A seventh grade student in Fresno, California is causing a fuss with parents after the school displayed a poster in the lobby. The poster depicts Jesus, in the style of an Uncle Sam recruitment poster, under the heading “I Want You”, with a continuation underneath “To Kill All Infidels!” The poster was made as part of a project on the crusades where students were asked to make recruitment posters for the crusades. Further down the poster it states, “Meet Me In Jerusalem, get a free ticket to heaven.” I think the young student should be commended on bringing home the truth of the affair in a simple poster. Parents, however, just want it taken down. Perhaps they should remove the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition from history lessons?
Atheists in Streator, Illinois offended some Christians during Easter week by erecting a sign saying “Nobody died for our ‘sins’, Jesus Christ is a myth”. It was erected in protest against an Easter display of crosses in the same park. It caused so much offense that by Easter Sunday, the sign had disappeared and all that was left were two bent poles. In response the Atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, offered a reward of $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. They also want it treated as a hate crime. The sign in the picture is a replacement sign, to which they have added the additional message, “P.S. your god says ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’”
Do you have an imaginary friend? If you believe in a God then the Colorado Coalition of Reason think you do. They are putting up billboards declaring that God is an imaginary friend and urging people to choose reality because it will be better for all of us. They say the billboards are not intended to cause offense, but to let like minded Atheists know that they are not alone. On their website they say they are not asking people to stop believing in their version of a supernatural being, just to stop trying to make everyone else do the same. Amen Brother. God Bless Atheism.
Why do religious zealots need everyone else to believe what they believe? Family Radio spent a fortune on billboards trying to convince us that the world would end on May 21st this year. The leader of this cult is now saying that believers were saved on that day and it is now too late for salvation for the rest, although other broadcasters on the station are giving a different message. The icon on their website (wecanknow.com isn’t that ironic) is still a little calendar date of May 21, but there is no other mention of the date. They still say the world is about to end, but they are not so certain of the exact date anymore. The latest set of religious billboards to upset people are appearing in Sydney, Australia, sponsored by the Islamic group MyPeace. The slogan that seems to be causing most offense among Christians is “Jesus: Prophet of Islam”. They seem to think that would encourage Christians to see the similarities between the faiths, but it actually shows one of the fundamental differences. More details at onislam.net. Last Christmas we had an Atheist group, in New York, putting up billboards about the birth in a manger being a myth, which was counteracted by Christian billboards saying it was real. Before that it was billboards on buses, in the UK, saying there is definitely no God, again counteracted by there definitely is a God. The Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Atheist has a meditation on American religious billboards. Although it all provides great amusement for Apathists, who don’t care who is right, it is an awful waste of money that could be used for better purpose. So why do people spend so much trying to convince others to share their beliefs? My guess is that it’s easier to have strong beliefs in things that have no evidence or proof, if lots of other people believe it too. We can’t all be crazy, can we?
A bus advertisement stating, “there definitely is a God” drew the largest number of complaints in 2009, according to the British Advertising Standards Authority. The campaign was organised by the Christian Party, the Trinitarian Bible society (a bible publisher) and the Russian Orthodox Church. The add was a direct response to another bus advertisement placed by the British Humanist Association which stated, “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The Humanist advertisement was the sixth most complained about in 2009. It’s a little disheartening to an Apathist that people are willing to go to such lengths to advertise their beliefs and that so many people care enough to complain about them.
Bus advertisements seem to be the weapon of choice for religious battles. In the US, Pamela Geller, who maintains the blog “Atlas Shrugs”, started a “Leave Islam” campaign, which she claims advertises support for Muslims fearing to leave their religion. Similar adverts were pulled in Miami after Muslims claimed they were a smoke screen for hatred, but they were re-instated following a lawsuit.