened.

So, is it dangerous to have atheist decals stuck all over your car?…

You can read Bjorn’s response to that question here.

There’s nothing identifiably “atheist” about my car. Part of it is because of where I work, but I also don’t think it’s the most effective way to get out our message.

It’s extremely important to be “out” as atheists… to people who know us. It’s hard to demonize atheists when you know one personally.

When you shout it out to the world in an anonymous way, I feel like the reaction you’d get most often is, “That guy’s a douche.” Bjorn says he had a good experience overall. I know him personally, and I can vouch for the fact that he’s a really nice guy, so I believe it when he says he’s had positive conversations at gas stations and other places.

I wonder, though, how many people saw him driving the car and only thought nasty things.

Here’s a question for all of you: Would you feel comfortable driving a car that was emblazoned with atheist decals/bumper stickers? (For a moment, put aside your thoughts about the brand/model/whatever of the car, and let’s assume the messages are pro-atheist and not anti-any-religion)




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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mel

    My car has a Darwin fish and a FSM on it. Does that qualify as an atheist car? I’ve received one compliment on the FSM from a dad at doggy daycare, no vandalism or stuff like that 🙂

  • Nan

    Someone stuck a St Francis card under my “Thou shalt not inflict thy religious crap upon others” bumper sticker the other day. And I’ve lost numerous FSMs and husband has lost a few fish eating dinosaurs. Thing is, I don’t mess with the Jesus fish, why do they have to mess with my stuff? Don’t touch the car unless you want to make the payment!

  • Carol M

    I have a “pastafarian” license plate border, a small FSM and a Pirate Fish (silver emblems) I love them!

  • William

    I find that advertising any kind of controversial subject matter on one’s care only invites vandalism and road rage. No thanks

  • My car has a stick-on FSM, a “Born-Again Atheist” bumper sticker, and a “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” bumper sticker. So far, zero negative reactions and a lot of positive ones, in about a year and a half. I’m a little shocked.

  • well i don’t drive a car and don’t plan to but i would be fine putting atheist decals and even anti theist decals/stickers on my motorbike in fact i may go buy some. Is there any places that sell them online?

  • boatman

    I had a truck for several years with an atheist sticker and a nihilist sticker on it, and I dont think I had anything malicious done to it. Although it was such a beater, Im not sure I would have been able to tell…

  • Tara

    My atheist emblems disappeared. 🙁

  • I don’t drive yet, but I dislike the idea of driving in a moving advertisement, no matter the subject matter. Personally I would feel uneasy both with any positive acknowledgments or attempts at discussion or any negative ones.

  • Mel

    Forgot to mention that evolvefish actually sells insurance against “acts of god” so you can get your pilfered emblem back! Genius 🙂

  • Stephanie

    I would put a darwin fish on my truck, but that’s about all. If I start placing bumper stickers all over it that is just asking for trouble from stalkers that want to save me from myself. I just want to be left alone.

  • Nice advertising vehicle. But I wonder how this car would do driving along-side the good-ol-boys of the south.

    I also like the popular FSM flat black Mini-Cooper that shows up every once-in-a-while on various sites.

    And speaking of Camp Quest…

    Has anyone here had any experience with either the Minnesota or Michigan chapters? We are thinking about sending our son for the first time.

  • Duo

    I have a FSM emblem on the trunk, and 3 stickers on my back window. The stickers are two red “A” symbols, separated by a HRC “=” sticker. It means 3 different things in 1:

    1: the two A’s represent me and my partner.
    2: the “=” represents the Human Rights Campaign
    3: the whole “A=A” is a tribute to Ayn Rand’s axiom of existence (and Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy in general)

    Also, I have not had my car vandalized yet.

  • billybobbibb

    I don’t think I’d want to drive an atheist emblazoned car down here in the Bible belt. It’s not a matter of -if- it would be vandalized, but -how quickly-.

  • JenV

    We Minnesotans are a fairly tolerant bunch…at least we probably won’t tell you to your face if something offends. Minnesota Nice is a Real Thing.

    I have an EvolveFish on my ride, and I’ve never gotten comments, gestures, sour faces or any rudeness from it; although I did receive an Xtain tract on my car one day. None of the other cars in the parking lot had them on their windshields, so it was pretty damn funny.

