Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

American Atheists Not Pulling Punches With Their New Billboard

David Silverman (the president of American Atheists)  just posted a new American Atheist billboard advertising the Southeast Regional Atheist Meet:

What do you think?  Are these kinds of ads right on the money, do they do more harm than good, or some third thing?

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Sam Mulvey

Wow, no.


This might rile the atheist base, but the scrooge image is not a positive one. Simply because we dont beleive in juju need not mean we are negative people, always sick of it., even if we are sometimes. Cant we promote something positive like rationality, or at least back off to an academic tagline…¨Had enough mythology?” Because while there are plenty of religious groups that bilk people for money to perpetuate themselves, there are also plenty who do good works, and do it well. Painting all people of faith with the idiot brush just doesnt bode well given that they… Read more »

Nick Jones

They included Shinto and Tibetan Buddhism? Really? The former has almost no representation in the United States (Wikipedia lists a grand total of THREE Shinto shrines in the continental US) and the latter has supernatural concepts, but rejects the idea of gods (making an objection on the grounds of atheism rather tenuous). Past that, the “SCAMS” bit is a bit off-putting, as people in the depicted religions generally genuinely believe in what they’re trying to push, I just think they’re wrong. The billboard certainly wouldn’t get me out for a regional atheist meet.

Sam Mulvey

Anyone know what font that billboard is in?


Pretty straightforward, might insult some (those who are insulted by the mere existence of atheists), but I like it.
Though I do find it a bit strange that the two that are the most visible are Shintoism and Tibetan Buddhism. Christianity should’ve been one. The other maybe Islam

Mike Gillis

Eh. The part that bugs me the most is the overwhelming sense that American Atheist is trying too hard to be provocative. And this sign is certainly needlessly provocative. Anyone who has been watching the atheist visibility movement knows that you don’t need to be deliberately insulting to get attention. It’s just so unnecessary, both as a headline-grabber and as a message. The best thing we can do is put up entirely innocuous messages and make the fundamentalists look crazy when they flip out over them. And if we do put up something provocative, it needs to be balanced by… Read more »


I think the idea behind including the buddhist and shinto religious houses is to depict something in addition to the abrahamics. Shinto may not have many followers, but it does have a symbol, and looks as though they needed symbols.

Mike Gillis

They should have been truly ballsy and included a Scientology logo.

Kevin Benko

I agree with the billboard Atheists and atheism have been treated like crap forever. There are counties/cities/municipalities, especially in the south-eastern US, that absolutely prohibit an atheist from holding a public office, and these rules are still on the books. The former president of the US (Bushie), publicly stated that he considered atheists to be unamerican, or some such nonsense like that. Sorry, boys and girls, some atheists might be OK with atheists being mistreated throughout most of human history, I am not. And while some people may see such statements as on the billboard as being offensive, it is… Read more »

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