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← Atheists' sign sparks controversy

Atheists' sign sparks controversy - Comments

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 1 by robotaholic

Oh my GOODNESS this is awesome - that sign just makes me feel wonderful. (It's the background on my blackberry lol)

The response it is evoking from the town is predicitible: "I'm so attacked"- NO, an attack is with missiles, or calling your mom a name, this is free speech- the last thing America has going right now...

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:51:00 UTC | #91790

Mysturji's Avatar Comment 2 by Mysturji

Awwww, diddums! Are the nasty atheists asking you to use your brain? Poor, thing. Yes, I know it hurts. Just close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears until it goes away again.

"The sign, put up by the Connecticut Valley Atheist Group, which was supposed to mark the winter solstice, but the "Imagine No Religion" part of it, taken from John Lennon's song, "Imagine," has a lot of people upset."

I'll bet. Almost as many people are upset by that sign as were upset by 9/11
Get over it

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:54:00 UTC | #91792

tangerine_tree's Avatar Comment 3 by tangerine_tree

"Chennelle and Houser have been fighting back with prayer "

don't know why but that comment made me laugh.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:54:00 UTC | #91793

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 4 by sidfaiwu

"Imagine no religion is an attack against me, as any person of faith should take it as an attack against them," Houser said.

Here we have the typical equivocation of belief and believers that the religious try to use to insulate their faith from criticism. Houser is trying to perpetuate the fallacy that the belief and the believer are equivalent. This is a dangerous mistake.

Calling the critique an 'attack' gives implicit moral permission to retaliate. Worse yet, since Houser considers it an attack on her person, not her beliefs, she would believe herself to be justified in actually attacking a person in retaliation.

In other words, she's saying it's okay to harm a thinking, feeling being if that being 'harms' a non-thinking, non-feeling belief. One might as well equivocate the chopping down of a tree to chopping off of a human head. Such a belief system is morally reprehensible, and should be criticized.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:59:00 UTC | #91796

cursor's Avatar Comment 5 by cursor

It's like a bizarre game of poker.

"I see your Imagine No Religion poster and raise you a Christmas tree".

I wonder if they're just as offended by Lennon's song?

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:06:00 UTC | #91800

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 6 by Peacebeuponme

What about all the christian signs proclaiming that we are lost unless we find jesus? Are they attacking me as an atheist?

Fucking double standards from these blockheads.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:17:00 UTC | #91804

jfincher42's Avatar Comment 7 by jfincher42

We ultimately believe that Christians have been persecuted throughout history.

Wasn't there a recent poll that showed something like 89% of Americans believe in the judeo-christian versions of god, angels, heaven, hell, the devil, etc.? So can someone explain to me (and to Ms. Houser and Chennelle) how a majority of the American population are being persecuted by the minority who aren't in political power?

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:19:00 UTC | #91805

Sharrow's Avatar Comment 8 by Sharrow

The're under attack! THIS is an attack? They really need to get into the real world!! And didn't you detect a certain amount of enthusiasm on their part now that they can be called persecuted?

Besides, didn't some US radio stations dub the John Lennon song to include the line 'and one religion too...' rather than 'and no religion too...'?

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:22:00 UTC | #91807

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 9 by irate_atheist

Fuck 'em.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:23:00 UTC | #91808

kraut's Avatar Comment 10 by kraut

"We ultimately believe that Christians have been persecuted throughout history," said Houser, "so this is nothing new.""

Too much believe here...the facts are that christians has been both: persecuted and being very effective persecutors.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:29:00 UTC | #91811

cyris8400's Avatar Comment 11 by cyris8400

While also being an interesting story about local atheism, is this not also evidence for the phenomenon of NILFs? (News I'd Like to F***)

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:35:00 UTC | #91813

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 12 by Gymnopedie

The Christians have put up a giant tree to block the sign... Isn't this symbolic of their mindset? "We dun like wut yer sayin! Letz block it!" They act like such children it makes me embarrassed we have common ancestry.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:35:00 UTC | #91814

rustylix's Avatar Comment 13 by rustylix

"I feel like this is an attack on my beliefs as a religious person," said Houser.

I've often felt the giant 200ft cross right next to the interstate I-57, near Effingham, IL, was an attack on my lack of belief in superstition as an atheist.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:38:00 UTC | #91816

Ian's Avatar Comment 14 by Ian

I think this just shows how intolerant 'moderate' Christians really are; that they feel any expression of contrary opinion is an attack.

They need to ask themselves exactly how this sign infringes their own right to free expression?

Since it does no such thing - they have been permitted to place a nativity scene in the same place - there is no attack and so this feeling of persecution is unjustified.

Christians, you owe freedom of speech to all your fellow citizens, because vetoing for some destroys it totally.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:43:00 UTC | #91819

mdowe's Avatar Comment 15 by mdowe

So ... what do you think? Will they resort to vandalism (or worse -- violence) before or after they try either the misapplication of some existing law, or the creation of special bylaws, to silence perceived opposition? I don't buy the 'prayer' thing for a second.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:44:00 UTC | #91820

Theocrapcy's Avatar Comment 16 by Theocrapcy

haha, xians learn hard way you can't have it both ways. poor persecuted majority, how dare they insult you so.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:45:00 UTC | #91822

debaser71's Avatar Comment 17 by debaser71

Oh how I love it.

