Quantcast

«

»

Feb 29 2012

I deserve to be flogged

I have confessed over and over again that I was wrong about the atheist bus signs. I initially raised an eyebrow at the innocuous messages that people were putting on those things, and thought they should be louder and more inflammatory to catch any attention. And again and again I had to be proven wrong: even the mildest and most positive statement, like “You can be good without god”, provoked vandalism and angry letters to the editor.

And now more atheists have to rub my nose in it.

NEPA and American Atheists got together to put this sign on buses:

It was rejected. Too controversial.

I give up. Point made. Just mentioning our existence is anathema to much of the American public, so my plan for an ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?” would probably be a little bit of overkill. Just forget I brought it up.

Also, another thing I have to apologize for: apparently, it is possible for American Atheists to be associated with a tasteful and well-designed billboard. (I know: David Silverman is the guy who will be doing the flogging now.)

99 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Worldtraveller

    [A]n ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?”

    I’m going to start working on a concept for this….

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    Imagine what putting a picture of their “god” on a cross, dying, might provoke. I mean, like a god would die!

    Oh, that’s right…

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    todd

    “Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex…”

    Who was giving and who was receiving?

  4. 4
    Shiroferetto

    Little Rock had to go to court to have their bus ads put up. (“Are you good without god?”) The court required a $15000 bond against possible damages (which was more insulting to the Christians than the atheists).

    Nothing was damaged, as far as I know, though the populace at large did not like the signs.

    The beauty part was the emails that were leaked, showing certain civic parties who were pretending to be neutral were actually in collusion with the bus company to halt the ads in violation of the law.

  5. 5
    truthspeaker

    I give up. Point made. Just mentioning our existence is anathema to much of the American public, so my plan for an ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?” would probably be a little bit of overkill.

    I like it.

  6. 6
    horrabin

    It’s the period after Atheists – too strident and non-accommodating.

  7. 7
    Randomfactor

    Who was giving and who was receiving?

    Which one said “Come unto Me”?

  8. 8
    PZ Myers

    Maybe it’s the font. Or the size. If it were in Comic Sans and about a quarter the size, maybe that would be OK.

    #3: I was picturing 69: something symmetrical and arty that would reflect on the yin-yang nature of Islam and Christianity.

  9. 9
    Inaji

    an ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?”

    This should be actually worked up and presented with the quiet Atheists. ad. Then perhaps people would see reason. Prolly not, though.

  10. 10
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts that I’ll be behind one of those buses on my drive home. Right on Lackawanna Avenue. They have no problem with anti-abortion adverts. There have been adverts for churches. There have been adverts for evangelical conventions. But the word ‘atheist’ is too controversial?

  11. 11
    jaybee

    I think we should try this as the next step of the experiment. Pay for an ad which says: “Atheists are evil.” and see if it is accepted or not.

  12. 12
    marcus

    “I deserve to be flogged.”
    Not so fast. We’ll decide if you deserve it, but you’re going to have to be really, really good.

  13. 13
    carlie

    Next they could try “Agnostic” with no punctuation, and then when that gets turned down, “Unsure?”, and then just the name of the organization with hazy blue clouds around it. I’m guessing even that would get rejected.

  14. 14
    Matt G

    The period is a square, which probably strikes many as a logical impossibility. This is just further evidence of an irrational mindset, not to mention the rank hypocrisy others have brought up in the comments. Maybe the ad should be completely blank to illustrate our non-belief in the supernatural. Anyhow, there is no bad publicity, as the saying goes….

  15. 15
    baal

    The next bus ad should be utterly blank and without the sponsor name or address. Just a blank sign. Maybe in 2-3 colors.

    Are the advertisers so anti-atheist that they wouldn’t take the money even if there is no overt message?

  16. 16
    Alverant

    “Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex”
    I wanted to do this for Draw Mohammed Day. Mo’s going at it like crazy. Jesus is on the receiving end looking bored and saying “Hurry up! Dr.Phil comes on in 5 minutes!”

