Skepticism

AI: Billboards

We see them every day on our commute. Most blend in with their surroundings and we don’t even realize that we see them anymore, but some of them catch the eye. The ones catching the most flack in recent years are those supporting atheism. They go up and are pulled right back down in most cases. There was one in my city [Philadelphia] a year or so ago:

atheist-billboard

I don’t know exactly how long it remained on the side of I-95N, but I don’t think I saw it more than 3 times. There are more examples of billboards across the country, attempting to make those who don’t believe feel more comfortable about coming out of the closet so to speak.

freedom_from_religion

I hope that the ones that have gotten put up and left in place for longer than a weekend have made a difference. The problem is in the double standard. There are a whole lot more billboards promoting churches and religion in general, but there is no epic battle to have them removed.

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billboard_smaller

The last one is my favorite. Because we all know how opposed to science atheists tend to be. So I ask you, lovely readers, what you would do if granted public advertisement rights via billboard. (It doesn’t have to relate to atheism, BTW.)

You’ve been given billboard space in a well-travelled area and carte blanche on its content. What does it say?

A big “thank you” to Steve DeGroof for the topic idea. I asked for help in my grumbly morning grogginess and he kindly obliged. Thanks!!

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

Chelsea

Chelsea is the proud mama of an amazing toddler-aged girl. She works in the retail industry while vehemently disliking mankind and, every once in a while, her bottled-up emotions explode into WordPress as a lengthy, ranty, almost violent blog. These will be your favorite Chelsea moments. Follow Chelsea on Twitter: chelseaepp.

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79 Comments

  1. Many years ago my wife and I would kill time on long drives by coming up with amusing messages we’d put on billboards if we could. Mostly just things that would make people scratch their heads.

    “It’s not really chicken”

    “Didn’t you know that…”

    And of course an all white billboard with the word “Green” printed in red.

  2. “I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”
    – Mark Twain

    Or
    “The thug is aware that loudness convinces sixty persons where reasoning convinces but one.”

    There’s so many good ones.

  3. @jrpowell: If I couldn’t tear it down, I’d replace it with clear glass.

    You beat me to it. I was going to say “Paint it the color of the sky.” One less billboard would be my gift to humanity.

    Actually my part of Colorado has very tight sign ordinances. I haven’t seen a billboard in months.

  4. There are so many things wrong with that atheist billboard at the end.

    Besides the fact that the statement is false, no atheist believes that, its hilarious, because believing that everything came from nothing (a la. I dream of Jeannie [i.e. god]) is exactly what theists believe!

  5. “Show me your boobies”

    “God let your wife die but he helped that quaterback make a touchdown.”

    “Wax it, I’m tired of pulling hair out of my teeth.”

    “The angles have the blue box.”

    “God didn’t stop you from getting raped but he helped the New York Yankees win the World Series.”

    “Go to church, all my best work is done there.

    -Satan”

    “Bananas fit easily into Ray’s hands and mouth”

    “Stop for a drink on the way home, you drive better when you are drunk.”

    “Don’t make me get my hammer.

    -Thor”

    “Cthullu is dreaming about you.”

    “Miskatonic University”

  6. “If God knows everything, why does He test your faith?”

    “[INSERT SLOGAN HERE]”

    “Don’t let gays get married, they’ve been through enough”

    “Have you grabbed your ankles today?”

    “Your boss called, work has been postposed until further notice.”

    “FREE MONEY: Next exit, second right, up three stoplights, (progressively smaller) left at the green barn, go 12 miles, through the round-a-bout, (the rest too small to read)

    “Only wankers use Ad Hominems”

    “Our apologies, due to a Mayan Prophesy, 2013 has been cancelled.”

    “You missed your exit”

    “Turn your head and cough!”

    “CAR!”

    “I cut your brakes before you left”

    “God loves atheists-he made them”

    “You got stalker!”

  7. A graphic ad for a nonexistant strip club with the address and phone number of the church down the street from my house. -Not that I have anything against them more than any other, it would just increase my chances of seeing the results.

    An ad for the latest oprah’s book club selection featuring The God Delusion or something else equally wonderfull.

    One of those magic eye pictures, optimally a schooner.

    A warning message about a serial killer who had been hitchhiking in the area along with a description of his methedology and preferred targets. – Not usefull very often, but that one guy who picked up a hitchhiker 2 miles before the sign will crap himself.

  8. I had to take a look at the site mentioned in that fourth billboard (hadn’t seen it before).

    The first page mentions that “A 2007 survey in the U.S. showed that the number of 18-25 year olds who were atheist, agnostic or nonreligious had increased from 11 percent in 1986 to 20. ” (sic and cited to HumanistNetworkNews.org , Jan. 24, 2007)

    Well, Yes!!, though they then go on to say how terrible this is and what you should be doing to combat this trend.

  9. “Your God was nailed to a tree. My God carries a hammer. Do the math.” – Paid for by the council for the revival of Norse Mythology.

    Or;

    “Why live in fear of Hell when you can convert to Buddhism and unlock the Infinite Lives cheat?”

  10. I’d love to see a billboard in Australia that reads “Beware of the Drop Bears”

    I can think of more profound things to say, but nothing that could be read when zooming by in a car.

  11. @Gabrielbrawley: “Stop for a drink on the way home, you drive better when you are drunk.”

    I see what you did there.

    “God did not help the Yankees win the World Series, it was great pitching and timely hitting…oh, and the Phillies suck.” – somewhere outside of Philadelphia

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

    @infinitemonkey: “CAR!”

    Say’s it all, doesn’t it.

  12. “If you drive slowly in the passing lane, Jesus will give your baby a gay liberal vaccine.”

    Hmm, that’s not quite right.

    “If you drive slowly in the passing lane, Jesus vaccinate your babies against Christmas.”

  13. Another thought;

    If it’s fifth and last in a row of billboards, just put “BURMA SHAVE” on it with a “Rent this space” sign hung half-assedly over it. Make the older drives maddeningly wonder what the hell the other four said before they were replaced.

  14. “Just a reminder: your dad ejaculated in your mom.”

    I think it’s hilarious that adults react so violently to thinking about their parents having sex. Get over it!! I mean, I don’t dwell on it or anything, but honestly – this is how babies are made!

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