My town hall, last year, placed an 11ft banner across the main entry that reads "God Bless America". I sent them a letter and when they didn't give me a good response (they claimed "ceremonial deism") I contacted a few groups. FFRF and CFI both sent letters to the town hall and the issue made the AP news and CNN. Anyway I heard so many people (on then ews, in person, in letters, etc) that "oh it's no big deal" "it's just some silly sign" "who cares" "why do you make such a big deal about it" blah blah. I told them that had the sign been pro-atheism or anti-religion people would cry foul. Anyway that there actually is an anti-religion / pro atheism sign out there, and folk are getting all bent out of shape over it (at least for me) brings me great satisfaction.

Here FFRF has an "action alert" about it.

I took those pictures.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:50:00 UTC | #91825

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 18 by Cook@Tahiti

I'm offended by the TV channel's framing of the issue in showing the offending tree in front of the offending sign from the offending atheists offending the Christians that are offending them back again... all this offending is just an offence.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:51:00 UTC | #91827

themanchoo's Avatar Comment 19 by themanchoo

I've often felt the giant 200ft cross right next to the interstate I-57, near Effingham, IL, was an attack on my lack of belief in superstition as an atheist.

Wow that's one big Effing(ham) cross! Yes I think I'd be offended if that monstrosity was casting its shadow near where I live.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:59:00 UTC | #91830

alexmzk's Avatar Comment 20 by alexmzk

to be honest, it just seems confrontational for them to stick up a sign like that. it'd be reasonable enough to have an atheistic Winter Solstice type message, but this is almost like they put up the sign just to see if the locals would be offended or not.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:13:00 UTC | #91833

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 21 by Richard Dawkins

What this news story does not say is that the offending sign seems to have been lifted directly from our site! See

It is also, incidentally, somewhat similar to the one that Channel Four used to promote Root of All Evil in early 2006. But Channel Four didn't dare use the exact Lennon quote, for fear of being sued. Instead they said "Imagine a World without Religion." They did use a photo of the pre-9/11 New York skyline, but it was a different photo. The one used in Rockville seems to be identical to ours, and presumably comes from our site, as designed by Josh. I am delighted!


Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:18:00 UTC | #91835

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 22 by Tyler Durden

Comment by Rtambree:

...all this offending is just an offence.
"Won't somebody please think of the children?" Helen Lovejoy :)

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:25:00 UTC | #91838

The Architect's Avatar Comment 23 by The Architect

Christians hysterically offended by atheists expressing their opinion? Well, I never!

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:28:00 UTC | #91839

eno's Avatar Comment 24 by eno

Nice one Connecticut Valley Atheists! Keep it up.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:32:00 UTC | #91840

HeathenAngel's Avatar Comment 25 by HeathenAngel


I'm glad to see that this doesn't upset you, and that you are actually "delighted" by it.. It has given me some seriously "naughty" ideas.

Our courthouse has a huge christmas tree out front, and there's one in the park as well. Seeing as how I just "came out" this past year, I would like to express my "holiday joy". ;)

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:41:00 UTC | #91842

The Threat And Glory's Avatar Comment 26 by The Threat And Glory

Re post 21: "to be honest, it just seems confrontational for them to stick up a sign like that".

Isn't that the whole point?

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:43:00 UTC | #91843

CruciFiction's Avatar Comment 27 by CruciFiction

Let the US religious wars commence!

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:45:00 UTC | #91844

82abhilash's Avatar Comment 28 by 82abhilash

Holy crap!! No signs, No Christmas tree, no nothing. Just plain and simple public spaces, please.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:49:00 UTC | #91845

cowalker's Avatar Comment 29 by cowalker


I've often felt the giant 200ft cross right next to the interstate I-57, near Effingham, IL, was an attack on my lack of belief in superstition as an atheist.

Wow that's one big Effing(ham) cross! Yes I think I'd be offended if that monstrosity was casting its shadow near where I live.

That thing is also made entirely of aluminum siding, which makes it very ugly. The Cathedral of Notre Dame is a monument to a mythology, but at least it's a beautiful example of Gothic architecture.

Last year I did a count of creches in our midwestern town, in the middle middle class area where we live. There was maybe one for every fifty houses, maybe two angels for every fifty houses, although most houses had lights, reindeer, Santa, or giant snowmen or candles.

Every person is free to put up a creche on his own lawn, but how many choose to do so? Go out into your neighborhood this year and do a count.

Christians are just trying to retain control of the public turf. They don't care enough about the Jesus Reason for the Season to go out and buy an illuminated creche and put it on their lawn.

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:54:00 UTC | #91846

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 30 by sidfaiwu

Thanks Ducklike! It's amazing how often religionists get away with that particular equivocation. I can't imagine this sort of reaction being considered normal in other arena of human thought...

"'Vote against Proposition 8' is an attack against me, as any supporter of Proposition 8 should take it as an attack against them."

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 09:56:00 UTC | #91847