Between the ‘no god’ escapades on Twitter (on 20 October) and the varied responses to godless signs and billboards in New York and Chicago, I found quite a bit of entertainment last week.
On Twitter, many thousands of religious people were upset that the phrase ‘no god’ was the number one ‘trending topic’ for several hours. Twitter eventually did some manual tweaking of their trending topic algorithm, removing the godless topic from the list. Several other blogs have covered this particular event, such as Lousy Canuck (and again re: the censorship), Attempts at Rational Behavior, Pharyngula, Petursey, the Secularism Examiner, and many others.
The signs in New York subway stations, and the Chicago Coalition of Reason billboard in Chicago have prompted many mainstream news articles in addition to a wide variety of blog posts. Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist blog has been promoting the Chicago billboard campaign, and was very pleased to have it make the front page of the Chicago Tribune. [Edit] Don’t forget to check out Mike Haubrich’s wonderful takedown of Sean Hannity’s false outrage at the signs in the subway.
The thing that I found entertaining was the appearance of righteous indignation (and some rather ‘un-Christian’ language) on behalf of many Christians when faced with the prominence of the words “no god” or the wording on the signs or billboards, such as, “Are you good without God? Millions are.” The New York sign reads, “A million New Yorkers are good without God.” I guess that’s just too strongly worded for some people to be able to handle.
An article from am New York entitled “Disbelief at atheism ads” contained a quote that really stood out for me.
“I teach my children to believe in God and lead a life faithful to Him,” said Aime Roberts, 37, of the Bronx, when told of the campaign. “If my children see these ads that say there is no God, they’ll think their mother is lying.”
This woman fails. To be honest, my reaction was a facepalm when I read that. In the first place, the sign does not say that there is no god. It says that a great number of people are ‘good’ without god. If that were to make your children think you were lying to them, that doesn’t say much for your relationship with your children, or their supposed ‘faith’.
That was my impression of most people who seemed to take umbrage at what, in my opinion, were rather innocuous words and phrases. Then again, it seems that Christians are extremely good at that sort of thing.