  17. 17
    erick

    “while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix”

    How about

    “while rabbi beavers gnaw on a crucifix”?

  18. 18
    erick

    Or how about
    “while cross rabbis gnaw on a beaver”?

  19. 19
    Travis

    On the plus side the design is fairly simple and does not make me weep like so many other atheist adventures in advertising that I have seen.

    Anyway, there you have it. It is not the offensive messages that are the problem, it is our existence that is really the issue.

  20. 20
    Susannah

    Maybe an almost blank sign, with an apologetic “Atheists?” in tiny print in grayscale down in the right hand corner, where things sort of get ignored.

    Or is that still too blatant?

  21. 21
    thebookofdave

    @ horrabin

    There will never be a post-atheist period! We’re here to stay!

    Leading with a capital A was pure intimidation. NEPA should have had better judgment.

  22. 22
    marcus

    How about this?
    Doubts?
    Nah still has the “A” word in the contact area. OK,
    Doubts?
    and just the NEPA Freethought web address? Nah, freethinkers are just too controversial. Who knows what thoughts they might think?
    Ah, fuck it!

  23. 23
    eric

    The letter back to the atheists stated that the company doesn’t want to publish anything about social issues (presumably, just product and store ads).

    Leaving aside the fact that they already have, the next step is obvious. Submit an ad for Atheist Bob’s Hamburgers: All Beef, No Deity!

    Heck, PZ sells pharyngula swag. Submit an ad for that.

  24. 24
    Inaji

    Ah, fuck it!

    Hmmmm…maybe *theists. would work.

  25. 25
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The letter back to the atheists stated that the company doesn’t want to publish anything about social issues (presumably, just product and store ads).

    Except that, in the past, COLTS has carried advertisements for churches and also anti-abortion adverts.

  26. 26
    carlie

    The letter back to the atheists stated that the company doesn’t want to publish anything about social issues (presumably, just product and store ads).

    What about a product ad for ham?

  27. 27
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    IIRC COLTS also carried an advertisement for a holocaust denial, white empowerment Web site. So it has jack all to do with social issues, they’re denying it cause it’s an atheist ad.

  28. 28
    Inaji

    Kat Lorraine:

    IIRC COLTS also carried an advertisement for a holocaust denial, white empowerment Web site.

    So white power neo nazis aren’t controversial…but atheists are. Nice to know.

  29. 29
    Ant (@antallan)

    @ Baal #15 Not 2-3 colours, just pink. And it wouldn’t actually be blank, there’d be an invisible pink unicorn on it…

    /@

  30. 30
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Caine (and my 27)):

    Correctly, I have to admit that I didn’t exactly recall correctly. They gave an ad to a site that linked to holocaust denial and white supremacy Web sites. The site itself wasn’t white power, but those sites were in its blogroll so to speak.

  31. 31
    Inaji

    Kat Lorraine @30, even so, if they did that, then they have zero cause to claim controversy, ffs. Especially in light of anti-abortion ads, etc. All it’s going to take is them posting one single church ad and they can be sued down to the ground. I’d love to see them posit that religion is a product, rather than a social subject.

  32. 32
    =8)-DX

    “Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex…
    Who was giving and who was receiving?
    Which one said “Come unto Me”?

    I think Jesus is more of a submissive, so bottom definitely. Muhammed should be holding a sword to imply some kind of rape-play top.

  33. 33
    robro

    I’m confident it’s going to take litigation to get these advertisers to stop rejecting Atheist ads for their flimsy reasons. Clearly they have no problem selling ads to churches, and even more heinous organizations, so “controversy” isn’t the problem. Besides, aren’t the fundies always saying “teach the controversy”?

  34. 34
    mikee

    Unbelievable!!!!!

    Perhaps we atheists just need to buy our own bus?
    Perhaps a free bus too.

    Or buy our own billboards.

  35. 35
    Gregory Greenwood

    This is an admission that xians don’t really have a problem with the supposedly ‘shrill’ statements of ‘militants’, or with the oh-so mean mockery of their sky fairy – what they object to is the mere existence of anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It is a culture of ‘get down on your knees or get out’.

