Imagine No Religion: An Update

You may recall a post I did last week on the efforts of Atheist/Humanist organizations to “reach-out” to the public. Well, the public, it seems, is not interested. The article below is reposted from Laist.com, but I also recommend wandering over to read the comments at Dawkins site where it is also reposted.

Atheism Only Lasts a Few Days in Rancho Cucamonga

freedom_from_religion.jpg

A billboard in Rancho Cucamonga asking viewers to “imagine no religion” was taken down this week after residents and the city complained about its message. The Freedom From Religion Foundation advertisement was first installed last week causing local conversation and complaints. The pressure quickly built up and the General Outdoor sign company took it down.

The foundation’s co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor was not so happy, as expressed in a statement they sent out: “Are religionists so thin-skinned they must squelch free debate? One small freethought billboard in the immense state of California is such a threat to insecure religious egos that it must be censored? With local freethinkers’ help, the Freedom From Religion Foundation would love to plaster the valley with our message. Let’s fight back!”

7 Responses

  1. right, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and it’s those that are insecure that squeak the loudest. unfortunatley it’s the insecure that tend to want to believe in a higher power to dicate their lives.

    it’s no surprise to me this didn’t take off since we who don’t rely on commandments and fear of eternal fire to make us moral…we simply have better things to do with our time.

  2. I am part of the generation that was criticised a couple of posts below as being responsible for bearing such false beliefs as Obama being a Muslim. Well, I don’t believe that and I also remember being taught in “social studies” class way back in high school that we are all free to believe according to our conscience and to express those beliefs without fear of retribution.

    Then we had those who didn’t want a “popist” catholic (JFK) in the White House and who wanted to censor (or worse) those who held “communist beliefs.” There are always those ignorant people who don’t want to hurt their brains by thinking about new ideas!

  3. Okay, I’m supposed to be finishing the household budget but it’s so much more fun to procrastinate here:

    Money talks louder than free speech. (Sometime check out the kinds of ads and messages and storylines national broadcasters won’t run for fear of offending advertisers. Do you ever see any hard-hitting shows on commercial tv which are highly critical of the cosmetic industry? The pharmaceutical industry? etc ) The problem with an entirely commercial press is that it runs only what pays. It will roll over any ideal — conservative, liberal, free speech, what have you — which messes with the almighty bottom line.

    The General Outdoor Sign Co. didn’t want to anger other potential advertisers, which is why they caved to public pressure. If enough freethinkers and free speech supporters could convince the General Outdoor Sign Co. that they wouldn’t be punished financially for running those signs, then I bet they’d be back up toot sweet.

  4. I get the frustration at censorship and potential infringment on free speech but at the say time – how is fighting back with “plaster[ing] the valley” not stooping to “their” level. If no matter how many signs they tear down we just throw up two more, isn’t that the same as a tenacious Jehovah Witness knocking on your door to save your sould or the pushy evangelist in the street who won’t go away until you give her 5 minutes of your time for her to tell you about the Mother God.

    So you don’t belive in God or Jesus and you believe that organized religion is, in part, the root of all evil. But maybe I don’t. I thought this was the side of “I’ll believe what I believe and you can believe what you believe. We may not agree and occassionally we may try to explain our respective sides but I won’t force you to sit through God-talk if you don’t force me to sit through antiGod-talk”. Forcing them to face an opinion they don’t share, after they’ve already expressed their desire not to…just kind of seems like more of the same shit just coming from a different belief system.

  5. To Megan’s point, the jehovahs witness’ still have the right to put their message out there — I think that is what is being disputed…

    but to Anna’s a point, even in a complete “free-speech” society, if the underpinnings are capitalist, then de-facto censorship may exist without any governmental intervention… and that is what we are seeing… censorship by the threat of financial loss….

  6. They haven’t taken away the right to put this other idea out there. A community of people decided it was offensive to them and they had it removed. Seems like a relatively well executed plan of action. One that works for both sides. Instead of retaliating like a 5 year old and doing more of what pisses them off. Why not do as they’ve done. They don’t want to see this message of “Imagine No Religion”. Well guess what, I don’t want to see their Jesus billboards. There message in this “in your face” way is just as obsessive. Seems to me if “they” can organize enough people to have these signs brought down, then “we” can organize enough people to do the same.

    I mean, I understand what’s being disputed and I understand that in the face of injustice to do nothing is tantamount to doing the injustice yourself. However, I think retaliating in the was suggested here stoops to a level I believe them to be above. Far and above, really.

  7. Heard this in the car today … more for your listening pleasure:

    God No!
    No longer content to silently disavow religion, the so-called New Atheists are on the offensive. Borrowing tactics from the faithful, nonbelievers have taken to proselytizing in books and in the media. And yes, they’re even in foxholes.

    http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2008/11/28/04

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