Atheists, agnostics display billboards

Campaign’s goal is to share beliefs, make others more comfortable
Associated Press
May 19, 2014

 

A billboard campaign that features atheists, agnostics and other non-theists sharing messages about their views started recently in northeastern Ohio.
 
Participants in the campaign sponsored by the Wisconsinbased Freedom From Religion Foundation and its Northern Ohio Freethought Society chapter say one goal is to let area non-theists know others share their views and make religious believers more comfortable with them.

A Richmond Heights couple and a University of Akron student are among Ohio residents appearing on some of the 11 billboards in areas including Cleveland and Akron.

“The main idea is to help other freethinkers not be afraid to come out of the closet and know that there are plenty of other people of similar worldview” Mark Tiborsky of Richmond Heights, told The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Tiborsky and his wife Marni appear together on a billboard in Cleveland.

Craig Bauman, a University of Akron student appears on a billboard in Akron.

“I think people need to know that it’s OK to have questions and doubts and I believe they need to have a place to discuss those doubts without judgment,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is a church-state watchdog organization that claims more than 20,000 members, including about 550 in Ohio. The organization debuted its “Out of the Closet” campaign in Madison in 2010 and has taken the campaign to several other U.S. cities.

Comments

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

The sad existence of an atheist is best summed up in this quote; “...life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA...life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.” Dawkins

Stop It

I don't see the problem.

ladydye_5

What is your purpose in life thinkagain? To convert all of us? To get us all to join your cult? My purpose in life is to raise my kids to be good human beings. To know right from wrong and to treat others with respect. To be productive members of society. To live life and be happy. I do not have a sad existence. Why does everyone think that atheist or agnostics are sad? Do you think that the Buddhists are sad? Do you think those who follow Judaism are sad? Do you think Hindus are sad? Do you think that Sikhs are sad? Do you think everyone is sad but Christians?

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

The answer is simple.

I am an unashamed Christian who will stand for the Word of God until the day I die. I will spend my days obeying Christ’s command to be salt and light to a lost and dying world. A work that every Christian can and must give themselves to.

There is no other religion, no other system, no other philosophy, or any other way to God except through Jesus Christ.

Good 2 B Me

That is not God's way, judging others based on their beliefs.

Licorice Schtick

You're entitled to your beliefs. You're no entitled to ram them down the throat of others. Why do so many "believers" want to do that?

Informed

But see, you aren't being light to a lost and dying world. You are mean, bigoted, and judgmental. That is not light. You bring darkness and hatred. If you truly are trying to bring light to the world, you are going about it all the wrong way. The way to bring light to the world is to be positive and friendly and helpful and loving and kind and generous. Not by being negative and critical.
The Christians other people respect the most are those that lead by example instead of hate-filled sermons. Ask any non-Christian, and they will tell you that.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Oh yippee, all my troll boys are out in force today.

Truth or tolerance, that is the question. Truth is the answer.

Call me intolerant. I’ll wear that label like a badge of honor. We should never tolerate that which is wrong or that which is evil. Not only should we be intolerant of immorality, if you were a Bible-believing Christian, you would know that we should even hate it.

I serve a loving, intolerant God. Tolerance is the virtue of a man without principles. The word tolerance has degenerated into a synonym for compromise. We must not tolerate beliefs or lifestyles which are false and which will lead us away from truth. For example: homosexuality is a vile sin that brings God's judgment (Romans 1:24-32).

Love the sinner, hate the sin. Are you unwilling to take a stand for God’s Word because you are concerned with what people will think about you? As Christians, God expects and commands us to stand against the evil in this world.

If you have a problem with His commands, you can take it up with Him when you meet Him. Good luck with that…

Truth is hate to those who hate truth.

The accurate description of true hate is defined in John 15:18, Jesus said that they hated Him, and they will hate us too if we follow Him.

mikeylikesit

i came here just to read your comments. you didn't let me down! some of us are fans, not trolls, even if we don't always agree..

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Must be from all the marijuana you been smoking. ;)

mikeylikesit

yeah, maybe..

Stop It

lol...peace, love and Bobby Sherman.

Informed

I didn't say anything about tolerance. You need to read my post again. And I do stand up against the evil in this world. But unlike you, I choose to do so in a way that doesn't alienate people but instead encourages them to be the best they can be.
Again, you are not bringing light to anyone. You are not encouraging anyone to get closer to God. You are turning people off to Christianity. I understand your intentions. But you are going about it all the wrong way. And until you accept that and change your m.o., you will continue to push people away from Christianity and maybe even God.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

I read it once, that was plenty, maybe you should read it. It was filled with you judging me while preaching about how one shouldn’t be judgmental. I’m sure you don’t even realize just how hypocritical you are?

Informed

Just stating what everyone else on here is thinking. Oh but I'm sure we are all wrong and you are right.

Stop It

Fire and brimstone from the pulpit NEVER works. Threats of eternal damnation don't help the cause, either.

thinkagain Phelps thinks he is gaining sheep by breeding wolves.

SamAdams

Mark Twain had it right when he said, "If Jesus returned today, there is one thing he would NOT be: A Christian."

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

With comments like that, it’s obvious rational thought is not your forte.

Stop It

Your beliefs are anything BUT rational.

mikeylikesit

he brings light, and, when need be, salt. you get the salt, i guess..

