Existence of Atheists Offends Christians

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Of all the messages I’ve seen on atheist billboards, this has always been one of my favorites. It is brief, simple, and tells atheists that there are others like them. Oh, and it also offends Christians in every location where it has gone up.

Since there is absolutely nothing even remotely offensive about this billboard, the inevitable conclusion is that many Christians are offended by the fact that there are atheists. If that isn’t bigotry and hatred, I’m not sure what would be.

Hemant Mehta (Friendly Atheist) brings us news of this particular billboard being erected in Omaha. As he notes, the local TV news did not have much trouble finding Christians offended by this billboard. KMTV News quoted Emlyn Forsuh as saying, “I was raised to believe in god and now someone says they don’t believe in god so I don’t like it.” Too damn bad. Apparently, it never occurred to Christians like Emlyn that this billboard might not be for them.

Written By: Atheist Revolution
continue to source article at atheistrev.com

55 COMMENTS

  1. Of all the religion-related things that bother me, this is one of the worst.  Christians believe they may spread the word of god when and to whom they please, but don’t afford any other religion (or lack thereof) the same courtesy.

  2. Naked fear. When these religious types come out of their churches, which are 1/3 filled on a good day, they are afraid.  They can not conceive of a world that is not revolving around magic man. 

  3. Has anybody else ever experienced how hard it can be to bring up how wonderful the atheist convention was when you in-laws are talking about going to church and how “wonderful”  it is… I am making progress however. Of my wifes 1 brother and 4 sisters, 1 is atheist, 2 are agnostic, 1 should know much better and the youngest should be able to be weaned off her belief…

  4. There’s a vacant lot next to a church in my town that I wish I had the money to buy.  I’d do nothing with it except put up billboards like this one.  And no – I’m not usually confrontational.  it’s just that I can’t leave my house without passing a church marquee with some obnoxious, sanctimonious message on it in foot-tall letters, and I think it’s time the church people got hit in the face with my atheist views every time they walk out their doors.

  5. “I was raised to believe in god and now someone says they don’t believe in god so I don’t like it.”

    That’s got to be the most concise and accurate theological statement I’ve ever seen.

  6. Being offended is the only way they have any power over uncertainty.  Most are too emotionally and intellectually immature to do anything else.  “I’m offended” is, of course, the poster phrase of the 21st century.  No, I don’t feel sorry for them … just sayin’ …

  7. there is much that i find mysterious about religion.  people of faith believe that they have the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and even beyond. the mystery lies in their response to people who either have no faith or are of a different faith:  they get angry and violent.  had i such a solution to what it is all about, i could only feel sad for those who did not share my “knowledge”. to respond in anger boggles the mind.

  8. For me, it’s very strange of Christians to be offended to such a neutral posters, knowing that the Bus Campaign in London was organized in a reply to a so sickening declarations of them.

  9. Don’t believe in God?

    Kudos to OmahaCoR for such a clever way of exposing such irrationality and blatant bigotry.

    One slight quibble: “Don’t believe in god” or “Don’t believe in gods” would cover all bases nicely.

  10. “The billboard is designed so it’s not degenerating anyone’s religion.”

    Degenerating…?  Would that it could.   

    I think ‘denigrating’ was the word the guy was groping for. Or does that have racist overtones in the US?

  11.  No doubt they will whine similar bollix about god’s will, when a few gallant heroes decide to deface one of the billboards….

    But I have never heard them comment on this little foible of de lawd’s wrath…

    http://gawker.com/5563769/ligh

    Now this next is slightly off topic…for that apoxalogies ;-)

    But I could not resist commentating on this little gem and I am not sure it would get a topic heading here for a day or so!…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-e

    Just one little question here…

    “This case is about fundamental legal principles involving the very nature of civil society and religious freedom.”

    They were trying to claim that paedophile priests are not employed by their Bishops or immediate superiors therefore, by inference the RC Church…(yeah I know …twisted is as twisted does)
    But apparently the case was about legal principles in ‘religious freedom’..(don’t ya just love it?) and the very nature of civil society…anyone got any ideas of what the fucking bloody hell they are mewling about?

    It is almost a special plea to allow their priests to fiddle about with anyone they want including kiddies cos it is the legal principle behind religious freedom!
    Is that sickly toxic stench hysterical desperation I smell wafting from under their combined cassocks?

  12. “I think ‘denigrating’ was the word the guy was groping for. Or does that have racist overtones in the US? “

    Only among the ignorant. A number of years ago there was a politician who used the word in a speech and was roundly criticized. >sigh<
    Steve

  13.  Sorry… that was another word often misunderstood by the ignorant: “niggardly”:

    “At the beginning of 1999, David Howard (the head of the Office of Public
    Advocate in Washington, DC) used it during a discussion with a black
    colleague in describing a budget allocation which he considered to be
    inadequate. He was reported as saying: ‘I will have to be niggardly with
    this fund because it’s not going to be a lot of money’. In large part
    the uproar came about because the word is not especially common: even Mr
    Howard said that he had learned it while studying, rather than by
    hearing it use.”
    (Source: http://www.worldwidewords.org/
    Steve

  14. This incident was referred to in ‘The God Delusion’ (page 115 of the US hardback edition), but not completely accurately.    Mr Howard was not sacked.   Rather, he resigned in protest at the uproar that his caused by his comment (I believe there was also talk of his being subjected to mandatory ‘sensitivity training’).     He was later reinstated by the DC Mayor, who admitted that he had acted hastily in accepting the resignation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/

  15. I am offended by people who fabricate claims of reality then try to push them on me as truth without bothering to support any of it with evidence. That is like calling me stupid to my face, very insulting.