    I personally think the little Atheist car is a bit overdone, but to each their own. I like my EvolveFish, but that’s probably as far as I’ll ever go. Simple is better, I think.

  • Drew M.

    I had an FSM emblem that got vandalized (along with my car) when I visited my stupid little inbred hometown.

    WWJD? Apparently lay the whoopass down on cars as well as money changers.

  • Ian

    Why is he getting a new car after only 10 months???

    I also have an FSM and Darwin fish on my car as well as a CFI decal in my rear window. No vandalism so far (~6 months) but I do live in relatively liberal Vancouver, Canada.

  • Melinda

    I don’t have a car, but I am a passenger in one quite often. If I see a FSM, evolution fish, or any other decal, I am sure to give a thumbs up or a yay to the people that are displaying them. If I get a car, I’m definitely getting myself an FSM emblem.

  • Nicole V

    People in my town drive cars that look like the first image. Businesses proudly display Jesus fish in their windows and on their signs. I proudly displayed a “Coexist” sticker that I’m sure everyone has seen. One day, after class, I came back to my car to find it had been keyed through the sticker. Would I display my atheist pride? Absolutely. Will I? Not if I want my car to stay in tact. It is sad but true. People feel threatened by the tiniest things. Even my Equality(=) sticker was vandalized on school property. I tried to find the person or persons who did it, but the school refused to give aid in any way. Maybe when I live in a more liberal area I’ll be braver.

  • Duo,

    It maybe the average tea-party member is staring at your emblems, confused as to what to think.

  • Unholy Holly

    I drive a smart car and many people approach me and ask questions about the car. On a 450 mile drive through Virginia I got 12 “acknowledgements” from other drivers like waving, thumbs up, horn beeps — including a thumbs up from a policeman. I wonder if I would get the same warm fuzzies if my car had big red A’s on it. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to try it sometime.

  • I’ve got an Obama sticker, a Darwin Fish, a Got Science sticker, and a quote from Carl Sagan. It’s a covert atheist car. When I had more obvious atheist bumper stickers, I would get nasty notes and punctured tires. Now, the worst I have ever gotten was a note saying I supported “muslim soshalist terrists” and that I should “burn in hell”. Par for the course.

  • Lauren

    I already do drive an atheist car, though nothing quite so punch-you-in-the-face as his! I have one bumper sticker that just says “atheist.” It’s green against black with a glowing I like the title of the movie Aliens, and it makes me smile every time I see it.

    I’ve never heard a negative reaction to it and, in fact, at my workplace many people have responded positively when they’ve found out it’s my car.

  • My experience has been even less profound than Bjorn’s. I have a Darwin fish on my car, and last year it was involved in the most horrendous and brutal anti-atheist oppression I have ever endured in my life as an out-atheist, documented at the link below. By “horrendous and brutal” I mean “barely worth mentioning”. I also have a shirt which says “Proud to Be An American, Proud to Be An Atheist” which I’ve gotten exactly two comments on, both of them positive, and both of them from people working, in front of other co-workers. If you’re not out, what are you waiting for?

    http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com/2010/04/help-ive-been-oppressed.html

  • Danielle

    I would like to get the FSM or the Darwin-fish for my future car, but nothing huge and ugly.

  • Claire

    I wouldn’t drive an atheist car mostly because I just dislike bumper-stickers and all that in general. I dislike vanity plates too. For whatever (probably irrational) reason I find it irritating when people use their cars as a way to say something about themselves… for me, a car is a way to get from point A to point B, hopefully as quickly and with as little incident as possible.

  • Siamang

    I have a two bumper sticker rule. The rule is this: no matter what side of any issue you’re on, if you have more than two bumper stickers, you’re probably insufferable on a lunch date.

    I don’t care if I agree with you, or disagree with you. You’ll spend all lunch talking about how much you hate George Bush. I hate him too, but just shut up about it already!

    So it’s two bumperstickers. I don’t care if they’re pro-life, pro-choice or pro-KITTEN!

    It’s a limit of two.

