"You know it's a myth! This season, celebrate reason!"
December 14, 2010 7:45 AM   Subscribe

 
Good, Fort Worth deserves to be rattled.
posted by blucevalo at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there a no sign-in link?
posted by empath at 7:48 AM on December 14, 2010


Good.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:50 AM on December 14, 2010


Metafilter: More brouhaha for the buck.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:51 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I live in Fort Worth (don't ask) and everyone I know has cheered the ads. Of course, I necessarily associate with a somewhat limited group of people ;)
posted by tingting at 7:51 AM on December 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is what x-mas is all about.
posted by three blind mice at 7:52 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think they're just as unnecessary and obnoxious as the pro-Christianity bus ads in NYC.
posted by hermitosis at 7:52 AM on December 14, 2010 [15 favorites]


Is there a no sign-in link?

I looked. If there is I don't know of it, sorry.
posted by Dragonness at 7:55 AM on December 14, 2010


This happened in Des Moines last year too.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2010


Misleading and inaccurate FPP. The Fort Worth campaign reads: "Millions of people are good without God." The, "You know it's a myth!" ad campaign is an entirely different group in an entirely different state and an entirely different type of advertising.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


That is, like, the most inoffensive sign ever. It's like a sign that says "Water is Wet".

Good on the DFW CoR for stirring up so much publicity! Can't believe that some religious organizations walked right into it.
posted by muddgirl at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I prefer the old t-shirt slogan "Polar tilt is the reason for the seasons".
posted by norm at 7:57 AM on December 14, 2010 [41 favorites]


I look forward to:

"Millions of people are deluded into believing the Royal Family, Parliament, the US Congress, the President and the heads of the all major banks and media corporations are not actually lizardpeople from Sigma-6."

(It will either have to be small print or a very large bus.)
posted by griphus at 8:00 AM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


""It’s a season to share good will toward all men," Mr. Tatum said. "To have this at this time come out with a blatant disrespect of our faith, we think is unconscionable.""

Can't think of a better example of the inherent tension between Christianity as an individual faith and as a phenomenon of social-group identity and history. Can you imagine Christ saying anything like this?
posted by facetious at 8:00 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Misleading and inaccurate FPP. The Fort Worth campaign reads: "Millions of people are good without God." The, "You know it's a myth!" ad campaign is an entirely different group in an entirely different state and an entirely different type of advertising.

True. Apologies for that. What they do have in common is the atheist theme and the timing.
posted by Dragonness at 8:01 AM on December 14, 2010


Usually atheism stories are very black and white with only the extremes on both sides cited, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a little reason represented:
“It doesn’t seem to me as an in-your-face, God-is-not-good message,” said Tim Bruster, the senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, where 3,500 families worship. “My very strong opinion is that, as people of faith, the very thing we should not do is lash out and condemn.”
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


“It doesn’t seem to me as an in-your-face, God-is-not-good message,” said Tim Bruster, the senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, where 3,500 families worship. “My very strong opinion is that, as people of faith, the very thing we should not do is lash out and condemn.”

A true Christian.
posted by rotifer at 8:04 AM on December 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


“It can be pretty lonely for a nonbeliever at Christmastime around here. There is so much religion,”

This non-believer has never really had a problem celebrating Christmas. My immediate family has atheists, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Wiccans along with a Christian or two and we all manage to have a good time exchanging presents and eating pie.
posted by octothorpe at 8:04 AM on December 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Although I like the whole "get atheists to seek out other atheists" idea, I'd love to see such an ad campaign that read something like, "If you really believe in heaven, why do you cry at funerals?"
posted by cthuljew at 8:08 AM on December 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


Can you imagine Christ saying anything like this?

I don't even think he spoke English.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:09 AM on December 14, 2010 [29 favorites]


If Fort Worth was rattled by these obvious and non-controversial statements, then they needed rattling.
posted by DU at 8:10 AM on December 14, 2010


When I lived in Alabama I was floored by the incredibly crass christian junk mail I started getting, usually two or three cheap fliers:

Come to East Shithole Baptist this Sunday and watch the Tide replays afterwards on our Jumbotron!

vs.

Come to West Bumfuck Baptist this Sunday, listen to our new sound system, and relax at our newly renovated rec room.

It was about the most unchristian advertising I could imagine.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:14 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can you imagine Christ saying anything like this?

I don't even think he spoke English.


Long haired homeless man found wandering the streets of Houston wearing robes. His accent was so thick we bought him a ticket back to New Orleans.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:15 AM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Axial tilt: the reason for the season.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:19 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is there a no sign-in link?

Not for Atheism. In Christianity, they usually call it "baptism."
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:20 AM on December 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


"It’s a season to share good will toward all men," Mr. Tatum said. "To have this at this time come out with a blatant disrespect of our faith, we think is unconscionable."

*sigh* Long term sockpuppet coming clean: This was a test of faith and you failed to turn the other cheek as previously requested.

Your friend,
Jeebus
posted by biffa at 8:26 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've lived in Texas almost all my life (and Fort Worth for the past 3 years) and I don't think I've ever had somebody ask me out of the blue what church I go to. Then again, I've always been in or around the big cities.

I haven't actually seen any of these billboards around here but I tend to tune out all advertising on buses.

If you want something to really get mad at in Fort Worth this month, the city council just killed a proposed modern streetcar and handed back $25 million of free funding from the feds, not to mention all the money that had already been spent on studies. It wouldn't have even taken any money from the general fund. The fed money and TIF money would have paid for the entire project. I went to the last big city council forum on the streetcar and it was at least 70-30 for vs against. But the council still killed it. Including a flip-flopper who two years ago said a streetcar was a 'no-brainer'. It didn't help that a pro-streetcar councilmember was in Germany on some kind of city business and apparently the city council hasn't heard of a thing called teleconferencing.

Ugh.
posted by kmz at 8:27 AM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Good on the DFW CoR for stirring up so much publicity!

