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← South African church billboard banned following atheist complaint

South African church billboard banned following atheist complaint - Comments

Benjamin Taylor's Avatar Comment 1 by Benjamin Taylor

I have to say that I’m not very keen on the use of the “it’s offensive to me/us” argument to get things like this taken down.

We rightly mock the religious when they try to do the same thing.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 16:56:08 UTC | #909845

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 2 by SaganTheCat

no need, let them be abusive. that's what freedom of speech is about

suggesting atheists are "stupid" is hardly going to win the war of words is it?

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:02:56 UTC | #909847

The Jersey Devil's Avatar Comment 3 by The Jersey Devil

I'm not really all that offended...

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:06:20 UTC | #909849

Aztek's Avatar Comment 4 by Aztek

Since Jesus & Mo has stirred up some of this discussion about offensiveness lately, I'm going to use another fantastic internet comic as my opinion: SMBC.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:10:18 UTC | #909850

fuzzylogic's Avatar Comment 5 by fuzzylogic

Proper response is to put one next to it saying a Christian is a man who believes he was conjured by a wizard

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:13:14 UTC | #909853

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 6 by prettygoodformonkeys

"Yeah, call us whatever you want. Now: back to your argument. You were saying....?"

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:13:37 UTC | #909854

Sudipta Modak's Avatar Comment 7 by Sudipta Modak

Here is a counter billboard.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:14:54 UTC | #909856

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 8 by Peter Grant

Unlike the gently mocking atheist bus ads, this billboard is offensive. Remember that this is Africa, where atheists are a tiny and sometimes violently persecuted minority. I am grateful to Eugene Gerber for having the guts to complain, and to the ASA for forcing those IDiots to take it down.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:16:20 UTC | #909858

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 9 by Rawhard Dickins

They just need to understand how the little accidents add up to provide the ultimate "design" technique.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:33:14 UTC | #909867

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 10 by drumdaddy

I see a billboard portraying an empty-headed person having an irrational thought (the caption). Where's the problem? Oh, I see it. It says that "An atheist is a man", omitting the tens of millions of wonderful freethinking women among us. Yes, that omission is offensive.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:34:32 UTC | #909870

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 11 by Agrajag

Although there may be some case-specific or local objection to the billboard, as Peter Grant (#8) indicates, I find it within my personal tolerance zone. The best response on the linked site is by "JD" at #5.
But what is with the image associated with the article there? A crucifix lying on a bible... is that to make sure no one is offended? <_<
Steve

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:37:03 UTC | #909871

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 12 by Premiseless

An atheist is a human who refuses to believe themselves to be a sinful accident of some god.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:49:56 UTC | #909873

gloves71's Avatar Comment 13 by gloves71

I have to say that I’m not very keen on the use of the “it’s offensive to me/us” argument to get things like this taken down.

We rightly mock the religious when they try to do the same thing.

I have to agree with you on this one. Although I was initially a little bit offended at the insinuation that I'm stupid for being an atheist, but so what? I'll get over it. (In fact I already have!)

Perhaps it would have been better to put up a billboard nearby with a pro-atheist (or anti-theist) message instead to see how the theists would react.

Also, the ASA's reasoning seems to be somewhat flawed here as atheism is not a religion!

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:53:04 UTC | #909875

Layla's Avatar Comment 14 by Layla

Comment 8 by Peter Grant :

Unlike the gently mocking atheist bus ads, this billboard is offensive. Remember that this is Africa, where atheists are a tiny and sometimes violently persecuted minority. I am grateful to Eugene Gerber for having the guts to complain, and to the ASA for forcing those IDiots to take it down.

I agree.

It's all very well saying "We can't complain when their billboards offend us because they often complain when our billboards offend them" but our billboards did not simply depict religious people as physically or mentally defective.

Our billboards have made specific points about religion or attempted to say nothing more than it's okay to be an atheist or atheism is a possibility.

Therefore it is not hypocritical to complain about billboards which specifically portray us as brainless . I would absolutely defend their right to create billboards along the same lines as the ones atheists have created: arguing against viewing theistic matters scientifically or advertising the idea that it's okay to be religious.

I don't think it is very sophisticated to create a billboard merely identifying the person as a member of X group and then implying they have no brain.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 17:57:05 UTC | #909878

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 15 by Peter Grant

What if instead of just chopping off the top of the atheist's head they'd removed the whole thing, would we have a right to complain then?

Comment 14 by Layla

I agree.

