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Author Topic: Do You Find The New "You Don't Need God" Billboards Offensive?  (Read 8166 times)
David In Indy
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« on: March 07, 2011, 03:39:10 am »


New billboards: "You Don't Need God"






Indianapolis - New billboards go up in Indianapolis next week, telling drivers they don't need God. The signs target every side of the city as part of a nationwide campaign about living without religion.

During the daily commute, drivers will see billboards that some call controversial. They proclaim "You don't need God to hope, to care, to love, to live." The billboards also show a website - livingwithoutreligion.org.

The Center for Inquiry sponsored the nationwide campaign with signs in three cities: Washington D.C., Houston and Indianapolis. Four billboards will go up on all sides of Indy next week, targeting the I-465 loop - 86th and Georgetown, 82nd and I-465, State Road 67 and I-465 and US 31 at Hanna. The signs will stay up for a month.

The Center for Inquiry says it wants to reach out to the non-religious in a positive way.

"We're not trying to get other people to give up their religion. We're just saying that there's a misunderstanding that some people think if you're not religious, you can't even be a good person," said Center for Inquiry Indiana Executive Director Reba Boyd Wooden. "I think this is a great message. I don't see anything wrong with it. If it had been something really disparaging someone's religion, I don't like that."

But not far from the one of the billboards on the southside, some have a different view. Members of New Harmony General Baptist Church admit the group has a right to speak out, but they say the message is wrong.

"I don't believe that message. If I believed that message, I wouldn't be sitting in church right now," said church member Courine Lyles.

"I think it's a crying shame for the religious world. Our nation's supposed to be founded under God and you got people trying to take it away," added member Mark Graves. "Christ is being pushed in the back door."

"Our intent is not to offend anybody, just to get our message out," Boyd Wooden said.

The mobile message promoting science and secular society is already creating debate.

"I'm going see it, but I'm going to drive by and not look at it," Lyles said.



http://www.wthr.com/story/14176792/new-billboards-you-dont-need-god
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David In Indy
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 03:45:21 am »

They don't offend me. Although I'm quite certain they will be raising a rukus around here. I wonder how they will be received in D.C. and Houston?
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 04:01:39 am »

No, I'm not offended.  I even have hope that the billboards might prompt people to actually examine why they believe whatever it is they do instead of swallowing dogma hook, line, and sinker.

Secular humanism is a completely valid life philosophy.  And it avoids the 'trap' of living a worthwhile life for some nebulous promise of payoff in an afterlife.  I've always thought that distasteful.  Doing what is right is - in and of itself - worthwhile because it makes getting by in this world easier on everyone concerned.
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 07:51:32 am »

My own opinion, if a person's faith is strong enough, they won't be offended.

Technically, the billboards are not refuting the existence of God, just stating that you don't need Him to do the things listed on the billboard.

I'm sure there are many atheists and agnostics who would agree.
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 09:24:22 am »

This billboard is not offensive, IMO. It still promotes hoping, caring, loving, and living. Those are all things Jesus would appreciate.

But I will say that by using "God" instead of "religion" or "higher power," they have confined the scope of the message to the Abrahamic religions. There are religions that have no God, or no single god. A person doesn't need those religions either in order to appreciate the qualities listed.
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 09:35:36 am »

Stating the obvious, ain´t it?
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 08:09:28 pm »

Not offended at all.

Considering how many Christian billboards are up all over the nation pushing their POV, it's quite refreshing and a change of pace. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 02:03:01 am »

Not offended at all.

Considering how many Christian billboards are up all over the nation pushing their POV, it's quite refreshing and a change of pace. 


I know what you mean. Those Christian billboards are up all OVER the place around here - mostly advertising churches. And some anti-abortion billboards sprinkled in for good measure. Undecided

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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 09:25:21 am »


Technically, the billboards are not refuting the existence of God, just stating that you don't need Him to do the things listed on the billboard.

