Somehow, asserting this fact in public is construed by some bigoted fuckheads as being somehow "offensive":
Phoenix resident Irving Faulkner says his first thought when he saw the billboard is that it’s in your face offensive.
Ophelia Ortiz had a similar reaction.
“I think it’s wrong, because why not believe in God? Everybody has their own beliefs,” said Ortiz.
ARGH! Ms. Ortiz, the billboard does not fucking say that you shouldn't believe in God. In fact, it says exactly what you said, that "everybody has their own beliefs," but those nasty atheists had the audacity to also go and suggest that maybe their beliefs... exist? What??
The other two common atheist advertisements read, "You can be good without God," and the original UK one, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." I can actually understand why someone might find the latter offensive.
First of all, it makes a direct theological assertion: "There's probably no God." In a perfect world, I'd actually rather prefer that billboards and bus advertisements didn't make assertions such as these, because, well, all other things being equal, talking about religion is kindof retarded. That includes discussing or promoting atheism -- in a perfect world. If theists would just STFU and stop trying to push their delusions on other people or influence the political process to conform to
The problem is that similar religious messages -- which I do believe are offensive -- are tolerated all the time. As long as it's okay to put up a billboard that says "Jesus saves!", then it ought to be just as okay to put up a billboard that says "Jesus doesn't save!" On a side note, those cities who have declined atheist bus ads because they don't allow religious advertising of any type, I'm down with that. As long as you can't shove Jesus down my throat, I don't need to shove my atheism down yours.
Now, the "You can be good without God" ad makes no such generalizations, and if you have a problem with it, then you are automatically a bigot, because you are saying all
But the "You are not alone" billboards? What? So what is the problem here? Is it that these people think there really are only zero or one atheists in the entire world? (I guess that one guy has been putting up a lot of billboards) Or is it that even just mentioning the existence of atheism is taboo? I admit, I am a little surprised people could call the billboards "offensive" with a straight face. Sure, I could imagine stupid assholes saying things like, "That kind of message is not what we need in our community" and "It makes me sad that some people reject Jesus." But to say that the billboard itself is offensive? WTF?!?