How cute


Answers in Genesis has gotten in the billboard business, just in time for Christmas.

To all of our atheist friends: THANK GOD YOU'RE WRONG

To all of our atheist friends: THANK GOD YOU’RE WRONG

To which I can only say…but I’m not wrong, there’s no god to thank, so why are you talking to yourselves so publicly and loudly? It’s a bit embarrassing, actually.

Just in case you think you’re talking to us, I’m sorry — that message isn’t going to change our minds in the slightest.

Isn’t there a dank dark hole you should be crawling into somewhere?

Comments

  1. sk3pt1c says

    We’re wrong based on what empiric evidence?

    It sounds like they’re relieved, as if they’re continuing to harbor some doubt themselves. Unintentional, I’m sure, but very funny!

  2. says

    Doesn’t this imply that God made us unbelievers?

    Yet another nail in the coffin of godly justice.

    (Or did they just forget the comma?)

  3. Jackie teh kitteh cuddler says

    Why?
    Even if we were wrong, why would that be something to be thankful for? Their Bible god is a genocidal tyrant who wants to torture most of humanity eternally. How would that be a good thing?

    Sick, sick stuff there.

  4. moarscienceplz says

    Ken Ham’s belief system apparently requires him to lie to children, such as when he told a room full of them that evolutionists think their grandparents looked like chimpanzees. And from that, he somehow concludes that we are the wrong ‘uns.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Would five gallons of white paint be enough to cover up the top line and that first word of the second?

  6. Freodin says

    Isn’t shouting “you’re wrong” across the town in big bold black letters a little…. immature?

  7. says

    On the other hand, I bet the christians are really chafed that they can’t simply respond by sending people to the stake — that the best they can manage now is a billboard. LOL!

  8. Anthony K says

    TO ALL OF OUR ATHEIST FRIENDS:

    What a bizarrely public way to try to get the last word in on a spat they had with maybe two other people at the most.

  9. says

    So, yeah, they’re saying it IS God’s fault that we don’t believe in him? Another data point for the “Yahweh is a monumental asshole and most believers are suffering from some form of metaphysical Stockholm syndrome” theory.

  10. Bicarbonate says

    Christians put up a big sign that has the word “atheist” on it. We won. It’s like “Don’t think of an elephant”.

  11. says

    I read it as “We thank God that he exists, unlike what you atheists tell us”, not “We thank God he made you not believe” (though the latter message might be justified based on certain passages in the Epistles).

  12. Gregory Greenwood says

    Jackie teh kitteh cuddler @ 3;

    Why?
    Even if we were wrong, why would that be something to be thankful for? Their Bible god is a genocidal tyrant who wants to torture most of humanity eternally. How would that be a good thing?

    Sick, sick stuff there.

    Exactly. Whenever I read something like this bill board, it seems to indicate that a great many believers either don’t know very much about the social consequences of the strictures and imposed belief systems of their own religion, haven’t exactly read their so called ‘holy texts’ very carefully, or possess an astounding capacity for confirmation bias and self delusion (or all of the above). If their god actually did somehow exist, it would be an unparalleled catastrophe for humanity. Existing at the capricious whim of a genocidal, misogynistic, homophobic, racist sociopath who combines its unequaled penchant for cruelty and evil with the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence is not some comforting ideal – it is like something out of the darker Lovecraftian Weird Tales.

    Why would anyone, under normal circumstances, wish to be eternally enslaved to a brutal, sadistic monster to such an extent that not even death offers a hope of release? They wouldn’t, which is where the truth of the point that all major religions are is better funded and organised cults comes into play. The majority of religion, and certainly Abrahamic religions, work by inducing a form of theological Stocholm Syndrome in their victims adherants.

    Vulnerable children are indoctrinated with horror stories about just how jealous, cruel, violent, and utterly without respect for life your imaginary god is, all the while hammering home the idea that the priesthood of *insert particular brand cult* weilds the psychotic sky fairiy’s notionally ‘absolute moral authority’ on Earth. Then it is an ongoing process of psychologically manipulating those kids until they can be twisted enough to ‘love’ the clerical boot on their collective necks. Once they grow up, leaving aside losses from people who have the good fortune to be exposed to ideas that help them shake of their religios conditioning, then the church can milk them for cash and they can go on to replicate the sick process when they have children of their own.