  • We live in Alabama and our car is covered.
    We have a “Faith means not wanting to know what is true” and “Dear God, Please save me from your followers”. A humanist family and decal also. We had both the Atheist ones ripped off and broken (they were magnets) we finally had to stick them to our car the old fashioned way. We get a ton of dirty looks. We also have liberal bumper stickers, almost just as popular in the south 😉

  • Hank

    I drove a Jeep Cherokee around Atlanta for about 4 years with a sticker that said “Atheist” in the back window. The only comment I ever got was a guy next to me at a red light loved it and said I had huge balls. I had a fundamentalist southern baptist church not 50 feet from my front door during that time period. The pastor and I would chat some times, but he never said anything about the sticker.

  • One, small Darwin fish on the inside of the pickup window. Here in Foat Wuth, Texas it just ain’t wise announcing a lack of faith too boldly. I’m sure you witnessed the epic overreaction to out little bus ad.

    I do fly a pirate fish flag at the house, but folks probably don’t even know the meaning.

  • Chas

    My utility trailer has a “What would Muad’dib do” bumper sticker, but haven’t had any questions. Probably too much of scifi geek reference for the general “pubic”

  • Rabbit

    I have the science fish (http://nameplates.cc/science_fish_car_emblems.htm) and live in a redneck town… I get some hate for it.

  • littlejohn

    I have a Darwin fish on my car, but I suspect most people here in Indiana mistake it for a Jesus fish.
    Driving a miniature car festooned with obvious atheist stuff is asking for trouble. If you want to put that on your car, buy something sturdier and assume you’ll be rear-ended.
    I drive a sturdy Subaru station wagon that has been rear-ended twice, with only trivial damage. Also, I’m six-foot-three and weigh 250 pounds. I pity the fool who deliberately damages my car.

  • 14 And Atheist

    I am not old enough to drive a car, but at my school when I get picked up I can see one of those uber-religious ones. It has 11 (I’ve counted) stickers about abortion, saying things like “How would you like to be kIIlled? (the I’s are replaced with a pair of baby feet)” and “Abortion – bad parenting, bad morality,” really it does not bother me but the sad thing is I see tons of people giving them thumbs up. This is Jacksonville, Florida, of course so it is no surprise. *sigh*

  • Daniel

    Had several Darwin fish torn of my truck back in my military days. Never damaged it beyond that, but I did eventually start buying them in multiples. Also had a 93rd Intel Squadron and my DoD registration on it, so they had to be pretty sure they were vandalizing a service member.

    Of course, this was in Texas – but I lost two of them on base.

    I do wonder how many correctly identified the Atheist car. I’m not sure that the red A is all that well known as a symbol among the general population.

  • Zac

    I kinda have a weird justification system for doing things like this. If I would be on the moral highground if something went wrong, I feel comfortable to do it.

  • Rich Wilson

    I realized I’m a chicken when I put a “No on Prop 8” sticker on the flag of the trailer my son rides in. And then took it off again.

    It didn’t help that this kid’s grandfather is on a small cycling related mailing list with me http://www.wyff4.com/r/20187786/detail.html

    I’m all for raising awareness, but it was’t going to change any votes, and I didn’t feel like potentially involving my son in “being taught a lesson”.

    I don’t have any bumper stickers, but I’d kind of like maybe an ‘A’ window sticker.

  • JD

    Not interested. I think the A car is in a lot more taste, and less threatening, it’s still tacky. But maybe I’m biased, I don’t like stickers and too much branding on my car, I’m thinking about removing the dealer’s sticker.

  • I have a ‘good without god’ humanist sticker and a t-rex that is eating jesus fish magnet on my car.

    The sticker was vandalized recently, the ‘good without god’ bit at the top was scraped off, but the humanist ‘dude’ is still visible, and the AHA website URL.

    I actually have a few more of these stickers, I just keep forgetting to put them on top of the vandalized one.

    I guess you can expect that sort of thing on Fort Bragg.

  • AtomJack

    I voted no, not because I’m a chicken, but because I don’t want any stickers at all on my car. The first thing I do when I buy one is take everyone else’s opinions off. I even take the “Levi’s” tag off my jeans when I buy them. I don’t advertise for anybody. Unless I get paid. In this case, as an atheist, I guess I also have to say that I don’t advertise for nobody.

