This is a guest post by Dave Muscato. Dave is the Public Relations Director of American Atheists.
Hello Friendly Atheist readers,
My name is Dave Muscato, and I am the new Public Relations Director for American Atheists — today is my first day, actually!
We originally designed two billboards featuring George W. Bush and Rick Perry, but we were unable to find a billboard company in Texas willing to run either of them. Texas being home to both Perry and George W., every billboard company we approached considered them too inflammatory. Here are the two designs that were refused:
As a replacement for those two designs, we put together one featuring Sarah Palin, with a quotation attributed, reading “We should create law based on the God of the Bible.”
This quotation comes from an interview Palin did with Bill O’Reilly in which her exact statement, as transcribed by the Huffington Post, reads:
“Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant — they’re quite clear — that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments.”
In their coverage of the interview, the Huffington Post read her intentions the same way we did; their headline was: “Sarah Palin: American Law Should Be ‘Based On The God Of The Bible And The Ten Commandments.'”
We are issuing an official apology to Sarah Palin for misplacing the quotation marks and falsely attributing the word “should” to her. The billboard should have said: We should “create law based on the God of the Bible” (with quotation marks after the word “should”).
We in no way intended to misrepresent Palin.
Although I am confident that we did NOT misrepresent Palin’s intentions or opinion on this subject, we did in fact place the quotation marks incorrectly on the design and, for this, we apologize. As rational, skeptical freethinkers with a commitment to truth and accuracy, it is very important to us that we maintain the highest standards in everything that we do.
As it turns out, we may not be using the Sarah Palin design at all.
A billboard company, although they initially refused to run our original preference of the Rick Perry and George W. Bush designs, changed their tune when CNN contacted them about running a story about their refusal. They have agreed to run our original designs after all, so that is what we intend to do: The Rick Perry billboard will go up in his hometown of Austin, and the Bush billboard in his respective hometown of Dallas… unless the billboard company changes its mind again.
All this said, let us not forget the purpose of these billboards: To promote our 50th Anniversary celebration and annual convention in Austin the weekend of March 28th! The Friendly Atheist himself will be among the speakers, as well as A.C. Grayling, Katherine Stewart, former Congressman Pete Stark, Twisted Sister lead guitarist Jay Jay French, popular debaters Matt Dillahunty and JT Eberhard, former pastors-turned-atheists Teresa MacBain and Jerry DeWitt, American Atheists President David Silverman, and many others. Since this is our 50th Anniversary, we’ll also have a LOT of other fun stuff: A costume party, an auction and art show, comedy, musical performances, childcare options including Camp Quest, and more than 25 vendors and exhibitors.
See you there!