WeThePeople1965

You didn't answer the question.

JMOP

They label themselves "freethinkers"? They also want closeted "freethinkers" to come out.

I'm not sure what the purpose of their organization is, only for questions discussions, and doubt? About what? Being more comfortable around them? I didn't realize I wasn't comfortable around them. Then again, I'm a believer, and not a "freethinker" as them.

Factitious

Thomas Jefferson was influenced by the Freethought movement and had his own impact on it. His views were unique. In 1887, he recommended to his nephew: "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

He wrote to Benjamin Rush, in 1803: "To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other."

Contango

The billboard industry has been struggling over the past couple of yrs. due to advertising dollars flowing to the internet and other forms of media.

Good to see that they're getting a few bucks.

Licorice Schtick

Excellent. It helps to discuss religion with a sense of humor.

Licorice Schtick

I believe Jesus would disapprove of too many billboards. God is good. Ugly is bad.

Florence Nightingale

I have no problem with the billboards - to each his own. I am curious about the group's name, though. "Freedom From Religion" - is that what they're striving for? If you're an atheist or agnostic, don't you already have that?

Informed

Not when the right-wing fundamentalists want it shoved down everyone's throat everyday in terms of our government.

Florence Nightingale

Well, the key word there is "want". As long as you're not being forced to attend a worship service or forced to pray, then I'd say you have freedom from religion. (Unfortunately, I don't doubt that there are some fringe elements who think mandatory church - of their denomination, of course -would be a good thing.)

Informed

I was referring to laws that are passed or attempted to get passed, as well as political candidates and their campaigns.

G_Richardson

A old guy at the end of the bar once told me something that made a lot of sense and i think it is fitting here. He told me the reason society and people were getting more rude and disagreeable with one another is they have forgotten the old saying "Never discuss religion and politics in polite company". Seems that is all most of us do anymore is talk about one or the other.
I can sit in the bar listening to old drunks slobber out words of wisdom right up till they pass out on the bar and for the most part they make more sense to me than a religious debate between atheist and the devout.

2cents's picture
2cents

Raised in the church, confirmed, acolyte, choir and at age 14 questioned blind faith and became agnostic. I go to church for others, attend services, weddings and funerals for others and yet continue to question the whole picture. The golden rule along with some parenting and doing a little extra for others does not take blind faith. There are too many Rex Hubbard's, Jimmy Bakers, Muslim extremists to follow anything blindly if you ask me!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Similar circumstances for me growing up. In college I took a class on religions from around the world and in my time with the International Student Union there was just something "more" that seemed to exist. So I revoked my atheism and switched to being agnostic. After graduation and beginning to work in the private world I had a few other revelations that have now taken me into what you could call a "believer" or a person of faith though not necessarily to a particular denomination. It's been an interesting journey and one that certainly makes me believe that the process of doubt, questioning, and discovery is one of the most enlightening and pious acts a human can perform.

That doesn't make atheists the epitome of "holy" in my definition because it is just as ignorant to declare something being a case-closed if you are against religion than for it (hence my eyerolls at our Presidents' remarks on various things declaring arguments being over).

As a species we were given the unique gift of storytelling which has led to incredible advances for our species that only continue into perpetuity. When that ability is abandoned willfully by people who claim to know the entire story, I can only shake my head and continue my eternal quest for knowledge, context, and completeness as I was made and/or developed to do.

2cents's picture
2cents

Hero, this interesting episode of Star Trek says a whole lot to those who question. I call myself "Spiritual"

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/04...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thanks for that! It was a good revisit to that episode and a great way to look at it. Plus, hey, you hit a button with Star Trek.

A film called "The Gods Must be Crazy" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080...) is another good example.

A Sho in the Kalahari desert encounters technology for the first time--in the shape of a Coke bottle. He takes it back to his people, and they use it for many tasks. The people start to fight over it, so he decides to return it to the God--where he thinks it came from. Meanwhile, we are introduced to a school teacher assigned to a small village, a despotic revolutionary, and a clumsy biologist.

In it's own way the movie Avatar (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499...) does a decent job, too.

Dr. Information

So atheists want to put up billboards that they do not believe. Is it just me or am I confused. If I don't believe in something I don't need a billboard to tell others how I feel.

They want to get others together to discuss why the do not believe? Wow, that must be one in depth conversation. "Hey, I don't believe in God"...the next person "me neither"......and so on and so on. What do they discuss after that 20 second conversation.

meowmix

I become a believer once a month come Communion time...mmm, mmm, love that wafer and Mogan David wine! :*}

SamAdams

I'm not big fan of overt evangelism WHEREVER it originates. If you want people to think you're right, that YOU'VE found the best philosophy for a happy and productive life, won't you be more convincing via example than by advertising?

By all means, if somebody asks you a question concerning your beliefs, feel more than free to expound upon it. But if nobody asks, why would you persist in shoving the "answers" down their throats anyway? As far as I'm concerned, that's as true for Christians as it is for Muslims as it is for, yes, atheists.

Stop It

I keep my insanity wrapped up in a neat and tidy little ball. When I feel like tasting some, I pull that lil piece off and savor it till it's almost gone. Then I take it and put it back in the ball to replenish itself for furtherance. :)

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

That's your idea of a rational comment? Might be time to crawl out of mom's basement and get some fresh air...might help.