First we heard about atheist churches springing up around the country, and now a group is planning to put up billboards in California to promote an atheist campaign--just in time for Christmas. The billboards are part of the "Out of Closet" national campaign that is sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and will be put up the day after Thanksgiving.
While it is easy to assume that the group is just trying to create controversy around the holidays, Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, says that they want to prove that atheists have a lot to offer society as well. "Those of us who are free from religion, who work to keep dogma out of government, science, medicine and education, have a lot to offer society," said Gaylor.
Gaylor also says that the month of December isolates atheists who don't participate in the holiday festivities. "The whole month of December is taken over in a celebration of the religious beliefs, in particular Christianity, and it’s just as if the whole month turns non-believers into outsiders," Gaylor said.
The group will put up 55 atheist billboards in the Sacramento area, and the billboards will contain varying messages. "A life of love, no Gods required," "No Gods, no devils, no worries," and "Live for now, not for after" are a few of the messages that will be displayed on the billboards. Check out some of the billboards below.
Even though seeing such billboards erected around Christmas will surely strike a chord with some Christians, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento doesn't think the billboards will have much of an impact. "While I’m not happy about these billboards, I am certain people still, when they look deep down in their soul and in their heart, find a spark,” said Soto. “They believe in a higher power.”
A lot of people seem rather indifferent to the atheist billboards, but a few people have spoken out on the issue on Twitter. Check out the comments below.
— #HenryPedia (@violetproud) November 26, 2013
best thing abt latest american atheist billboard fiasco is their idea of making positive impact on world is to throw money @ huge charities
— Stephen Goeman (@StephenChanges) November 25, 2013
[Images via FFRF]
Atheist Billboard Go Up Around City During the Holidays - Why not one: "I'd rather be an Atheist and be WRONG than BELIEVE and be "RIGHT"!
— Luci Tomlin (@lucitee4) November 25, 2013