Thanks! :D

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:14:43 UTC | #909885

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 16 by Ignorant Amos

I just laughed at it. The religious are just a bunch of pillock's.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:17:01 UTC | #909887

Viveca's Avatar Comment 17 by Viveca

What's the point of arguments if merely saying "I find that offensive, therefore it's wrong" wins the day?

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:26:33 UTC | #909889

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 18 by Dhamma

Instead of preaching their own messages they go for a full front attack on their 'enemies'. Is this a common approach?

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:27:38 UTC | #909890

crucialfictionofjesus's Avatar Comment 19 by crucialfictionofjesus

<>

Poor bugger! Not the most reliable source for quotation?

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:36:55 UTC | #909891

Piero's Avatar Comment 20 by Piero

I'm frankly appalled. Are atheists playing the offence game now? Haven't we been arguing that not being offended is not a right? Did Gerber not realized he was playing starigh into the hands of religionists, who will now have new ammunition to shoot us?

Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. If we don't defend it, we are no better than any other idiotic association. I would suggest th Richard Dawkins foundation condemns in the strongest possible terms this encroachment and makes it clear that it repudiates Gerber's actions.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:37:24 UTC | #909892

crucialfictionofjesus's Avatar Comment 21 by crucialfictionofjesus

oops- where did the stuff in brackets go??

Thompson lived as an invalid in Wales and at Storrington. A lifetime of extreme poverty, ill-health, and an addiction to opium took a heavy toll on Thompson, even though he found success in his last years. Thompson attempted suicide in his nadir of despair, but was saved from completing the action through a vision which he believed to be that of a youthful poet, Thomas Chatterton, who had committed suicide almost a century earlier

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:37:57 UTC | #909893

Sample's Avatar Comment 22 by Sample

Would have been funnier with a goateed woman or my mug. :-j

Mike

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:39:44 UTC | #909895

The Jersey Devil's Avatar Comment 23 by The Jersey Devil

What if instead of just chopping off the top of the atheist's head they'd removed the whole thing, would we have a right to complain then?

If by ‘complain’ you mean get the Government to remove the billboard, then I would say no you don't have a right to complain.

I would say that 'chopping off the top of the atheist's head' mischaracterizes what is actually on the billboard. That offends me. Where can I take my complaint?

This billboard doesn't incite violence and is therefore protected speech.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:50:20 UTC | #909900

hellosnackbar's Avatar Comment 24 by hellosnackbar

I'm not at all offended by this silly poster They should stick a poster alongside it showing the inside of a believer's head full of heavenly and satanic fantasies. Or maybe 72 reconstructed virgins for the Mohammedans.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:53:09 UTC | #909903

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 25 by Peter Grant

Comment 23 by The Jersey Devil

This billboard doesn't incite violence and is therefore protected speech.

South Africa is a rather violent place, this sign seems designed to engender hatred and contempt. Admittedly it's not actually saying "Kill the atheist!", but it's definitely suggesting that it wouldn't matter much if they did.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:17:55 UTC | #909912

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 26 by Alan4discussion

Comment 14 by Layla

It's all very well saying "We can't complain when their billboards offend us because they often complain when our billboards offend them" but our billboards did not simply depict religious people as physically or mentally defective.

I think we should be clear about the difference between criticism or mocking stupidity, and making ad-hom attacks on people or making vacuous slanderous allegations. The moderators on this site quite rightly make that distinction.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:24:43 UTC | #909916

Chris Langstaff's Avatar Comment 27 by Chris Langstaff

It sucks that an atheist would act like a child about some stupid billboard. Put up your own billboard! Freedom of speech is more important than protecting your fragile feelings. Plus it's not even a good billboard, from the atheist perspective you're better off ignoring it or mocking it.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:25:36 UTC | #909917

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 28 by aroundtown

I would love to see the religiously affected support a determined opposition to any and all scientific advances that they most certainly enjoy except for the children of these folks. These Hypocrites are tough to take. They purport that god will see to their needs and then turn around and get in line at the pharmacy to have their prescription filled. Just doesn't add up for me. I really am not affected by them so no big thing about a billboard trying to slam atheist in my opinion.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:55:11 UTC | #909926

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 29 by Peter Grant

I should also state for the record that I am not personally offended by this billboard. My personal outlook is way too jaded to feel offended by anything. That is why I am instead trying to argue that it is offensive, or rather, that we should feel offended by this.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:59:29 UTC | #909928

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 30 by Stonyground

The obvious response would have been to place an ad. nearby saying:

"Religion consists of making up nonsense and then pretending that it's true."

Job done.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 20:06:48 UTC | #909931