  • Nerdette

    I love bumper stickers in that tacky way, I suppose. I have my FSM fish above “DNA is life, the rest is just translation” and Tom Paine’s “The world is my country, all of mankind my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” I drive a tiny car (3-door Yaris), so you’d think I was asking for trouble, but I haven’t had a problem, even when I drove back home to Kansas from Virginia.

    I total four full stickers, a smaller “Flirty, Dirty, and Nerdy”, plus the FSM emblem. I’m looking to add an “Entomologist Crossing” for a side window, too. I guess I’m just one of “those people” 🙁

  • Elissa

    I decided to “go for it” and have 3 bumper stickers on my car – “Born okay the first time”, “I believe in life BEFORE death”, and “Don’t believe everything you think”. I thought I’d get keyed but have been pleasantly surprised. Not only no keying but more than once I’ve had people get out of their cars at stop lights to ask me where I got them and I’ve had post-it notes left on my car telling me how much people like them. I live in Tucson AZ.

  • Evan

    I put a Darwin Fish, a Happy Human, and the Invisible Pink Unicorn on my car. One of my bosses, my age, asked if I was mocking Christians with the fish. But before I could explain the whole origin of the fish motif he admitted he actually had no idea how it related to Christians anyway. But at least I got to call him a bad Christian for not knowing iconography from his own belief system.

    Other than that I think I may have overheard one employee arguing with another in a way that sounded very much like Pascal’s Wager. But it wasn’t my argument and I can’t be absolutely certain it was my car that started the conversation.

    Aside from those two incidents, I haven’t had any talk from anyone in the three years I’ve had those emblems on my car. I feel kind of left out.

  • GaR

    My current daily has a huge Dio decal on the bonnet: http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk223/AN_MOTORSPORT/Taupo%20trackday%206%20dec%2010/100024.jpg

    Ronnie James Dio was an atheist too. So like… yeah.

    But yes, I’d have atheist stuff on my car. I can’t exactly make it any uglier, and I live in New Zealand, where religious nutbaggery is the exception.

  • Kathleen

    Once, when my brother was driving back to Chicago from Urbana in a car with a Darwin fish on it, a sweet-looking older lady pulled up to him at a light and gestured for him to roll down his window.

    “Jesus is better, f***er,” she shouted.

    It was his favorite Darwin-fish story.

  • Ubi Dubium

    I have had the jollyfish on my car for quite awhile, and I can’t recall anyone even noticing it. I think most people see it, think “pirate, ha-ha funny” and don’t give it a second thought.

    I’d also like to mention that we all have invisible pink unicorn symbols on our cars, we just can’t see them. But you can’t prove they aren’t there either.

  • martin

    I would love to frive an atheit car, problem is when I park it and it gets vandalized. I already have enough trouble with every car I haveownd being vandalized, I really can’t afford someones lack of security in their mythology to be another reason.

  • Runcibald

    The only bumper stickers or other car decorations I generally care for are those that make me laugh or are benign. Are you really so strongly opinionated that you need to advertise it on your car? Even if I agree with the sentiment, it just seems tacky.

  • Gafaso

    I like my cars like I detest my coffee: black. Not really a fan of having stickers or vinyls or anything else on it.

  • I had a “Witches Parking: All Others Will Be Toad” bumper sticker on the back of my power chair… right under the big fat “LEGALIZE IT” sticker.

    I need a new “LEGALIZE IT” sticker, now…

  • Lysistrata

    My plates read OHMYFSM.
    When people ask what it means I tell them to google FSM and find out what it is about. I work in Colorado Springs so far no problems other than a comment from my security guard that FSM website is very strange.

  • hippiefemme

    Considering that I recently moved to Kentucky for grad school and have most of my family (whom I visit regularly) in West Virginia, I don’t want to risk potential damage to slap a few stickers on my car. Besides, most people I know dislike the tacky religious stickers, so I’d wager most would also be irritated by atheist stickers. It would be hypocritical of me to discuss my distaste with their stickers while having some of my own.

  • Tizzle

    I voted “It depends”, but then remembered that I have in the past. Shoulda been a Yes vote. Anyway, no danger here in Seattle. Never had a problem in Minneapolis either.

