Pharyngula

i-65b5291e4220d6f696a2cede290f0a94-fairy_tale_billboard.jpg

Hey, I said that in an interview last spring, which is getting a little wider circulation now: religions are fairy tales. Somebody slapped it on a billboard over Easter, though, and businesses around it reported a two-thirds decline. It sounds like it was very effective at scaring away fools, and that, unfortunately, fools represent a significant fraction of their customer base.

Maybe they should have prayed it away. Or summoned one of their favorite fairies to poof it out of existence.

Comments

  1. #1 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    “All religions are fairy tales”

    I hate fairies.

    can’t they be Cthulhu tales instead?

  2. #2 Emily
    March 31, 2008

    The company that owns this billboard site (MediaNet), claims to have no idea who put it up there!

    Doubtful.

  3. #3 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    I dunno, faeries taste pretty good grilled with a BBQ glaze.

  4. #4 True Bob
    March 31, 2008

    [Homer]
    Mmmmmmmm, grilled faeries.
    [/Homer]

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    I dunno, faeries taste pretty good grilled with a BBQ glaze.

    oh sure, they TASTE good, but they’re like sunflower seeds – you have to eat so damn many of them to fill up, and you have to peel off the wings…

    too much trouble.

  6. #6 CrypticLife
    March 31, 2008

    Ichthyic,

    Have you ever seen the first Hellraiser?

    Frightened Girl: Wh-. . .wh. . . who are you?

    Cenobite 1: Tikkatikkatikka, tikkatikka
    Cenobite 2: Grrrriiisssszzzz
    Pinhead (commanding voice): Demons to some, angels to others….Oh, no, no tears — it’s a waste of good suffering!

    One of my favorite horror-movie scenes. So maybe the fairies to some can be the loathsome squid-monsters to others.

  7. #7 Sastra
    March 31, 2008

    Whenever an atheist complains about the ubiquitous “God” billboards, you’re sure to hear a chorus rise up wondering just why seeing simple words would bother anyone? Obviously, those who are offended by a billboard about God could just turn their head and not read it — if their conscience would let them. Christians often slyly suggest that atheists must know that it’s true … or they wouldn’t be bothered.

    Funny how the same argument isn’t being used when the billboard is turned the other way. This time, the problem is the message which not everyone believes — not the negative reaction to it.

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Have you ever seen the first Hellraiser?

    oh yes.

    all of them, in fact. many times.

    for better or worse.

    I’m a huge horror schlock fan.

    er, hence the interest in Cthulhu stories…

    (at least, that’s the cover story)

  9. #9 Cuttlefish, OM
    March 31, 2008

    I thought about taking the family to dinner
    But then–Oh, the billboard I spied!
    We left; it’s too much for this pitiful sinner–
    I’ve only got God on my side.
    My God is almighty–he never can fail–
    But still, just in case, we stayed home.
    The ultimate tally in this fairy tale?
    God lost–one to nil–to a gnome.

  10. #10 xiangtao
    March 31, 2008

    “When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale, that is wrong,” said Rich Stormes, a nearby business owner.

    I love this quote. Really? Show me how it’s wrong.

  11. #11 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    I like the first two Hellraisers, but the rest…meh.

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    I like the first two Hellraisers, but the rest…meh.

    oh yes, they got progressively worse, as is the case with most sequels.

    the last one…

    *shudder*

    man, that was bad.

  13. #13 Seamyst
    March 31, 2008

    “When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale, that is wrong,” said Rich Stormes, a nearby business owner.

    I love this quote. Really? Show me how it’s wrong.

    Of course it’s wrong. He’s saying that it’s wrong that all religions are *a* fairytale, when we know that each religion is its own fairytale. Hence the billboard.

  14. #14 Jack Hynes
    March 31, 2008

    “They should have known what was going up on the billboard. He should proof it. He had to proof it,”

    No, you must prove you understand verbs.

  15. #15 Sastra
    March 31, 2008

    Cuttlefish #9 I love you.

  16. #16 Seamyst
    March 31, 2008

    Grarr. That’s what I get for not using the Preview button. Take two:

    “When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale, that is wrong,” said Rich Stormes, a nearby business owner.

