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2/28/09

Board to Tears

I certainly wish that I could stop posting about such things but as long as Dan Barker and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (hereinafter FFRF) are joining the ranks of the sorts of atheist who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, time and energy during a time of worldwide recession not in order to help anyone but in order to advertise just how clever they think themselves to be, it must be noted—yet again.

Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality
Indeed bumper sticker level atheist adds are back in the form of billboards, “compliments of the Freedom From Religion Foundation”; read as compliments of donated money, compliments of the FFRF is tantamount to stating that the government is funding ___________ (fill in the blank) the government does not fund anything, we do through our taxes. Likewise, people are donating money to spend on adds, yet again.
Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality
One add will feature a quote from Prof. Richard Dawkins who from the safety and comfort of countries whose societies are based on Christian principles made the narrowly prejudicial comment, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”
Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality
From the with friends like these, who needs enemies? files the following quotation was selected from Clarence Darrow, “I don't believe in God, because I don't believe in Mother Goose.” Imagine making such a statement and having the FFRF plaster it in billboards. This statement registers as not even qualifying for the label Sunday School Atheism in its lack of erudition even in an area as generic as natural theology.
Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality
Emily Dickinson weighs in with a typical, typically fallacious, falsely dichotomous statement, “‘Faith’ is a fine invention, When gentlemen can see, But microscopes are prudent, In an emergency!”Butterfly McQueen, made a statement that, at least as quoted, is just generic enough that I do not know any Christians who would disagree with it, “As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion.” Being the ancestor of slaves myself and having witnessed the scourge that is “religion” I offer a hearty AMEN!!!Mark Twain’s quote is as clever as he ever was but very, very short on accuracy, “Faith is believing what you know ain't so.”
Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality
Katharine Hepburn’s quote is succinct enough and offers a baseless, yet admirable, moral assertion, “I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe that there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.”Thus, there you have it, good money, time and energy gone to waste, yet again.

Co-founder of the FFRF, Annie Laurie Gaylor, stated “We'll need to see the same outpouring of support from U.S. freethinkers, because to make an impact in the United States is a lot more challenging.”

It must be very difficult to make an impact in the US where atheist can make their living by filing lawsuits, giving lectures, writing prejudicial books, becoming celebrity activists, give interviews on the radio and TV, found organizations that spend money on themselves, etc., etc.
Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality
By “the same outpouring of support” she means the UK atheists who wasted money, time and energy on bus adds. The FFRF actually has quite a history of wasting money on expressing prejudice. Their first add was placed in 1983 and read, “The Bible: A Grim Fairy Tale.” The next year they placed another, exclusively anti-Christian, add depicting the mother of Jesus running out of the stable stating, “It's a Girl!”

Perhaps, just perhaps, someday they will be able to consider the annals of atheist statements and come up with something, anything, that is positive, something, anything, besides “‘religion’ is bad, bad, bad!” Yet, such does not appear to be within the scope of the personality of the FFRF founders or members.
Atheism bus ads, atheism and morality

I recall that when I was first getting interested in atheism I would watch the American Atheists’ TV show and episode after episode after episode after episode thinking “Surely, one of these days they will talk about atheism.” Yet, that day never seemed to come. Rather, every episode was a prejudicial rant by very angry people.

Sadly, controversy and prejudice sell and are attention getters and people who crave attention do not seem to care if that attention is positive or negative. Dan Barker, Annie Laurie Gaylor, et al, make their living from outrage and so, as odd as it may seem, it seems to work for them.[1]


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Gleaning from my previous posts on likewise subjects regarding Dan Barker—

Dan Barker and Neo-Pagan Atheism

Addendum to “Dan Barker and Neo-Pagan Atheism”

—it seem appropriate to revisit what the billboards would look like if they quoted Dan Barker:







[1] All quotes taken from Trina Hoaks, Woo Hoo! Atheist buses are coming to the US!, February 12, 2009

10 comments:

  1. Mariano, if you really want a country that's based on xian principles, why not Calvin's Geneva? The countries of the west have our laws and freedoms based on more than just xian ideas. Greek (democracy), Roman, etc.

