This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← 50 Atheist Billboards Go Up in Atlanta

50 Atheist Billboards Go Up in Atlanta - Comments

wisnoskij's Avatar Comment 1 by wisnoskij

The sleep in on Sunday billboard seems like a strange message to send. Convert to atheism not because it is right, logical, moral, or any of the other good reasons; But because it is easier then believing in god.

And the Imagine No Religion billboard seems pretty random. It is a pretty meaningless message and could be on pro or anti religion billboards.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 03:37:40 UTC | #516840

yyarovyy's Avatar Comment 2 by yyarovyy

I can't help noticing how the phrase "Sleep in on Sundays" sounds like something the cunning devil would whisper in your ear :) The other billboards are different. Does anyone else think it sticks out?

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 03:45:46 UTC | #516842

wildhog's Avatar Comment 3 by wildhog

Im disappointed in the messages on the billboards too. My favorite is still, "Dont believe in god? Join the club."

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 03:46:55 UTC | #516843

Greyman's Avatar Comment 4 by Greyman

Comment 1 by wisnoskij :

The sleep in on Sunday billboard seems like a strange message to send. Convert to atheism not because it is right, logical, moral, or any of the other good reasons; But because it is easier then believing in god. And the Imagine No Religion billboard seems pretty random. It is a pretty meaningless message and could be on pro or anti religion billboards.

It's a referrence to John Lennon's Imagine; being a slight paraphrase of the first line.

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Updated: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 03:56:40 UTC | #516844

PsYKLoNiK's Avatar Comment 5 by PsYKLoNiK

This article and others like it make me feel like things are finally looking up in the US, I spent ten years growing up in the Texas and never in a million years would I have expected to see anything like those anywhere. Hopefully these help encourage some closet atheists to come into the light!

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 03:58:21 UTC | #516845

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 6 by MilitantNonStampCollector

I hope this billboard campaign takes off as a powerful meme and spreads, eventually reaching tipping point.

Maybe not in my lifetime but hey, i can dream can't i?

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 04:23:08 UTC | #516848

Savant's Avatar Comment 7 by Savant

The first two are my favorites, but as there is no such thing as bad publicity, the stir caused by any of these (and the news coverage, and the debate, and the outrage, and the relief, and the levity, etc.) will surely increase the visibility of these ideas which many have unfortunately never considered before.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 04:26:49 UTC | #516849

mmurray's Avatar Comment 8 by mmurray

Comment 1 by wisnoskij :

The sleep in on Sunday billboard seems like a strange message to send. Convert to atheism not because it is right, logical, moral, or any of the other good reasons; But because it is easier then believing in god.

I think it's meant to grab people's attention and make them laugh. Laughing at religion is a good way of giving it up. Interestingly many years ago when I was still going to Mass the Catholic Church decided to run a 7.30 Saturday night mass which you could count as a replacement for the following Sunday morning mass. It was very popular.

Michael

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 06:04:28 UTC | #516864

DreadFallen's Avatar Comment 9 by DreadFallen

I have to drive up 75-N on thursday to Decatur.. Hope I see a couple =P

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 06:31:31 UTC | #516874

FractalShift's Avatar Comment 10 by FractalShift

It's a referrence to John Lennon's Imagine; being a slight paraphrase of the first line.

Possibly, but not definitely. John Lennon does not have a patent on the word 'imagine'.

The first two are my favorites, but as there is no such thing as bad publicity, the stir caused by any of these (and the news coverage, and the debate, and the outrage, and the relief, and the levity, etc.) will surely increase the visibility of these ideas which many have unfortunately never considered before.

Agreed. I think the primary consideration when designing these billboards should be shock value. The more publicity, the better.

My personal favourites are "One nation, indivisible", and now, "in reason we trust". I think reminding Americans of the secular founding values of their country is a good strategy.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 06:58:04 UTC | #516881

Adrian Bartholomew's Avatar Comment 11 by Adrian Bartholomew

Comment 10 by FractalShift :

It's a referrence to John Lennon's Imagine; being a slight paraphrase of the first line.

