‘It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church’ Ad Appears in Washington Post May 8, 2012

‘It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church’ Ad Appears in Washington Post

Remember when the Freedom From Religion Foundation wanted to put an ad in the New York Times urging people that it’s time to quit the Catholic Church? The NYT ran it, but they changed the headline to take away a bit of the edge (“It’s time to consider quitting the Catholic Church”).

Today, the FFRF is running the same basic ad in the Washington Post — this time, without editorial changes made to it (Click to enlarge):

The same ad (this time, in color) is also running on the back of the today’s free Washington Express daily.

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  • Jdatty

    Any idea how much Dan Barker makes from his lawsuits?


  • Jason

    I sure hope the “liberal” and “nominal” Christians at whom this ad is aimed will “quit the Church” soon. 

  • Lawsuits are expensive. When the FFRF wins a case and is awarded attorneys’ fees, those fees go to pay the attorneys. If there is excess, it gets folded into the foundation. Dan Barker does not personally profit from lawsuits.

  • Arclight

    Unfortunately, it’s now impossible to “defect” from the Catholic Church. 

  • Ethan Barbour

    Too bad it has a glaring typo: “Join those of use [sic] who put humanity above dogma”

  • Ggsillars

    How much does Bill Donohue make from his phony campaigns?

  • Rita

    I’ll pray that someday you’ll find God and know the truth and know what real happiness and love is. God is love and forgiveness, try it, you might find peace.

  • T-Rex

    Let us know how that prayer thing works out for ya. Delusional troll is a delusional troll. Grow up.

  •  The truth is what we have found, maybe you will see it some day and give up on your fairy tales.

  • Thorny264

    Rita is right, we should embrace the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  • Priscilla

    Rita, many of us have “tried it” and come to the conclusion that there’s no one there.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Considering Barker does not profit from lawsuits I guess the answer is:  Nowhere near what Joel Osteen makes by selling god.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “…someday you’ll find God and know the truth…”


    I’m am atheist because I spent 10 years ‘looking’ for god and never found him.

    “…and know what real happiness and love is.”

    I have a Wife & Son, I’ve known love since my Wife said ‘Yes’ to ‘the question’ and I’ve known ‘real happiness’ since my Son was born. Since all your predictions are already true for me, what good is god?

  • No it’s not. You just walk away and stop calling yourself a Catholic. If the Catholics continue to claim you, that’s their craziness… no different from the Mormons baptizing Jews.

    The important thing is that you’re no longer forced to be a hypocrite by pretending to observe their medieval rules, and you’re no longer putting money in their coffers.

  • AtheistPowerlifter

    I’m Canadian…how is this ad being recieved in the US? I haven’t seen any press/response.


  •  I tried it, then I woke up and embraced reality. 

  • Guest

    One thing Catholics don’t realize is that every time they DON’T have sex, they are using birth control.  Catholicism’s first commandment (they say from a god), is to be fruitful & multiply.  Hump & push babies out – hump & push babies out – hump & push babies out — you get the picture.

  • Fsq

    I truly hope this helps bring people out of that awful, evil, and archaic organization. The fewer Catholics, the better.

  • Fsq

    While you spend your talking to imaginary friends, I’ll be out helping people, contributing my time nd money to causes that I feel are worthy, and laughing at people like you.

  • Alchemist

    I don’t need a cuddly-blanket, I don’t suck my thumb and I don’t need to be tucked in at night with a bedtime story. So why would I need an imaginary friend?
    I used to feel pity for people like Rita. She, and others like her, are unable cope with the world. She refuses to grow up and take true responsibility for her life.
    She is enslaved by the ancient mutterings of ignorant bigots.
    But her enslavement is her choice, her eternal childhood a cover for a person to intellectually and emotionally lazy to grow up and her pious blathering a effort to reassure herself that she’s on the right path.
    I don’t feel pity for Rita and her thick headed brethren anymore, I now feel utter contempt for grown adults who refuse to leave the nursery.

  • Alchemist

    He receives donations hand over fist.
    I”ve always wondered about this sort of thing. Growing up in a born again, fundie church I often heard people who had made irresponsible financial choices say “god will provide”. Even as a kid that made me sick, because I understood what that really meant. What they were really saying was that they would go to the church and ask for money from the hardship fund. That fund was made up from tithes paid by the rest of us. Being able to make irresponsibilty followed by grasping for hand-outs look virtuous is evidence of the church’s mass mental illness.
    When it comes to Bill the question I have is this. If he and his followers truly believe that god will provide, why does he constantly have his hand out?