    I love this quote. Really? Show me how it’s wrong.

    Of course it’s wrong. He’s saying that it’s wrong that all religions are *a* fairytale, when we know that each religion is its own fairytale. Hence the billboard.

  17. #17 Eximious Jones
    March 31, 2008

    When I was very small, my mother actually told me that the Bible was just “fairy tales”. Being the good little girl that I was, I believed her and haven’t had any reason since to think she was wrong. If I saw a billboard like this, I’d patronize the businesses around it.

  18. #18 Tony P
    March 31, 2008

    When my business is big enough to afford a billboard I’m going to put one of these up in Rhode Island. I love it.

  19. #19 shane
    March 31, 2008

    Last line of the linked article:

    Orange County does not regulate messages on billboards. They are protected by free speech.

    I suppose this had to be explicitly said because otherwise…

  20. #20 JohnW
    March 31, 2008

    If the billboard had read “All religions but one are fairy tales” I suspect it would have met with wide approval. Many people are just one step away from atheism.

  21. #21 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    “If the billboard had read “All religions but one are fairy tales” I suspect it would have met with wide approval. Many people are just one step away from atheism.”
    ATHIESM DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!!!

  22. #22 mothworm
    March 31, 2008

    “When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale, that is wrong,” said Rich Stormes, a nearby business owner.

    I love this quote. Really? Show me how it’s wrong.

    I’m sure he meant that all religions other than his own are fairy tales.

    I saw the same thing in action when someone managed to get a pro-atheism letter in the local paper. It was followed by weeks of lettes that all started, “Sure, all those other religions are ridiculous, but Christianity is different. It has proof“, which was then invariably followed by a litany of phantasmagoria indistinguishable from that found in any other religion or fairy tale, and capped off with, “It’s just common sense!”.

  23. #23 Ryan F Stello
    March 31, 2008

    Maybe it’s just me, but I thought businesses don’t have any control over what the billboard company puts up next to them.

    If I’m right, way to stick it to those mom & pops, yon angry Xians!

    If I’m wrong, did a billboard make the businesses’ services unusable?

    Either way, xians are too comfortable with their roles of (economic) decesncy.

  24. #24 JohnW
    March 31, 2008

    Potato (#21):
    ATHIESM DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!!!

    Sure it does. I don’t believe in your god for the same reasons you and I don’t believe in everyone else’s gods.

  25. #25 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    #24: All right. Carry on, then.

  26. #26 Hexxenhammer
    March 31, 2008

    Jebus, is that a horribly written news story. And now the billboard was taken down? I hope whoever bought the space got a refund.

  27. #28 freelunch
    March 31, 2008

    Business owners don’t control what is on the billboard, but their business is at the whim of people who get offended by the fact that their religion is indistinguishable from Mńrchen (because someone objected to the English version of that word and we don’t want to offend).

  28. #29 poke
    March 31, 2008

    What about the reverse?

    All fairy tales are religions!

    Maybe we can destroy them through sequential dilutions.

  29. #30 missingpoints
    March 31, 2008

    @#14: “Proof” in this case is short for “proofread.” Not sure if it’s proper grammar, but acceptable. He’s not that big an idiot.

  30. #31 John S. Wilkins
    March 31, 2008

    All religions but one are fairy tales. That other one is a full-on apocalyptic horror story. The difficulty lies in knowing which ones are which.

    Also, note that faery tales are not always nice.

  31. #32 Bride of Shrek
    March 31, 2008

    I think its giving fairytales a bad rap. Fairytales after all, can be entertaining, morally educational and are harmless. A more accurate, yet less allowable in public sign, would be “All Religions Are Big Loads of Shite”.

  32. #33 Gary Bohn
    March 31, 2008

    “When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale, that is wrong,” said Rich Stormes, a nearby business owner.

    I love this quote. Really? Show me how it’s wrong.

    Funny how they deny equality of religions but are more than willing to pretend to equality of opinion about science.