    Mostly I got positive honks from people for “Hang up and drive”. Now I only drive a work vehicle and can’t express myself. On my own (currently battery-less) car, the most controversial is an equals sign. But since it’s a Subaru, it’s practically mandatory.

  • Demonhype

    I don’t have a car of my own right now, but when I do I absolutely will put something on it. I’m in the middle though–while I would totally put something on it, there wouldn’t be more than two and they would be tasteful (as in not wacky, not an obnoxious play on words, etc). But there’s no damn way I’m going to let religious people bully me into hiding and/or not expressing myself using my own personal property, especially not when they smear their religiousness all over not only their own personal property but government property as well.

    Let’s face it, these people want to go back to the good ole days of inquisitions and crusades, and they are fighting tooth-and-nail even harder than ever to make it happen. If we can’t persevere against pious vandalism now, how the hell could we stand up to the theocracy they want to enact? In fact, if we can’t persevere against pious vandalism, how the hell can we prevent a theocracy? Half the political battle is visibility, and the religious contingent has saturated the market with pro-Christian, pro-religion, and anti-atheist propaganda. It’s not going to be easy to be visible, but that’s what these people need to see so they have to deal with it.

    I do believe the only reason we’re hearing from more nice Christians with a sense of fair play is because the out-atheist efforts have been playing against–and often, enraging–the Religious Right types and making the latter show their true colors, and it has forced the more liberal and moderate believers to re-think a few priorities and preconceived notions. A lot of believers want to do the right thing and have a good idea of fair play (at least, in a practical if not theological sense), and sometimes all they need to do is see nice atheists saying and doing nice humanist things while being accosted by frothy-mouthed fundamentalists to realize what’s important in human decency and civilized interaction. And I’d rather deal with some petty Christianized vandalism now than deal with a Christian theocracy later.

    @GaR: I just got into Dio last year, mostly thanks to my brother and a going-out-of-business sale at a local Kmart. But I had no clue he was an atheist. So that’s cool!

  • Richard P.

    I have a bumper sticker on my truck. Says;
    Atheism cures religious terrorism.

    No negative, and quite a few positives. My mom borrowed my truck once and a 7day preacher started to give her a hard time about it. She told him to come see me, he never has.

  • Dan W

    For me, I’d say it depends. I don’t own a car yet, but when I do own a car in the future, whether I put atheist decals or bumper stickers or whatever on that car would depend on what part of the country I end up living in. If it’s a more tolerant, liberal place then I might do so, but I probably wouldn’t if I wound up living in the Bible Belt.

  • parv

    I like my own vehicle free of stickers of all kinds.

    I would not have any problems driving a decals (with which I would agree) adorned vehicle paid by somebody else, vanity registration plates included.

  • Sue

    Bumper stickers aren’t a particularly big thing in Britain – besides the odd ‘Baby on board’ and the occasional Jesus fish, I’ve barely seen any.

    I actually own a few Dungeons and Dragons bumper stickers (I Brake For Kobolds, Beholder On Board) but I haven’t been able to bring myself to stick them on the car yet, so I doubt atheist stickers would fare any better.

  • Claudia

    I voted for “it depends”. It would depend on what is meant for “emblazoned”. I would happily drive a car with an atheist bumper sticker, though not all the message styles appeal to me. I wouldn’t decorate my car like that smart car unless I was actively employed by the atheist “movement” and they were paying for the car. This is purely because of style issues, I don’t like advertising on cars. However if a car like this was loaned to me voy a trip or whatever I wouldn’t reject it.

    Generally I put bumper stickers in the same category as mugs and t-shirts and buttons. You aren’t going to convert anyone, it’s merely a matter of being visible and unafraid. In the US this is actually plenty for atheists, especially atheists in rural areas.

  • RTH

    I have a personalized plate that says SKEPTIC. Above it, I have an FSM decal. I’ve driven around Louisiana for the last 15 months and not had any problems. I have gotten a few compliments.

    Both items are vague or obscure enough, though, that they probably aren’t as likely to provoke the response from theists that a more explicit message would.

    I also have an LSU LAW ALUMNI bumper sticker, so it could be that would-be vandals are deterred by the fear of being sued.