    And all this from the people who perpetually whine about how supposedly persecuted they are, what with the government sometimes obstructing their bigotry and not granting them carte blanche to deny others their fundamental rights with impunity.

    Just mentioning our existence is anathema to much of the American public, so my plan for an ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?” would probably be a little bit of overkill. Just forget I brought it up.

    Now that is something I would pay to see, doubly so in the certain knowledge that the sight of it would make Bill Donohue’s head explode.

    Anything that greviously offends the delicate sensibilitiers of two sets of fundies simultaneously is always worth the price of admission.

  36. 36
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I think they should make a sign that says

    Do you like Puppies?

    Well so do we.

    Then they can put a qcode on there so people can run down the street with their smart phones trying to scan it.

    Awesome Idea.

    You’re all welcome.

  37. 37
    Inaji

    Rev. BDC:

    I think they should make a sign that says

    Do you like Puppies?

    Well so do we.

    Reminds me of an ep of The Big Bang Theory.

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Sheldon: Your doom.
    (Whispered you can’t say that, who’s going to open the door to their doom?)
    Sheldon: Basket of puppies.

  38. 38
    markpogue

    They are going to hate us no matter how subtle or blatant the message of atheism/humanism may be.
    Their brand of Christianity thrives on hate and discrimination of non-Christians. Many people love belonging to a majority that has the power to publicly hate/discriminate non-adherents. The U.S. gov’t gives them financial protection that empowers them to build their theocratic way of life…and expects us to conform!

  39. 39
    Anthony K

    Well, maybe the tone trolls and the religious atheists will have better luck.

    Perhaps they can try:

    “Sigh. You’re right. We all do secretly believe that Jesus is Lord. Any chance you’ll lighten up on the homophobia? No? Okay. We’ll just sit here quietly in the corner, then.”

    Let’s see how that works. Don’t forget to include a big check for the Vatican.

  40. 40
    Jadehawk

    It was rejected. Too controversial.

    *facepalm*

  41. 41
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    IIRC COLTS also carried an advertisement for a holocaust denial, white empowerment Web site. So it has jack all to do with social issues, they’re denying it cause it’s an atheist ad.

    Hypothetically they could have adopted a no-controversy policy after the fallout from that…

  42. 42
    charlessoto

    Picture of a puppy with the words “also doesn’t believe in gods” would do it for me. I mean, what do you have against beavers?

  43. 43
    Gregory Greenwood

    Caine, Fleur du Mal @ 37;

    Reminds me of an ep of The Big Bang Theory.

    I must admit to loving that show rather more than is probably healthy, and Sheldon is my favourite character….

    That is a point; Sheldon is supposed to be an atheist. Perhaps we should have a big picture of Jim Parsons in character, with the a sign that says something like “we aren’t all like him…”

    Hmmm. We really have to fit ‘Bazinga!’ in there somewhere as well…

  44. 44
    seditiosus

    The letter back to the atheists stated that the company doesn’t want to publish anything about social issues (presumably, just product and store ads).

    To be fair, religion is a business so I guess church adds would count. Actually, it’s really more of a scam, but the line can get kinda blurred sometimes.

    Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?”

    I want this on a shirt.

    On the topic of bus adds, I like the idea of a picture of a starving child or similar and the slogan “Dear god, why?”

  45. 45
    Inaji

    Gregory:

    Perhaps we should have a big picture of Jim Parsons in character, with the a sign that says something like

    “We have braaaiiins…join us.”

  46. 46
    Gregory Greenwood

    seditiosus @ 44;

    On the topic of bus adds, I like the idea of a picture of a starving child or similar and the slogan “Dear god, why?”

    An effective image, and a very good point – what kind of benign, all powerful being would allow such a thing to happen?

    Unfortunately, the smug, fundie snake oil salesmen have what they think is a ‘gotcha’ counter-argument; the same reason they attribute natural disasters, crop failures, terrorist attacks, and pretty much any other calamitous event to – “because the sky-daddy is angry about teh ghey/godless baby-eaters/religious toleration/’ungodly’ science/’slutty’ women/*insert irrational, bigoted xian obsession of the week*”.