  • Is there any observation that the New York Times ad had any effect? Were Catholic churches all over the Big Apple empty the next Sunday?  How would we even measure such a thing, if there was enough of an effect to measure?

  • People not leaving may just be learned helplessness, but I’m sure there is something one could do to get “thrown out” of the church.

  • I’m hoping that people will at least realize that they have a choice. Maybe they’ll have that “Wait, you mean I don’t HAVE to believe this stuff?” moment.

  • Bob Becker

    I suspect, RW, that the major effect seen was the number of membership slips at the bottom of the ad sent back to FFRF.  Absent a good response of that sort, I doubt they’d be running the very expensive ad in another major market.   

    I didn’t like the first ad, don’t like this one.  FFRF does very good things by (a) challenging state endorsed faith whenever it appears, as it does all too often, and (b) making atheism more visible across the land [billboard and bus campaigns].  It should not have as a major mission attempting to convince members of specific faiths to bail.  Nor should it be targeting children as it did with its Jolly Santa billboard saying “Yes, Virginia, there is no god!”  Don’t like it when fundies target children [e.g bible camps].  Don’t like it any better when atheists do it. 

    FFRF does lots of good work, but with the NYT ad, and the Santa billboard, it ran off the rails, I think.  Good intentions got in the way of good sense.

  • Hi Rita, I hope you are well.

    What gives me peace and happiness is, like Fsq has said above, helping other people. I do it without any interest in pleasing a god, or in getting a reward in an afterlife. I help people because it is in my nature to do so. I gain a deep satisfaction in life by knowing that someone else’s life is a little bit better because of my efforts.

    Lately, I’m concentrating on helping people who don’t believe in gods, and who are being treated with appalling cruelty by people who pray to the very same god that you pray to.  Apparently, their believing the very same things that you believe has not given them peace, or happiness, or love, or forgiveness, because they don’t live that way.  Instead of that, when they discover that one of their own family members, someone who has always been loving and loyal to them, no longer believes in their god, they suddenly start treating that person with cold, brutal, hatred.

    If you really want us to enjoy peace, happiness, and love, don’t pray that your god will give it to us, DEMAND that your fellow Christians give it to us in the way they treat us.

    Thank you, and have a pleasant day.

  • Heintje_K

    I used to dislike pasta, but recently I find myself developing a taste for and even growing increasingly fond of it. Does that mean I am finally discovering His (Her) Noodliness?

  • Not really. If you’re famous enough, you can get yourself excommunicated, but the church still considers you a Catholic, just one that’s been officially damned.

  • I don’t think it’s possible. With some difficulty, it is possible to get yourself excommunicated. But the Catholic church still considers those it excommunicates to be Catholic, just operating under various limitations. It’s really a form of censure, with an expectation that you’ll seek some remedy.

    I’m not sure what their response would be to a Catholic formally converting to some established religion, like Islam. But I doubt they’d consider atheism in that category.

  • happysmallness

    That is not Catholics first commandment but nice try.

  • Kodie

    Where I grew up, I got the impression that if people had a religion, it was probably Catholicism. I’ve gone to many weddings of friends and relatives where they had to go to counseling in order to marry in their fiancé(e)’s church, and one friend who actively converted. We had fallen out of contact, and she invited me over to the apartment they shared before getting married, told me she was on the pill, and going to Catholic conversion meetings. See, at the time, this didn’t seem out of place. Most Catholics I know, including the people my friends and relatives married, and some of the guys I’ve dated, just don’t seem all that Catholic to me, but they say they are and their parents are, and altogether, if marriage is on the horizon, get to dictate the conditions of the wedding, where my friends and relatives are willing to go along because they don’t have any or very deep religious convictions, it’s all the same to them. This is the impression I get: no Catholics take being Catholic very seriously, and tend to take it on tradition. My nephew is baptized Catholic to please my sister’s husband’s parents, and I went along, it’s “all the same” to just about everyone. People don’t think, they nominally convert their husbands, wives, and children to please their parents and grandparents. If my grandfather hadn’t deconverted, disowned his family, and proclaimed atheism for as long as I remember, I would almost certainly be Catholic too, as it turns out.