Publicity for what exactly though? The ads are ostensibly about raising awareness among atheists that other atheists exist, but it's clear from the mission of the organization and statements by their representatives that the main point is to generate controversy. I personally couldn't care less about some fundies getting upset about atheists buying a bus ad, but there isn't a lot to the campaign other than provoking the kinds of people that are complaining about it.

It can be pretty lonely for a nonbeliever at Christmastime around here. There is so much religion

On the bright side, there's always Festivus.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:28 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


*Waves to ting-ting*.

I'm gonna tell ya'll a secret about Fort Worth; it's starting to get a little bit Austin-y in some ways. Go to Fred's for a burger and some live music, and there'll be some cappies, but also a lot of artists, bikers, general freaks, and hippies, and the music will be better than it has been in years too. I think some of them have actually moved up from increasingly-expensive Austin, in fact, though others have been here for years, underground. There is a small but really vibrant little music scene going on. There is a growing queer community. There are artists, and actors.

All that to say; not all of Fort Worth is a whitebread fundamentalist wasteland. Most of it still is, of course, and we don't have enough jobs, and oh yeah, the city is still pretty much racially segregated. Oh and the Barnett Shale drilling may kill us all with toxic gases if we don't do something about it. But there are lots of non-conformists quietly living amongst the God-botherers.
posted by emjaybee at 8:35 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


but it's clear from the mission of the organization and statements by their representatives that the main point is to generate controversy

Funny, I thought the point of the national Coalition of Reason and its local chapters was for atheists groups to come together to spread awareness about their groups, ando increase membership and dues, so that they can hold events, fund charities, and the like.

Is the existence of atheists groups controversial? I hope not!
posted by muddgirl at 8:37 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Although I like the whole "get atheists to seek out other atheists" idea...

People polarizing into like-minded groups has never worked out well.
posted by rocket88 at 8:38 AM on December 14, 2010


People polarizing into like-minded groups has never worked out well.

Yeah, that club for hiking enthusiasts is really stirring up trouble with the knit night crowd.
posted by muddgirl at 8:40 AM on December 14, 2010 [13 favorites]


Acknowledging the existence of atheists: blatant disrespect of Christianity.

Glad we have that covered.
posted by Zozo at 8:43 AM on December 14, 2010 [11 favorites]


Other clergy members are pressing the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to ban all religious advertising on public buses.

Heh, I was wondering what it would take for them to finally grok the establishment clause.
posted by klanawa at 8:43 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


People polarizing into like-minded groups has never worked out well.

It worked for laborers, women and blacks.
posted by DU at 8:45 AM on December 14, 2010 [19 favorites]


(OT) FW mefites! send me a mail, let's meetup! Always nice to have others with whom to plot/kvetch/weep re: TRV, street cars, Shale
posted by tingting at 8:46 AM on December 14, 2010


In related news, there was the Brazos Valley Atheist Vuvuzela Marching Band (who hummed into their horns rather than blowing them) that also drew ire for mere public existence. To some degree it's a no-win situation. We're bad if we celebrate more Christian aspects of the holiday, bad if we celebrate secular traditions of the holiday, and bad if we abstain.

At which point, I say fuck y'all I'm having fun with my family.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:51 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


tingting: "I live in Fort Worth (don't ask) and everyone I know has cheered the ads. Of course, I necessarily associate with a somewhat limited group of people ;)"

I live in a northern suburb of Fort Worth (no, not Keller), and most of the people I know have been perfectly fine with the ads, including my landlord who, just prior to when I moved in, had a gigantic cross above the mantle (was the landlord's house I moved into). So far, the only real opposition I've been exposed to has been in the pages of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Side note: A friend of mine is pictured in the ad. Sadly, I won't get to see it because I don't go into Fort Worth proper very often, and none of the cities up here has bothered to join the T (they'd all rather spend sales tax money on luring private businesses).

tingting: "(OT) FW mefites! send me a mail, let's meetup! Always nice to have others with whom to plot/kvetch/weep re: TRV, street cars, Shale"

Sure, that'd be fun. Kincaid's, anyone?
posted by fireoyster at 8:53 AM on December 14, 2010


Some ministers organized a boycott of the buses, with limited success.

They tried to boycott the bus system.

*smack*
posted by gurple at 9:07 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]



Although I like the whole "get atheists to seek out other atheists" idea...

People polarizing into like-minded groups has never worked out well.


Agreed, neither has baiting fundies for the sake of baiting fundies. "Raising awareness" my ass.
posted by mikoroshi at 9:07 AM on December 14, 2010


Overtly public fanatical polarizing of opinions gets you nowhere.
posted by weezy at 9:13 AM on December 14, 2010


"Raising awareness" my ass.

The group putting the ads up claims not to be trying to bait fundies. They're trying to help atheists feel like they're not alone during the Christmas season. Ostensibly. If you take them at face value, should they have to hide their message of camaraderie just to avoid baiting the fundies?

If you don't take them at face value and you think they are just fundy-baiting (which is a reasonable view) I still think there's some value there. When moderates see what extremists will do in response to a milquetoast ad like this, they'll feel more distance from the extremists.
posted by gurple at 9:13 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]




I like this ad. It plays up the positive side of atheism - you can be a good person without believing in God. I want to subscribe to the newsletter and discover what other good things there are about atheism. Unlike the other ad, it doesn't tell me that my mother is incapable of reason.
posted by charred husk at 9:22 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna tell ya'll a secret about Fort Worth; it's starting to get a little bit Austin-y in some ways. Go to Fred's for a burger and some live music, and there'll be some cappies, but also a lot of artists, bikers, general freaks, and hippies, and the music will be better than it has been in years too. I think some of them have actually moved up from increasingly-expensive Austin, in fact, though others have been here for years, underground. There is a small but really vibrant little music scene going on. There is a growing queer community. There are artists, and actors.

Hell, Spiral's been in FW for almost a decade now. And Amy McNutt is going to open an arthouse theater on Magnolia hopefully soon. All along Magnolia there's already tons of artists, bike shops, etc.

