MN Atheists sponsoring anti-dogma baby billboards

Categories: Religion
Minneapolis atheist baby.jpg
An atheist baby currently presides over Minneapolis' warehouse district.
Minnesota Atheists suggest that babies are born atheists in new billboards popping up around the Twin Cities.

"We are all born without belief in gods. Learn how to be a born-again atheist," says one of the billboards, which are visible at 725 Washington Ave. N. in Minneapolis and University & Snelling in St. Paul.

Infants that reject religious dogma? Perhaps Minnesota Atheists are giving babies too much credit, but in any event the cute-infant-clad billboards certainly are eye-catching.

The Pioneer Press reports that the billboards, which cost $3,000, will be up until February 19. They are co-sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists and national organization American Atheists.

In a press release, Eric Jayne, Minnesota Atheists board member, says:
St Paul atheist baby.jpg
This baby is apparently intelligent beyond his years.
We hope to inspire those who already identify as atheists to become aware of and join Minnesota Atheists and American Atheists. We also wish to challenge the practice of indoctrinating young, impressionable minds with religious dogma that cannot be substantiated with evidence. As the late, outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens said, 'If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.'
As anyone who has driven along I-35 can attest, the use of cute babies on advocacy billboards was pioneered by Profile Across America, a Minneapolis-based organization that features could-have-been-aborted infants on pro-life billboards throughout the country.

Mary Ann Kuharski, director of Profile Across America, told the PiPress she regards imitation as the highest form of flattery. "The baby is an eye catcher, and that's why we use the baby, and the atheists apparently think so, too," she said.

Pro-life, anti-religious-dogma babies? What will adults think of next.
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46 comments
Fernando Sanchez
Fernando Sanchez

one more note, isn't i kind of ironic how they make religion seem like such a bad person for trying to raise a child into religion, but it's ok to raise a child into Atheism with out their permisiion, doesn't this just put them back in the same boat they were trying to keep the pirates out of.. It's almost like anarchy movement with a head cell command.. .. I guess not only do they know about faith, but they know how to read minds.. GETS THESE GUYS A NOBEL PRIZE/..! 

Fernando Sanchez
Fernando Sanchez

is it just me or is Atheism becoming a religion of some sort of fascism? 

T Blackford
T Blackford

I'm an atheist, and I don't have any desire to join a group or make billboards. I just wish the vocal atheists could do more to promote their sense of wonder and fascination with the world, to combat the idea that we all think we live in a 'sterile, boring, random universe with no purpose.' Instead, they are upset about indoctrination. I understand all that - but I was indoctrinated and I am fine now. I would rather combat the perception of atheists as angry people wanting to stop other people from believing what they choose to believe rather than combat baby Christians.

Can't we be atheists without the idea that our primary thing has to be holding religions and religious people in contempt? I just want to be happy, to not be considered one of the most disliked groups in the country, and for people to know that I am a happy person who isn't suffering from any kind of 'spiritual lack.' That's all I want. 

Getting in people's faces about religion can be fun for a while, but it is frankly just sort of... I'm not an atheist to feel superior, and it can be easy to jump on that train and ride it down the tracks. I would rather just promote a general but non-invasive awareness of 'It is okay to be an atheist, and you can still find a sunset beautiful and think life has meaning if you are an atheist.'

TeaBea
TeaBea

God, I wish babies would quit trying to tell me what to do. "Stop being all religious! Don't get an abortion!" Who asked you, baby?

Guest
Guest

I am almost in tears and will pray for them tonight.  Today just became one of the most depressing days of my life.

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

It is important to note that these are the "American Atheist's".  Basically a group of angry nut jobs - many ex-catholics - who are angry about religion.  As a life long atheist, I find it appaling that these people have to insult others.  To each his own - the MN / American Atheists are a bunch of pigs!

Dan
Dan

Has it been pointed out that babies aren't capable of making decisions for oh....a number of years? Therefore it's hard for them to have a real belief in much of anything beyond basic needs for quite some time. This is kind of a stupid thing to post. :P

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

Really...with all of the free thinking graphic designers in the world, they chose to give the job of choosing the typeface to my mom?

Urion-22
Urion-22

How sad it must be to be an atheists. To not have faith has to extremely depressing.

Matt
Matt

These people are free to teach their children how they want in the privacy of their own homes. Seems like they are intent on pushing their beliefs on others. Hypocrites?

Jr980306
Jr980306

These billboards are great! I love the satirical spin on those anti-abortion billboards, and the Minnesota Atheists did it with a couple of short, thought-provoking messages. As an atheist I feel underrepresented: there's a church on every corner, no (or very few) atheists making laws in government, religious imagery displayed at my co-worker's desk (but I would be shunned if I displayed anything pro-atheist), and I was indoctrinated as a child too so I really appreciate the messages!

East Coast Doug
East Coast Doug

I am an atheist.

However, I believe in intelligent discussion.  There are people, throught the ages that have positively contibuted to the human race - even though the have been 'religous people'.

From my experience "The organized 'American Atheists' are a bunch of Nut Jobs'" 

They stand for nothing, except to Bitch About ...  when someone mentions 'God' or 'Jesus'.

An 'In Your Face' organization of crazies.  Notice the American Atheists have no hospitals, or anything else to offer anyone with anything positive. 

