Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Billboards are Coming! Oh Noes!!!

Coming to a big city near MEEEE!!!!! Indianapolis!!!!!

The press says they picked Indy because there are freethinkers here, but I think the truth is, Indiana is the most backward state north of the Mason-Dixon.  I don't really care why I'm just glad it's coming.  It's an in-your-face answer to all the ridiculous crap lining the highways of this backward state, including Rapture billboards.  Yes, we have rapture billboards.  I kid you not.

The message will get through despite ticking people off.  I love this message, in fact.  It's not anti-Christian, at least not as much as it could be!  And it shows lovely white people displaying family values - nuclear family, child loving and respecting his mother, doting daddy... what could be better?

I still crack up remembering the comment at work about a local atheist leader being "one of the happiest people I've met" as if it was the freakiest thing to find that atheists could be happy.  The conversation didn't get very far, though, because I said "I'm an atheist too, and I'm pretty happy."

One happy atheist =  freaky oddity.  Two happy atheists = what the fuck?  A whole community of happy atheists coming out of the closet = did my pastor lie to me?

Yes, Virginia, your pastor lied to you.  We don't go around raping, murdering, robbing, and doing drugs.  Well, not more than theists do.  Possibly less.

If you have empathy for your fellow human beings you are much much less likely to hurt them, and more likely to respect yourself.  A religion that is all about YOU and YOUR future deployment to Heaven or Hell doesn't create empathetic people.

Some of Jesus' supposed words seem to encourage empathy but plenty of other stuff in the Bible drowns that stuff out for the average believer.  Even the "missions" to "help people" are mostly about being good in Jesus' eyes, or bringing Christianity to heathens, or earning brownie points with fellow Christians.

If people are empathetic it is because it's an evolutionary advantage for the species for individuals to look out for each other.  We are the decendents of apes that helped each other out.   Not everyone needs to be a certain way for the species to carry on a beneficial gene (a fact theists just can't get sometimes), but enough of us will be empathetic for the species to survive.  It has to be nurtured but not necessarily by a church.  Loving parents are all you really need.  Loving teachers, neighbors, and extended family help a lot too.

I would even say we're the "real thing" when it comes to morality and empathy because when an atheist behaves ethically or compassionately it's other-centered and sincere.  We offer aid and comfort freely, with no strings attached.  We do it because we're happy and we want others to be happy. What better reason could there be?


B.R. said...

Great post. I live in West Texas, and we have loads of fuck-nuttery and fuck-tardation displayed upon our highways and interstates. There is a general attitude of bombarding people with Christian messages until their brain starts decomposing, allowing them to accept the Jewish Zombie God into their heart, a muscle that pumps blood through their circulatory systems(you'd thing a Zombie God would prefer to live in the brain, but apparently, Christians brains start losing their freshness very shortly after conversion).

LadyAtheist said...

I feel your pain. For 4 yars I lived in San Marcos, where the first question a person asks when meeting someone new is "what church do you go to?"

I sometimes wonder if the billboards are a way of convincing the sheep that their money is being spent on conversion and not on Cadillacs and fancy clothes for the pastor and his family.

B.R. said...

Or a golden crucifix for the altar(sorry, Catholics!). Seriously, the billboards need to stop. But then again, a lot of people down here equate being a Christian with being a patriot; all atheists are Marxist villains according to some.