    It is no surprise that atheists are seen as so threatening by these groups. We don’t play along with the religious narrative at all. We expose the sleight of hand of religion, and that makes us a threat. While it is undeniably true that being an atheist is not enough to maker you a decent or ethical person on its own – as we know all too well, there are plenty of ugly, bigoted elements within the atheist community – by our mere existence we show that their is possible to live without fear of an angry sky fairy spying on you at all times.

  13. unbound says

    Kind of sounds like one of my kids when he was very young. “You’re wrong because I say so!”.

  14. Becca Stareyes says

    Okay. Which one?

    The one my mother believes in generally seems to be of the ‘be a good person, and it’ll be fine’ sort. I have a few friends who are polytheists — somehow I don’t think, for example, Loki minds skeptics. Not to mention the various monotheistic religions that disagree with one another on the nature of the divine, and the ones that, even if I had ironclad proof they exists, I sure wouldn’t be following them.

  15. ludicrous says

    I’m too busy thanking my lucky stars, particularly the one nearby that puts food on my table and broadband on my desk.

  16. slatham says

    I like natural cynic’s alternative “Thank God? You’re wrong.” Could be a response billboard.
    But I think it’s also worth pointing out how out of step they are with us — if they’re saying that atheists should be thankful that they’re wrong, doesn’t that imply that people would rather burn in hell for eternity rather than simply be left to die?

  17. says

    I kind of love how the various reactions to the “there’s people living happily without religion” included a lot of people who thought they were a direct insult to Christians, then just a bit later AiG puts up a billboard that’s actually pretty insulting.

  18. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @slatham, 27:

    if they’re saying that atheists should be thankful that they’re wrong, doesn’t that imply that people would rather burn in hell for eternity rather than simply be left to die?

    Of course, because then you’ll be able to know god. And you’ll get to see what a loving and graceful god he is while you suffer unimagniable torment in a sea of fire for all of eternity while all those people you mocked for all those years get to wear white robes and wings and sing his praises and piss down on you while he’s not looking.

    It’s like they say, know god, know pee.

  19. screechymonkey says

    David Gerard@22:

    Actually, the key point is that they’re getting the word “ATHEIST” out there in big letters on a billboard.

    Yeah, ironically, this is the opposite of creation/evolution debates. Religion in America benefits from the presumption that (almost) everyone believes in “some kind of God.” Every time theists feel compelled to actually defend the mere existence of God, to acknowledge that there’s a debate, it’s good news as far as I’m concerned.

  20. boskerbonzer says

    Some group is also ramping up and advertising on TV, at least here in Michigan. I’ve only seen it twice, thank the non-existent gods, because I did an eyeroll fit to make a 14-year old girl proud and think I almost strained something. It’s like a series of texts between teens or young adults. The first one asks something along the lines of “Are you still into Jesus?” They go back and forth for awhile and the end of the ad is basically “Talk about Jesus.” Okay: Jesus fucking Christ, keep your religion out of my face. I’ll come to your church if I want to hear it. Thanks ever so much!

  21. Doubting Thomas says

    What? It’s still up and the hoards of atheist vandals haven’t torn it down yet? How unchristian of us.

  22. culuriel says

    I saw this Monday morning on one of the LED billboards by the Port Authority in NYC. NYC!, of all places. I think it’s telling that instead of presenting evidence, they just act like they don’t need any and are still “right”. “We have no evidence, but we just wanted to say that we’re right anyway, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.”

  23. says

    @37: Can’t say the most of the atheist billboards are much better that way (“There’s Probably No God, So Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life” is a slogan, not an argument). It’s a limitation of the medium.

  24. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Ok, I agree with all of the above thread but at least they design a fucking billboard. I’d kill to have an American Atheist (IIRC is the org with the awful billboards, but correct me if I’m wrong) look that good. I’m not a designer but while it’s an insulting and awful billboard, it isn’t graphically a fucking eye sore.

    Stopped watches and all that.

    And ditto, the “don’t call me your friend, asshole” sentiment.

    I read the billboard as “We’re thankful you’re are wrong about God” but I can totally see that other reading now that it’s been pointed out to me. I find that reading far funnier.