  16.  

    strangebrew

    But I have never heard them comment on this little foible of de lawd’s wrath…

    http://gawker.com/5563769/ligh

    Isn’t that what beacons are for? – To set on fire to pass on a message!  Idolatry?- or just stupid people constructing an inflammable high point without a lightning rod and finally getting the message about nature?

    Nicknamed “Touchdown Jesus,” the statue was built as a “beacon of hope
    and salvation,” according to the church’s founder, Lawrence Bishop.

  17. Cades Baptist Church Burke County church.
    Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
    St. Anthony of Padua

    Just a few chosen at random…
    And without the Cathedrals destroyed by lightening in the near past.

    The toll of churches that incurs god’s wrath by lightening strike  is truly amazing…these places are really pissing the almighty doofus off…there are hundreds of them world wide!
    And that is not including earthquakes which ended up braining a priest in Italy recently…or relieving him of the responsibility of actually having one anyways!
    Brain of ecclisiastica was trying to waltz out the ruined church dragging a Madonna statue…that really pissed the old goat off so he sent an aftershock that killed the perp!

    They just do not effing’ learn!

    But I digress from the topic…already been spanked for that once today…better behave otherwise might get a rep!…if I have not already!

  18. This is how it works. Believers find emotional comfort in their belief, no matter how absurd the belief. Reassurance, consolation, and so on. They WANT to believe.So when someone else comes and expresses doubt, it undermines their faith/certainty/confidence. They want to believe that what they believe is obvious. So they’re pissed.

  19. And I thought we lived in a secular world! If they could have their way, they would save us all from certain hell. I wonder why Galileo was pardoned (shouldn’t it have read apologized to)?

  20. @rdfrs-2450c0875078f592248ac8bff24e7337:disqus Regarding what to put on the billboards on your vacant lot. Bible references would work a treat. Most church-goers are very ignorant about what is in the Bible. The most obvious reaction of any curious believer to a simple reference would surely be to look it up. Do you have a local atheist group that could be persuaded to raise the money needed to make it happen?

    The Bible has talking animals, mass murder, incest, cannibalism and baskets filled with childrens’ heads. I think that believers should be told.

  21. I wonder why Galileo was pardoned (shouldn’t it have read apologized to)?

    Well there are plenty of folks that thought so….but he was neither apologized to not pardoned really…it was a bit of a no show!

    Apparently there were ‘mistakes made on both parties behalf’ that was it.
    That was the Catholic response…every body else got carried away…(read media)…and the actual words used were glossed over…but an apology for the threats and the general attitude, let alone the trial was never offered…not this side of hades!
    And he certainly was not pardoned cos it was all Galileo’s fault anyway…according to the Vatican!

  22. The essential problem we atheists face in the esteem of Christians is that they think because we reject their vengeful god, we have no motive to behave well, and thus are trying to convince everyone to rape, murder and steal. 

    I we have to reassure them, “I know you. You are not the type who would rape, murder or steal.  You behave well because you are a sensible, kind person, not because you are afraid of being roasted alive, surely. Well, me too.”

  23.  

    The essential problem we atheists face in the esteem of Christians is
    that they think because we reject their vengeful god, we have no motive
    to behave well, and thus are trying to convince everyone to rape, murder
    and steal. 

    This is based on their own motivation.  They are motivated by “big-daddy”/”big-brother” watching them and rewarding or punishing them, according to their compliance with “his” dogmas. 
    Sheeples have no concept of independent personal responsible actions based on fellow feelings for other people, because they are socially bound by “group-think”.

  24. What I find interesting about the comment by the fairly intellectually challenged individual quoted “I was raised to believe in god and now someone says they don’t believe in god so I don’t like it.” is that I suspect its not so much the existence of  atheists that bothers them so much as their own difficulty in believing unless everyone around you believes it too.  It never ceases to amaze my how hard people have to work to not think for themselves.  Makes sense I suppose from a social point of view that you don’t want to stand out from the crowd too much.  A balance has to be struck between the dangers of social exclusion and being dead wrong about so much.  I suspect this is also the reason for the ridiculous rituals people subject themselves to.  The more ridiculous the more invested energy, the harder it is to give up knowing how much effort you have wasted.