    Even more lamentably, they have millions of idiot followers who swallow that lie hook, line and sinker. It never occurs to them that only the worst kind of monster would do such a thing to any human, still less a child, for any reason – and that it is even worse that the bible-thumpers are asserting that their god is starving these children to death as vicarious punishment for the supposed ‘sin’ of other people, an act that would be equal parts evil and insane.

    Fundies say that their god made humanity in its own image. I say that fundies made their god in their image, and that fictional character’s monstrous, abominable nature speaks volumes about them.

  47. 47
    anchor

    It is “controversial” because NEPA and American Atheists have their websites on it. This could excite young newly-indoctrinated god-fearers into gratifying their curiosity and checking into those sites (which they almost certainly otherwise would never have been aware of) leading to the erosion of morality and the destruction of civilization as we know it.

    Sounds like a pretty decent deal to me.

  48. 48
    Gregory Greenwood

    Caine, Fleur du Mal @ 45;

    “We have braaaiiins…join us.”

    So we are going for the rational, sceptical zombie demographic, I take it? The kind of conflicted zombies who don’t believe in themselves?

    “Uuurrghhh… must… eat…. braaaaaiiinns… and… debunk… Deepak Chopra’s…. quantum woo…”

    “Water does not hold memory of braaaiiiins! Say ‘no’ to homeopathic braaaiiins!”

    Still, come the zombie apocalypse, it will be good to have our advertising campaign arranged in advance…

    :-P

  49. 49
    David Marjanović

    *pounce* Jadehawk! Please read your latest few e-mails and respond!

    Next they could try “Agnostic” with no punctuation, and then when that gets turned down, “Unsure?”, and then just the name of the organization with hazy blue clouds around it. I’m guessing even that would get rejected.

    Yeah.

    Kat Lorraine @30, even so, if they did that, then they have zero cause to claim controversy, ffs.

    Seconded through umpteenthed.

  50. 50
    LykeX

    Obviously the real problem here is the use of the plural form. They should have kept it singular. Multiple atheists are just too scary. It clearly implies the atheist desire to take over the world and forcibly deconvert everybody. You know, just like Hitler.

  51. 51
    anchor

    @#44, seditiosus says: “To be fair, religion is a business…”

    Incomplete. It is first and foremost a POLITICAL business, and its primary function is to kill dissent and own all minds in order to preserve power.

  52. 52
    echidna

    I’m almost pleased to see the reaction to that sign, ridiculous and discriminatory as it is, because it offers hard evidence of discrimination against atheists.

  53. 53
    Sastra

    The letter back to the atheists stated that the company doesn’t want to publish anything about social issues (presumably, just product and store ads).

    Technically, the ad isn’t about a ‘social issue.’ It’s an ad for a local organization. Not that the objection is sincerely made, but they can’t even make up an excuse that sounds superficially relevant.

    I bet that at one point someone from the bus-ad company expressed a concern that riders would fear that this was a special bus for atheists only. Or, perhaps, that this bus was going not crosstown, but straight to Hell. What if some sincere person of faith fire-bombed the bus on the mistaken assumption that this was the case? Good Christians would die for no good reason.

    Sheesh.
    Bet one good thing that comes out of this is that NEPA and American Atheists have it made into a t-shirt (reducing the plural to the singular.) Yes, it’s a good design.

  54. 54
    Pareidolius

    Jesus and Mo, the altar, the beavers! Fucking hell. You know I now compelled to draw that, now don’t you? You are evil incarnate, you are.

  55. 55
    Inaji

    Sastra:

    I bet that at one point someone from the bus-ad company expressed a concern that riders would fear that this was a special bus for atheists only.

    Ohhhhhhhhhh! I’ll bet you’re right. That never occurred to me.

  56. 56
    Shiroferetto

    http://unitedcor.org/central-arkansas/news

    Skip down to October 4th, 2011.
    There’s additional information as you go back in time on the history of the bus ads.

