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Sep 08 2011

Billboards And Billboards

Stephanie Zvan, over at Almost Diamonds, has a nice bit up on privilege, billboards, and thinking of the children. Oh, and an introduction to yet another person you should be reading. Given how busy today is about to be, I’ll post this one from the old blog and let you go read Almost Diamonds.

When they pass the plate on Sunday, and we put our money in,
They assure us that it lets the Church do good
So we dig a little deeper—being selfish is a sin—
And we donate like the Bible says we should.

Though we haven’t got much money, we still give as best we can,
Every Sunday morning, roughly ten o’clock
Now we see our small donations help a much, much bigger plan,
Cos we’ve got the biggest billboard on the block!

Every church around has got one, and there’s some with five or six
Praising Jesus and inviting folks to come
There are dozens in the city, and there’s more out in the sticks
And they must have cost a mighty godly sum!

When “Our Lady Of The Blessed Heart”, the local Catholic Church,
Put their new one by the highway overpass
We just couldn’t let it stand like that, with us left in the lurch;
Our humongous billboard really kicked their ass!

We’ve competed now for decades, with our steeples and our signs,
Till the megachurches left us in their dust;
And it might be steeple envy, if you read between the lines,
But there’s something now that fills us with disgust!

Yes, the godless heathen atheists, the lowest of the low,
Have a billboard that they want to put in town!
If they try it, though, I’m telling you (and really, I should know)
If they put it up, we’re gonna burn it down.

What a waste of their resources! Why, that money’s better spent
Housing homeless, feeding hungry, helping poor;
For a message on a billboard should be strictly heaven-sent—
That for all your problems, Jesus is the cure!

quite a bit more, after the jump:

I got a comment (thanks, Mariano!) on the “Starving? Have a bible!” thread, linking to a hilarious article accusing atheists of hypocrisy with regard to our reaction to the Audio Bible story. Now, to be fair, the Audio Bible person (not Mariano) who commented assured us that they are not sending these bibles instead of relief items, but along with them, and by request of people in Haiti. Moreover, he or she is trying to get the future runs of the device to include a radio receiver, so that it will be of practical use in disaster areas. I maintain that, although the actions of Faith Comes By Hearing are good, and their intentions perfectly honorable (although they certainly don’t need my approval), the Audio Bible, as is, does nothing to alleviate the real problems in Haiti. (It does work to alleviate some illusory problems, though; problems that stem from their belief in the first place. It may comfort them when they feel they have been abandoned by god; a solution to a problem that never needed to exist.)

From Mariano’s article:

Certainly, atheists, being absolute materialists, do not see how human beings are anything but bio-organisms and require nothing but bio-organic fuel, housing, etc. Yet, the Christian view is holistic and thus, organizations such as Faith Comes By Hearing seek to provide both; food for the body and food for the soul.

Actually, the atheist view is holistic, if by “whole” you mean “all that is there, without making shit up.”

Now, what of atheistic hypocrisy?

The fact is that for at least the last couple of years atheists worldwide have been literally wasting hundreds upon hundreds of thousands upon thousands of dollars in donated money not in order to help anyone in need during times of recession, war, poverty, etc. but in order to purchase anti-theistic and pro-atheism bus ads and billboards in order to attempt to demonstrate just how clever they consider themselves to be.

Now, they suddenly anoint themselves the charity police, complain and condemn based, by the way, on relative-subjective-personal preference based “morality.”

Well, my dear atheists friends; first repent of your own astonishingly wasteful back-patting boasting and then, perhaps, eventually, get around to criticizing those who are feeding, housing the needy body and soul—those who have been doing it for millennia upon millennia by the way.

I’ve seen atheist billboards. None in person, mind you; only online. I’ve seen religious billboards. Hundreds. Online, on the road, on the hill, on the bus, in the paper… By Mariano’s logic, think how much money has been thus wasted, that could have been used to help those in need.

Mariano is right about one thing–the churches have been doing it for millennia. We disagree on precisely what they have been doing. I hope that Mariano himself is free of hypocrisy, and will perhaps join Sarah Silverman’s “Sell the Vatican: Feed the Poor” campaign.

Actually, it kind of sickens me to read the sort of thing Mariano has linked to. The church-going people I knew while growing up were the first to donate, the first to volunteer, and never gave a thought about who else was donating or why. It was their own business. Of course, I found out years later that at least one pillar of that religious community was himself an atheist; the church was simply the best way he could help.

The billboards are up because atheists are treated as second class citizens. It’s nice to see, for once, that we are considered good enough to actually hold to a higher standard than believers themselves.

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