OMG! There are people who don’t agree with me?

Coalition of Reason Billboard in Omaha Nebraska Stirs Up Controversy


Omaha Coalition of Reason Billboard
The Omaha Coalition of Reason Billboard is up at 72nd and Pacific in Omaha, NE as of 7/5/2012 Photo Credit: William Newman

The first atheist friendly billboard to appear in Omaha, NE has inspired a lot of local controversy, at least on Faceboook.

Rhonda Lopez says “Yes and they need to keep it to themsleves that is there problem if they dont have a brain.”

Patty Haro says “@ Bob Andrew. Everyone believes in things that can’t be proved. Gravity can’t be proved. Although, humans experience the effects of gravity everyday. Physicists believe in subatomic particles. Recently. the Hicks-Boson particle has been discovered.(God Particle) As anyone seen a subatomic particle?”

Dawn Mikulecky says “If the sign said” Believe in God” you would surely have the sign taken down I truely believe in God! I understand everyone has a right to believe what they want its I feel this is given the younger generation the wrong way of life.”

The comments above are not representative of the response of Christians in general, many of whom express either indifference or even support of freedom of speech and expression. The above comments are, however, all too representative of the response of those Christians who state a strong disagreement with the billboard (or rather, the billboard’s existence. I still fail to see how they can be against a message that’s not intended for, and not relevant to them.) This is heartening. To know that of those who express a strong disagreement with the First Amendment, most are such illiterate slobs that they can’t even write a complete thought in proper English on the internet. (Shudder the thought of what they manage to scrawl out on paper with no handy spell-check, grammar-check or instantly searchable dictionaries and encyclopedias at the ready.)

In another encouraging experience; Today I participated in the OmahaCor Pedestrian Overpass Awareness Campaign. (basically just hanging a banner – almost identical to the billboard above – and holding some signs to demonstrate that we are a diverse group of fairly normal, regular and friendly people as well as advertise the Omaha Coalition of Reason and the upcoming Midwest Freethought Conference). The reactions of drivers who see our banner and signs, see us waving and smiling, is so encouraging! The majority of vehicle occupants passing by either show no reaction or a very supportive one. Of the few who displayed a negative reaction (much less than I would have expected) they were mostly giving a thumbs down, and a few middle fingers up. Even these negative, hateful, reactions cast an extremely positive light on the atheists! We continue to smile and wave, showing a friendly and warmly welcoming stance while the opposition reveals exactly what they are: egocentric believers who are threatened by people who merely represent a lack of belief in something, and who must show it by gesticulating a big “fuck you” to us and our children up there on the bridge.

How sad and weak must their convictions be, to be so threatened, and so moved to make hateful gestures towards friendly people and their kids? What an example they set for their own children! Their good christian morals exposed as empty platitudes in the face of a group of people who are smiling and waving to them and happen to be proud atheists.

Mr Scott Voorhees would have been proud of these folks, I suspect. His lies and propaganda are working, alright… for US!

The more the fence sitters and the indifferent see these juxtapositions, these interactions between the two groups and the ways that they each behave towards one another, the more obvious the truth becomes. This tangible, immediate real life experience can do more to make our point than arguing with windbags on the radio or debating on Facebook threads. It’s one thing to make a point, especially when you know you’re right but the other person can’t acknowledge it. It’s another thing to BE that point, to be the example of what we represent and reveal the real life actions of what the other person represents.

Recently I posted on a thread “Keep posting about how deeply offensive it is to know that there are people who think differently than yourself, please! You’re doing more to convince people that your beliefs are hollow, fragile and meaningless than anything an atheist could ever say.”

Today’s experience was the real life manifestation of the same interactions. So please, religious extremists, keep flipping off friendly people, young children and anyone else who holds a different world view than yourself and isn’t afraid of you! You are setting the example for your own children, your community and your religion. You are the few who stand out while most either return our friendliness or staunchly ignore it. You are the christian soldiers, the activist christian, the ones who have the guts to throw angry gestures from a moving vehicle at friendly people and kids. Way to go militant christians!