    As I said in #4, what was most interesting about the case was what didn’t show up in the news… which was that there was confirmed governmental collusion to keep the ads off of the buses.

    Cases like this can and have been won. If it can be won in Arkansas, of all places……….

  57. 57
    Rip Steakface

    “Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex…”

    Who was giving and who was receiving?

    Well, Jesus did talk about turning the other cheek…

  58. 58
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    This really is just hilarious.

    One of my first comments here, if not the first, asked about some religious absurdity in PA (possibly having to do with Dover). I was so surprised to realize the strength of religion there. One of the responses taught me the word “Pennsyltucky.”

    ***

    It’s the period after Atheists – too strident and non-accommodating.

    Quite. It’s a serious discussion of religion. No one with a period admitted.

    ;)

  59. 59
    thematrix

    There’s a post on REDDIT, where a guy was trying to browse Atheists.org and the work firewall blocked it giving a page that stated “the page was blocked for reason: Occult”

  60. 60
    thematrix

    Here it is:

    http://www.reddit.com/tb/p6zww

  61. 61
    nms

    I agree with previous posters that the problem lies in the punctuation. The period is a very impassive punctuation mark, making it understandably offensive to Christians (who interpret this impassivity as arrogance and or stridency). Clearly the fact that atheists even exist is highly controversial in itself and if the ad is going to be accepted it needs to reflect that. I suggest the following formatting instead:

    ATHEISTS?!?!

    perhaps accompanied by a lenticular image of Satan dancing

  62. 62
    thematrix

    And another one :@

    http://i.imgur.com/1Gu7c.jpg

    reddit.com/r/atheism = Blocked (reason given is WTFBBQ and giving it away quite nicely)
    reddit.com/r/christianity = No problem at all

  63. 63
    Sastra

    The problem may be the formatting, but it’s not the period. It’s the lack of scare quotes:

    “Atheists”

    or, better yet:

    So-Called Self-Professed “Atheists”

  64. 64
    MetzO'Magic

    I’m with carlie on this. Go for “Agnostic?” instead. It works for Dawkins. Or… maybe not.

  65. 65
    Inaji

    I wonder if they would have turned down THINKERS.

  66. 66
    chrisdevries

    Allowing atheists to advertise their existence is only a short step away from losing control of the narrative that their leaders have been feeding the flock. We are, according to them, evil, cold-hearted people who know deep down that God exists but resent Him and His true religion (TM) so much that we deny His existence at all. We are immoral, depraved sinners whose only hope is to be brought into the fold by a kind-hearted Christian who knows that God can light even the darkest corners of sinners’ lives.

    Happy, moral atheists, people who live fulfilling lives free of the dogma and chains of superstition put the lie to nearly everything the Christians believe. If some open-minded believers (and there are a whole heck of a lot of Christians who “reasoned” their way into belief, those who see their faith as perfectly rational and who value evidence and truth) are exposed to the truth about unbelievers – if they learn things about us that contradicts what they’ve heard – they will look into it. And when they see people living without Jesus in the God-shaped hole, when they see that we have values that don’t originate from Bronze Age mythology and yet fulfill us (things like a love of family and friends and a commitment to equality and justice), they will start to question whether we really are bad people just because we reject their theology. Every fundamentalist knows that when members of the flock start down that path, questioning the authorized version of the truth, if not quickly rescued they will no longer be covered by Jesus’s divine grace and overarching redemption. They will be lost to atheism.

    Being reminded that we exist, that we are confident enough in our position to advertise our existence, and that in doing so we are both challenging Christians to show us where we’re wrong and giving closet atheists some courage to come out and show all of their friends who believe them to be good, moral people in the Christian faith that all of their good, moral behavior came about in such faith’s absence…it’s dangerous. Committed Christians will start asking questions. Doubt will become more acceptable as more people start admitting doubts. This is one slippery slope that I can get behind. As atheism becomes more acceptable, more people will step out of the closet to join the horde.

