Feathered Bastard

Godless Atheists, Agnostics and Humanists Invade Tempe, Sponsor Godless Billboard (w/Update)

Here's something guaranteed to tick off the faithful, or at least give them something to pray about: a group of atheists, agnostics and humanists are set to convene in Tempe this week, and they're bringing their godless message to a highway near you. You know, in a spot where hopefully your impressionable tykes will get to read it.

The group is the American Humanist Association, which will be having its 68th Annual Conference at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, June 5-8, where I'm guessing they will not be kicking things off with an invocation, the Eucharist, or ye ol' fire and snake dance. See, humanists are mostly "nontheists," either atheists or agnostics or "none of the above." In fact, if one of their tribe sneezes, they have to say, "Nobody bless you." 

So, Yahweh ain't their thing, and to drive home the point, they're gonna have at least one billboard up in the Valley with the verbiage, "Don't believe in god? You are not alone." It's a message the humanists have peddled in Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Moscow, Idaho, of all places. Some organization called the Arizona Coalition of Reason is co-sponsoring the billboard. 

According to Karen Frantz, spokeswoman for AHA, the point of the billboard is to reach out to fellow nontheists.

"It's for likeminded individuals who may not feel there's a community out there for them," said Frantz via phone from her organization's headquarters in DC. "And to let them know that there are people out there who have the same belief system that they do, and that there's nothing wrong with not believing in god."

Frantz was reluctant to state exactly where the billboard will be, but the AHA Web site notes that at a "special press conference at 9:00 AM, Friday, June 5" these Bible-shirking deity deniers will "launch the event with the unveiling of a nontheistic billboard going up along a nearby, well-traveled Arizona highway." It doesn't say where either, but the 202 looks like the closest highway to the Mission Palms.

My big question is, "Are humanists hedonists, and do they have pool parties?" Wasn't it Dostoyevsky who said that if there is no supreme being, then anything goes? God, let's hope so...Otherwise, I'm going back to worshipping Satan.

As for the Christian response to the billboard, I think that's pretty obvious: "Don't believe in God? You won't be alone...In HELL!!!!"

UPDATE: According to Karen Frantz with the AHA, the billboard's location "can be seen while traveling southbound on 44th street just after Washington Street on the right hand side." Um, god willing. Heh.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons