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Nov 12 2009

More Godless Billboards Yield More Religious Reaction

The national campaign by the United Coalition of Reason to promote greater awareness in the general public has met with varied responses. Billboards with messages such as “Are you good without God? Millions are.” and “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” have been sponsored by local coalitions in several areas.

The San Diego Coalition of Reason is an umbrella organization representing nine secular-minded groups in the San Diego area. They recently sponsored a billboard which will be up for four weeks and is visible to westbound traffic between Fletcher Parkway and 70th Street. The billboard there has the words “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” printed on it.

The reaction to the billboard (as far as I have seen, not being in the San Diego area myself) has not been nearly as negative as it was in some other areas. The response of one person in particular did catch my eye, however.

An article in The San Diego Union-Tribune entitled “Billboard gets word to nonbelievers” by John Wilkens was in the Metro section on 12 November 2009. The author spoke with Fred Edwords of the United CoR, and Debbie Allen Skomer, coordinator of the San Diego CoR.

What caught my eye was the reaction of someone else the author spoke with: Bob Siegel. It seems that Bob is a member of Skyline Church in La Mesa, California. He is a self-described “Christian apologist”. I found it odd that the author spoke with official representatives of the CoR chapters, yet simply with a member of a nearby church for an ‘opposing’ view. Te be honest, it really isn’t even an ‘opposing’ view. Maybe he couldn’t find anyone controversial enough for his story. But I digress.

Bob Siegel told the author that he did not find the billboard offensive. That is a difference from the response in places like Alabama. Bob’s other comment is where he makes his big break from reality.

“But I do see a double standard from the atheists,” he said. “They can put up a sign like that, but during Christmas, if a manger goes on public land, they act like their civil liberties are being taken away.”

Wait, what? Does Bob actually think those two things are equivalent? Does he not comprehend the difference between private property and public property? Does he not see the difference between private individuals leasing space on a privately owned billboard and a state or municipality putting up a religious display?

People make mistakes. People misunderstand things. I’ll give Bob the benefit of the doubt and simply assume that he doesn’t understand the difference because it hasn’t been properly explained to him.

As for the rest of you, your free pass has been canceled. I just pointed it out to you, so you don’t have any excuse. Please remember this as the winter holiday season continues.

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  1. zdenny

    I personally believe in freedom of speech and religion at all levels. The constitution does not say that you can exclude religious viewpoints from government; rather, it says that government cannot make a law excluding religious viewpoints or forcing people to accept one particular view.

    Your argument that public means that only secular religious values are espoused is a double standard. The government is meant for all people and the views of government are to be established through elections.

    However, secularists don’t respect the electoral process which is why they employ judges to make laws and force people to adhere to their imaginary standard.

    Christians were the ones that gave us freedom of speech and religion. Morality is to be determined through elections; however, everyone has the freedom to talk about and believe what they want to convince others.

    Actions in a community are suppose to be determined by elections. Representation (meaning freedom of religion or speech) does not mean that someone is being forced to accept anything. This is the mistake made by secularists.

    I wish more atheist would simply respect the Constitution.

  2. chaosagent

    Project much? Please. The US Government is secular. Get off your ass and read some actual history dumb-ass.

    This is not about ‘oppressing’ religious viewpoints. This is about all the fucking whining you christards do everytime someone with an opposing viewpoint opens their mouth, no matter how innocuous it is. People have to look at billboards that are plastered with all kinds of advertisements. None of this has anything to do with the government. People pay money to private individuals to put up ads. I see church ads all the time on billboards in the town where I live. Do you hear me bitching and moaning about that shit? Fuck no. They paid their money. So shut the fuck up if a bunch of heathens want a billboard expousing an opposing viewpoint. Isn’t it always you zombie jebus/sky fairy sheeple that want both sides taught? Or does that only pertain to you trying to indoctrinate everyone else’s children in the school system by trying to inject religious brainwashing psychobabble into the science classroom?

  3. DomeromiA

    gratzie

  4. Bob Siegel

    Hi

    Nice to meet you, if only over the internt.

    Thank you for that stern parental admonition. I won’t say it’s patronizing. Instead, since you obviously know so much about me based on a couple of sentences in a newspaper, without having met me, without having read any article I have written, I invite you to come on my radio show for a debate. You can call in by phone. We can bring in a moderator and see to it that we each have equal time. With your vast knowledge on tax and seperation between church and state issues, compared to my apparent ignorance,this debate should be a cake walk for you and look how many other people you’ll be able to educate.

    I can be contacted through my website: [link removed by Dan J – No link love from here.]
    On the other hand, in the unlikely event that you feel the need to prepare for such an “easy confrontation” I have written an article about this subject for The San Diego News Room. The article was written on Dec. 4, 2009 and can be found in their “San Diego Politics” section.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Warmest Regards

    Bob Siegel

    1. Dan J

      Gosh Bob, condescend much?