There's also all the new development along 7th and the Arts District, though a lot of it is too posh for my tastes. But it's a nice place to go shopping or eating once in a while.

I floated the idea of a Fort Worth meetup a long time ago, but there didn't seem to be enough interest. My favored place to go would still be Chadra's. The best damn Lebanese/Italian food you can find, and a full bar. There's also the Rahr brewery tour on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
posted by kmz at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2010


For some reason, I picture a person on the side of the road, watching these buses and trucks passing. He takes swigs of alcoholic eggnog, as he sings offkey ...

♪ With or without you / With or wiiiithout yoooouuuu / I can't liiiiiiiiiive / With or without yooooouuuuu....
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Makes me so glad to live in the sane refuge that is Dallas.

*sigh*
posted by item at 9:25 AM on December 14, 2010


I thought the solstice was the reason for the season, and Jesus was really born in June. Have any of the big xian types addressed the fact that they are in fact the perps in this war on Xmas? The poor, put-upon Pagans are the true victims this season.
posted by nevercalm at 9:35 AM on December 14, 2010


If "Millions of people are good without God" is the extent of the campaign's message, it is much, much milder than the subtext of the average Christmas episode on 99% of TV shows that explicitly or implicitly imply you're just a miserable stick-in-the-mud if you don't really do Christmas. It is a positive message that if anything takes "people who believe in God are good" as a given. It is not disrespectful of Christianity unless a central goal of Christianity is to paint atheists as necessarily evil.
posted by Hoopo at 9:38 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreed, neither has baiting fundies for the sake of baiting fundies.

How do you avoid baiting a demographic that picks fights over Islamic culture centers, Frosty at a children's party, Atheists singing "Jingle Bells," and "Happy Holidays?"

The answer is you can't. Conservative Christians will complain over anything in public that's not Conservative Christian.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:40 AM on December 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


The thing I don't get about certain "believers" who have a "faith" is that they use these terms and then get upset when other people don't "believe" and "have faith". It's a choice. It's why you are the chosen ones, apparently, and individuals who lead otherwise blameless lives but don't believe are destined to burn in eternity..

If your God is omniscient, don't worry. I'm sure he'll bar the pearly gates and all that to non-believers.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:50 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: "Can you imagine Christ saying anything like this?

I don't even think he spoke English.
"

Of COURSE he did! King James English, at that.
posted by symbioid at 9:52 AM on December 14, 2010


I'm a Christian living in Fort Worth and my reaction to the atheist ads is, "Meh. Good for them." My reaction to people hiring out a truck to follow the bus around is to wonder how that money could be better spent to show "love of God" through mission work, either here or in some of the really hurting places in the world.
posted by Doohickie at 9:53 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Once again I feel sad for the poor put-upon Christian majority.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 9:56 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of COURSE he did! King James English, at that.

You're confusing Jesus with William Shakespeare. In reality, God only wishes they could write as well as Billy Shakes.
posted by kmz at 10:01 AM on December 14, 2010


I drove through Oklahoma City a couple of years ago, driving down I-35 at night. One of the buildings actually had it's lights setup to show a CROSS. An actual skyscraper with this enormous crucifix.

I drove through more recently, though, and there were TWO buildings with the lights setup. And they weren't just offices with windows, but actually lights that didn't cover the whole window.

Some places just have a lot of Christian Advertising. And not stuff like "Come join our church" but "You're going to hell if you don't accept Jesus!" That kind of thing.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2010


"After all, Fort Worth is a place where residents commonly ask people they have just met where they worship and many encounters end with, “Have a blessed day.”
I have my doubts this writer has even been to Fort Worth...
posted by hillabeans at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2010


Great reporting by the NYT: in the photo above the article, you can clearly see that the sign on the bus says, "Millions of Americans are Good without God," which the article quotes as "Millions of people." Then, the billboard truck clearly says "2.1 billion people are good with god," and the article says, "2.1 billion Christians."

I mean, not that the message is changed or anything, but is it that hard to read the signs in the fucking photo that goes with your article?
posted by dellsolace at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2010


Fort Worthians: Click here for info about a possible meet up.
posted by Doohickie at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2010


I grew up in Dallas, TX and stories like this only reaffirms my happiness in becoming a Canadian citizen.

"Oh Canada......"
posted by Fizz at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're confusing Jesus with William Shakespeare. In reality, God only wishes they could write as well as Billy Shakes.

And you're confusing God with King James' translation team.
posted by grubi at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


People polarizing into like-minded groups has never worked out well.


Fuck that, DragonCon is FUN!
posted by Scoo at 10:14 AM on December 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some part of me really wants to tack a "citation needed" onto one of these ads, because I want to know how they got their results, and whether they're statistically significant, and how exactly they defined "good" in the first place... I mean, this is a pretty big claim, after all, saying millions of people are good, with or without any particular deity. I would hope they're not just taking it on faith.

I actually have no problem with these ads, or atheists as a group, really.
posted by gracedissolved at 10:14 AM on December 14, 2010


I was actually thinking that Shakespeare had a big part in KJV, but apparently that's just an urban legend. Oops.
posted by kmz at 10:14 AM on December 14, 2010


Thanks to ennui.bz, if somebody ever asks me what church I go to, "East Shithole Baptist" will be my answer. I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing at that.
posted by NoMich at 10:20 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


2.1 billion people are good with god

Wow, so no Christian is "bad"? That's quite a claim.
posted by Hoopo at 10:20 AM on December 14, 2010


There is a joke somewhere in there about the van following the bus around, and two sets of carbon footprints. Consume for Christ!

"Can you imagine Christ saying anything like this?"

Christ was completely and totally disrespectful to the Jewish Elders/Pharisees of his time. Christ, what an asshole!
posted by Eideteker at 10:27 AM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Publicity for what exactly though?

The organization advertising? I'm sure there are plenty of atheists out there than don't know about this organization and might want to learn more.

“We have gotten some pretty nasty e-mails and phone calls from atheists. But it’s really just about the love of God.”