Possibly, but not definitely. John Lennon does not have a patent on the word 'imagine'.

It DEFINITELY is referring to the Lennon song. Listen to the FFRF podcast called Freethought Radio (search for it in iTunes or on Google). The song is their intro song and they make numerous references to it and have stated outright that is where they got the idea for that particular design.

As a side note the point of the less "shocking" of the designs is to make the inevitable over reaction of the other side appear ridiculous to anyone who is in the middle ground.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 08:36:05 UTC | #516918

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 12 by Jos Gibbons

Oh, I think it's a Lennon reference all right. How can I be sure? Because the FFRF is obsessed with that song. They use it to open and close literally every episode of their podcast, Freethought Radio (which is weekly, and I highly recommend it).

On topic - although every billboard we ever make can have its wording dissected, I think they're all good just because they help to raise the consciousness of the Zeitgeist. There have now been many slogans/ Surely we could, through suitable research, find out what works best in bringing out people?

Aside from it being 50 times 1 billboard, I think having this many billboards of different types (presumably 10 of each) will provide some useful data. Not just on the effectiveness issue, either; I wouldn't mind doing a statistical analysis of when they inevitably get defaced. I wonder how many stories we can get out of the presumably 50 acts of vandalism we can expect soon.

Oh, while we're on billboards ...

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 08:57:46 UTC | #516925

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 13 by Stafford Gordon

How long will it be before...vandalization?

S G

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 09:02:09 UTC | #516927

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 14 by TheRationalizer

Whereas the others are good "Sleep in on Sundays" is crap. It has a selfish ring to it, like "Don't believe in god because then you can do whatever you like" - it perpetuates a misconception of atheism.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 09:33:30 UTC | #516940

FractalShift's Avatar Comment 15 by FractalShift

    It's a referrence to John Lennon's Imagine; being a slight paraphrase of the first line.

Possibly, but not definitely. John Lennon does not have a patent on the word 'imagine'.

It DEFINITELY is referring to the Lennon song. Listen to the FFRF podcast called Freethought Radio (search for it in iTunes or on Google). The song is their intro song and they make numerous references to it and have stated outright that is where they got the idea for that particular design.

Yep, fair enough. I'll DEFINITELY listen to that, it should be interesting.

Updated: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 10:31:57 UTC | #516959

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 16 by chawinwords

I would recommend one change to one billboard: the one saying, "In Reason We Trust." It needs to go one step further: "In Truth We Trust Through Reason." Truth as a concept must meet the criteria of a search for the absolute through reason, not blind faith. Whereas, reason is the method of obtaining truth, absent blind faith. The application of reason means a test seeking a rational expectation for reality -- the opposite of truth evolved from what the Skeptic's Dictionary defines as "woo" or "woo woo," the opposite of the rational.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 13:11:50 UTC | #517011

Red5's Avatar Comment 17 by Red5

I live in Atlanta and have been looking around for one of these billboards, hoping this helps in some way! I'll keep rocking my EvolveFish and FSM stickers although I know it won't be long before someone rips the feet off of my fish. I've encountered more and more agnostics and atheists over the past few years at my job and even some friends I've had for decades, I hope the trend continues!

I agree that the "Sleep in on Sundays" billboard can and will be taken the wrong way. I personally like it and think its funny, of course I'm also one of the ones enjoying sleeping in on sunday!

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 13:47:02 UTC | #517039

some asshole's Avatar Comment 18 by some asshole

My how I love the idiots who are offended by these billboards. And how I wish they'd put some up in my area. I can't drive to Lowe's without seeing churches with signs saying nonsense like "LIVE LIFE RIGHT OR BE LEFT" and "IF YOU AREN'T SAVED GET USED TO THIS HEAT".

The "Sleep In On Sundays" sign simply means "Don't bother with church". The point isn't about being lazy. People who worry how this will be interpreted worry way too much.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 14:39:06 UTC | #517055

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 19 by Randy Ping

I'd prefer if they used the "Imagine No religion" with the pic of the World Trade Center. These are still fairly weak in my book.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 15:17:16 UTC | #517068

rocket888's Avatar Comment 20 by rocket888

I don't think government needs religion to be dangerous. I think the book "Democracy: The God that Failed" says it all.

