Friday, July 1, 2011

Bad Ideas from American Atheists

American Atheists is not doing atheists in the U.S. any favors. I wrote about one of their particularly stupid protests earlier. Now they will be flying banners over public events on the Fourth of July.
The banners will read either “God-LESS America” or “Atheism is Patriotic,” as a part of a campaign to defend civil rights of atheists and dispel the mentality that it’s un-American to be a non-believer.
How do these banners accomplish either of those goals? "God-LESS America" is just stupid and will serve no purpose other than to irritate people who already don't like atheists and think we are all pushy jerks. And how about "Atheism is Patriotic"? It is? Atheism has nothing to do with patriotism either for or against. Why not do a banner saying "Atheists are patriots too -- Happy 4th!" or something similar?
“This campaign is not about pushing the ‘atheist agenda’ or shoving our views down people’s throats,”
Really? That's exactly how it is going to be received. The people running American Atheists must be totally clueless.

Contrast American Atheists clumsy, ill-advised banners with the Freedom From Religion Foundation's billboard campaign. I've had some criticism for this group too, but at least their messages are well-thought out. For example, they have used the theme "I can be good without God," which is not only true, but might actually make someone think. There are more examples here, from their Tulsa campaign. I'm skeptical about the usefulness of this type of advertising in general, but if you are going to do it, the FFRF beats AA hands down.


  1. You're absolutely right about the banners. They serve no purpose but to make atheists look like assholes. We have been reading a lot of your blog lately. Thank you for the excellent content. You have been chosen as's Atheist Blog of the Week. Keep up the good work. Thanks for posting.

  2. Thanks and thanks for linking me. I'm adding Atheist Connect to my blogroll.