Unattributed, generalized cases of violence and antagonism.

The ads have incited anger in some places. Vandals destroyed two bus ads in Detroit, ruined a billboard in Tampa, Fla., and defaced 10 billboards in Sacramento. One billboard in Cincinnati was taken down after the landlord received threats.

Attributed, specific cases of violence and antagonism.

Gee, surprise.

“It can be pretty lonely for a nonbeliever at Christmastime around here. There is so much religion,”

This non-believer has never really had a problem celebrating Christmas. My immediate family has atheists, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Wiccans along with a Christian or two and we all manage to have a good time exchanging presents and eating pie.


Some people care more than others about involuntary indoctrination.

To some degree it's a no-win situation. We're bad if we celebrate more Christian aspects of the holiday, bad if we celebrate secular traditions of the holiday, and bad if we abstain.

I agree. I think the answer is to secularize Christmas as much as possible, i.e. "Merry Christmas (without Christ or God)!" In fact, I'll make that my new catchphrase (so catchy!) this season.

I picture a person on the side of the road, watching these buses and trucks passing. He takes swigs of alcoholic eggnog, as he sings offkey ...

♫ Just a stranger on the bus ... trying to make his way home. ♫
posted by mrgrimm at 10:34 AM on December 14, 2010


(Psst, any FW mefites should look here.)
posted by kmz at 10:36 AM on December 14, 2010


Hell, Spiral's been in FW for almost a decade now. And Amy McNutt is going to open an arthouse theater on Magnolia hopefully soon. All along Magnolia there's already tons of artists, bike shops, etc.

You haven't heard? Panther City Bikes is closing... :(

Now you'll have to go around the corner to Trinity Bicycles on Main.
posted by Doohickie at 10:37 AM on December 14, 2010


There is a joke somewhere in there about the van following the bus around, and two sets of carbon footprints.

"Those days on which we had two sets of carbon footprints, my child, is when the Atheists scrawled their offensive blasphemy on our public transportation and I was required to refudiate their message with my own device powered via internal combustion."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:37 AM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, sorry about starting that thread in MeTa. I'm so behind the times; never knew about MeFiIRL.
posted by Doohickie at 10:39 AM on December 14, 2010


You know, if atheists want to meet other atheists, seems like Sunday mornings around 10am would be a great time to do it. We'll just meet at any place that isn't a church. See you there!
posted by davejay at 11:21 AM on December 14, 2010


My favorite atheist ad campaign is still "Don't believe in god? You're not alone." It very clearly aims a message of comfort at a marginalized group, showing the people who object to it for the bigots that they are. It's similar to the "It gets better" campaign recently aimed at gay youth.
posted by Marla Singer at 11:33 AM on December 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


Seconds later, a van follows bearing a riposte: “I still love you. — God,” with another line that says, “2.1 billion Christians are good with God.” ... a group of local businessmen paid for the van with the Christian message to follow the atheist-messaged buses around town.

I bet Jesus could have found a better use for that money.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:38 AM on December 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


""It’s a season to share good will toward all men," Mr. Tatum said. "To have this at this time come out with a blatant disrespect of our faith, we think is unconscionable.""
Hey, no disrespect to your faith intended, but this atheist thinks it might be a good idea to go ahead and share good will toward all people all the time in every season. Eh.
posted by zoinks at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I don't even think he spoke English."

Of COURSE he did! King James English, at that.


My dad was a teacher/janitor at a Baptist elementary school for a while, and they only had the King James version, because other versions were not the "actual words of Jesus." To his credit, the principal knew that this was crap, but there was apparently pressure from the parents to not use other translations that might be more accessible to the kids.

Of course, the fact that my dad had this job while not actually being a Christian is an entirely different story.
posted by Katrel at 12:19 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


That van made me think of the old McDonald's sign: 2.1 Billion served.

As an atheist Texan, native Houstonian and current Austinite, my response to the bus thing in the first place was "good for them". It was hard sometimes in Houston being irreligious, although that was probably exacerbated for me by working for a few years in a company conceived by a bunch of people who met at Second Baptist. It's nice to see the idea that atheists are out there reinforced, even if it's a small thing like a bus ad.

It was also nice to see the reasonable response of the Methodist pastor. I know most religious folks are like me and don't want to push their agenda down anyone's throat, but the media rarely thinks they're interesting enough to report on. It's much easier to make it all "atheists hate God" and "pastor offended by atheists" because that's a better conflict, even though it misrepresents the state of most atheists and most believers.
posted by immlass at 12:21 PM on December 14, 2010


Seconds later, a van follows bearing a riposte: “I still love you. — God,”

One of my biggest pet peeves is that there are people who tell me they believe: (1) that there is a real, personal God, (2) that he has communicated to humans in the past and (3) that some of his communication has been recorded faithfully in inerrant, miraculously preserved scriptures AND THEN THEY MAKE UP SOME CRAP, THROW IT ON A POSTER OR BILLBOARD AND SIGN IT "GOD." What the hell, people? There weren't any verses in the sixty-six books of your perfect, wonderful Bible worth quoting? Half of the reason I struggle with faith is that I think that deep down, a lot of these true believer types are atheists themselves. If you really believed that there was a God capable of communicating if he wanted to, would you dare make up something yourself and sign it from him? You wouldn't do that to a human, but you'll tinker with the deity that way? This, by the way, is what it means to take God's name in vain. It's not about a casual "OMG!," it's about feigning divine imprimatur for your own work.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2010 [19 favorites]


My reaction to people hiring out a truck to follow the bus around is to wonder how that money could be better spent to show "love of God" through mission work, either here or in some of the really hurting places in the world.

I'm not really sure that would help either... Missionary work isn't about helping 3rd world types with food and education, it's about "saving them" by telling them they will burn in eternal hellfire unless they do what you say. Instead of teaching them science and agriculture which could help them, billions of dollars are spent shipping them bibles, teaching them that their drought is caused god's wrath because they don't have sex lying down facing eachother.
posted by inedible at 1:02 PM on December 14, 2010


Missionary work isn't about helping 3rd world types with food and education, it's about "saving them" by telling them they will burn in eternal hellfire unless they do what you say.