      I wrote a few lines of commentary based on your words to a reporter. If the reporter quoted you incorrectly, please let me know and I can make the necessary corrections to my piece.

      Your quote, if correct, draws a parallel between a billboard on private property and a religious display on public property. That parallel, in my opinion, does not exist.

      If a municipality erects a religious display for the Christmas holiday season, it must make space available to all religions, as well as secular organizations. Failure to do so is a violation of the establishment clause.

      Do you understand the difference between public property and private property? If you do, then you were deliberately being misleading in order to further your religious agenda. If not, might I suggest some high-school classes in your area which should suffice as a good source of basic knowledge about such things.

      As for your little radio show, I wouldn’t bother with that even if I were being paid for the time.

      As for your new article on the San Diego Newsroom web site, I must take issue with one of your statements. You made the following statement regarding the Constitution of the United States and our ‘forefathers’.

      What the constitution meant to them is what the constitution means, period.

      Totally, hopelessly wrong. What the Constitution means is what the Supreme Court says it means, period. Reading the minds of the likes of Thomas Jefferson may be within your abilities, but I’d like to see proof.

      I don’t find your religion offensive. I don’t find your religious symbols offensive. I find people like you offensive, Bob. Hateful, bigoted little Christians who want to be sure that they get everything that’s coming to them because they’re special.

      Once again, Bob, we live in a secular nation. You don’t get a special pass for your religious symbols.

      And just for the hell of it: Fuck you, Bob. Fuck you very much.

      1. Bob Siegel

        Thanks for explaining in such a friendly non-condescending way that you were not being condescending. And a special thank you for the kind wish at the end. Since you are unwilling to back up any of your statements over the air, I guess that ends our discussion. It also speaks volumes. This will be my last visit to your site although I will address your incredibly, historically inaccurate statement about the Supreme Court on my show tomorrow. Listen in if you wish. You may learn something. If not, your choice. I won’t be losing any sleep over it. Neither will I return to your site. Just came back on this one time because I had not heard from you about coming on the air and I wanted to see your “reasoning” as to why you did not have the guts to back up your comments in a real debate.

        Warmest Regards

        Bob Siegel

        1. Dan J

          And he writes as if I fucking care!

          Here’s the low-down folks:

          Bob is a very conservative Christian with a very conservative talk show on a very conservative talk station in the San Diego area.

          Bob is psychologically incapable of changing his mind about nearly anything, and Bob, like most ultra-conservatives, is also incapable of admitting he has ever been wrong about anything.

          His listeners are just like he is.

          Why the fuck would I go on his radio show, when he and the people like him are incorrigible? He’s a waste of space, and definitely not worth my time.

          He can still fuck off too, but since he’s never coming back, he definitely won’t be seeing this anyway.

          1. Sharon

            I’m one of his listeners and I am nothing like he is.You seem to boast with an attitude of,”you know all”. Well, because of your comment it just shows that you know nothing.Don’t you dare tell me I am like he is when you don”t know me. Oh, and I can assure you that Bob has a number of listeners who like me are, “not just like him”.Some people have small closed minds and very big mouths. You are right though….this is your blog and you can say whatever you want. I was just stopping by to see if you were worth listening to because I am a Christian who actually has respect and tolerance for those who are different and who think differently than I do.Not all Christians are like Bob and not all of us are whiners.I do thank you for actually stating that you will fight for my right to practice my religion.Maybe you aren’t as closed minded as I thought. All I wish to do is have a personal relationship with my God and let everyone else believe how they want. Thank you for allowing me to say my piece. If it doesn’t offend you I will keep you in my prayers.

          2. Dan J

            Thanks for stopping by and posting, Sharon. I must tell you that I am happy to see that not all of Bob’s listeners are ‘dittoheads’ [To borrow a term from Limbaugh]. I made an unjustified generalization, and for that I apologize.

            I truly enjoyed the last part of your comment:

            I do thank you for actually stating that you will fight for my right to practice my religion.Maybe you aren’t as closed minded as I thought. All I wish to do is have a personal relationship with my God and let everyone else believe how they want. Thank you for allowing me to say my piece. If it doesn’t offend you I will keep you in my prayers.

            Yes, I will fight for our religious freedoms. Most rational people will. It is unfortunate that many Christians feel that their religious freedoms include dictating the beliefs of others. I’m very happy to see that you aren’t one of those, as Bob has appeared to be (to me, at least).

            I am not in the least offended that you would keep me in your prayers. Though I personally feel that it has no effect, it definitely doesn’t offend me.

            Neither am I offended if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. I wish them a Merry Christmas right back. If I sneeze and someone says, “Bless you,” I don’t shout, “I’m an atheist, damn it!” I say, “Thank you.”