    They (you know, ‘them’) want us to accept their version of science because, despite enormous differences in evidence, all hypotheses are equal and should be discussed at the same table but are totally unwilling to let us compare their religion, in this case Christmasanity, to any other wild fairy tale even though the similarities far outweigh the differences.

  33. #34 Bill
    March 31, 2008

    I like it!
    It’s entirely possible that someone sneaked it up there in the middle of the night. Huge kudos to who ever did it.
    I do hate the hypocrisy. People can get offended and bent out of shape over this but if I say I’m offended by the God messages then I’m some kind of monster.

    Looks like a couple of basic religious principles at work here:
    1) Ostracize: Those who can not be converted or express an opposing belief are ostracized. This is done to protect the “faithful” from harmful memes and to force the ostracized to try to survive outside of the support of the community with the intent that they don’t.
    2) Fear of retribution: The business owners wanted the sign be taken down because they were afraid of retribution from the community, which would eventually take the form of violence (graffiti, vandalism, or arson) or, once the church community organized, boycotts (See Ostracize).
    3) Fear of association: The immediate drop in business was caused by fear of association. The “God Fearing” people would not want to be seen visiting these businesses lest they be associated with atheists. This would result with principles 1 and 2.

    OT… I always hated that term “God Fearing”. If your God requires that you fear him then he is not worth worshiping…

  34. #35 Laser Potato
    March 31, 2008

    “Also, note that faery tales are not always nice.”
    In the case of old-fashioned faerie tales, replace “not always nice” with “freakin’ sadistic.”

  35. #36 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    OT… I always hated that term “God Fearing”. If your God requires that you fear him then he is not worth worshiping…

    actually, I’ve always thought they should use the more precise term:

    Hell fearing.

    cause that’s what they have actually been taught to fear.

    after all, it’s pretty easy for a kid threatened by being zapped by a lightning bolt if they misbehave to readily see that’s not gonna happen.

    much harder to prove that after he’s dead, he’s not going to hell for the same misbehavior.

    It becomes a tool of parental abuse of authority.

    they don’t fear god. they fear what their parents told them about going to hell.

  36. #37 Gary Bohn
    March 31, 2008

    What about the reverse?

    All fairy tales are religions!

    Maybe we can destroy them through sequential dilutions.

    Posted by: poke | March 31, 2008 8:11 PM

    ‘Fraid not. A little spiritual “potentisation” through repeated “succussions” and they’ll be better than new.

  37. #38 efrique
    March 31, 2008

    The objection to even the existence of the sentiment strike me as particularly damning for the fundies.

    - If their God really existed and really was a powerful being, what reaction should such a sentiment on a billboard create?

    It would be as nothing. Mere background noise, and of no more concern than noticing a 3 year old talking to their toys. How could it be otherwise?

    - If, on the other hand, the emperor has no clothes, but the reader has a strong vested interest in maintaining the illusion that the emperor is clothed in gowns of the finest silk, what reaction would we expect to see?

    Why, exactly the reaction we do see. Theists who can’t stand the sight of a billboard like that give out the distinct impression that they don’t actually, really, unshakeably believe in God. They just want him to be true.

    Look at it this way. If Santa is real, it doesn’t matter if the rotten kid on the corner tells you he doesn’t exist. It doesn’t impact Santa at all, nor you (any more than him telling you he doesn’t believe you live in a house can change your address – you can just shake your head and go about your business, secure in the knowledge that he’s wrong).

    However, if Santa doesn’t exist, then being told that breaks the illusion that he does. That *can* be upsetting, because hearing the message means you’re at least peripherally aware that the illusion is just that. If you’re determined not to deal with the fact that Santa doesn’t exist, then you can cover your ears and go “La-la-la” while running away… but it’s clear to all around you that you in fact aren’t at all sure he does exist. You just want him to exist, which is a whole other thing.

    Look at it another way. Many of us read Ricky Gervais deconversion story. What was it that convinced him God was made up? Was it his brother’s skepticism?

    No!

    It was his mother’s reaction to the skepticism that proved to him she didn’t really believe in God – that his brothers words had to be kept secret because they were true.

  38. #39 defectiverobot
    March 31, 2008

    Ben Stein is a fairy.