  • AxeGrrl

    When I was a pre-teen, the “baby on board” signs started appearing, and quickly became ubiquitous…

    So I put a handmade sign in the back window of our family car that said: “No baby in car, go ahead and hit me

    Unfortunately, my dad removed it before I could gauge any ‘negative reaction’ to it.

  • I have a Darwin fish on my truck, and a fish eating Dino on my BMW. But then again I live in England so it’s far less controversial.

  • Kevin

    Closest thing I’ve been brave enough to stick on my car is “Keep the Church and the State forever Separate”. I’m digging the “Atheism cures religious terrorism” posted above, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to put it on my car… I live in the tri-cities area of Tennessee and would hate to get keyed by someone who can’t handle difference of opinion.

  • Aleximus

    Only in America would this be a problem [ok – possibly in Iran as well]. Here in Australia it would be a nonsensical thing to do. It would be like someone making a fuss about having the “LEFT-HANDED” licence plate.

    Anybody sporting xtian fish or jesus stickers are much more likely to have their car vandalised.

  • Gaardiyen

    I drive an Escape with tons of space on the back–have an American Atheists logo (the “science-y” looking one with the tiny A in the center) along with a “Dog”-fish with little puppy feet and whiskers. I particularly love the Dog-fish because I’m a veterinarian and of course it spells god backwards. These are mixed in with a Philadelphia Flyers decal and Opeth logo decal along with a Penn Vet Alumni sticker.

    I’ve had this arrangement for 6 years (2 in PA and 4 in NC) with absolutely 0 comments from strangers. My best friend from vet school has commented that he loves the dog-fish also, but that’s it. It appears that my car was keyed (rather minimally) at some point in the past–could have been like that for a year before I noticed, so I doubt it was really due to my atheist advertisements…

  • the only sticker i’ve ever put on my car was a logo from my grad school. i respect people who are brave enough to put atheist logos on their car, and i love the Darwin fish with feet thingee i’ve seen a bunch; i’d consider that. but mostly, i have no interest in being vandalized. i remember a car i saw (in IN no less!) which had a tire cover in blazing pink that read “Jesus is Myth” and also had a huge sticker that read “Nothing fails like prayer” and all i could do was wonder how long it would be before the car, tire and driver where punched thru with a knife. believers can be so violent and wacky; it’s just not a risk i need in my life.

  • RJ

    My pirate fish skeleton is probably a little to obscure to get much reaction from anybody, but it looks nice.

  • Kerrie

    I had the t-rex eating fish emblem that I discovered one day had gotten snapped in half as someone had tried to remove it. Pissed me off. Now I just have 2 stickers – House Rabbit Society and Make Mine Chocolate, since rabbit rescue is more of an important cause for me than my atheism. But I have been thinking of adding the minimalist red “A.”

  • runawayuniverse

    I had a No Bible Thumpers sticker on my truck for years while I lived in the SF Bay Area and never had a problem.

    Just over 4 years ago I moved to Oregon and I wasn’t here for more than two weeks when this older woman ( mid 60’s ) who lived down the street keyed my truck and ripped most of the sticker off one morning while walking her dog.

    Thankfully my across the street neighbor knew who she was and saw what she did and alerted the police about it. She got stuck with the $300+ bill to fix the damage she caused and I replaced the sticker and haven’t had a problem since.

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    My husband drove a Ford 150 for years in Georgia with a fish with “Alien” inside the logo (he thought it was funny because we are non-USAians). He mostly drove it to work & on weekend outings.
    Last year I got it as my main vehicle and within a few months, we noticed it had been pried off. As I do most of the grocery shopping, I tend to park more in public parking lots & I think it disappeared in a Walmart lot.
    So, was it pried off because of the subtle anti-religious sentiment; or because someone thought the “Alien” part was cool? DK. But I think parking in public lots put me more at risk of being vandalized…

    I also don’t like a lot of jink on my car, but have no problem with one tasteful piece of “car art”. I’d go for a Darwin fish or an “A”.
    I like the idea of using the “A”. As it isn’t well known, it is a non-provocative way to educate the public.

  • scott

    i’ll let you decide if my car counts…

    i bought a square button, white type on black that reads “Atheist.” and rather than wear it on a coat or anything, i pinned it into the headrest of my cloth driver’s seat.

    the way i figure, this way it’s inside my car and no one can mess with it yet it’s still visible, but not exactly “in your face” either.