    So I see this notice as necessary. The more I know about the horrors of the Catholic Church, the less tolerance I have for the ignorance and blasé regard of these loose associates. I live in Boston now, another heavily (but not mostly) Catholic area, and another place I get the same impression of Catholics. I think this ad space is a good response for the “Catholics Come Home” campaign, which addresses these loose Catholics and attracts them on the nostalgia of the tradition and baptize your children – I don’t even think the Catholic Church cares who calls themselves Catholics, but they need people to save their churches from being shuttered. I think my atheism actively arose out of the idea that people called themselves something but didn’t actually believe it was true, and was surprised as an adult to realize that anyone takes it seriously.

  • Gillishjg

    For every Catholic Church opponent there are hundreds of people blessed by the Catholic Church

  • Gillishjg

    I agree totally

  • Gillishjg

    Good try at inventing your own reality.  Good news for you – God will keep you blessed in His true reality until you take it as your own. You are being blessed and kept alive every second of the day by God – you have air to breathe, stars to see, good order to protect you – please consider thinking a little deeper.

  • Gillishjg

    Could those blessings somehow be from God ?  Please consider doing some deep thinking.

  • Gillishjg

    God is just as displeased by cruelty from a believer as you are displeased by such cruelty

  • Gillishjg

    Our Dear God is always there.  His language is the love and peace you feel when you relax.  God’s message  is so simple that it is missed. God is happy with us if we do nothing but enjoy a flower.  Heaven is that easy to have.

  • Gillishjg

    Thanks for your letter.  The way I see it if  I ever am near death  I will ask God for mercy and love.  People generally do that when near death .  Because God is infinitely merciful He will forgive me at that time of prayer before dying  for anything I have done wrong.  I figure if I am going to relate to God with love later I MIGHT AS WELL DO IT NOW.

  • Gillishjg

    Dear Margaret.  Reality is the blessings that God provides for you so you can have a happy, healthy life.  I used to overlook that because it is so basic but I am now aware of what reality is.  I had to think about it for years.

  • Our Dear God is always there.  His language is the love and peace you feel when you relax.  God’s message  is so simple that it is missed. God is happy with us if we do nothing but enjoy a flower.  Heaven is that easy to have.From the love and peace and relaxation comes the energy and inspiration to any work we choose to do.  God uses natural means to supply our needs  such as any work we are able to do or from donations from generous people if we cannot do work.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Few points:

    1) I’m ex-Catholic. It was 10 years of “deep thinking” before I considered the possibility that god is a man made myth. My life has improved rather dramatically since then.

    2) My “blessings” are not unique to Christianity or humanity. Are you suggesting that finding an equal  or having offspring is somehow guided by a higher power? Interesting. Then I should worship the same god penguins do, to ensure I have a mate for life. I should also pay tribute to the rabbit god so I can, um, have more children.

  • lslerner

     Attributing things to God is a handy way of closing off real thought. Once you say “God did it,” you assure that you will never know the true cause of “it.” But for some people this is the best strategy, as their capacities – and/or desires – to think are severely limited.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Anyone noticing that Herb & Gillishjg are mirroring their comments. Like a cult chanting the same thing or the same person using multiple accounts.

    (Insert Twilight Zone theme here)

    Herb Sez:
    ” His language is the love and peace you feel when you relax.  God’s message  is so simple that it is missed. God is happy with us if we do nothing but enjoy a flower. ”

    Gillishjg Sez:
    “His language is the love and peace you feel when you relax.  God’s message  is so simple that it is missed. God is happy with us if we do nothing but enjoy a flower. “

  • Kodie

     I think the 2 are the same person who changed their handle after missing the opportunity to link to their facebook page, and who also thinks it’s necessary to respond to each individual comment, and ran out of original comments because there were so many.

  • And how, Gillishjg, would you know your god’s feelings about this?  Did he just now call you up and say, “Hey, Gillishjg, I’m a gonna let you finish, but I jus’ I want to say that I don’t like my followers being cruel to atheists any more than that guy Wade does.” ?  …?   …?

    You certainly could not know that he’s displeased by observing his actions. He never intervenes on the revolting behaviors of his “flock” who gleefully use his confused, self-contradictory, and morally ambiguous book to justify their conceit, their lying slander, their treachery, and their violence against anybody who doesn’t conform exactly to themselves.