    Oh wait, no, he’s a pixie.

    My bad.

  39. #40 Jon
    March 31, 2008

    It’s funny that customers would blame the adjacent businesses. That’s two reasons to doubt the customers’ rational faculties.

  40. #41 DanioPhD
    March 31, 2008

    ‘Fraid not. A little spiritual “potentisation” through repeated “succussions” and they’ll be better than new.

    Oh, I don’t know. A religious service in which the religious content was diluted to the extent that it was completely absent from the mixture sounds relatively appealing.

  41. #42 CarrieP
    March 31, 2008

    Speaking of athiestic billboards getting negative responses does anyone recall the “War of the Billboards” in PA? Where the Freedom From Religion Foundation put up an “Imagine There’s No Heaven” sign?

    It was the subject of a February episode of their radio show:

    http://ffrf.org/radio/podcast/

  42. #43 Halfbiscuit
    March 31, 2008

    It was the last couple of sentences of the linked article that made me feel all warm and happy inside:

    The billboard rents for $1,400 a month. If an anti-religious group paid to rent it legitimately, there is no telling how long it would have been up.

    Orange County does not regulate messages on billboards. They are protected by free speech.

    So who’s setting up the Paypal account for donations towards next month’s billboard?

  43. #44 MartinM
    March 31, 2008

    A religious service in which the religious content was diluted to the extent that it was completely absent from the mixture sounds relatively appealing.

    It’s not atheism, it’s homeopathic Christianity! More potent than the real thing! How’s that for framing?

  44. #45 foxfire
    March 31, 2008

    @20:

    If the billboard had read “All religions but one are fairy tales”

    We could have a lot of fun with that – some ideas:
    - Omit any reference to a particular religion on the billboard, thereby ensuring much argument about which religion sponsored the ad.
    - include a religious symbol that changes once every 10 seconds.
    - include a picture of the FSM (or possibly a pirate with a beer volcano in the background)

  45. #46 Bill
    March 31, 2008

    Ichthyic –
    You are actually hitting on the very definition of religion:

    Religion (Noun):
    A set of beliefs typically based on lies, myths, and inaccurate interpretations of historical events specifically designed to instill fear such that the believer can be more easily manipulated and controlled by those in power. Most religions will include meme structures designed to self reinforce the beliefs and defend the beliefs from outside influences (i.e. other religions). These meme structures will often employ threats of punishment through some form of supernatural power and will encourage direct attacks against opposing beliefs. Often religions have been observed to employ circular logic, use of hypotheticals, hyperbole, and self-references as proof and use of the “leap of faith” defense (when in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary “faith” is used to disregard logic or observation).

  46. #47 J
    March 31, 2008
  47. #48 Don Smith, FCD
    March 31, 2008

    Stupid people live around here.

    I wonder if this fine establishment, only one block away, suffered a loss of business?

  48. #49 Turdus
    March 31, 2008

    Kwik! Cover teh kittenz eyez!

  49. #50 chris
    March 31, 2008

    Damn I live about 5-10 minutes away from there. I didn’t know it was up there. That sux… But cool, I was surprised with the amount of atheist, agnostics, free thinkers I have working with me and have run into around Orlando.

  50. #51 MAJeff, OM
    March 31, 2008

    You know, I went to hear Bach’s St. Matthew Passion a week or so aga (damn, Ian Bostridge was INCREDIBLE.)

    As wonderful as the music was, I also sat there thinking, “What a repugnant story” (when I wasn’t pissed off about the pole in front of me–yes, that was the view from my seat.)

    I do kind of miss having people to gather with and have a nice ham dinner–and I make a mean Easter brunch–but for me it had become about gathering with cared-about people and not about a noxious deity and its bloodlust. Fuck church, fuck worshiping that worthless deity–give me a ham, bloody mary, and good friends; that’s a far superior Sunday.

  51. #52 Hank Roberts
    March 31, 2008

    Bzzzzzt!

    Link text exaggerates actual story.

    ========excerpt========
    … a popular restaurant nearby actually lost business….
    …. Straub’s Seafood restaurant often advertises on it, it wasn’t their billboard. …

    The billboard came down …
    … Straub’s Restaurant can replace the sign with the night’s specials.