  25. surely every christian must see anything that has the slightest potential to offend as a “forgiveness oppourtunity”?

    they should handle their passage to heaven in a more business-like way

  26. I just dealt with a student on this yesterday in a World Religions course.  She claims that there’s no such thing as an atheist at all, that in order to negate the belief, they must somehow have the belief in the first place.  It’s amazing to me how this outlook (atheism) is so threatening that they’ll try to define it as supporting their own position.  Of course, we followed up her comments with statements like not believing in the tooth fairy doesn’t somehow prove that i believe in the tooth fairy.  (Though I then realized that I’ve been the tooth fairy myself…)  Why is it so scary that someone doesn’t believe in God?  Is it because they’re afraid they’ll succumb as well?  I wonder if it’s not something like reaction formation — the more homophobic you are, the more likely you are to be gay.

  27. My take on one reason why they hate this billboard is that xians don’t read well. They ignore the question mark at the end and take it as a command not to believe.  I would highly suggest using the word IF at the beginning which would at least be a bit more clear it is a question.

  28.  You might be right…but there is a possibility that the clones are hard wired to reject outright & out of sight any …vague spurious or particular challenge to a delusion that has been fashioned since birth to only reflect the one and only claim that particulars around the tale might vary but there is only one god…and that one god is their god!

    The evangelicals get panties in bunch when the historicity of jeebus is questioned, but I have yet to meet or converse with an evangelical that realises the ‘gospels’ were written a century or more after a deed that the Romans failed to document in any written history when they were apparently  meticulous about lists of military equipment and cargo, and documenting criminal trials, especially in occupied territories .and the sentence was a feature because propaganda was never far away in their thoughts, well propaganda of their lawfulness and the explicit declaration that criminality within society and especially  towards the Roman ‘liberators’ was and never would be tolerated, .but of jeebus a supposed freedom fighter/terrorist and thorn in the side of the authorities…not a sausage.

    And not a peep about the two supposed crims crucified as Hors d’œuvre (…even the theists cannot decide what the unfortunate duo had been found guilty of, from thievery to highway robbery to murder…no one is sure…) and there is no record of their deaths and their crimes should have been of sufficient seriousness to be  registered somewhere for sure..all death sentences were!

    Anyway evangelicals love to bullshit about eye witness accounts, even in the face of evidence that there is no eye witness account.
    One Pastor once tried to sell me the line that the Romans realized what they had done and were so embarrassed they  kept it quite by erasing all references from records.
    This from a 30 odd year old Pastor with a congregation of just under a thousand in Wales.
    It really beggars belief!

    Just like fighting smoke!

    But the bottom line is atheist  billboards no matter the text will not be accepted, they assume they are a direct attack on them, shows how deep and strong their faith is if they feel threatened by mere words, also shows their obvious distrust in the power of their god to rise above the mild challenge to his/hers/its veracity and effectiveness if not actual existence.
    But being bunnies of very little brain they fail to see the tacit admittance of that in their behaviour and reaction.

  29. Christians must be pretty touchy if even mentioning that people exist who disagree with them they find worthy of censorship. They clearly have not much confidence in their pitch.

    Could you imagine country music fans being offended by a billboard “Don’t like country music? Join the club at 90.7 FM your classical music station”

  30. My oh my, some people are so quick to take offense- on both sides of the fence! How can some diatribe from a half witted god- bot be construed as bigotry and hatred? Sorry, but in this case someone has got their underwear in a twist and is looking for a fight. jcw

  31. I think this is more born of ignorance than anything, though very often bigotry and prejudice are born from ignorance. The response doesn’t surprise, and would certainly love to see more billboards like it.

  32. “Why is it so scary that someone doesn’t believe in God?” – The reason is that theists actually know as well as you and I know that their god does not exist. They know it in the same way that they know that the tooth fairy does not exist. They know it, but they can’t quite admit it to themselves. Their fear and their ego won’t allow it. It is not easy maintaining the charade, the self-delusion, and the last thing they need is an atheist reminding them of a fact that they lack the courage, honesty and humility to face.

  33. And I know why.   God (as described by Jews/Christians/Muslims) caused the Great Flood to punish human wickedness, and there cannot possibly be a more wicked thing to do than deny the existence of that being.  So why doesn’t he do it again?   BECAUSE HE DOESN’T EXIST.   The continued existence of atheists disproves the existence of that being

  34. I don’t think they “know” that their view is wrong, or at least that it is unsupportable, because they generally seem to be genuine in their belief, and if they’ve been raised in it so extensively, what else are they going to think? I think it’s more to do with their sense of moral superiority and personal intelligence being threatened. This is why the more religious and conservative people spread the lie that atheists are soulless nihilists with no scruples, and who suck all the moral fibre out of the community if suffered to live.

    As Hitchens put it, there’s no greater evidence for the man-made nature of religion than the ferocity with which the religious defend a supposedly infallible god.

  35. Well said, kaiserkriss.  Cherry-picking the stupidest statements of a target group, and using them to get the home tribe worked up into a lather is not particularly admirable (or reasonable!).  I guess it is pretty normal tribal behaviour though.  Looking on the bright side, no one is suggesting that we pick up sticks!

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