    And as has been pointed out over and over, xians themselves waste a lot of money on signs, churces, etc. and have been doing so for far longer than the atheists have.

    Once atheists start doing what you people do, then you start complaining about the loss of money that could have been better spent, etc.

    Pike off and get off your high (hobby) horse, mariano.

    This self-righteous act of yours is what's boring people to tears.

    Gad, I'm tired, both of this and just physically beat. I'll let someone else flog this.

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  2. Ray Comfort has spent a tidy sum with his billboard in LA.
    His message can easily be shown to be a lie/ gross distortion.

    If I had been donating money to him I would not be very happy with that decision.

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  3. Perhaps you mean, "Bored" to Tears?

    Or am I missing a play on words?

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Mariano, if you really want a country that's based on xian principles

    Oh snap! I know you did NOT replace "christ" with "x".

    You, sir, are a rebel.

    why not Calvin's Geneva

    The obvious answer would be that Mariano was not referring to the values of some specific, historical "disciple" of Christ, but the principals of Christ Himself, as outlined in the Bible.

    The countries of the west have our laws and freedoms based on more than just xian ideas. Greek (democracy), Roman, etc.

    Which proves that Mariano was wrong when he said that all of our values were Christian based. He said that, right?

    And as has been pointed out over and over, xians themselves waste a lot of money on signs, churces, etc. and have been doing so for far longer than the atheists have.

    I've already addressed this point, but I'll quickly recap for you.

    The difference between a bunch of atheists showing "how clever they are" with a billboard, as Mariano stated, and Christians advertising for their church with a billboard: At least SOME Christians do SOME good with the money.

    Once atheists start doing what you people do, then you start complaining about the loss of money that could have been better spent, etc.

    It's interesting to me that you would use the phrase, "You people", which has been recognized as a cliche associated with bigotry for years now....

    The only reason I point it out is because of the overall tone of your comment - "you people" fits right in.

    Gad, I'm tired, both of this and just physically beat. I'll let someone else flog this.

    That's probably a good idea, because so far you haven't had a valid criticism.

    Perhaps you mean, "Bored" to Tears?

    Or am I missing a play on words?


    You did.

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  6. If I were in your position, I couldn't stop posting articles on the horrific way that many "Christian" evangelists routinely prey on the elderly, the sick, the handicapped. Tha'ts just me though. Personaly I wouldn't really get to bent out of shape obout some atheist spending non tax free money on billboards.

    Actually I kind of do go on and on about the Benny Hinn of the world don't I?

    Yay me!

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh boy, I really should proofread before I hit the submit butto.

    ReplyDelete
  8. IrishFarmer said, quoting me:

    Mariano, if you really want a country that's based on xian principles

    Oh snap! I know you did NOT replace "christ" with "x".
    Oh no! Teh horrorz! Teh HORRORZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You, sir, are a rebel.
    Your point?

    why not Calvin's Geneva
    The obvious answer would be that Mariano was not referring to the values of some specific, historical "disciple" of Christ, but the principals of Christ Himself, as outlined in the Bible.
    Of course, we all know that John Calvin took great pains to ignore everything the bible taught, yep yep.

    The countries of the west have our laws and freedoms based on more than just xian ideas. Greek (democracy), Roman, etc.
    Which proves that Mariano was wrong when he said that all of our values were Christian based. He said that, right?
    Where did I say that he did?

    And as has been pointed out over and over, xians themselves waste a lot of money on signs, churces, etc. and have been doing so for far longer than the atheists have.
    I've already addressed this point, but I'll quickly recap for you.
    Yeah, the same bull that was said on a previous post. I was surprised mariano didn't put it in the main post instead of waiting for a friend to put it in the comments.

    The difference between a bunch of atheists showing "how clever they are" with a billboard, as Mariano stated, and Christians advertising for their church with a billboard: At least SOME Christians do SOME good with the money.
    Right, and NO atheist EVER does ANY good with their money. EVER!!!!!! Bigoted twit.