    The backlash has already begun in earnest, proving how big an impact we have on the religious community in the USA. The culture wars keep heating up. The more they fear our effect on the cultural landscape, the more drastic measures they will take to limit it, and the more reasonable people will see just how irrational and hypocritical (read: insane) they are. In a sense, they are their own worst enemy; as long as we keep making noise, they will bring about their own demise.

  67. 67
    Russell

    As Santorum’s constituency is flush with rabid beavers:

    [[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43301853/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/bizarre-rabid-beaver-attacks-philly-park/#.T067yt35.html]]

    PZ’s campaign should premier in Philadelphia.

  68. 68
    Aratina Cage

    @chrisdevries

    The more they fear our effect on the cultural landscape, the more drastic measures they will take to limit it, and the more reasonable people will see just how irrational and hypocritical (read: insane) they are.

    I was just reading an LGBT article that argued that as it applies to equality for LGBT people:

    “What’s ironic is that all the anti-gay rhetoric increased support for same-sex marriage,” said Brian Powell, a professor of sociology at Indiana University. “It reduced the taboo around talking about the topic — people no longer had to lower their voice to say the word homosexual — and because the rhetoric was so heated it pushed reasonable people to want to distance themselves and say ‘I’m not like that.’ “

    I don’t doubt this is also true for atheism. It is the old Obi-Wan Gambit: By striking us down, they end up making us stronger.

  69. 69
    Christian

    mikee@34:
    Unbelievable!!!!!

    Perhaps we atheists just need to buy our own bus?
    Perhaps a free bus too.

    Or buy our own billboards.

    Actually this is what some German atheists did back when the campaign with the atheist bus ads started. No bus company wanted to run the ads, although they usually don’t have any problems with religious signs, mostly small ones with bible verses at the top of the windows inside the bus.
    And this happened in Germany, even in mostly liberal and quite secular cities and not in Piedmont, South Cackalacky.

    So they toured the country in their own bus, but they were still followed around by some Christers.
    You can read about it on their page Buskampagne.de (it’s in German though).

  70. 70
    Aquaria

    [A]n ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?”

    If I had money, I’d pay for that ad to go on every bus in America.

  71. 71
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Perhaps a picture of a baby, with the caption “Meals on Wheels”

  72. 72
    Aquaria

    The next ad should be:

    We tried to be nice, and you lost your tiny minds.

    Now we feel safe in saying:

    Christian = BIGOT

  73. 73
    Christoph Burschka

    so my plan for an ad with Jesus and Mohammed having gay sex on an altar while rabid beavers gnaw on a crucifix, with the slogan, “WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW, MORONS?” would probably be a little bit of overkill. Just forget I brought it up

    Maybe a sort of “good, bad cop / meek atheist, angry atheist” scheme? With enough inflammatory ads, the innocuous ones are bound to become more acceptable by comparison.

    Also, another thing I have to apologize for: apparently, it is possible for American Atheists to be associated with a tasteful and well-designed billboard.

    Meh, needs more Comic Sans. Also, blue? Seriously? Pale yellow draws the eye more. Maybe pink text for the Fluttershy effect. :P

  74. 74
    reasonbeing

    Might have to go with something other than a flogging—I think the Christians would like that too much. Its all Opus Dei like.

  75. 75
    Rip Steakface

    @73

    Apparently bronies have indeed spread to every corner of the Internet.

    Not that I have anything against them, I just don’t get the show. Goes over my puny teenage brain I guess.

  76. 76
    Russell

    Then again, it might goad Santorum into invading Canada in crusade to convert the benighted beavers.

  77. 77
    cbrink

    Hey everyone – Here is the COLTS bus system facebook page.

    Just saying

  78. 78
    newname

    looks like it’s labeling the bus or its contents “Atheists.”

  79. 79
    shala

    Even I didn’t expect them to be so cowardly as to be offended by the very mention of our names.

    I should stop giving the benefit of the doubt in some cases…

  80. 80
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    A billboard that read “You don’t need God–to hope, to care, to love, to live” was rejected (in Tennessee) but the billboard company blamed the property owner. Do billboard companies run ads past the property owner before putting them up?