    ===========
    ===========
    34
    boskerbonzer

    Some group is also ramping up and advertising on TV, at least here in Michigan. I’ve only seen it twice, thank the non-existent gods, because I did an eyeroll fit to make a 14-year old girl proud and think I almost strained something. It’s like a series of texts between teens or young adults. The first one asks something along the lines of “Are you still into Jesus?” They go back and forth for awhile and the end of the ad is basically “Talk about Jesus.” Okay: Jesus fucking Christ, keep your religion out of my face. I’ll come to your church if I want to hear it. Thanks ever so much!

    OMG. I’ve seen that commercial! I’m in AZ. That’s just a fucking awful one, in content and in making. I have a hard time reading the TV screen as it is but it’s so ugly I kept trying to figure it out since I ran into the last txt part of it so often. I finally read it walking by the TV close enough at the right time and facepalmed. Now, I just flip the channel.

    I still have no idea who’s doing it or why. I guess it doesn’t matter and it is just a reminder to think about God all the fucking time like it isn’t everywhere all the time anyways. So annoying.

  25. robert79 says

    While of course I think they’re wrong as much as they think we’re wrong, I rather like the billboard.

    Graphically it’s well designed, it doesn’t hurt ones eyes and it has a simple message that can be quickly read while zipping past it.

    It makes an attempt at friendly and civil discourse (compared to most billboards: “To all atheist devils, you’re all going to burn in hell.” it’s a major improvement.) Importantly, it doesn’t appear to be overly preachy, it simply states their opinion.

    They got their major point across while simultaneously being humorous.

  26. Christoph Burschka says

    I rather suspect that whoever wrote this doesn’t actually have any Atheist friends, and this billboard goes a long way to ensuring it stays that way.

  27. laurentweppe says

    There’s a blatant, odious, bald-faced lie on this billboard:

    To all of our Atheists Friends

    Ken Ham doesn’t have atheist friends.
    Ken Ham doesn’t have any friend at all.
    Like ever other far-right hukster, Ken Ham only has lackeys and ennemies
    The Billboard is a Lie.

  28. madscientist says

    Aww, come on – you have to believe just because Ken Ham said so. He says he’s right, so he’s right – that’s proof enough for him!

  29. waldteufel says

    The Hamster’s main target demographic are the slack-jawed backwoods yokels that arrive at the Creation “Museum” wearing bib overalls and Little House on the Prairie dresses.

    The far better educated and vastly more sophisticated worthies likely to read the billboard in New York and San Francisco are most likely going to scoff and giggle at the message from the Hamster. A few might even go to the AiG website, where they will be regaled with a barrage of stupid.

    I ain’t no friend to no Hamster!!

    Fuck you, Ken.

  30. Rich Woods says

    This message isn’t aimed at atheists, it’s aimed at Christians. Ken just wants to let them know that their donations are going towards real actions which will fight the good fight against the overwhelming persecution of Christians in the US. Then he’ll ask them to give him some more money to enable him to carry on doing the same, so that they can feel a little bit better about themselves for fifteen seconds each morning after driving past such a billboard.

  31. Rich Woods says

    Damn! The Forest Devil got there first, while I was checking my blurb for offerings to Tpyos.

  32. Nick Gotts says

    TO ALL OF OUR ATHEIST FRIENDS

    Why are Ham’s minions addressing messages to nobody?

  33. Matt G says

    Any publicity is good publicity! Thanks, Ken! I’d like to find it offensive, but my cold, atheist heart won’t let me.

  34. says

    Nick Gotts #50

    Why are Ham’s minions addressing messages to nobody?

    It’s almost as if they’re praying…

  35. Lofty says

    Hammy’s my friend like an insurance salesman is my friend. While there’s money to be bilked.
    Oh and thanks for letting the world know you’re afraid of us.

  36. Sastra says

    Well finally the worm turns and the entrenched majority gets a chance to speak up! I bet a lot of Christians see that and simper. Puts us in our place, it does. And we thought they wouldn’t fight back…

    Sheesh.

    I think most theists would interpret the message the same way: if there were no God, then there would be no universe, no earth, and no you and me. So atheists are lucky there IS a God or they wouldn’t even be alive. They’re not going to be making a complicated point.

