Saturday, November 15, 2008

The usual whiny hypocrisy

Welcome to Amerika. Where this, I am told, is offensive...

...but this isn't.

Let's see. The top billboard is simply a message from a group of unbelievers reaching out to other unbelievers who may feel they're alone, isolated in a hostile religious culture. The bottom billboard, on the other hand, is making very curt and rather bullying demands on me. It asserts the existence of this being, God, then it quotes him as claiming to have some entitlement over me, because he supposedly gave his son, and so, like, aren't I just some ungrateful so-and-so if I don't acknowledge this fantastic deal (which I never asked for in the first place) and decide it's in my best interests to "have" this God guy as part of my life.

And yet...well, apparently it's the top billboard that's aggressive and militant. It really has the panties of Denver area pastor Willard Johnson in a twist. He says, "We denounce what they are doing. But we do it with love, with gentleness, with decency and with compassion." Well, that's mighty white of you, Will, the whole love and compassion thing and all. I bet only a Christian would think that denunciations are a form of love and compassion. But be that as it may, why denounce this? What's offensive about it? "Don't believe in God? You are not alone." Is that such a threatening sentiment to your fragile widdle beliefs that you have to denounce it right away? What a sad thing for you.

And here's what else is odd to me. (Well, not odd. Perfectly normal, really, for a "Christian" nation.) Christians put up billboards all the time. Everywhere. Seriously. Some of them are wonderfully silly, some are harmless, some are plain insulting. And yet, it never makes the news when they put up billboards. Only when atheists do it. Why? Why should it be newsworthy, other than as an excuse to give some bozo pastor a little bit of ink to spout his loving, compassionate intolerance.

So, Christians, when you ask why we don't respect you enough, think of this. That there is nothing atheists can say, no message so innocent and innocuous in expression of our disbelief in your invisible magic friend in the sky, that you won't take it as some sort of horrible attack. Just like the time earlier this year, when the FFRF put up their "Imagine No Religion" billboards (which basically just ask you to, you know, imagine no religion), and Christians everywhere went berserk over this "militant" atheist assault on mom and apple pie. Why, one bold and courageous Christian group vowed to fight the FFRF's "hateful" billboards with their own, asking "Why Do Atheists Hate America?" Because, you know, that's not a hateful statement at all.

So you know what? Go ahead, be offended, Christians. That's one of the things you have to deal with when living in a free, pluralistic society. There will be people who think differently than you do, who believe in different things, and who will express those differing views. I know most of you want the place all to yourselves, but you have to share it, just like you have to share it with people of different races and sexual preferences and tastes in music. And if the simplest and mildest expression of a view different from your own makes you go into red alert mode, and wail about the evil militant whomevers who obviously hate the whole country because they aren't just like you, then perhaps you need to step back a bit, take a big fat chill pill, and think quite seriously about who's really got the problem here. about getting a billboard up in Austin? It's time we had one, don't you think? Something like the AHA's bus ad campaign.


  1. And of course, the hateful ignorant billboard is being spoken for by Bob Enyart, who was convited for child abuse.

  2. It's true, Christian billboards are every-friggin-where. They even have a billboard with the ten demandments in Las Vegas.

    Is it just me or does every Christian billboard have a veiled threat in it?

  3. I giggled. Loudly. Oh noes, someone heard me, but no one is here.. oh wait.. No one heard me, because no one is here. 'Tards.

  4. Well, lets just keep putting up billboards until it's no longer news :)

  5. "Is it just me or does every Christian billboard have a veiled threat in it?"

    Unsuprising when you think that the religion itself is a veiled threat, believe in god or go to hell.

  6. I followed the link to In God We Trust's site, and was about to say that you've been Poed. But then I looked around some more and decided that that site is its own parody.

  7. I think having billboards is a great idea. If it plants a seed of doubt in atleast one child and prompts him to question his/her parents, then I would consider it a success.

  8. I refuse to believe that Martin is still surprised at this behavior. I reckon he's using it as an example for the rest of us so that we may the horribleness.

  9. Ah - good-ole' Bob Enyart. I used to pal around with him some a decade or more ago. So I guess if I use Republicans' standards, libs should deem me unfit for public office. Just kidding (but not about paling around with Enyart).