  81. 81
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    The next sign should say “Realists” with the same web addresses.

  82. 82
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Since the subtlety experiment proved a point, we may as well go back to the ‘go big or go home’ approach and just put a cartoon of PZ eating babies from an octopus-shaped bowl, with giant crimson dripping letters overhead spelling ‘MWAAAA-HAAA-HAAAAA-HAAAA! ATHEISTS!!!’, then put the contact info.

    It will work if you find a transit ad manager who was supposed to be put in the sanitarium several years ago.

  83. 83
    mikee

    They are too scared to even say our name?

    Atheists = Voldemort?

  84. 84
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    “They are too scared to even say our name?

    Atheists = Voldemort?”

    Yes, and to all the people clutching their pearls at mention or sight of the word ‘Atheist’, I use the line that Harry Potter used in his final battle that was snipped from the final published version:

    Suck my wand!

  85. 85
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    McCthulhu, now with Techroline and Retsyn, 84

    Yes, and to all the people clutching their pearls at mention or sight of the word ‘Atheist’, I use the line that Harry Potter used in his final battle that was snipped from the final published version:

    Suck my wand!

    Yeah, I can kind of see why they cut that.

    As for the “labeling the bus as being for Atheists argument”, I actually have a counter argument (I KNOW! THIS NEVAR HAPPENS!) but I’mma have to be brief and possibly incoherent since I’m late for something – if that is the argument that they want to use, they cannot then argue that by allowing christian verses and anti-abortion and church ads, they are actually explicitly labelling the bus as being for christians, and christians only?

    But of course, that is not a problem because in spite of being the Gnu Atheist Militia, Nao with X-tra Stridency!, Ahteists generally get used to being excluded and even, yes, insulted like that and don’t try to get people’s businesses shut down, even in cases of explicit discrimination.

    But if the x-tians get all offended, they would boycott the company or refuse to ride in that bus and demand another one (I know many x-tians who would refuse to get on a bus if it says anything, up to and including Harry Potter references, for fear of “corrupting their soul” or “giving a gap to Satan/demons/red ants” or somesuch, they would literally refuse to board and rather walk and then launch a letter or e-mail campaign to shut that company DOWN).

    So, it is possible if not probable, that companies like that are dependent upon keeping on the good side of the x-tians for their own continued survival.

    Luckily we all know that terrorists are of Eastern descend with dark skin, beards and robes. Yes sirree.

  86. 86
    esmeyny

    The solution is obvious. Instead of “Atheists”, you put “We-who-must-not-be named”.

    If “Atheists.org” offends, buy “We-who-must-not-be-named.org” and set a forward.

    The Harry Potter children should have the right target age by now, too.

  87. 87
    csmiller

    www. the-worldview-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.org

    Not to belittle the suffering that homosexuals have endured, and (in some areas) continue to.

  88. 88
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This happened in NEPA, though the woman in question was from the south, but it still epitomizes the view that many Christians have towards us.

    A few years ago, as I was leaving work, I noticed an older woman sitting alone by the parking area. She sat on one of those walker/stools which have become quite popular. I thought it odd as the park was closed. So I stopped to ask, “Are you waiting for a ride?”

    She smiled at me and, in a beautiful North Carolina Piedmont accent, replied. “Oh, yes. My husband and I parked at the mall and he just walked over to get the car. So I hope he’s picking me up.”

    I thought for a moment and realized that there may be a problem. The walkway to the mall is usually locked right at 5:00pm. So it may already be locked, in which case this could get difficult. I explained the situation and told her that I would check an make sure he made it all the way up the ramp, and would also make sure that the main gate was still open so he could get back in.

    She beamed at me and said, “Oh, you are so wonderful. You are a good Christian and one of God’s people.”

    I grimaced (internally). Then I realized that, what the hell, it is past 5:15 and I’m not on duty. “No, ma’am, I’m an atheist.”