  37. Akira MacKenzie says

    If there’s anything I can’t stand it is undeserved or false familiarity. Being called “friend,” “buddy,” “pal,” or most annoying of all, “brother,” by someone I don’t know or someone I really don’t like always makes me wish to commit an act of horrific violence against the perpetrator. No sir, I am not your “friend,” I am not your “buddy” or “pal,” and unless one or both of my parents has been keeping secrets from me, I am certainly not your “brother.”

    I don’t know you. I don’t want to know you. You are nothing to me. Please keep it that way.

  38. monad says

    I would like to live in a world where this sets accidentally sets an undeniable precedent against objecting to the word “atheists” on billboards, if someone could direct me.

  39. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Given all the speculation we’ve enjoyed before on how long would a billboard survive that just had on it the word ‘Atheist’, should we now speculate on how long these ones will survive before some foaming-at-the-mouth christian sees the words ‘Atheist friends’ and defaces one? :)

  40. bahrfeldt says

    “Why are Ham’s minions addressing messages to nobody?”.

    Because the con-artists determined that they must spend at least a tiny fraction of the money that they have fleeced from the flock on something to pretend they are using for god. Keep the contributions coming, Yay!

  41. mnb0 says

    We’ve got to admire Ken Ham – he only needs five words for a circular argument.
    We need to assume god to conclude we are wrong; we need to assume we are wrong before we can thank god.

  42. MJP says

    This billboard has the tone of someone desperately declaring that they’ve won the debate and feigning certainty to conceal their massive doubts.

  43. yubal says

    @ PZ (OT)

    Did you REALY miss international octopus day (October 8th)?

    3 more Cephalopod Awareness Days to come !

  44. harbo says

    This sign is a sign of real progress.
    The fact that Ken Ham and kin feel the need for this actually fills me with hope.
    I think many wavering “believers” will see this, and feel less afraid to explore reality.

    As an Australian, let me apologise for Ken again.(But please don’t deport him)

  45. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Becca Stareyes @24:
    That was my initial thought too.

    In fact, I have asked that question more than once when I hear a co-worker mention god.
    Ex.
    “Thank god!”
    “Which of the thousands of gods humans have believed in are you talking about?”

  46. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Ditto on the not wanting Ken back. I must admit though, they’ve actually splashed out for a copy editor since you’re is correctly spelled.
    The lack of punctuation does tend to make the meaning ambiguous however.

  47. Egross says

    This sign is from that weird group that claims to believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis. You know, a dome over the world that keeps the upper waters from pouring in, while our flat earth floats upon the lower waters, and the extremely small sun rolls upon this רקיע (firmament) within the dome, along with the other “light” (moon), for a maximum of 9 miles high (“the birds of the sky shall fly upon it’s face” – and 9 miles is about the maximum bird flying ability), while the sun and the moon orbit this non-spinning flat earth. Oh, yeah, now THERE is a cosmology that one can believe in!

    Whether they are intellectually dishonest, or intellectually challenged, the result is the same.

  48. Thumper; Immorally Inferior Sergeant Major in the Grand Gynarchy Mangina Corps (GGMC) says

    @Al Dente #38

    As others have said, I’m not your friend, buddy.

    I’m not your buddy, guy!

    Uhum. Back to the subject at hand. That “To all our Atheist friends” line? Patronising as fuck. And I’m betting deliberately so. This thing is just a smug, condescending way of looking down on Atheists as one would a small and impetuous child, smiling indulgently, and saying “No Timmy, you’re wrong”. With just as much evidence offered.

    Except the effect is rather more like watching a child employ the same move in a playground argument, having learned it from their dad. Rather less impressive than they imagine.

  49. Thomas Hobbes says

    I think “Thank God you’re wrong” is rather witty, so credits for that. “Atheist friends” is insincere as some have pointed out already. But the “1:1″ is childish. Like Ham is scoring a point in the dispute. He isn’t. His insane motivation (“this nation has seen an incredible attack on Christianity with lawsuits filed to have Christian symbols removed from the culture—so they can impose their religion of atheism”) isn’t really supporting the wittiness of his slogan.

