That’s the Center for Inquiry’s latest ad campaign set to run in Houston, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis. The aim, of course, is to encourage people to rethink the reasons they follow a religion. Their Living Without Religion site offers up the common misconceptions believers tend to hold about us so-called immoral heathens and while I doubt their website would change any hard-core believer minds, I like this reminder:
today, one American out of every six has no religious affiliation. You almost certainly have friends, acquaintances, and colleagues—even family members—who already live without religion. If you’ve asked tough questions about your faith and aren’t sure where to go next, we invite you to consider how many people have already found that living without religion provides a foundation for a life that is rich, rewarding, and complete.
The link was in the original text. I already found commentary comparing their methods to religious sermons and Kim Linton ends her piece with this:
the Center for Inquiry’s website-based proselytizing and actual ad campaign have another very obvious objective — to convince people in major U.S. cities that God does not exist and having faith in God is a meaningless endeavor. For example, the group states on its website, “There is no supernatural being to make sure everything will turn out OK. Nothing is guaranteed.”
Although CFI’s members insist they are not trying to convert or draw people in Indianapolis, Houston and other major cities away from God, their anti-religion message and targeted advertising campaign paints a very different picture.
She cut her writing teeth as a webzine contributor at Ministrymaker.com so it’s pretty clear where her heart lies, and I think CFI would argue that the aim here wouldn’t be to de-convert her so much as re-educate her.
Web pages with single-word titles like “Hope” and “Love” are interestingly filled with terminology and buzzwords used in churches, synagogues and other places of worship — much like a typical religious, ministry or Christian church site.
Is that a problem? There are all kinds of sites and web pages named for words that tend to need explaining to people. Would she complain about dictionary.com, too? Churches don’t own any of those words and religions can’t claim a monopoly on those behaviours. Anyone can write about hope and love and anyone can be loving and hopeful, which is the point CFI is trying to make with their advertising.
Here’s a more hilarious commentary at Women By Grace:
I ran across this new item today and it took my breath away.
I understand that some folks don’t believe in God – but to think of them promoting their lack of faith to others is shocking to me. Sure, it’s America, they’re welcome to express their opinion. I get that. I support that.
The board says that you don’t need God ‘to hope, to care, to love, to live’.
And they’re right. You don’t need God to hope, care, love or live.
Unfortunately they’re forgetting about what happens after life.
No, they’re just omitting that part because once you’re dead you’re dead and beyond the need to hope, love and care. They’re only concerned right now about what we do right now, today, to make this world (and ourselves) better, which is how it should be.
If the only reason believers are caring and loving is because they worry they won’t be rewarded with a nice afterlife otherwise, that’s shameful and nothing to be proud of. That’s so bloody selfish, it’s appalling. And if they’re gleefully hoping we all wind up in hell screaming for eternity, then they’ve clearly demonstrated they don’t really love or care at all, no matter what they may preach.