It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Blasphemy  

The fact that the FFRF can get away with running their latest bus ad up here is just another of the many reasons I love living in Seattle:

Let me start off by saying that I can see why you would be offended by this, lover of God and/or Christmas, even though I don't think an attack on everyone's favorite seasonal consumer blitz had much to do with the intent behind the ad.

If you're wondering what my personal thoughts are about the ad's message, the short answer is that I don't really know. Or maybe simply "mixed". On one hand, I applaud the atheists of the world for providing me with a little balance in the amount of religious propaganda I'm exposed to on a daily basis. Whether it's church signs, billboards, or some 17-year-old at my door hoping to "light my way," the relentless manner in which various religions have tried to sell me a supposedly better version of myself is one of the many things that led to the formation of my own atheistic opinions in the first place.

However, does employing the same tactics as the groups you oppose make you any better than the oppressive, dysfunctional, and guilt-doling asshats who exemplify the parts you most dislike about organized religion? So many of those I care about in this world have firm spiritual beliefs, and I would hold that against them no more than I would hold my own non-belief over their heads. In the end I guess it's about respect, something such blanket statements as "There is no God" are lacking. Maybe next year's bus campaign can read "Yes Virginia, it's totally cool with me if you don't believe in the existence of a higher power, because even if there is such a thing as a soul, it's yours to do with what you please". I'm sure their marketing team could tighten up the copy on that a little.

I guess no matter what my opinion is on them, the bus ads are here to stay. Meaning I'm on their side, but mostly because I've enacted a coping mechanism wherein each time I see them, I think back to the preacher/high school football coach in Texas who called me a "Godless fag" in front of everyone during the post-practice prayer because I got my ear pierced. I then imagine him seeing the bus ad for the first time and stomping his little feet until his face turns red and he wets himself. Which is ironic if you really think about it, because to witness such an act might in fact lead me to reevaluate my stance on the existence of God.

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17 Reasons to Live

  • Phronk  
    November 16, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    I like that they have the freedom to run the bus ad, but yeah, the message is kinda just fighting fire with fire.

    I prefer the ones that ran on buses in the UK and here in Canada, that said "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." (or something like that)

    It's more moderate, and ends on a positive message of what atheists DO believe in, rather than just what they don't.

  • Fat Sparrow  
    November 16, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    Arguing with religious people is a waste of time. If the schools no longer bother teaching logic and reasoning, it's not like the Sunday Schools are going to take it up.

    Like Mulder, I'd like to believe, I really would, but common sense keeps getting in the way. And anyone selling an intangible product that they're making money on seems more than a little suspicious to me. If I went door to door trying to get people to buy something that they pay for now and supposedly got the benefits of after they've carked it...

    Sorry, must go; just had a brilliant idea.

  • Matt  
    November 16, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    You know, Im not sure how I feel about that.

    Its no more creepier than those dudes who always come up to you on the street and tell you that if you dont follow jesus, you are not going to be able to go to heaven. I can deal with ads... but constant pressure to donate or get involved with recruiting for something I dont truly believe in? That is what pisses me off.

  • Toe  
    November 16, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    I can't believe there hasn't been an uproar about that sign. Ittybitty Town would have chewed them up and spit them out with their strong Religious beliefs (there's no such thing as freedom of speech here in redneck country).

    And religious controversy, I say meh, I don't care if they believe in unicorns and rainbows as a religion to each their own. Although that would be a totally awesome religion.

  • GingerMandy  
    November 16, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    i'm with you in my beliefs and how i feel about the ad. not so sure. but i think either way, seeing really extreme and/or bold statements just pisses me off, regardless of whether or not i support the message just because it sounds as if they're looking to piss off or be hateful toward others, and i don't dig that.

  • Anonymous  
    November 16, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    Since Jesus wasn't really born in December ANYWAY...

  • Ed Adams  
    November 16, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    You can't judge a philosophy by it's abuses.

    God didn't invent religion. Man did. Therefore, it is flawed.

    Christ taught us to love our fellow man, not sell tracks door to door.

    I am a believer. I wasn't always. It was a decision I made through lengthy study and reason.There are just as many intelligent, scholarly, well-educated believers as there are of the blind drone types.

    However, I try not to force my beliefs on anyone else. I also believe those who do so are wrong.

    Just do me a favor, don't judge all Christians by the few assholes you see on TV or the retarded FB coach from H.S.

  • Captain Dumbass  
    November 16, 2009 at 8:11 PM

    To each their own, just don't knock on my fuckin' door during prime time.

  • Anonymous  
    November 16, 2009 at 8:32 PM

    The message I don't mind so much as everything else about the ad. I get that it's supposed to be funny/ironic that Santa Claus is saying it but C'MON, really?

  • Moooooog35  
    November 17, 2009 at 6:38 AM

    Like Virginia gives a shit if there's a God or not as long as she knows that THERE'S STILL A SANTA!!

  • Christian  
    November 17, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    With preachy propaganda and asking for money FFRF qualifies as a religion.

  • Phronk  
    November 17, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    ... except for the whole, you know, not being religious part.

  • shine  
    November 17, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    I'd say you could probably make an argument for this as a religion, if you used the broadest definition of "religion."

    But I don't really think that's the issue at hand here. It's just never good to become those you're fighting to fight them. Take a page out of the Weather Underground playbook, if necessary. Bombing your own people to protest your people bombing other people isn't exactly a recipe for success. More just a recipe to get people to write you off as ridiculous.

    I think, as atheists, we can do better than this. And we don't need to resort to using Santa to do it.

  • ~Cardboard Sea~  
    November 17, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    I'm inclined to agree with Shine that as atheists, we can do better than this. However, it still gets by brains a-turnin' thinking about how the self-righteous hillbillies around here would take great offense at an advertisement like that.

    You should have seen the propaganda around here that the Baptists drummed up with the vote to make the county seat wet. (Yeah, only earlier this year did a sleepy, Jesus-fearing, coal-minin' Vicodin-snorting county in Eastern Kentucky finally make it legal to sell alcohol in only a 3-mile area).

    In the newspaper, Christians took out a half-page ad in every edition proclaiming how people will die if alcohol is consumed (nevermind the rampant problem of hillbilly heroin), and if voters were unable to make it to the polls, churches would pick their dying carcasses up to make sure they voted for Jesus.

    Luckily for the reasonable people who wanted the ability to buy booze without having to drive to the next county over, they never bothered to make any sort stink about how ridiculous the whole situation was, and we are now able to buy beer at the grocery store.

    By the way, I live in the same county Loretta Lynn is originally from. That might give you an idea of the ass-backward place I live.

  • carissajaded  
    November 17, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    I'm not really sure how I feel about this either. As it seems some have already said, isn't shoving your atheism in someone's face, the exact same thing as shoving your religion in someone's face?

    I dated a guy who was very vocal about his belief, actually his extreme lack of belief. His being an atheist didn't really bother me either way, (jury still out on my thoughts) but I really couldn't stand it when he would go off on my more religious friends about how they were stupid and obviously didn't have minds of their own. He was way worse than anyone I have ever known that was pushing religion...

  • Graygrrrl  
    November 17, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    My only problem with this ad is that it could be damaging to children. Do you remember when you found out Santa Claus was your Mom and Dad? On a side note, remember when you realized you were an idiot for not knowing sooner since Santa had the same handwriting as your dad?
    Anyway, freedom of religion and freedom of speech are part of what makes this country great. I just wish they didn't feel the need to kick a kid in the shins while doing it.

  • Fat Sparrow  
    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    Yep, what Graygrrrl said.

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