When the people shake off one god, they generally find another. Too bad we really do seem to have a god gene.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 16:14:24 UTC | #517097

Humanist Wikitopian's Avatar Comment 21 by Humanist Wikitopian

Comment 9 by DreadFallen :

I have to drive up 75-N on thursday to Decatur.. Hope I see a couple =P

Comment 17 by Red5 :

I live in Atlanta and have been looking around for one of these billboards...

Locations:

  1. Moreland Avenue, Custer Avenue W/S Face: N
  2. N. Main Street, Lakewood Dr. N/S Face: E
  3. Cleveland Ave., Harris St. N/S Face: W
  4. Highway 5, Douglas Blvd. E/S Face: S
  5. Mayson Street, Hardee Street N/S Face: E
  6. Hightower Road, Burton Road W/S Face: S
  7. Bankhead Avenue, Echo Street N/S Face: E
  8. Mcdonough Blvd., Jonesboro Road S/S Face: E
  9. Gordon Street, Wellington Street N/S Face: E
  10. Boulevard, Gartrell St. E/S Face: N
  11. Ashby Street, Gordon Street W/S Face: N
  12. M. L. King, I-20 N/S Face: E
  13. Cleveland Dr., Blount St. S/S Face: E
  14. Glenn Street, Mcdaniel Street N/S Face: W
  15. Delowe Drive, Headland Dr. E/S Face: S
  16. Canton Road, Shallowford Road E/S Face: S
  17. Marietta Street, Marietta Road N/S Face: E
  18. Poole Creek Road, Zip Industrial Blvd N/S Face: E
  19. Browns Mill Rd., Empire Blvd. S/S Face: E
  20. Milford Church, Austell Road S/S Face: E
  21. Lee Road, County Line Road W/S Face: N
  22. Katherwood, Evans Drive S/S Face: E
  23. Harris Street, Normanberry Drive W/S Face: S
  24. Jonesboro Road, Constitution Road W/S Face: N
  25. Campbellton Road, Childress Drive N/S Face: W
  26. Edgewood Avenue, Krog N/S Face: W
  27. Hollywood Road, Bankhead Hwy. S/S Face: E
  28. Capitol Avenue, Bass Street E/S Face: N
  29. Martin Street, Crumley St. W/S Face: N
  30. Norwood Drive, Forrest Park Road N/S Face: W
  31. Gilbert Road, Poole Creek Road W/S Face: S
  32. Normanberry Dr., Martin St. S/S Face: E
  33. Bouldercrest Drive,Flat Shoals Avenue S/S Face: S
  34. James Jackson Parkway, Bolton Road E/S Face: N
  35. Cascade Road, Beecher Street S/S Face: E
  36. Glenwood Road, Patterson Road N/S Face: E
  37. Blairs Bridge Road, Blairs Way S/S Face: W
  38. Hills Avenue, Peters Street W/S Face: N
  39. Mcdaniel Street, Rockwell Street W/S Face: N
  40. Jonesboro Rd., Scott Road E/S Face: S
  41. Fair Drive, Pryor Street W/S Face: E
  42. Flat Shoals Avenue, Memorial Drive E/S Face: N
  43. Perry Boulevard, Kerry Drive S/S Face: E
  44. Peachtree St, Mitchell St W/S Face: N
  45. Buford Hwy, Bragg St W/S Face: S
  46. Howell Mill & Old Chattahoochee W/S Face: S
  47. Kennedy Street, English Avenue N/S Face: E
  48. Constitution Road, Jonesboro Road W/S Face: W
  49. Eastland Drive, Bouldercrest Rd N/S Face: W
  50. Fulton Street, Martin St. N/S Face: N

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 16:14:43 UTC | #517098

legspinner's Avatar Comment 22 by legspinner

I wish they'd stop using the John Lennon quote. The first line is fine, but the whole song is essentially a Communist manifesto, which I don't think does us any favours.