    … business at the restaurant went down.

    Since the sign is so close, John Russel’s customers thought the restaurant paid for the billboard. …..

    ========end excerpt==========

  52. #53 MAJeff, OM
    March 31, 2008

    SHIT—there’s something weird there with blue text and no link. here’s the view. I moved over three seats at intermission, so that I was basically at a centre aisle position–in the very last row of Symphony Hall.

    this was actually the first time in several years that I didn’t cry at a symphonic concert. It was a good performance (and like I said, Bostridge was amazing)…but I wasn’t moved.

  53. #54 Chris
    March 31, 2008

    Oh and the decline in business could also be attributed to the economy. I have run into some christian billboards with quotes on them, as well as church advertisements, I’m glad for the brief presence of atheism on one for once.

  54. #55 Don Smith, FCD
    March 31, 2008

    So MAJeff, What did you do to piss off the ticket clerk?

  55. #56 Chris
    March 31, 2008

    Ok I keep coming up with some things to write. I was watching the news today and this came on… I was laughing. You have to watch the video for the full effect. http://www.wesh.com/news/15754166/detail.html
    NOTE: I in no way support criminal acts or violence.

  56. #57 MAJeff, OM
    March 31, 2008

    I bought online four days before the concert—got back from seeing the NSO in DC (Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff), and decided to see what the BSO was playing–I can’t turn down Bach.

  57. #58 freelunch
    March 31, 2008

    Bach is evidence that belief in God doesn’t completely ruin your life (so is Bach’s great disciple, Albert Schweitzer).

  58. #59 craig
    March 31, 2008

    I want to hear more about these rogue billboard putter-uppers.

  59. #60 Epikt
    March 31, 2008

    MAJeff:

    SHIT—there’s something weird there with blue text and no link. here’s the view.

    I recognize that very column! I was in Boston for a conference a few years ago, and a conductor friend came up from NYC and we got rush seats in exactly that spot.

    this was actually the first time in several years that I didn’t cry at a symphonic concert.

    If memory serves, I cried at that concert years ago. It was the intonation in the woodwinds, I think.

  60. #61 noncarborundum
    March 31, 2008

    When my business is big enough to afford a billboard I’m going to put one of these up in Rhode Island.

    And there I was wondering if Rhode Island was big enough to afford a billboard.

  61. #62 Aero
    March 31, 2008

    Religions are far worse than fairy-tales. They are true horror shows.

  62. #63 MAJeff, OM
    March 31, 2008

    If memory serves, I cried at that concert years ago. It was the intonation in the woodwinds, I think.

    The cello soloist with the NSO, Alban Gerhardt, had me in that uncomfortable space in which I had to keep my body from heaving; good music performed well–be it Mahler 1, a Rostropovich Moderato or Michael Franti singing about war–can get me crying hard. I often feel sorry for those seated next to me. I get into the music, I don’t sit calmly and listen…I can’t.

  63. #64 Carlie
    March 31, 2008

    Ben Stein is a fairy.

    Oh wait, no, he’s a pixie.

    My bad.

    And the pixies never did succeed in taking over Fairyworld.
    :) :) :) :)

  64. #65 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Bach is evidence that belief in God doesn’t necessarily completely ruin your life (so is Bach’s great disciple, Albert Schweitzer).

    still requires a lot of compartmentalization, though.

  65. #66 freelunch
    March 31, 2008

    Ichthyic, correction accepted.

    still requires a lot of compartmentalization, though.

    Yes, compartmentalization is a wonderful skill of humans.

  66. #67 misterbowen
    March 31, 2008

    @27

    Ah, I thought maybe it was the Billboard Front of Judea, officials.

  67. #68 October Mermaid
    March 31, 2008

    *Sigh* Florida.

    This is just stupid. They’re so afraid to see the sign, their faith is SO shaken, that they actually avoid going anywhere near it for fear of seeing it? Maybe just seeing such a thing is “allowing Satan a foothold.”

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned from growing up in a religious family, it’s that Satan is ALWAYS looking for footholds. He loves his footholds.