  • NYS bans pretty much anything overtly religious (or irreligious) on license plates — but I noticed that they let “CODLESS” through. I’ve thought about it… I feel like the intention is obvious enough…

    I was in a CSA a couple years back and one of the other members had a truck that was plastered all over with very lefty bumper stickers, including a number of overtly anti-religious ones. I thought that was pretty awesome.

  • Stephan

    I have an Atheist News sticker on my car, and I’m about to add an Out campaign sticker and an anti-Tea Party political sticker. So far, no problems.

  • I have an FSM and Pirate fish on my car, but I think most people in SW PA are confused by them. Perhaps they think the FSM stands for “Fanatic Steelers Man” and mistake the noodley appendages for minimalist Terrible Towels.

  • Robert

    Right now I just have a sticker that says “I’ll take Human Rights over Religious Wrongs”

  • Togii

    I would like to have a simple and tasteful atheist symbol on my car, but living where I do, I don’t think it’d last a month. People are crazy.

    Is the scarlet A logo well enough known to be recognized by the average person? I don’t think I would have any trouble with that one, because none of the catholics in my small town would know what it stood for.. I’d only get comments from other “active” atheists. But ew, a red sticker would look horrible on my pretty blue car, haha.

  • bullet

    I have an Atheists International logo on my rear window and an American Atheists logo on my windshield. I don’t think enough people in St. Tammany Parish even know what they are, but I still fear the day when I run across someone who does. Especially if it’s a police officer.

    I’m still too afraid of conflict with strangers (not to mention clients) to put anything more overt out there.

  • Noodly1

    Here’s my car:
    http://www.venganza.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/fsm-car.jpg

    (This was taken awhile back, I’ve since added an out campaign A to the rear glass.)

  • Pascale

    I had “If prayer works why don’t cupcakes cure cancer?” and just an Atheist sticker. This was in Dickson, TN mind you. I had a few with rebel flag vanity plates give me the bird and a post it note on my car that read: “dear Atheist, it is better to believe in something rather than nothing. God bless”
    That is it.. My car has no hubcaps and is started with a pair of pliers, so I guess I wouldn’t notice vandalism if it occurred. =)

  • Funny story about how having an atheist symbol on my car has actually gotten me out a bind…

    I live in Utah and grew up Mormon. There’s a sort of Mormon legend of the Three Nephites who Mormons will occasionally invoke if, say for instance, they have car trouble a Mysterious Stranger helps them.

    Late one night, I was stranded in a parking lot with a dead battery. The only place open had a staff totally disinterested in helping, I couldn’t get a hold of anyone to help, and I was starting to despair.

    Just then, three rather thuggish looking gentlemen were walking through the parking lot. I could tell they saw me and knew I needed help, but they clearly were going to just walk by.

    But then, one of them saw the plaque on my car: “Whoa! Is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster!” Then all three of them got excited and started talking to me about the FSM, atheism and religion for a few minutes, then they helped me push start my car and I was on my way!

    So, I’ve decided that the FSM equivalent of the Three Nephites is the Three Street Thugs, helping Pastafarians in need.

  • Anna

    I have a personal license plate that says: FRE-THT. I haven’t had any reactions but it is probably vague enough that a lot of people don’t get it. I think I would be hesitant to put atheist or anything more covert on my car for fear of vandalism.

  • Noodly1

    Yeah, my “noodly” and FSM references are pretty obscure, so I haven’t been harassed at all (unlike when I just had a Darwin fish–will never forget the big redneck pulling up beside me at a light and leaning out of his window to inform me that he “won’t from no monkey!”)

    I have, though, made a friend thanks to my car stuff. A fellow Pastafarian parent saw me in the carpool lane and gave me her contact info.

  • jdb

    I’m the one with the NOGODS license plate in Indiana, you linked to my story about it awhile back. So obviously yes, I would. 🙂

    But I have yet to have any vandalism of any sort since I got my plate early last year. I’ve had some very “nice Christians” flip me off and scowl angrily at me, but never any attacks to my car.

    It’s getting renewed in a couple months and I’ll be gladly getting it again.