    So what? Even so, the money that some christians waste on billboards and crap still could have gone to charities and such.

    Are you admitting that those billboards and such that they put out are useless also? If so, then it's hypocritical to complain when some atheists do it.


    Once atheists start doing what you people do, then you start complaining about the loss of money that could have been better spent, etc.
    It's interesting to me that you would use the phrase, "You people", which has been recognized as a cliche associated with bigotry for years now....

    Wow, you're really pulling some taffy here. Good grief. Like this website blog never disparages atheists ever. You people (the people who run this blog in case you think I'm being a "bigot" again!) only seem to criticize members of the atheist community, while saying that our philosophy is "dead". Right. Pot, kettle, black.

    If "you people" can be stretched to be "bigoted" then damn near anything can be.

    By the way..."you people" is also used when the person talking is talking to a person who's a member of a group that the first person is talking about.

    If I didn't want to look as bigoted as you people, tell me: What phrase should I have used then when referring to you and other members of your faith?

    The only reason I point it out is because of the overall tone of your comment - "you people" fits right in.
    As I said before: Pot, kettle, black.

    Gad, I'm tired, both of this and just physically beat. I'll let someone else flog this.
    That's probably a good idea, because so far you haven't had a valid criticism.
    Go back to the farm Jethro, and let others do the talking. You haven't said anything sensible yet.

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  9. Reynolds, I'm going to attempt to respond to your comment. I only ask that you be patient with me, as I cower in the shadow of your towering intellect.

    Your point?

    No point, really. I just think that it's rather juvenile to use the phrase "xian" or "xianity". There's no real purpose to it, other than to show your personal hatred/bigotry/or whatever-you-want-to-call-it.

    Of course, we all know that John Calvin took great pains to ignore everything the bible taught, yep yep.

    That's besides the point.

    Where did I say that he did?

    You didn't, but your statement only makes sense if Mariano claimed that all of your values were based on Christianity. If that wasn't your intent, then what was the point of asserting that some of our values are independent of Christianity?

    Yeah, the same bull that was said on a previous post. I was surprised mariano didn't put it in the main post instead of waiting for a friend to put it in the comments.

    Ok...

    Right, and NO atheist EVER does ANY good with their money. EVER!!!!!! Bigoted twit.

    Well, I assumed we were discussing the distinction between organized Christianity and organized Atheism. But now that I put it that way, I suppose atheists have organized things like blood drives and so on in the name of atheism.

    So what? Even so, the money that some christians waste on billboards and crap still could have gone to charities and such.

    The point still stands that christians aren't doing it to prove that they're clever, but to draw a congregation. So, even if Christianity is true, a large congregation = more income = more charitable work. So, one could still argue that Christian billboards aren't as pointless.

    Wow, you're really pulling some taffy here. Good grief. Like this website blog never disparages atheists ever.

    I disparage atheists all the time, but I usually do it in fun...or at least in the name of snarkiness and sarcasm, which is also fun.

    I don't really know if you're a bigot, that's just the way your words came off in your original comment.

    You people (the people who run this blog in case you think I'm being a "bigot" again!) only seem to criticize members of the atheist community, while saying that our philosophy is "dead". Right. Pot, kettle, black.

    Not all criticism is bigotry. For instance, I'm a fan of Micahel Shermer. He's a likable guy, but he's an atheist - and I don't think he's a bigot.

    Richard Dawkins on the other hand...

    If I didn't want to look as bigoted as you people, tell me: What phrase should I have used then when referring to you and other members of your faith?

    I really don't care that much about whether or not you're a bigot. We can just assume, for the sake of argument, that you're not.

    Go back to the farm Jethro, and let others do the talking. You haven't said anything sensible yet.


    The irony of this statement is mildly amusing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. IrishFarmer said...

    Of course, we all know that John Calvin took great pains to ignore everything the bible taught, yep yep.
    That's besides the point.

    Where did I say that he did?
    You didn't, but your statement only makes sense if Mariano claimed that all of your values were based on Christianity.
    Fair enough, so if that claim is ever made here I'll be able to count on you to disagree with the poster who makes it?