  50. Anri says

    MJP @ 60:

    This billboard has the tone of someone desperately declaring that they’ve won the debate and feigning certainty to conceal their massive doubts.

    Gonna have to disagree with you there. As I see it, this billboard has the tone of a group that can competently design a billboard: it’s clean, visually appealing, the message is simple and (considering the source and material) borderline witty.

    Note that in our conversation here, we’re not sitting around struggling to read it, or facepalming ourselves to death at unintended consequences of the selected images, or holding down our gorge at the color choice and layout. Sure, ok, let’s all point and laugh, but our side might also wanna take a lesson or four about how to create public media here.

    Snarkworthy or not, this is well-made – something certain folks on the atheist side have famously had trouble with.

    That being said, my favorite way to make Christians squirm in response to a message like this is to say “Yeah, and the Jews too, right? The Buddhists? They’re all going to hell as well?” and watch them either try to twist their way out of it or cringe as they admit that other believers are damned.

  51. jamessweet says

    FWIW, I don’t find this billboard offensive. The position it’s representing is dumb and asinine, but if you were going to make a billboard saying you thought atheists were wrong, I think this is fine. It’s not ad hominem or anything. You can’t really present a substantive argument on a billboard, so that’s not really a criticism either. (There’s no substantive argument to present, of course, but that’s not the billboard’s fault! :D )

  52. David Marjanović says

    We’ve got to admire Ken Ham – he only needs five words for a circular argument.

    Thread won! :-D

  53. thesandiseattle says

    that message isn’t going to change our minds in the slightest.

    I’m pretty sure they have no intent to change anyones mind.
    and
    AIG has athiest friends? not buying that. :-)

  54. says

    @ Ken Ham

    THANK GOD YOU’RE WRONG

    What, pray tell, is so fantastic about your little god existing?

    As atheists, we simply go about our lives as before, blissfully unaware that such a being exists (as you appear to claim). No problem there then.

    Whether or not your god exists, you will go about your business of bilking the gormless as you have ever done. No problem there then.

    In the here-and-now it matters not whether your little god exists or not.

    In that case I can only understand your comment to refer to the hereafter. I find your stance rather sordid then. You and your 1% will live a life of eternal bliss at the cost of the eternal torture of the 99%. And this is somehow something to be glad about? Would a morally superior being not rather let us all die when we die – as we inevitably do?

    Strange how your little god has geared the entirety of the Universe, and all morality, around you Ken Ham.

  55. seleukos says

    It may be logically circular and self-evidently wrong for an atheist, but it’s very well designed and does an excellent job of conveying its message. The “1:1″ appears to be the logo of the Answers in Genesis website (from what I can tell by a quick glance over there), and if you visit it the first thing you see is that billboard design on a banner that you can click to “watch the full video”. I’m not going to watch that video, since I’ve got better things to do with my time, but you’ve got to admire the clarity of presentation.

  56. says

    @75: The “1:1″ appears to be the logo of the Answers in Genesis website

    It refers to their slogan “Upholding the Word of God from the very first verse”, ie. Genesis 1:1.

  57. Thomas Hobbes says

    The “1:1″ appears to be the logo of the Answers in Genesis website

    Didn’t know that. I am withdrawing my remark about childishness.

  58. khms says

    #77 Thomas Hobbes:

    The “1:1″ appears to be the logo of the Answers in Genesis website

    Didn’t know that. I am withdrawing my remark about childishness.

    So, they may be able to design a billboard, but not a logo. (When it’s not even obvious that it is a logo …)

    #70 Anri:

    Note that in our conversation here, we’re not sitting around struggling to read it, or facepalming ourselves to death at unintended consequences of the selected images, or holding down our gorge at the color choice and layout.

    Well, not holding down my gorge exactly, but that color choice would be better for toothpaste ads. It certainly doesn’t remind me of religion, philosophy, or the like – it’s got this antiseptic feel. (Or the “more than two colors is too expensive” feel you see rarely these days.)

    As to the actual content (what there is of it), I think everything necessary has already been said. I’ll just note that it makes me think “No, I won’t”.

    Oh, by the way, what is the difference between

    * Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. […]

    and

    * Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

    ? Is there any significance to the different spelling and wording?