  • t0ast

    As an automotive enthusiast, I’ll have to say no. My vehicle attracts enough attention as it is, and I drive for enjoyment, not to be a rolling message board. If I feel the need to support a cause, I’ll do it some other way.

  • SeekerLancer

    I find it annoying when other people inflict their political or religious beliefs onto by making their car a traveling billboard as if it’s supposed to make me give a crap so I’m not exactly keen on doing it myself.

  • Ian Welch

    I have a Darwin fish, a FSM sticker and a Atheist A on my car, but it’s also littered with band and Printmaking stickers as well. I did have some of my stickers ripped off of my car a couple years ago when I was in Royal Oak Michigan, right after the 2008 elections… I had my Obama 08 and my atheist stickers peeled off of my car- which was surprising since it’s a college town…

  • Lindsay

    I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “I’m a Godless Communist and I Vote!” So far, the only person to comment was my boss. He loved it!

    The sad part, however, is that my car also has DC plates, so it’s pretty obvious that I’m not actually able to vote for much.

  • faustfire

    My car used to have a license plate holder that read, “The American dream is a F$#&ing nightmare,” so I could probably deal with an atheist bumper sticker.

  • TychaBrahe

    I wouldn’t.

    I had my tires slashed at Disneyland for having a sign on it that said, “Don’t Let Operation Rescue oppress you,” and the number for the Clinic Defense Alliance.

    (This was late 80’s.)

  • Karen

    I live next to a Catholic church and had my car keyed because of my “Vasectomy Prevents Abortion” sticker. I also got into a shouting match at a Dunkin Donuts with some guy who was so offended that men should have to take responsibility for their reproductive actions. He thought HIS was too important to get a vasectomy, and called me man hater.

  • NoE

    I came out of a store one day to find a mother and older son discussing my ‘Coexist’ sticker. She was very upset, but he was trying to tell her that it was okay, that he thought I probably just wanted people to stop fighting.

  • AxeGrrl

    For my fellow Canadians….

    a friend of mine just came from a Liberal caucus meeting last night and gave me a bumper sticker that says:

    I like it long

    (referring to the census, of course 🙂

  • Stephanie

    I have rules about bumper stickers. More than two (or three on a pickup truck, just because you have to give pickup drivers a head start) and you’ve not only lost your focus, but you’re endangering traffic.
    I like the Atheist car because it’s clear, concise and won’t cause someone to tailgate just to finish figuring out what the heck the gregarious person ahead of them is on about. That said, I have no stickers on mine. I don’t wear pins on my jacket, either.

  • Robert Garner

    I live in TX and I had this sticker on my car for about 6 months. My car got keyed, bush-loving NRA member hillbillies and grannies kept tail-gating me, and i got pulled over for going <= 5mph over the speed limit 3 times. I had to remove it. Now I just have an evolve fish. Thinking about getting something else to go along with it. Living in the Bible-belt sucks.

  • 1984

    I don’t see the need to brand myself as anything but if I get in a debate I’ll give people a piece of my mind – I’m that generous.

  • K Patterson

    Yup. My car is black with silver badges. I have a silver SCIENCE rocket-fish on one side of the plate and a Happy Humanist figure on the other. A perfect match.

  • It depends on what you mean by “emblazoned.” I also have a rule about bumper stickers. In my opinion, displaying multiple stickers about the same issue makes you look like a fanatic, so I probably wouldn’t drive a car covered with atheist emblems. One or two would be fine, but not more than that.

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so there’s not much I could put on my car that would attract vandals. I’ve had a Darwin fish for the last 15 years, with only one theft. The fish are split about 60/40 here. Jesus fish have a slight majority, but Darwin fish (along with FSM and gefilte fish) are also frequent sights.

    No one’s ever commented on my car one way or the other. Currently I have an Obama sticker (par for the course) and a Darwin fish, but I used to have a I Believe in Life Before Death sticker and I got no comments on that, either. Most people here are pretty good about minding their own business.

  • chuckster
  • chuckster

    i have
    darwin fish eating the jesus fish..

    caption says,
    Evolution:
    putting the “win” in Darwin since 3.500.000.000 years ago

  • chuckster

    now im looking for a good T-Rex eating jesus fish.

    anyone have a good .svg file to share?

    i would love other atheist .svg files too if you got them!!