    It's what happens when one is composing replies to more than one blog, (I was replying to a Ray Comfort posters' comment at the time also, bleah. I attributed his statement to mariano, and mariano's statement to him!

    It'd explain why my comment didn't make it in there. *headsmack*

    Gotta proof-read this stuff more.

    To be fair, I probably should have just said that: "Mariano complains about atheists enough that he seems to want to live in a country that doesn't allow them to have free speech".


    By the way, on what basis is Mariano making his claim that the FFRF people are making those billboards "just to show how clever they are"? He makes that claim a lot, but he never backs it up.

    Aren't they just trying to get people to think about the other side of the issue?


    If that wasn't your intent, then what was the point of asserting that some of our values are independent of Christianity?
    Explained above, I ***-ed up when I posted.




    Right, and NO atheist EVER does ANY good with their money. EVER!!!!!! Bigoted twit.
    Well, I assumed we were discussing the distinction between organized Christianity and organized Atheism. But now that I put it that way, I suppose atheists have organized things like blood drives and so on in the name of atheism.
    "in the name of atheism", no. Just done to help others, yes. That is one thing that is different between religous and secular charities; no strings attached and no pressure to commit to a particular worldview with the secular charities.

    In that vein, one will never, and should never, find any "atheist" charities that work the same way as "christian" charities.

    So what? Even so, the money that some christians waste on billboards and crap still could have gone to charities and such.
    The point still stands that christians aren't doing it to prove that they're clever, but to draw a congregation.
    What makes you guys think that the FFRF people are doing it to show that they're "clever"???

    Besides, a lot of those highway billboards do not advertise any particular church, just to get people to think about "god" more. Just as the FFRF billboards are made to make people think about atheism more.

    So, even if Christianity is true, a large congregation = more income = more charitable work.
    That's a rather bold assumption, also didn't you mean to say: "Even if christianity is false, a large congregation = more income = more charitable work"?

    So, one could still argue that Christian billboards aren't as pointless.
    No. One could not; Let's see if I worded this right:

    Unless you're trying to encourage some sort of bigotry here: just because some group isn't as large as another group, their contributions to society won't amount to as much, so it's ok to disparage them when they dare "waste" any money doing stuff like what the larger group (christians with their billboards) do, because they're wasting resources, while the larger group, christianity, contributes more to charity so it's alright to criticize the smaller group (atheists) when they put up billobards, yet when xians do it, it's OK.

    Am I reading you right here??

    Either way, by either group by mariano's thinking, money is being wasted. Besides, as I said in a comment on a previous post that dealt with this topic: Most people know where the churches are, and the billboards are right in front of the churces. How many new people are they really bringing in who otherwise would have never known about the churches in question anyway? In other words: How much of an increase in "charity" are those billboards bringing in?


    Wow, you're really pulling some taffy here. Good grief. Like this website blog never disparages atheists ever.
    I disparage atheists all the time, but I usually do it in fun...or at least in the name of snarkiness and sarcasm, which is also fun.

    I don't really know if you're a bigot, that's just the way your words came off in your original comment.

    ah, ok...All in the name of "snarkiness and sarcasm..." ;)

    You people (the people who run this blog in case you think I'm being a "bigot" again!) only seem to criticize members of the atheist community, while saying that our philosophy is "dead". Right. Pot, kettle, black.
    Not all criticism is bigotry. For instance, I'm a fan of Micahel Shermer. He's a likable guy, but he's an atheist - and I don't think he's a bigot.

    Richard Dawkins on the other hand...

    And his criticism is bigotry? What's the difference between him and Shermer, or the "real" Frank Walton who started this blog, orginally named "Atheism Sucks"?

    If I didn't want to look as bigoted as you people, tell me: What phrase should I have used then when referring to you and other members of your faith?
    I really don't care that much about whether or not you're a bigot. We can just assume, for the sake of argument, that you're not.
    Even though you said that I kept using the kind of phrases that bigots use?

    Well, at least that's out of the way.

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