  68. #69 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Satan is ALWAYS looking for footholds. He loves his footholds.

    one might think he has multiple legs…

    8-10, say?

    :p

  69. #70 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Ah, I thought maybe it was the Billboard Front of Judea, officials.

    bloody splitter.

  70. #71 Lisa J
    March 31, 2008

    Love it! I want one for my house!

  71. #72 genesgalore
    March 31, 2008

    you really do have to wonder how long it be before most humans will stop with the anthropomorphism of energy.

  72. #73 True Bob
    March 31, 2008

    Ichthyic, I must disagree, they are more god-fearing than hel-fearing. their god is the bastard that dumps them in the sickly conceived hel, for whatever nysterious reasons it has.

    Also, I find it hard to believe that the billboard was usurped. Whoever DID pay for their sign would’ve been up in arms for not getting their message out.

  73. #74 Ichthyic
    March 31, 2008

    Ichthyic, I must disagree, they are more god-fearing than hel-fearing. their god is the bastard that dumps them in the sickly conceived hel, for whatever nysterious reasons it has.

    um, if hell was billed as the paradise it actually is (and it is, I run the nonstop bad sci-fi film festival there), would you mind being booted there?

    no, you wouldn’t.

    now if hell is like Dante’s Inferno…

    do you get the point now?

    Also, I find it hard to believe that the billboard was usurped.

    this I entirely agree with. there is no reason to presume that the owners of the billboard would refuse business from atheists.

  74. #75 chancelikely
    March 31, 2008

    No, that’s the work of the Judean Billboard Front.

  75. #76 Emily
    March 31, 2008

    @14

    I thought that too, when I first read:
    “He had to proof it”

    What he said was the person who authorised this had to proof read it.

    Like I said before, MediaNET is not taking responsibility and is throwing their hands up saying they have *no idea* how it got there. But of course they did, because it costs $1,400 a month to use that space.

  76. #77 Emily
    March 31, 2008

    Ok, Nevermind
    #30: missingpoints, already covered that…

    @Ichthyic
    Ah, I thought maybe it was the Billboard Front of Judea, officials. bloody splitter

    Hahahaha

    Or was it the Judean Billboard Front?

  77. #78 MelM
    April 1, 2008

    So, when atheists finally get to buy billboard space, Christian Nation people can tear the sign off or cover it up and we don’t have a leg to stand on. That’s not what I want. If this sign was put up illegally, I condemn the action. I’m concerned about the massive violation of rights coming with a theocracy; so, I don’t intent to sanction the violation of rights.

    Sure, it’s very frustrating that people don’t see my A pin and deconvert right on the spot. If the New Atheism actually accomplishes anything whatever, it’ll take time and patient, persistent effort and it’ll require that freedom of speech be respected by everyone; and frankly, we have the most to lose.

    We have the right to were our A pins; so, unless you’re in danger of having the shit kicked out of you, I suggest that you wear them–nobody’s rights are violated.

    Now, I’ll say that I like the sign. It was quick to read and makes the point well. It would be great if some strategic location in the U.S. could be found for it and a way found to pay for it indefinitely.

  78. #79 Doug
    April 1, 2008

    Awww poor babies, did the big, bad words hurt your widdle biddy feeweens?

  79. #80 Bride of Shrek
    April 1, 2008

    Near where I used to live in Proserpine, Queensland there was a massive, and I mean MASSIVE billboard outside a church ( can’t remmeber what brand but one of those woo woo throw your hands in the air, speak in tongues tomfooleries) which stated, in bright red letters, “Jesus is The Answer”. Even when I was alone in the car I was still unable to resist yelling “Who farted?” at it as I passed.

  80. #81 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2008

    Sure, it’s very frustrating that people don’t see my A pin and deconvert right on the spot.

    that’s odd.

    are you sure you’re wearing it in the right spot?

  81. #82 Leigh
    April 1, 2008

    @October Mermaid (#68):
    “Maybe just seeing such a thing is ‘allowing Satan a foothold.’ If there’s one thing I’ve learned from growing up in a religious family, it’s that Satan is ALWAYS looking for footholds. He loves his footholds.”