As an atheist who has no love for the idea of missionaries in general, but who has some friends who have done some really good work in Afghanistan under the guise of serving their deity... you have no idea what you're talking about, and you're making me look bad.
posted by gurple at 1:32 PM on December 14, 2010


some friends who have done some really good work in Afghanistan

Oh come on, even when I was a Christian I recognized that a lot of missionary work was unhelpful at best. Like any international aid organization, some explicitely-Christian organizations are good, and some are bad. The problem comes when missions of service start to get all mixed up with missions of "spreading the Word".

It's nearly impossible to be an American Atheist and not, by some mechanism, support a Christian mission of service, but that's not an endorsement of their mission of evangelism. For example, the Foundation Beyond Belief supports the first type, but not the second (although they have recently added a donation category which allows donators to funnel their money away from all religious foundations).
posted by muddgirl at 1:45 PM on December 14, 2010


muddgirl, I think you and I agree. I'm not saying that all missionary work is good, or that it's all oriented toward humanist aims -- not at all. But some of it involves a lot more good work (from a secular viewpoint) than proselytizing. inedible was saying that all missionary work is primarily about proselytizing, which simply isn't the case.

There are a lot genuinely good people who do good work to improve conditions in poor countries. And some of them do it under the banner of a deity.
posted by gurple at 1:55 PM on December 14, 2010


gurple: My only experiences with missionaries come from jaded ex-mormons who were disenchanted by missionary work first hand. I admit that may not be representative, and my post might have had a bit of extra snark mixed in. Still, not all missions are about helping people, many are about converting them.

PS: What implies I'm speaking for athiests? I never divulged my faith, let alone said that my opinions represent any specific creed. I know many christians who have negative things to say about missionary work, that we should stay out of other people's faith, and that it's more about assimilation than genuine compassion and caring.
posted by inedible at 1:57 PM on December 14, 2010


The problem comes when missions of service start to get all mixed up with missions of "spreading the Word".

I'm reminded of my senior year of college, in which some atheist friends spent Spring Break rebuilding homes in the recently flooded Mississippi flood plain, while the Campus Crusade for Christ went to the beach, ostensibly to convert people on the boardwalk.

Which group was doing the Lord's work, I wonder.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:06 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think that to most people, Christians included, "Missionary work" specifically refers to missions of evangelism, and those problematic "get a van of teens to drive down to Mexico and build a shack while talking to poor kids about Jesus" trips.
posted by muddgirl at 2:06 PM on December 14, 2010


inedible: oh, yeah, the Mormons. I know that some amount of charitable work gets done on their missions, but from what I know the focus is souls, souls, souls. I talked with a guy who went on a Philippines mission; after a big storm, they would go around and help the locals who had converted to Mormonism rebuild their damaged property. From my perspective this was a particularly brutal form of proselytizing: we'll help you get your life out of the crapper, sure -- all you have to do is join us. From his perspective it was a loving demonstration of the spiritual togetherness of the Mormon community. Whatever.

PS: What implies I'm speaking for athiests?

Good point, and I apologize for the implication. You seemed to be speaking as someone with a bitterly anti-Christian attitude (of which I've been guilty, myself, at times over the years) and that attitude is what I see as one of the uglier facets of many atheist groups.
posted by gurple at 2:08 PM on December 14, 2010


... as one of the uglier facets of many atheist groups.

I should have said "one of the uglier facets of many members of atheist groups". I don't actually have any experience with atheist groups that have this attitude problem.
posted by gurple at 2:13 PM on December 14, 2010


cthuljew: "Although I like the whole "get atheists to seek out other atheists" idea, I'd love to see such an ad campaign that read something like, "If you really believe in heaven, why do you cry at funerals?"

Would you really like to see that? What would be the upside? Someone realizes their heartfelt grief undermines the sincerity of their comforting beliefs? Awesome.
posted by Reverend John at 2:21 PM on December 14, 2010


Which group was doing the Lord's work, I wonder.

From an atheist point of view...trick question.
posted by Sparx at 2:32 PM on December 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Missionary work isn't about helping 3rd world types with food and education, it's about "saving them" by telling them they will burn in eternal hellfire unless they do what you say.

....Nnnnnno, it involves service work. There's preaching, yes, but something tells me that the people who benefit from the service work don't so much care WHAT they need to put up with if it means that their school's roof gets fixed.

I'm reminded of that Eddie Izzard routine about kids and chocolate on Easter:

"You know, Jesus died for your sins today."
"(nomming chocolate) Yeah, I know! It's great! Got another bunny?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:40 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know that as an atheist, I should be offended by the truck following the bus around, but that picture absolutely cracks me up. I looked at it several times today and just burst out laughing each time.

I spent my time today not spending my money on the poor too. I can't work up the energy to get self-righteous.
posted by jenlovesponies at 5:14 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would you really like to see that? What would be the upside? Someone realizes their heartfelt grief undermines the sincerity of their comforting beliefs? Awesome.

Although it might be offensive to the few people who actually lose a loved one at the time the ad is running, I think that pointing out massive cognitive dissonance is always better for people, regardless of how hurtful it might be at first.
posted by cthuljew at 6:12 PM on December 14, 2010


Everytime I see something like this, anywhere, usually on MeFi, there is always the predicatable "atheists should just shut the hell up", "this is just being controversial for controversey's sake" crowd. And that I don't understand. Not only should atheists not shut up, they shouldn't ever feel like they have to. I'm exposed to religion all day long. Ostentatious churches in my neighborhood, television networks on my teevee, politicians tell me this is Jesusland. Creation museums in neighboring states.