    “Pshaw. You’re too nice to be an atheist,” she said. And yes, she really did say ‘Pshaw.’ First time I’ve ever actually heard it used.

    “I really am,” I replied.

    “You can’t be an atheist. You’re too nice.”

    “Yes, I am. And it has nothing to do with being nice or not.”

    “Well, you just think you’re an atheist. I’m not sure why you’re mad at God, but He still loves you. You’ll accept him when your pain is resolved.”

    “Ma’am, why would I hate something that does not exist? I’ll go check to make sure that your husband made it to the parking area. You have a good evening.” And I walked away.

    As I walked away, she said, “I know you’re a Christian. You’re too nice to be a God hater.”

    Her husband did make it to the parking area. The front gate was still open. I popped in a Haydn trumpet concerto and seethed.

    This is not the first time that my very existence has been questioned. Won’t be the last.

    I wonder if that is the real reason COLTS won’t run the advert? Maybe they object to running an advert for something they don’t think exists?

  89. 89
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    This group is so educational: I had to look up “bronie.”

  90. 90
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Markita Lynda

    Bronies are awesome. And I mean, come on. The company is called “COLT”. That’s just waiting for a Pwny reference.

    Ogvorbis

    Sorry you had such a horrible experience. I, too, feel just so… erased… at times that I feel like I kind of need to check that I’m actually still existing. Working in a university that started out as a seminary and expanded from there to supposedly “internationalize” and “secularize” while refusing to give up any of the supposedly christian privilidges and requirements – constant erasure. OBVIOUSLY I’m not out as an atheist, though I’m getting closer and closer to the point of not being able to hold it in. I swear if one more meeting is started by my back-stabbing, lying, hypocritical and actively FRAUDULENT superior by reading some scripture and prayer, I’mma loose it.

    I believe that you are absolutely correct. By clutching their straw “God-Hater thus Satanist thus Evil and hurting innocent cats and people” mess of a figurine they’ve constructed and believe in every bit as much as they believe the bullshit from their religion, they really do get to disappear the actual atheists and would do anything to maintain the status quo of atheist as non-human or sub-human in some way (EEEEBUL) and continue to keep disappearing the actual, living, breathing atheists sitting right there on the bus next to them, you know. All those hundreds of people they encounter every day, not threatening them based on their belief or killing them or grabbing their babies or something like that for some godly purpose or another (which is more than most religions can say, see Exodus).

  91. 91
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Offer to read the prayer and then give them Zelazny’s generic one.

    Hemant Mehta has a nice take on inoffensive ads….

    Really really really inoffensive ads

  92. 92
    Sili
    The letter back to the atheists stated that the company doesn’t want to publish anything about social issues (presumably, just product and store ads).

    Except that, in the past, COLTS has carried advertisements for churches and also anti-abortion adverts.

    Doesn’t that mean we should be able to run an advert saying “Church is not a social issue”?

  93. 93
    jude

    Let’s be fair. How about an naked uncircumcised rabbi smearing feces on the Western Wall while a sow gives birth to Abraham.

  94. 94
    marlorocci

    We’ll have the gay sex Jesus and Mo’ done by the end of the day…

  95. 95
    Rutee Katreya

    PZ, we know you’re a big submissive and all, but sharing your sexual deviations with the horde? Is there no low you won’t sink to?

    </smirk>

    Seriously though, I know it’s late, but this is bullshit.

  96. 96
    ronin

    You are quite disrespectful and immature. You might benefit from a broader and more diverse social circle.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    ronin

    Ichthyic-

    Apparently your attempt at a sense of humor is a “faith based initiative”. Can you explain your point, possibly without relying upon cartoons?

  99. 99
    vipalprem

    If not on buses, how about in the Washington DC Metro?

    A story I read this morning suggests that public speech, like “Go to hell Barack” is completely protected there. (I wonder if the same would be true for “Go to hell Pope Benedict” or “Go to hell God”? I am not suggesting either of these, but still….)

    http://news.yahoo.com/hell-barack-row-over-washington-metro-ad-051919392.html

Comments have been disabled.