I'm sure there are many atheists and agnostics who would agree.
IMO the message that people who don't believe in a god can 'hope, care love and live' exactly like everyone else is a good counterweight to what many people are hearing about the "unsaved."  Somewhere every Sunday morning, a sermon is being preached referring to people outside the "one true religion" as being totally miserable and disfunctional.  I've often wonder how people who take this seriously can square that with the people they work and interact with; maybe there's just an assumption that everyone whose life doesn't appear to be a train wreck is, at the very least, a 'Christian in their heart.'

Here's an excerpt from a list of the alleged characteristics of the "unsaved".  I've heard many lists like this on religious radio and it's different only in its length:

"In summary, Biblically unsaved people are:

in spiritual darkness, under the power of Satan, without hope, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, being hated and hating others, spiritually harassed and helpless, with many woes, in the trap of the devil, under the dominion of darkness, spiritually dead, living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry, sexually immoral, impure, greedy, living an empty way of life, slaves to sin, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, wicked."


Well, you get the idea.  I'm sure everyone noticed "homosexuals" on the list along with the rest.
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 09:47:26 am »

IMO the message that people who don't believe in a god can 'hope, care love and live' exactly like everyone else is a good counterweight to what many people are hearing about the "unsaved."  Somewhere every Sunday morning, a sermon is being preached referring to people outside the "one true religion" as being totally miserable and disfunctional.  I've often wonder how people who take this seriously can square that with the people they work and interact with; maybe there's just an assumption that everyone whose life doesn't appear to be a train wreck is, at the very least, a 'Christian in their heart.'


LMAO @ "Christian in their heart".

I know what you mean, regarding the Sunday sermons.  I remember hearing things like that when I went to church with my family.  I was very fortunate that my parents would tell my brothers and I that everyone has a right to their own religious beliefs, and no matter what they were, we should respect them.

The list of those "unsaved" is not surprising, although I did chuckle at "slaves to sin" description.  I pictured a man in shackles, chained to the word "SIN" in big, red letters.

Oh, and off topic, but I love the text under your avatar, Marcia!  laugh
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 10:22:56 am »

"In summary, Biblically unsaved people are:

in spiritual darkness, under the power of Satan, without hope, enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, being hated and hating others, spiritually harassed and helpless, with many woes, in the trap of the devil, under the dominion of darkness, spiritually dead, living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry, sexually immoral, impure, greedy, living an empty way of life, slaves to sin, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, wicked."

Well, that explains a lot about my current life.  laugh  I am definitely under the dominion of darkness.

I'm somewhat on the fence about this billboard. The message itself doesn't offend me, of course, since I totally agree with it.

But as someone who is always annoyed by Christian (and anti-abortion) billboards telling me what to think about God and fetuses as I drive along the highway, I hesitate to endorse the posting of a similar message from the "other side." I'd be in favor of limiting our billboard content to radio stations, hospitals and restaurants and letting people sort out their religious beliefs on their own.

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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 11:14:06 am »


LMAO @ "Christian in their heart".

I've heard that at a few funerals of people who'd never expressed any particular interest in religion.  Both times it was based on the account of a hospital chaplain who asked the dying patient 'can I pray for [or with] you?' and they nodded.

Quote
The list of those "unsaved" is not surprising, although I did chuckle at "slaves to sin" description.  I pictured a man in shackles, chained to the word "SIN" in big, red letters.


I found the "living in debauchery" rather appealing myself.  Haven't been able to afford much debauchery in the past few years.   Wink
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 11:23:53 am »

Sin is hot


 
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 11:30:53 am »

Quote
I found the "living in debauchery" rather appealing myself.  Haven't been able to afford much debauchery in the past few years.
   

Ha!  Your comment made me smile.   That's sure a long list of sins.   But, we were given joie de vivre, so I think a higher power intended us to have joy and happiness.  There's nothing wrong with that!  Smiley


I'm offended by the billboards, because I don't believe any side or anywhere in the middle, has the right to tell someone else what or how to believe.   
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 11:37:23 am »

Sin is hot


 

Amen, baby!   Cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2011, 08:22:49 pm »

I'm offended by the billboards, because I don't believe any side or anywhere in the middle, has the right to tell someone else what or how to believe.   