I do not believe in god, ghosts, supernatural nonsense or magic. Frankly, I don't really care that religious people are vocal about their beliefs concerning how they view the world and I cannot imagine why anyone would think that atheists shouldn't have the same right to express their world view.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:08 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everytime I see something like this, anywhere, usually on MeFi, there is always the predicatable "atheists should just shut the hell up", "this is just being controversial for controversey's sake" crowd. And that I don't understand. Not only should atheists not shut up, they shouldn't ever feel like they have to.

Speaking as a theist, I do agree that atheists shouldn't shut up about their worldview, nor do I want them to.

However, I do draw a distinction if the particular atheist is expressing a worldview that "theists are deluded/insane/clinging to babyish fantasy", because that is no longer a worldview about religion. That is instead a worldview about other people, and that's not fair.

For the record, I also believe that theists should "shut up" if their "worldview" that they are expressing has moved from "Jesus is Lord" to "atheists are all immoral".

I can't say for certain whether any of the arguments in here that you've seen get shot down have been more "theists are deluded" than "there is no God", but perhaps that may be why they've been "shot down" in at least some instances.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:33 AM on December 15, 2010


cthuljew: It's offensive because it's fucking stupid. As an atheist, I'm 100% positive that death was better for my grandparents than the medical conditions they had before. I still cried, in spite of the fact that they were better off, because my relationship with them was at an end, and the process of watching them die was a slow-burn of pain for the people close to them.

EC: How is "Millions of people (atheists) are good without God" equivalent to "theists are deluded/insane/clinging to babyish fantasy?"
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:53 AM on December 15, 2010


If you really believed that there was a God capable of communicating if he wanted to, would you dare make up something yourself and sign it from him? You wouldn't do that to a human, but you'll tinker with the deity that way?

That's because "God" doesn't speak directly to people, of course. People who think they have talked to God are insane. People that write nifty slogans and sign them "God" know that.

That's why they dare speak in His name. It certainly does seem like taking it in vain.

(Also, isn't "I still love you" a (very loose) paraphrase of several biblical scriptures ... Jeremiah 31:3? IANAT. IANAC.)
posted by mrgrimm at 7:42 AM on December 15, 2010


However, I do draw a distinction if the particular atheist is expressing a worldview that "theists are deluded/insane/clinging to babyish fantasy", because that is no longer a worldview about religion. That is instead a worldview about other people, and that's not fair.

Personally, I think it's perfectly fair. The list of other people folks have worldviews about starts with fans of rival sports teams and TV shows, running all the way up to people who they consider to have deluded/insane/fantastical political opinions, and that's just the worldviews-about-people it's OK to admit in mixed company. The idea that we're not allowed to express opinions about people based on what they believe is pretty ridiculous... which brings us back to the idea that atheists are not allowed to express opinions about people based on what they believe about religion.

"Theists are deluded" is no more or less unfair than "Tea Partiers are racist", "libertarians are crazy", or "atheists are mean/ugly/etc", yet only the former results in 600-comment MeTa threads where we all pretend to be concerned with "civility".

For the record, I also believe that theists should "shut up" if their "worldview" that they are expressing has moved from "Jesus is Lord" to "atheists are all immoral".

For the record, I believe we should have open discussion rather than a site full of people who feel they have to "shut up" because their opinions aren't all-welcoming.
posted by vorfeed at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2010


How is "Millions of people (atheists) are good without God" equivalent to "theists are deluded/insane/clinging to babyish fantasy?"

It's not, and I never said it was.

IvoShandler was saying that he has at other times seen threads on the blue contain "atheists should shut up" retorts, and I was pointing out that perhaps it was because at those other times the comments that they were being asked to shut up about may have been of the "theists are insane" sort. Neither Ivo nor I were talking about this instance.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:31 PM on December 15, 2010


I believe we should have open discussion rather than a site full of people who feel they have to "shut up" because their opinions aren't all-welcoming.

Open discussion is one thing. Open insults are another.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:32 PM on December 15, 2010


Open discussion is one thing. Open insults are another.

Says you. We allow open insults (of the "_____ are insane" sort) about all sorts of topics here. We have mechanisms to deal with them in-thread or in MeTa, too, rather than by suggesting that a particular segment of the site's audience keep their mouths pre-emptively shut about certain topics...
posted by vorfeed at 8:04 PM on December 15, 2010


It's not nice to insult others because of their beliefs, but it happens, it's going to happen. Personally, I don't like being called immoral because I don't believe in a deity or whatever, but I don't let it get to me, I've got a thick skin. I'd hardly think it offensive to my core if someone insults me. Frankly, they can just fuck off.

At the same time I can understand why people would take issue with being called immoral or insane in our little web community here. But in the end it's just a reflection of the real world. And in that world we just cannot avoid this kind of stuff. I still don't think anyone should shut up about how they view the world or other people in the world. If I call Richard Nixon a paranoid psychopath it is sure to offend someone, but it doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true.

I fear I am just rambling now, but I think EmpressCallipygos, vorfeed and I are closer to agreeing than our comments make it seem.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:20 PM on December 15, 2010


As an atheist with lots of religious friends and family, I don't think that atheists should hold back on saying what the believe in order to not offend the delicate sensibilities of religious folks, but at the same time, they should make the effort to be fair about other's beliefs, and not assume that other people haven't thought deeply about religion and struggled with it.

Religious people in general may be wrong, and I believe they are, but usually they are neither stupid or crazy.
posted by empath at 9:35 PM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a Christian, I have noticed the existence of people who are atheists for reasons of which I have to approve. That is, atheist by reason of values that are values which I hold. I suppose these are in line with the "Nothing wrong with Jesus, it's his fan club I can do without" kind of ideas.

Yes, that's right, and I said it. Some folks out there choose atheism because they can't stomach the unholy garbage that spews from the mouths of so many so-called "Christians". Large swaths of the "Christian Right" are composed of people who are out to judge and otherwise engage in one-upmanship to justify the inflated opinion of themselves. And then that most infernal of notions, Calvinism. "If you have 2 coats, God love you more!" kind of utterly satanic bullshit.
posted by Goofyy at 12:03 AM on December 16, 2010


It's not nice to insult others because of their beliefs, but it happens, it's going to happen. Personally, I don't like being called immoral because I don't believe in a deity or whatever, but I don't let it get to me, I've got a thick skin. I'd hardly think it offensive to my core if someone insults me. Frankly, they can just fuck off.