    I don’t get this Satan thing fundies obsess over. So, you’re just walking along to Bible study, all pious and suchall, meditating on the glory of God, and and all of a sudden the devil comes right up on you and crawls up your ass.

    Seriously, WTF? All of a sudden the full armor of God fails you and Satan enters right into your heart?

    Way paranoid. Personally, as long as there are people in the world I see no need for Satan. We’ve got that whole wickedness base covered just fine on our own.

    And, to return to the topic . . . it’s a friggin’ BILLBOARD, a blight and an abomination on the landscape. Why get all Crusades on the poor business owners who have the misfortune to be located near it? What passes for rational thought among these lame-ass Christians must be even more broken than usual.

  82. #83 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2008

    What passes for rational thought among these lame-ass Christians must be even more broken than usual.

    yup

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/03/floridas-evolut.html

  83. #84 Ferrous Patella
    April 1, 2008

    So Cuttlefish…did *you* have anything to do with “Beware the Believers”?

  84. #85 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    Ha, there’s a church here that has a pair of billboards it owns… when I first came to the city it was parodying the famous tui ads with the line “There’s more than one path to God – Yeah Right”

    Now they’ve got a rugby reference: “Jesus doesn’t believe in penalties, but loves conversions”

    Who are they trying to kid?

  85. #86 shonny
    April 1, 2008

    Maybe it was DimmestDick’s idea?

    “The billboard was on Colonial Drive near Old Cheney Highway.”

  86. #87 Ginger Yellow
    April 1, 2008

    Don’t businesses always suffer a large decline over Easter? They certainly do in England, but then we have two public holidays over the weekend.

  87. #88 tincture
    April 1, 2008

    I like the first two Hellraisers, but the rest…meh.

    oh yes, they got progressively worse, as is the case with most sequels.

    the last one…

    *shudder*

    man, that was bad.

    You’re all mad. Hellraiser Bloodlines was the best. That was the one w/ the security guards and the wheel thingy, righy?

  88. #89 Lilly de Lure
    April 1, 2008

    MAJeff, OM said:

    As wonderful as the music was, I also sat there thinking, “What a repugnant story” (when I wasn’t pissed off about the pole in front of me–yes, that was the view from my seat.)

    Right there with you! In my youth I was part of a choir that used to go down to the Festival Hall in London every easter to sing the Matthew Passion. I loved the music (like you I can’t say no to Bach) and the experience of singing alongside a really good group of singers and being directed by a world class conductor was just incredible.

    But I remember every year singing the bit that goes “tis I whose sins have bound thee and nailed thee to the tree” and thinking “I can’t believe these words are actually coming out of my mouth”.

    Music – sublime: lyrics – teh stoopid, it burns!

  89. #90 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    Oh yes, Lilly, the devil got all the best tunes.

    I still find myself humming hymns sometimes. Why is it that the xians run all the best schools?

  90. #91 Nick Gotts
    April 1, 2008

    Now they’ve got a rugby reference: “Jesus doesn’t believe in penalties, but loves conversions” – wazza

    In the UK, I’ve more than once seen a “Jesus Saves” billboard graffitoed with “But scores on the rebound!”

  91. #92 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    Jesus saves, passes to moses, Score!

    or Jesus saves, Darwin invests

  92. #93 Nick Gotts
    April 1, 2008

    Ah – didn’t realise what would happen to anything between angle brackets. The graffito should read “But less-than-symbol name-of-current-soccer-star greater-than-symbol scores on the rebound!”

  93. #94 wazza
    April 1, 2008

    angle brackets are used to denote HTML tags, and if the tag doesn’t make sense, HTML just hides it

    and there’s no tag for the names of soccer stars, though you could probably find a random soccer star name generator and stick it in there…

  94. #95 phantomreader42
    April 1, 2008

    Jesus Saves…and only takes half damage! :P

  95. #96 DSK Samways
    April 1, 2008

    Oh, I don’t know. At least the faerie folk are up for some high jinks and like a bit of a dance now and then.

  96. #97 Michelle
    April 1, 2008

    *SNORT* That’s AWESOME. I want one in my neighborhood!