But is it offensive to tell the truth?  Nothing about this billboard is false.
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2011, 01:44:20 am »

But is it offensive to tell the truth?  Nothing about this billboard is false.

For some people, it isn't the truth.

"You don't need God, to hope, to care ..."

I mean, you and I would say, of course you don't. But others feel that they do, so the statement is false for THEM. Is it a billboard's place to tell people what they need or don't need, vis-a-vis the Almighty?

I'm sure it's absolute scientific truth that a fetus' heartbeat can be detected at 12 weeks or whatever it is they say. Does that make those billboards perfectly fine? It may even be true that all babies are precious gifts or that Jesus loves me. Whatever. I don't necessarily need to see those reminders on the billboards I drive past, so I can see the point of the other side saying they don't either.

Religious billboards annoy me, and I don't think a tit-for-tat response in kind is necessarily the best approach. As an agnostic, I'd rather stay above proselytizing via roadside advertisement.



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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2011, 01:50:25 am »

For some people, it isn't the truth.

"You don't need God, to hope, to care ..."

I mean, you and I would say, of course you don't. But others feel that they do, so the statement is false for THEM. Is it a billboard's place to tell people what they need or don't need, vis-a-vis the Almighty?

I'm sure it's absolute scientific truth that a fetus' heartbeat can be detected at 12 weeks or whatever it is they say. Does that make those billboards perfectly fine? It may even be true that all babies are precious gifts or that Jesus loves me. Whatever. I don't necessarily need to see those reminders on the billboards I drive past, so I can see the point of the other side saying they don't either.

Religious billboards annoy me, and I don't think a tit-for-tat response in kind is necessarily the best approach. As an agnostic, I'd rather stay above proselytizing via roadside advertisement.

No, they say  they can't care/love/whatever without god, but they most certainly do and they can see from other people around them that they can without a problem.

Basically, they're just saying, "I can't imagine life without ice cream." when it's just a preference, not a reality.
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2011, 06:31:48 pm »

Quote
But is it offensive to tell the truth?  Nothing about this billboard is false.

I was going to say the same thing as Crayonlicious - it isn't the truth, for everyone.   Some people need religion and spirituality in their lives to be happy, myself being one of them.   If I thought mankind was all there was, I'd be very unhappy.   Where I draw the line for any type of belief is when it's forced upon others.   Some people do a lot of caring through their religious organizations as well.  

This statement can no more be proven than the existence of a higher power, and is just about the same tactic used by fantatics of any religion.  Every person is entitled to their own thoughts, beliefs and conclusions.   If I were to see this driving down a highway in my car for however many miles, I'd feel a captive audience with another kind of unprovable dogma being forced upon me.
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2011, 07:43:05 pm »

I was going to say the same thing as Crayonlicious - it isn't the truth, for everyone.   Some people need religion and spirituality in their lives to be happy, myself being one of them.   If I thought mankind was all there was, I'd be very unhappy.   Where I draw the line for any type of belief is when it's forced upon others.   Some people do a lot of caring through their religious organizations as well.

Hi Marina, just a quibble, but the billboard didn't mention happiness.  It said, 'love, caring and hope'.  

Can people do these things/have these things without belief in god?  Of course.  People do it every single day and they don't suddenly drop dead or want to kill themselves.

That's reality.  That's the truth this billboard is saying and there's really no getting around it.
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2011, 08:23:33 pm »

I know it doesn't say it specifically - but the implication is there.   "to love, to care, to hope, to live" all those things I equate with happiness in life.   It's subliminal, and billboard advertising has done that for years.   I also said I need spirituality in my life to be happy, not referring to how the billboard itself literally reads.    I don't know what other people think, that's why I wouldn't presume to speak for them with  a global "You don't need ....", but I would guess that some others might need spirituality and/or the good aspects of religion in order to be happy in life.

Not all people need these things, but some do - is all I'm saying.  So, that billboard message is every bit as preachy as some religious messages.   I don't need to be subjected to that kind of propaganda, from any side of the argument.
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