That's as may be. Personally, I just don't think it's cool if you get called immoral, and I tend to say so if those discussions crop up, is all.

If I call Richard Nixon a paranoid psychopath it is sure to offend someone, but it doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true.

*shrug* I don't get the same "hey, that's not fair" reaction when someone is making a judgement about an INDIVIDUAL public figure, because that's a value judgement made ABOUT that individual's OWN actions as opposed to a value judgement about an entire GROUP of people, you know? You're calling Nixon a psychopath because of the things you've seen Nixon HIMSELF do. That's different from making a blanket statement about all ex-presidents, and not even bothering to see what Nixon himself did.

It's the generalizing that I am more talking about, the value judgement based not on seeing an individual person's individual actions but instead on an entire class of people becasue of one single factor. You may shrug at some people making the generalizing value judgement that "because you are atheist then you are immoral," but you shouldn't have to. But someone saying "I think Nixon is immoral because he did thus-and-such," is at least basing their assessment on a concrete thing that they saw Nixon do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:12 AM on December 16, 2010


It's the generalizing that I am more talking about, the value judgement based not on seeing an individual person's individual actions but instead on an entire class of people becasue of one single factor.

I tend to think that's just part of identifying with a group, any group. Generalization strikes me as human nature, be it good or bad, and it's not always necessarily inaccurate (for example it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Christians believe Jesus was the son of God). If it's negative, it's OK, I can take it. But I think if one can't take having their group generalized about one should perhaps rethink identifying as a member of that group. You're probably right, we shouldn't have to put up with it, but this is an imperfect world, part of that imperfection is that people generalize. I don't think that's going to change, despite its fallacious nature.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:29 AM on December 16, 2010


Generalization strikes me as human nature, be it good or bad, and it's not always necessarily inaccurate (for example it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Christians believe Jesus was the son of God). If it's negative, it's OK, I can take it. But I think if one can't take having their group generalized about one should perhaps rethink identifying as a member of that group.

But that's like saying "if you don't like how some ignorant people talk about Muslims, maybe you should stop being Muslim." That smacks of victim-blaming, saying that "it's your fault if you're upset about other peope being wrong about you".

Generalizations happen, yeah, but there's still a difference between generalizations based on actual evidence ("Most Christians regard Jesus as divine" or "atheists quite often started out as theists") and generalizations based on propaganda, projection, or misperception ("All Christians hate science" or "all atheists are immoral babykillers").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:58 AM on December 16, 2010


if you don't like how some ignorant people talk about Muslims, maybe you should stop being Muslim.

That's not really what I meant. What I meant is that if you're going to get all bent out shape over generalizations made in igonorance you might want to rethink how dedicated to that group you really are, because they really shouldn't bother you. Are you Christian, atheist, Muslim because you believe in it or are you one of those because you want to challenge others belief and throw yours in their face and then bitch when they call you insane, or wrong? Thin-skinned whining isn't going to get anyone very far in an open society that doesn't restrict speech. And calling people who engage in that type of thin-skinned "oh you insulted my religion or beliefs or whatever" whining victims smacks of over political correctness if you ask me. You are not a "victim" because someone hurts your feelings. (and I see this crap all over the blue all the time) It shouldn't matter. And all the PC BS in the world isn't changing what people think or what they say. Why should anyone worry about what people think or say about them? As if worrying about it and getting all bent out of shape is going to change that. It's not. Screaming loudly isn't going to change it either. I can state it from mountaintops and snowhills, "I am not immoral" and it's not likely to change one person's opinion.

Republicans tell me all the time I am anti-american, or soft on terrorism or whatever, I don't care, and nothing you or anyone else says is going to make me care or pay attention to opinions that come from ignorance. The real worry isn't in what people perceive or say, it's when those perceptions and statements are used to justify real world violence and discrimination, not hurt feelings. No one gets to be guaranteed that their feelings won't get hurt, from any group. Deal with it, and move on, at least in my mind, is the best advice. If it moves beyond that, there is recourse in the law (like the whole Sharia law fiasco in OK).
posted by IvoShandor at 2:54 AM on December 16, 2010


Then again, maybe I have too much faith in my fellow citizens and the system of laws in the United States.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:58 AM on December 16, 2010


I expounded on this a bit in an email to you, Ivo, but for the benefit of the commons:

What I meant is that if you're going to get all bent out shape over generalizations made in igonorance you might want to rethink how dedicated to that group you really are, because they really shouldn't bother you. Are you Christian, atheist, Muslim because you believe in it or are you one of those because you want to challenge others belief and throw yours in their face and then bitch when they call you insane, or wrong?

That's a fair point. All I was saying, though, is that it's also human nature to dislike it when people make a generalization about YOU that is based in ignorance, and you are absolutely within your rights to call the ignorant on their ignorance. It's always a noble thing to turn the other cheek and shrug it off, but I also believe that you, or anyone, thus confronted should at any time feel free to turn to people who are telling you that "because you are an atheist that means you are immoral" and tell them that they're being an asshole, because -- well, hell, they are. Basically, I just meant "people should always feel free to stand up for themselves and call the ignorant on their ignorance."

The real worry isn't in what people perceive or say, it's when those perceptions and statements are used to justify real world violence and discrimination, not hurt feelings. No one gets to be guaranteed that their feelings won't get hurt, from any group. Deal with it, and move on, at least in my mind, is the best advice.

Also fair. I just personally allow for "call people on their bullshit" as part of the "dealing with it."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:51 AM on December 16, 2010




Generalizations happen, yeah, but there's still a difference between generalizations based on actual evidence ("Most Christians regard Jesus as divine" or "atheists quite often started out as theists") and generalizations based on propaganda, projection, or misperception ("All Christians hate science" or "all atheists are immoral babykillers").