    To get an idea of what this guy is like, consider the following:

    - He thinks that James Dobson and Focus on the Family are too soft on abortion and homosexuality. On his cable access talk show I remember him chastising them for placing too much emphasis on homosexuals who want to marry. He said "The problem isn't that they want to get married. The problem is that they exist."

    - The last quote dovetails into this: he constantly preaches that the death penalty should be reinstated for homosexuality, abortion (even advocating it should be a capital crime in his eyes).

    - If there's anyone who has no hope of even softening his stance, it's Enyart. He also constantly rails against other Christians, including other fundies, as being insufficiently judgmental. He constantly brags about telling his kids "I would disown you" when asked about what would happen if he found out they were gay.

    - As frightening, if not moreso, as the stances about those hot-button issues is his views about what is an acceptable governmental and justice system. He thinks the only acceptable form of government, according to the Bible, is a constitutional monarchy. If he got his way, there would be no trials by jury, and no attorneys to represent the accused. Just a judge, the defendant, and a few witnesses. The standard for guilt would not be 'beyond reasonable doubt' but 'reasonable evidence'. And there would be no appeal allowed, since that 'causes people to disrespect the authority of the judge'. The death penalty would be greatly expanded, and according to Enyart, if a criminal is convicted of a capital crime his execution is to be no more than, IIRC, 24 hours after sentencing. No jails, either. You are either executed, flogged, or forced to pay restitution.

    IOW, he's a classic Reconstructionist, even though he never uses that exact word.

    He would hold his own against the Fred Phelps family in a 'hate-off' and, in fact, it wouldn't be unwise to bet on him to show more hatred than them in some instances.

  10. More persecution complex--an effort to reach out to people who don't believe in God is somehow an attempt to discredit Christianity--and only Christianity, for some reason.

  11. I'm reminded of a particular sign I see everytime I drive to my parents' house. It's on I-35 just north of Emporia, KS. It's just a big white sign that says, almost verbatim "Accept Jesus now or regret it forever" (italics in original).

    Now if that isn't a veiled threat I dunno what is. I can almost visualize someone grimacing at me and shaking their fist with a "why I oughtta!" look in their eye. I make it a point to flip off the sign everytime I see it. And not only that, but I believe they've got this sign so that you can see it both coming IN and OUT of the city on at least 2 major highways that enter the city.

    As to why they can possibly be offended at a harmless atheist sign in light of their own veiled threat sign? Well, they love to be persecuted. If you don't pander specifically to them, or say something in a public forum that goes against their crap, you're an "affront", a threat... it gives them power with their own congregations to be able to present themselves as "threatened". It's bullshit.

  12. Kyle, I read on Wikipedia that Bob Enyart has been divorced twice! Apparently, he spends so much of his time taking part in anti-abortion activities that he can't even be bothered to put his own family first.

    Yep, gays can't be allowed to marry even once, but good Christian Bob Enyart can get married and divorced as many times as we wants!

  13. Sparrowhawk, I once parked next to a car that had a bumper sticker that read "Get Right With Jesus or Get Left in Hell."

    I left a note on the person's windshield telling him/her that it was a hateful and divisive message, not just to atheists, but to Jews, Muslims, Hindus (my hometown has a large Indian community), Sikhs et cetera.

  14. @Tommy:

    Problem is, people who are rude enough to have bumperstickers like that don't think they're offending anyone. Since they have "the truth", they're not really being rude, they can just shrug and say "eh, truth hurts sometimes". It's like the people from Fred Phelps' church. You'll hear them say all the time in interviews that THEY don't hate anyone...they can't help it that god hates homosexuality, they're just relaying the message. At least, that's the idea.

  15. Those billboards along I-40 in Oklahoma saying "God says abortion is murder" is all about love and inclusiveness.

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  17. This is only a church sign and not a billboard, but it is a good example of the kind of non-hateful messages that those people seem to feel is ok.

  18. I don't mind the top billboard at all. Obviously, I think the message is stupid, but Amerika is supposed to include freedom of expression, even when that expression is irrational.

    So I'm right with you in this one. An atheist's freedom of speech is my own.

  19. you've gotta love the onion

  20. You're right, we need to start a serious bus ad campaign, or wherever we can advertise--for long enough before the Christians take 'em down.


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