Hebrew Atheist Billboard Finds a New Home March 7, 2012

Hebrew Atheist Billboard Finds a New Home

This morning, the future of the Hebrew billboard reaching out to closeted atheists in the Orthodox Jewish community was uncertain, but it looks like American Atheists found a home for it:

The atheists had to settle for placing the billboard above the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway near Meeker Avenue — about a mile and a half north of the Hasidic enclave in South Williamsburg.

David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, denied that the billboards were intended to be provocative. “It’s not provocation for Coke to advertise in a Pepsi area; it’s advertising,” he said…

… [Rabbi David] Niederman told The Brooklyn Paper that the sign was “inappropriate” and that the atheists were a “group of crazies” who had “lost their purpose in life.”

Mr. Silverman said that these billboards were only the beginning.

“The tapestry of atheism in America is rich and beautiful,” he said. “America can look forward to multiple billboards in multiple communities.”

The sign is placed pretty high up there… So it can’t possibly get vandalized, right?

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  • Kristen

    “The sign is placed pretty high up there… So it can’t possibly get vandalized, right?”

    Careful, some crazy might take that as a challenge. I think a freeway sign will reach more people, even if its not getting its original target audience.

  • The sign is placed pretty high up there… So it can’t possibly get vandalized, right?

    Well, there might be one way…

  • MP

    All posters and signs in Brooklyn get vandalized. There are several distinct forms of poster modification art around here. Comments scrawled on posters in the subway are treated almost like blog comments. I’ve even seen a lengthy debate on Darwin and racism on a bathroom wall. Just sayin’ don’t assume take it personally if it gets graffitied.

  • Annie

    I don’t like to point fingers, but if it gets vandalized, we might want to start here:

    http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/SpiderMan.html

  • Rabbi David Niederman, we may not have YOUR predefined PURPOSE , but we’re not crazy and we’ve found purpose just fine. — and dolphins.. 

    ….
    ….
    Get it yet ?

  • It’s a Clear Channel Communications billboard?? That’s the radio system that Rush Limbaugh uses.  D’oh!

  • Emily F

    Meh… I suspect religious Jews are the most likely to take it personally than anyone else if the thing gets vandalized. That’s why the billboard is so offensive right? Instead of using the Hebrew word for God they used this special name…. The Tetragrammaton… that isn’t spoken and is only ever written down on things so special that the get buried like a human being rather than erased.

    I thought it was a clever ploy, once it was up the presence of that word made it safe from the people most likely to be upset by it.

    Doesn’t protected it from taggers or graffiti artists though

  • Guest

    Clear Channel owns just about every radio station in the US these days, among things.

  •  Mind-bottling

  •  Sounds like a challenge to me, too. I’m sure it’s perfectly safe. There couldn’t POSSIBLY be a religious person devout and brave enough to climb up that tall sign and send us a message. 😉

  • Anonymous

     You’re making the assumption that religious zealots give a shit about following their own silly rules when it doesn’t suit them to do so.

  • Climb up? Not necessary. Water balloons filled with paint would be easy and quick.

    I dare them to.

  • Georgina

     Don’t the religious own guns?

  • Georgina

     42?

  • Anonymous

    The sign is placed pretty high up there… So it can’t possibly get vandalized, right?

    Ultraorthodox Jews can be very enterprising when it comes to throwing massive temper tantrums when their every whim is not catered to. There are the people who can’t even stand to see female faces on billboards, so I can only imagine what they’ll think of this.

    You could delay it’s destruction a little by putting it up on Friday evening, I suppose…

  • jjramsey

    Instead of using the Hebrew word for God they used this special
    name…. The Tetragrammaton… that isn’t spoken and is only ever
    written down on things so special that the get buried like a human being
    rather than erased.

    Actually, I’ve seen the Tetragrammaton on things as relatively ordinary as Passover Haggadah, though written with the vowel signs for “Adonai,” the word that one’s supposed to way in place of it.

  • Edmond

    Electrify those billboards!  Not to fatal levels, of course, just enough to discourage vandalism, or unauthorized access at all.

  • jay

     Perhaps they thrive on controversy. As long as someone is buying the ads.

  • jay

     Likely it will be handled by a few phone calls to local politicians.

  • guest

     Oh no, someone was offended…..

  • guest

    After watching Rabbi Schmooli (sp?) basically told a woman she was tainting the Jewwish community after coming out of her story of abuse and arranged marriage via the othodoz community, I would say they are the crazies!

  • guest

    I would love to see gravity be the bitch that she is and give the a paint shower at the same time!

  • Anonymous

    I’m a believer. Meh. First Amendment.  I believe, you don’t believe. I’d love to debate that with you, but in the meantime, have fun with the billboards. Doesn’t bother me a bit. In fact, it reassuring to see the pubic square open to all ideas. God Bless America.

  •  I’m atheist and I have guns. Bring on the barbarians.

  •  “brave” wouldn’t be the word I would use. Batshit insane, stupid, moronic, idiotic, would be the words I would use.

  •  A true Christian??? I can’t believe it. Someone who’s not just going to say “HAHA I’LL  LAUGH WHEN UR BURNING IN HELL STUPID FAGFACE!!!” Finally, someone to have an intelligent conversation/debate with. We may have different opinions, but already, you sound like a good person.

  • You nailed “religious person defacing a billboard”.

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