    Tell me, Gillishjg, do you take your moral lesson from watching your god’s behavior regarding the  cruelty of your “brethren?” If so, that would mean that you do absolutely nothing about it when you see it or hear about it. Your empty, patronizing reassurance that your impotent, or apathetic, or non-existent god is displeased at cruelty done in his name is just as useless to the victims as he is.

    Unless you, YOU, flesh-and-blood, living and breathing Gillishjg,  actively and frequently get personally, eyeball-to-eyeball in the faces of the pious little tyrants who are constantly described in the hundreds of heartbreaking letters I receive from atheists, unless you, YOU stand up in church in the middle of a sermon and loudly demand that they all stop their hypocritical viciousness against nonbelievers immediately, then I’m not interested in hearing any more from you.

    What makes you what you really are is in what you actually do, not in your armless, legless and toothless statements.

  • Gilraen

     Damn!  Go, Richard!  I bow to your swift rapier of words.

  • Gilraen

     I was minutes from death many years ago, after childbirth.  I did not pray.  I did not call out to any gods.  I felt, heard, saw *nothing* that led me to believe there is anyone watching over us, or gives a shit about what happens to us.  We have only each other, and this one planet that gave us life.

  • Mary Kreitzer

    No shortage of bigots.

  • Mary Kreitzer

    Oh, you do believe in “god.” It’s the planet. Now that is, indeed, a fairy tale.

  • Mary Kreitzer

    This is kind of sanctimonious, don’t you think? People who believe in God do all kinds of things to help others. They volunteer in shelters, hospices, crisis pregnancy centers, nursing homes, free clinics, AIDS centers. The outreach group at my church is one of the biggest private charities helping the poor in our county. We have a hotline and a thrift store and help people with rent, heat, food, you name it.

    And why laugh at people who believe differently than you do? The hostility toward believers in this thread is baffling to me. I can only join Shakespeare in saying, “methinks thou dost protest too much.”

  • Peace

    Nearly every assertion in this ad is false and inaccurate if not every assertion. Do your research and find the real truth – if you want to know it.

  • Not to mention the amount of molested children.

  • Cynthia Nelmsbyrne

    I left the Catholic church years ago in what I consider to be a freeing and happy move. The Vatican is now “examining” the nuns in my town – we have a lot of convents – and it’s obviously an outrageous ploy to take focus away from all their pedophiles and monetary fraud. The “war against women” is being manned by the Catholic hierarchy and Christian right and supported by far right politicians. Women need to stand up for and not take for granted the rights that were finally won after years of discrimination – it is still going on. They are suddenly afraid of the power of women. As they should be.

  • Cynthia Nelmsbyrne

    Never have I felt so free as the day I realized there is no god and I am in charge of me. No one to blame, no one to beg from, just me. And when I die the matter that made up my body will again join the universe that it’s so thrilling to be part of.

  • TheExpatriate700

    That is one of the stupidest troll comments I have read on this forum, and I’ve read some clinkers. Saying you get life from the material resources of a planet is a far different thing from worshiping it. Use your head.

  • Thorny264

    Perhaps you would like to share some of this truth you have found?

  • KJB

     Where do you get off saying such ridiculous lies?  And you know you are lying as you make up this nonsense as you go.

    Let god speak for herself.

  • KJB

     The churches only do charity as long as they can profit from it, particularly with good PR.    Churches in the US actually hand out mostly taxpayer money given to them by the government for distribution.

    So why is it that conservative religious folks are the ones who scream “socialism” if we the people want to help out our struggling citizens with handouts while they try to get their lives turned around, but only want religious organizations to be socialists while denying the word?  Instead they call it charity and pretend that only religious organizations do good while bad mouthing the government agencies that do the same thing.  Hipocrites as usual, wanting the recognition for themselves.

    The “hostility” you see here is only a small sampling of the hostility we Atheists have to deal with in this society of religious bigots all the time.  The only difference is we are now willing to speak out rather than suffer in silence as we have for years out of fear of violent retribution for simply stating the fact that we don’t believe in a god.

  • This post was very nicely written, and it also contains many useful facts. I enjoyed your distinguished way of writing this post. Thanks, you have made it very easy for me to understand.