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 18:02:18 UTC | #517157

caharris.harris's Avatar Comment 23 by caharris.harris

I'm proud that these get to go up in my city!!! :D

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 21:54:47 UTC | #517260

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 24 by Dhamma

I got intrigued when I saw McQueen (who I hadn't heard of before) apparently was an atheist. Since one hardly ever see outspoken atheists from minorities, it's great they picked her.

Found another quote of her more true than ever - “If we had put the energy on earth and on people that we put on mythology and on Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t have any hunger or homelessness.”

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 01:22:21 UTC | #517361

Hubriss's Avatar Comment 25 by Hubriss

When I saw the title I expected the adds to be targeted toward low income African American (or black or whatever) people, because there are a lot of them in Atlanta. The "Sleep in on Sundays" may or may not make sense in this light. Most people in Atlanta probably work long tiring ours for little pay. "Imagine no Religion" is a cliche, though. The penny one can be recognized by any American, of course, but is definitely an appeal to African Americans as well. They could have used a dollar bill or any other coin, but Abraham Lincoln has the obvious significance to blacks for leading the Civil War against the south to end slavery.

Just today I watched a 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In it there is a scene where a boy is reading out some of Lincoln's quotes in the Lincoln Memorial. While the boy is reading, the camera goes to a black man taking his hat off in respect to Lincoln.

So I hope this context sheds some light on the choice of billboards in Atlanta for you all.

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 03:26:59 UTC | #517386

hhobbit's Avatar Comment 26 by hhobbit

I hate that song. Our reasoning ought to have a helluva lot more substance.

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 09:24:45 UTC | #517484

sandman67's Avatar Comment 27 by sandman67

@ legspinner

And the winner of this weeks Deepak Award, which as usual is a big white dunce hat, goes to Legspinner for his outstanding example of Beck Syndrome aka Communist Tourettes.

Thankyou my friend...I needed a good old belly laugh and theres nowt like a half assed prat throwing up the words Communist, Nazi or Socialist.

Now....back to the OP.

Board 1...great if y now who she is, sod all use if you dont. Why not use one of the many quotes from Messrs Jefferson, Adams, Mason or Franklin? Much better and everyone knows who they are, and thats really gonna put the republicans backs up.

Board 2 - excellent

Board 3 - pointless but funny...still needs "...YOU MIGHT AS WELL" or "...THERE'S NO-ONE LISTENING" underneath.

Board 4 - yawn....get with the program hippy it's 2010 not 1967.

Board 5 - use the word IS eh? And how about a question mark? Makes more sense see, is better grammar, and fills up that empty gap.

My bet...all vandalised within a week. Wanna take a bet?

Good idea though....saturation works, and makes you look less of a minority. This should really get their backs up.

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 04:56:50 UTC | #518673

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 28 by Alan4discussion

Red5 and any other readers from Atlanta:

Should any Mission preachers decide to lecture you on morality, you might like to know, that the skelton in my family closet is my great uncle. He migrated to Atlanta, where he was, for many years, the minister in a Mission Church. Any one from this congregation, or their next generation of teachers/preachers from it, is likely to have teachings based on pulpit lectures by him on sexual morality.

According to older members of my family, as a young minister he fled England to avoid being de-frocked over the pregnancy of a young lady with whom he was having an affair. I am not prepared to name names, but in order to protect the innocent, I am prepared to say he lived to be over 90 and was married 6 times in the USA.

Updated: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 09:57:11 UTC | #518749

Sue Blue's Avatar Comment 29 by Sue Blue

I always liked "Science flies people to the moon - Religion flies people into buildings", but that just gets you accused of being islamaphobic. How about something along the lines of "science cures disease, religion uses it" (as seen with HIV/AIDS worldwide), or is that too obtuse?

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:05:28 UTC | #519208

GamerFromJumpZ's Avatar Comment 30 by GamerFromJumpZ

The casual racism against which Americans?

'American' is not a race.

Neither is Islam, but that doesn't stop 'em from crying "racist" at all who oppose them. It's a religion, a race, whatever it needs to be to claim the coveted victim trophy.

Your lack of grasp for the concept of irony, zengardener, is apparent.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 15:18:04 UTC | #519925