  97. #98 gravitybear
    April 1, 2008

    To be fair, the article didn’t say that, “businesses around it reported a two-thirds decline.” It said that one restaurant reported that it’s Easter Sunday business was down by two thirds. A one-day blip.

  98. #99 Lilly de Lure
    April 1, 2008

    Wazza said:

    Oh yes, Lilly, the devil got all the best tunes.

    I still find myself humming hymns sometimes.

    I know, beautiful music+dumb lyrics is one of the reasons I prefer religious music when it’s in Latin so that I don’t know exactly what the words mean as I’m listening to them. That way I can just enjoy the music without being irritated by the “message”.

  99. #100 Shade
    April 1, 2008

    Wait, there’s a pin?

    Is there a secret handshake, too? : )

  100. #101 Jason Failes
    April 1, 2008

    “When you condemn all religions and say they are a fairytale, that is wrong”

    No, it may be mean, but it is not wrong. It’s a factually correct statement (unless he means to say that there are no actual fairies in most religions)

  101. #102 charley
    April 1, 2008

    At least they got their billboard up. Where I live, the FFRF couldn’t even convince the advertising company to put one up that said “Beware of Dogma”.
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/base/news-40/120504697822731.xml&coll=6

  102. #103 Carlie
    April 1, 2008

    We have the right to were our A pins; so, unless you’re in danger of having the shit kicked out of you, I suggest that you wear them–nobody’s rights are violated.

    Wait, one can actually get a scarlet letter A to wear on one’s bosom? Want!

  103. #104 zeekster
    April 1, 2008

    I wrote to WFTV the day this was published to ask them to do a better service to the public by actually investigating the claims of both the restaurant owner and the media company. They replied to me repeating only that the media company says the board was put up illegally. They said Nessan paid for the spot. No further investigation. I’d love to see Straub’s provide evidence of a decline in business beginning exactly when the billboard went up though.

  104. #105 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2008

    Wait, one can actually get a scarlet letter A to wear on one’s bosom? Want!

    Carlie:

    http://richarddawkins.net/store/

    which is part of:

    http://outcampaign.org/

    check it out.

  105. #106 Spencer
    April 1, 2008

    That billboard would make such a lovely bumper sticker.

  106. #107 Carlie
    April 1, 2008

    Ooo, and a car window sticker! Neat.

    If only it had a little photo of PZ or Dawkins inside the A… :)

  107. #108 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2008

    You’re all mad. Hellraiser Bloodlines was the best.

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hellraiser/
    60% rating
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hellraiser_bloodline/
    30% rating

    O.o

  108. #109 Ichthyic
    April 1, 2008

    If only it had a little photo of PZ or Dawkins inside the A… :)

    if you have an inkjet printer, you can print on acetate.

    make your own!

  109. #110 Sohbet
    April 2, 2008

    oww my god ! :) This wery intrestic

  110. #111 greg laden
    May 30, 2008

    I don’t see how truly religious people would be offended by this billboard, or the idea that part of their lives are fairy tales.

    Something else is going on here reducing business. Like maybe it is near a long stop light. And people read it over and over again . And it suddenly dawns on them that fairy’s might have tails. And that kind of freaks them out and they go home.

  111. #112 Chris Sanford
    November 25, 2008

    It is funny that usually fairy tales have no evidence to back them up whatsoever. What’s funny is that people hold this same view concerning the Word of God aka the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth. 25,000 archeological finds verify the Bible and not one, I repeat not one has been found to discredit the Bible. 1/4 of the Bible is prophetic literature and not one of the prophesies found in the Word of God have failed. In Isaiah 45 Isaiah names king Cyrus by name 200 years before he came to power. Psalm 22 mentions crucifixion 800 years before it was practiced. Job 26:10 says the earth is round, thousands of years before we ever discovered this to be true. What is my point, my point is the Bible was getting it right when everyone else was getting it wrong, the same is true today.

  112. #113 Angel Kaida
    November 25, 2008

    Aww, man, none of the Scarlet Letter shirts will fit me and I really really want a black one. Does anyone know if they update their inventory?

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