  • Graham Jean

    Yes they do. There’ such a thing as natural contraception, you know. It’s free and shall I say hmm satisfying

  • Graham Jean

    Gee, I missed that part of the creed I professed when I chose to become a Cathlic. If you want to disagree know what you’re talking about look at paragraph 1652 in the catechism of the Catholic Church. Context is everything. In a sacramental marriage the husband and wife are loving and caring and respecting the dignity of each other, if a husband is using his wife merely for sexual pleasure and not respecting her needs he’s committing the sin of lust.
    But I don’t think you really care, because hatred and non-truths are more fun than understanding.

    Look around you . Aren’t young women –girls–being treated as sex objects? I work with low income women and they’re afraid to say no.
    Oh yeah—my mom was beaten up on Sundays and so were we. Dad was an atheist. Guess he didn’t believe in the inherent dignity of all human beings.

  • Graham Jean

    I would really like to know your source of information that “churches are handing out tax payer money that the government gets them.” Catholic relief services? St. Vincent Depaul Society? Catholic charities? Proove what you say!

  •  I am one of those liberal Catholics, and I was already church-shopping before this ad came out. 😛  I’ve been visiting a more liberal church on and off since Lent!

  • jim kirby

    In Germany, you have to pay a fee to get out of the church and, until you do, taxes to support the RC Church will be deducted from your paychecks!

  • Nana Oya

     Openly support abortion or say you have had one and not sorry.

  • VivaCristoRey

     Just wait until you all find out how much more molestation goes on in categorically secular groups and professions! Not to mention how incredibly non-religious the ephebophiliac, mostly homosexual (fact) predatory priests really are, as well as vile pedophiles.

    You atheists see these sexual predators in the rest of society and acknowledge that they do whatever they can as a lie, as a distracting facade intended as a cover behind which they can gain access to their prey, but then, when it comes to *religion*, in your bias and bigotry you are ready to proclaim that those predators are really serious about being genuine priests, and religion just drives them to be predators because celibacy is too much for any human being!

    If the pedophile in question is just a secular person, he has a psychological condition and needs treatment, and deserves sympathy – and some of you atheists and your fellow humanists actually advocate *legal pedophilia*.

    If the pedophile in question is a Catholic Priest or has any connection to religion, he is a sick, deluded religious predator whose mind is twisted and corrupted by the mental disease of religious belief.

    Such reasoning is blatant foolishness, and I hope you all keep it up so you ensure your illegitimacy.

    New Atheism is to atheism as Fox News is to journalism.

    Let’s weigh things here. As I say this, keep in mind that living things have a drive to survive.

    If a developing human baby in the womb had a voice at every stage, do you think it would say, “hey cool you can just kill me whenever you want to”?


    According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been 50,000,000 abortions in the U.S. alone since 1973. Studies have shown that only a small fraction of abortions are out of danger to fetal or maternal health.

    Take into account the number of abortions in the rest of the world. What we have is the greatest mass atrocity in the history of mankind, dwarfing any other evil we can think of it.

    You want to weigh crimes here?

  • Catholic&Democrat.

    I am a Democrat.  I am Catholic.  I am Pro-Life, in EVERY sense of the phrase.  I believe in the dignity of EVERY human being.  I do NOT believe that pregnancy is a disease and therefore birth control is NOT a preventative measure and there for not necessary, I just say society should learn to keep what’s in their pants in their pants until they are ready and willing to be parents.   But I also believe that every one makes mistakes, including The Church, but as I was taught that no matter what you do, even if it is bad, as long as you realize it and regret it or are sorry for it Jesus will continue to love you.  He loves you NO MATTER WHAT.  I have no intention of leaving The Church, and I do honestly believe that it has done far more good than bad ( yes I’m referring to the molestation scandal…I’ve got news for you, it happens in schools too, and the way that you refer to ALL priests according to the scandal means the you should be referring to ALL teachers and school employees as child predators as well because their have been quite a few teacher-student charges around the same time).  I WILL STAND WITH MY CHURCH.  I think that it is time for the exact opposite of what this ad is requesting, it is time for people to JOIN The Church and meet the compassion and love that waits for them.  I hope you know that Catholics are accepting of ALL people (granted there are always a few who give the majority a bad name) and it is not our goal in any way to offend, harm, hate, exclude, or do anything but love all of God’s beautiful creations, after all EVERY SINGLE HUMAN is made IN HIS IMAGE!   

    I suppose I really don’t care if you think I’m stupid or naive for believing all of this.  But I do care that you take away one message:


  • nojinx

    I found it. That’s why I am no longer a theist.
    The danger is mistaking your desires for truth. We lead ourselves too easily into delusion.

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