Some New Yorkers may want to reconsider exclaiming "Thank God" when arriving at their destination subway station beginning Monday.
Or at least that's what a coalition of eight atheist organizations are hoping, having purchased a month-long campaign that will place their posters in a dozen busy subway stations throughout Manhattan.
The advertisements ask the question, written simply over an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds: "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"
On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as "part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god", according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.
I always get a kick when I see the word "atheist" in a mainstream news source.
I like these campaigns since their messages are so innocuous yet illicit such a rabid response from many theists. It's good to have a polite atheistic message in the face of the public. It will soften their perceptions and maybe peel away the undeserved stigma associated with atheism.
I think they are good, cause they push the buttons a little, and kinda get it out to people. I think its interesting how many believers don't seem to realize there are non-believers around them; and I think its important to let non-believers know there are other non-believers around them.
Personally, I think they are a little creepy. I wouldn't like it if someone put up Bible verses or some other prostheltyzing religious crap in a public ad space that I was forced to look at all the time (which often happens). Why are we acting the same way? Aren't there better ways to spark discussion about atheists' rights?
(Hi, by the way, and sorry my first post is so complainy.)
The religious put up their billboards with the intent to draw member to their church, and to prosthelytize. The atheist a free-thought groups putting up the signs are trying to let other non-believers know that organizations exist in their area. Several of the groups have seen their numbers grow hugely after the signs, not from new converts, but from people in the area who didn't know their was a non-believer group in the area.
What I really find funny, is watching the religious start frothing at the mouth and getting all kinds of hypocritical about the billboards. That is the part where we are keeping our distance, and proving we aren't like them.
I have to agree with Johnny here. I would've been a lot better off these last couple of years had I known there was a group in my area, and there was. I just didn't know it until I found this place. And some people from my area.
I'm certain that I'm biased here, but I don't feel that an atheist billboard is on the same level as a billboard advertising a major religion. Perhaps it's because we're the minority group that's seeking to achieve equality, but it's important, at least to me, to know that I'm not alone.
Humans, being the social animals we are, seek out others of our own kind. That's why all of us are here, I presume; that's certainly why I'm here. In our society, religious identity places a huge role in developing a sense of self and where we fit into the community, so billboards and advertisements such as those that are going up are incredibly important. I'd have been a lot happier a lot sooner in life if I'd seen an atheist billboard when I was seven instead of a damned church on every corner - and Macon has more churches per capita than any other city in the U.S. Life would have made much more sense for me back then.
My opinion on atheist (and theist) billboards varies depending on the message on the billboard. Ones like this I see as being no different than advertising ones presence. "Hey, we're here.' In that, they are like the ads for churches that do the same thing, which I also have no problem with. A church ad that says 'Come to the Church of X, Services at 11 AM' is just an announcement of their existence.