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.
The giant JESUS billboards I find annoying, as it's not actually being used for any real communication. It's as useless as a billboard that just said HAMBURGER or COUNTRY or GODLESS would be. (One that said ODIN! would also be pointless, but I'd find it amusing due to Odin's relative lack of popularity these days)
Ones that are actively preachy, such as the 'A fool says in his heart that there is no God' or 'Believe in me or perish' I find somewhat offensive, but I would oppose any attempt to remove them. I side with Voltaire on this, in that I may find what they say to be ignorant, arrogant, and offensive, but they have every right to say it. Likewise, I'd find an atheist billboard that said 'Christians are deluded, try thinking for a change' to be offensive as well. And in a non-religious venue, attack ads in general I find offensive, as they tend to be ad hominem attacks, rather than addressing actual facts and issues.
And these are just the billboards that are expressing opinions. Ones that actively distort facts, misrepresent positions, or outright lie I actively oppose. This would include the billboards in Florida with the fake quotes purportedly by Washington, Jefferson, etc, as well as ones that promote blatantly false positions, such as the anti-vaxers. Liars should be slapped down, hard. Prove it or remove it.
I'm sure a billboard that said "Odin" would possibly make people think, or at the least be puzzling. Possibly one could have a multitude of billboards with words like Wicka, Shiva, Kali, "Read the Zohar" or I <3 Koran!
I see there are now at least two Elaines. You have a point Elaine, and we need sensible discussion respecting others views. . I discreetly place leaflets on seats in trains and in toilets, and on my front window, 'In the beginning Man made God', I do feel that we need to have the same right as the religious to place posters, perhaps next to each other to balance it out. .
I agree, I like the one with blue sky and wispy clouds. CNN seems to have changed the story's layout; this morning when I checked the news online, the accompanying image was a large black and white sign that said something like "NO GOD NO GOOD NO MORE." I can't remember the exact phrase, but it was something much more agressive. It may have just been a stock image; if it was one of the actual signs, then I am afraid it resembled a fundamentalist billboard a little bit.
I'd like to see some kind of advert showing the scale of atheists in the US and at the same time drawing a parallel between the civil rights of other minorities (which are finally recognized by most people) and the rights of atheists (which are not).
Photo of 100 Americans beneath a flag or some such patriotic scene with text similar to:
52 are women
15 are black
10 are gay
2 are Jewish
20 are ATHEISTS
All 100 are patriotic Americans
Civil rights are for everyone
There's probably some better wording to use. And of course those numbers are made up.