If you believe that the divinity of Jesus is a delusion, though, your first statement suggests that it's OK to say "most Christians are deluded". That's part of the problem, here: Christianity isn't a homogeneous monolith, but it is a belief system which carries a few basic tenets (namely, that Jesus was divine -- and if not divine in a supernatural sense, divine in a sense of special correctness). There are plenty of generalizations one can draw from that, including generalizations which aren't positive.

This is true of just about any group which allows for open membership and asks certain beliefs of its members, but hardly anyone suggests that we mustn't make negative generalizations about groups like the Democrats, the Lions Club, the Boy Scouts, or even latter-day religions like Scientology or Rastafari. Even generalizations about these groups "based on propaganda, projection, or misperception" are welcome around here, if quickly refuted. Yet the minute discussion comes round to major religions, it's "oh noes you can't possibly generalize!" This is a huge double-standard, and one which doesn't reflect well on the site.

I agree with IvoShandor on this one: if you belong to a group, then criticism of that group's beliefs or behaviors is something you have to permit, assuming you value free speech.

Also fair. I just personally allow for "call people on their bullshit" as part of the "dealing with it."

That's fine... but when anti-theist posts are "bullshit" and pro-theist posts aren't, and we're suggesting that people with bullshit ideas should "shut up", there's a problem.

If I encounter What Christianity Means To Me essays when I scroll the site, and I do, then I expect to be able to post about What Anti-Christianity Means To Me from time to time. I'm willing to take whatever "call the ignorant on their ignorance" comments you guys want to dish out, especially since I'm more than happy to back up my assertions, but the idea that I shouldn't talk in the first place is the very epitome of bullshit.
posted by vorfeed at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why what I'm trying to say isn't getting across. Let me try unpicking it this way.

If I encounter What Christianity Means To Me essays when I scroll the site, and I do, then I expect to be able to post about What Anti-Christianity Means To Me from time to time.

I agree. You should be able to post about What Anti-Christianity Means To You. There is no problem with that.

However, there's a difference betwen "What Anti-Christianity Means To Me" and "Why I Think Theists Are Morons." It is possible to talk about "What Anti-Christianity Means To Me" without getting into "Why I Think Theists Are Morons." Just like it's possible to talk about "What Christianity Means To Me" without getting into "Why I Think Atheists Are Evil."

when anti-theist posts are "bullshit" and pro-theist posts aren't, and we're suggesting that people with bullshit ideas should "shut up", there's a problem.

Well, then it's okay, because that's not what I said. What I said is, is that it is possible to be "yay atheism" without ALSO being "theists are stupidheads" at the same time. And it is also possible to be "yay Christianity" without being "atheists are doo-doo-heads" at the same time. And the only thing I wish people would knock it off with are the calling each other doo-doo-heads, not the "yay atheism" stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 PM on December 16, 2010


However, there's a difference betwen "What Anti-Christianity Means To Me" and "Why I Think Theists Are Morons." It is possible to talk about "What Anti-Christianity Means To Me" without getting into "Why I Think Theists Are Morons."

As I pointed out above, if one actually believes that theism is moronic (or a delusion, or whatever), it's a little hard to get into that without implying, at the very least, that theists are morons (or deluded, or whatever).

Besides, the doo-doo-head standard isn't remotely fair -- atheists are and always have been working under a hair-trigger standard of "offensiveness" or "insult" compared to theists, as this FPP shows. I doubt an ad that said "Millions of Americans are Lost Without God" would have gotten all religious ads banned from the bus system, for example.
posted by vorfeed at 9:39 PM on December 16, 2010


As I pointed out above, if one actually believes that theism is moronic (or a delusion, or whatever), it's a little hard to get into that without implying, at the very least, that theists are morons (or deluded, or whatever).

If all you're talking about is your OWN experience, why is that hard? "I realized that the reason and logic behind atheism just made so much more sense to me" or "I just find that the concrete nature of science makes more sense to me than any kind of ancient myth about the origins of the world" are both statements that talk about atheism without getting into slagging other theISTS. You can say "science makes more sense to me than ancient myth about the origins of the world" without adding "and I don't see why anyone else would still persist in believing something so deluded".

Besides, the doo-doo-head standard isn't remotely fair -- atheists are and always have been working under a hair-trigger standard of "offensiveness" or "insult" compared to theists, as this FPP shows. I doubt an ad that said "Millions of Americans are Lost Without God" would have gotten all religious ads banned from the bus system, for example.

I think we're talking about two different things. I do not consider "Millions of Americans are alright without God" to be objectionable, and I believe that the theists who reacted strongly to it are indeed overreacting. In fact, "Millions of Americans are alright without God" is a perfect example of how you can make a statement about atheism without attacking theists in the process. That bus ad is NOT what I'm talking about when I'm talking about the "doo-doo head" standard, and I believe the people who objected to it are indeed being unfair.

When I'm talking about the "doo-doo-head standard," when I'm talking about the things I wish would go away, I am referring expressly to statements like "You all know it's a myth anyway" or slags like "magic sky daddy", or "atheists are all immoral babykillers" or "God's gonna getcha in the end anyway". Those are ATTACKS, and those are not fair. But "millions of Americans are alright without God" is NOT an attack, and is perfectly fine. And I believe the people who are upset about it are overreacting.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:46 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


EC: Those are ATTACKS, and those are not fair. But "millions of Americans are alright without God" is NOT an attack, and is perfectly fine.

Your insistence to talking about those "ATTACKS" in the context of an advertising campaign you admit is entirely inoffensive is both off-topic and a weaselly bit of tone trolling. Granted, you're not the only one that went there. This post should have been deleted for doing the same and the linked news article deliberately ties the Fort Worth ads to the New Jersey ones.

But it gets a bit tiresome when it dominates the discourse.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:02 AM on December 17, 2010


...Sorry, Kirk, not sure what you're getting at?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:05 PM on December 18, 2010


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