            But if someone like Bob tries to make an argument where there is none, I’m going to mention it.

            Again; thank you for the kind words, and thank you for letting me know that there are more rational Christians out there.

  5. Bob Siegel

    Dan

    Here is a link to the article I just mentioned:

    Billboard sparks questions of religious symbols, free speech

    Bob Siegel

  6. chaosagent

    Someone like to google themselves quite a bit I’m thinking…

  7. David

    It sounds like Dan has some real issues here. Cussing someone out like that (especially a stranger) shows no class at all. I guess the internet gives anyone a pair of cajones they otherwise wouldn’t have in real life. I’d love to see Dan at the super market, finding out the person if front of him in line is a Christian, and then screaming in front of everyone about how “intolerant” they are.

    awww, look at the poor oppressed athiest! haha

    in other words, take a pill Dan…

    1. Dan J

      Wow, you people really don’t get it, do you?

      This is my blog. It’s what I do for fun. When it’s my blog, it’s done by my rules. My rules say that I can tell someone to fuck off any time I please. My rules also say that comments are not moderated like they are on most conservative blogs. That’s why your post came through without editing, David. One of Bob’s earlier posts was held up briefly because the Akismet filter thought it was spam.

      Class? Fuck your idea of class, David. Bob came to my blog; I did not come to his.

      I also get the idea that you don’t know many atheists. We’re actually quite tolerant. I, for one, will fight to the death to defend your right to practice your religion. Would you fight to the death to protect my right to not practice a religion?

      Bob, like so many other conservative Christians, wants the United States to be a Christian nation, and will do nearly anything (even though it may violate a commandment) to achieve that goal.

      Bob mentioned the term ‘double standard’ when quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune article. Bob then tried to draw a correlation between an atheist-sponsored billboard on private property, and a religious display on government property. In doing so, he either illustrated an ignorance of the difference between private and public property, or he purposely created the false correlation in order to create controversy. I’m betting on the latter.

      Regarding the “awww, look at the poor oppressed athiest! haha”, it seems that Christians are the ones crying ‘oppression’ all the time, nearly always because they’re being restricted from forcing their beliefs on others.

      Do you want to see atheists being oppressed? Look no further than Asheville, North Carolina, where the city may be facing a law suit because they accepted an atheist into the city council. Yeah, there’s some real ‘all men are created equal’ tolerance down there.

      in other words, take a pill Dan…

      In other words: You can fuck off too, David. Don’t like my language? Then don’t bother coming back.

    2. chaosagent

      zdenny went away and new trolls show up? Cool. I can play with them!

      David said: “It sounds like Dan has some real issues here. Cussing someone out like that (especially a stranger) shows no class at all.”

      So does coming into someone else’s place and telling them what to do. If you can’t read the rules, don’t get all pissy because you didn’t take the time to inform yourself. The link to the rules are on the front page. And who gives a shit about class. This is the fucking internet. The internet is not serious business. Honestly.

      David said: “I guess the internet gives anyone a pair of cajones they otherwise wouldn’t have in real life. I’d love to see Dan at the super market, finding out the person if front of him in line is a Christian, and then screaming in front of everyone about how “intolerant” they are.”

      Like I said: the rules, did you read them motherfucker? Cajones? Seriously? You’re coming into someone else’s house and shitting on their carpet because you don’t like the language? Really? You weren’t invited and neither was your internet tough guy attitude. FYI, Dan doesn’t go barreling off on tirades because someone is xtian. Nor do most of the people who post here if you actually took the time to look around. But you didn’t. Talk about intolerant. If Dan was intolerant, your ass would have been out the door by now and no one would ever know that you were here.

      David said: “awww, look at the poor oppressed athiest! haha”

      Internet tough guy. If you don’t know what that is, use the google. Bob seems to like to google himself, I assume you do too.

  8. Sharon

    Well, hello again, Dan. Your apology is graciously accepted. I would like to add that I too apologize for the first part of my other comment. I read it again and it sounded a little too harsh and maybe even condemning. I am so sorry for that and do feel bad about how that came across. I think I was angry at first because it did sound as if you were making a generalization. I was checking my heart and man oh man am I ever guilty of that one too. I guess it is safe to say that none of us are perfect, not even christians. Also , thank you for your kindness and please do have a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year. I’ll be checking in now and then to see what’s happening on your site…….Talk to you later, Sharon

    1. Dan J

      Many thanks, Sharon, and your apology is accepted as well. Tempers seem to flare too easily when we discuss a subject as personal as this is for most people.

      No, none of us are perfect as we are all human. The ones who claim perfection are the ones to watch out for. LOL

      You are always welcome to visit here, as all are. So far there is only one person who is not welcome to comment here, but that’s a long story you might find in other posts here.

      My best wishes to you and yours for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well.

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