Their entire mission is to pick apart ANYTHING constructive!

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

I see plenty of ads promoting ignorance, consumerism, sexism, greed and every other terrible human quality, so why is it so offensive to see a billboard promoting logic and humor? This only offends me as much as the idea of advertising does, but I think it's clever. There's nothing extreme about the message, and I don't understand the argument "it's only funny when the people you're making fun of have a sense of humor." Jokes are only supposed to be funny to the person who they're about?  Maybe you mean it's only funny when the "target" knows they're being mocked, but that's also pretty silly.

Andrew
Andrew

You know what else we were born without a belief in??? ANYTHING!

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

I understand that this was meant to be satirical, but the joke's only funny when the people you're making fun of have a sense of humor. 

DustMite
DustMite

Technically, aren't we born atheists?  Religion is something we grow to accept over time.  I am a practicing Catholic incase you were wondering.

Drewl
Drewl

Gross. As an atheist, this does not make me proud. Comic sans + bright yellow background + giant baby faces? Not exactly a formula for success.

c.a.s.
c.a.s.

Maybe they will think not to use comic sans.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

Actually, the point of this billboard is to encourage children to think for themselves, and not accept a rigid belief system when they're too young to make their own decisions. Athiesm doesn't have rules and dogma, leaders, or a mythical history. It's a broad concept that encourages independent, individual thought and the use of evidence and reason to make decisions. Also, many athiests don't deny that the Universe is a mysterious and often-unknowable place. They just believe that we shouldn't use our faith/assumptions about those mysteries to make decisions that effect the lives of others, especially when it comes to controlling behavior and legislating morality. 

guest2
guest2

 Hahaha! Guest enjoy wasting your time praying and crying!

T Blackford
T Blackford

That's really sad. I'm sorry, but you are overreacting. Lots of atheists in the world, and if people stopped being in tears to hear that they existed, things would be better all around for everybody. Please calm down.

Guest2
Guest2

Hahaha! Guest, enjoy wasting your time praying and crying! Well maybe not the crying part - that actually helps sometimes. 

Guest2
Guest2

Yup! These are the angry nut jobs who shoot abortion doctors, blow themselves up in crowds of people, harass people outside of family planning clinics, start wars, propagate lies that contraception gives people AIDS, attempt to force dogma into public schools, claim that the earth is the center of the universe, burn people at the stake for being witches, systematically cover-up child rape and subjugate women.

I think you don't really know what you're talking about, Doug.

Carl W.
Carl W.

That's the point of the billboards. Babies aren't capable of making decisions and young, impressionable children with under-developed brains are susceptible to being easily manipulated. They shouldn't be indoctrinated into a system of myth and fear-based beliefs before they've reached an age where--and been given the tools to--critically think, reason, reconsider, and challenge ideas.

Joe Carlin
Joe Carlin

How sad it must be to completely not understand reason. 

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

I agree completely, but only if we ban all other advertising, and Christians stop trying to teach intelligent design in public schools. I get so angry when I see a group of angry atheists in front of a church with pamphlets and giant, vulgar posters. Why can't they just keep their opinions to themselves?

Animalwhispr
Animalwhispr

You are so right. I to am an atheist. I do not agree that the way I grew up had to have a group to make the news. I feel a true atheist is someone that lives with good morals, minds their own business, and helps people when they can. Unfortunately religious people donot understand that. We have the same 10 commandments that they do, except the on about having only one god. We dont believe in god or the devil.  We just believe in people being good. Do you know their was a study years ago in prisons? Over 90% of the inmates claimed to be religious. Im sorry, I'll take my simple life of not trying to impress the person in the pew next to me, that I can keep my eyes open that long, during a really boring sermon. I am so much better off staying in bed that extra 2 hours. And oh yes be leave me I married into a family of religious freaks. Trinity Lutherans of Missouri Synod, THEY ARE THE WORST and now there are 3, count them ( #3 pastors) now in this family. Boy do I feel out of place at Christmas time, but I put up with the Bullshit!!  Just wanted to vent THANKS. Mary

Joe Carlin
Joe Carlin

Atheists believe in plenty of things, they just don't have a dogma. Their beliefs are based on reason, not a book. 

Boo
Boo

It's not funny because nagging, whiney atheists aren't especially funny.  Nor are nagging, scolding, humorless progressives that take everything seriously and cover their hybrids with coexist stickers.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Save us from the drama of graphic design queens.

Jerry G.
Jerry G.

To me comic sans just says "fun."

Nathan
Nathan

I'm not seeing your point. They have two billboards in the state while evangelicals have TENS OF THOUSANDS of churches, marquees, several TV ministries, tons of political influence, and the messages are completely different. The billboards are reaching out to an underrepresented community (i.e. atheists) while challenging others to think twice before drilling a bunch of myths that are used to deny same-sex couples the privilege of marriage, pressure Muslim women to hide their bodies and hair in public (and sometimes their face!), and make kids scared silly to think about believing something else thanks to the fire and brimstone lessons they learn in Sunday School.

It's a positive message that is rarely discussed in public out of fear of making religious believers angry or uncomfortable. If they're angry and uncomfortable with this message then maybe that's on them and they need to re-examine the merits of indoctrinating their children. Either way, it's not obnoxious to challenge other people's beliefs. Especially when these two billboards are quite modest compared to the resources and power religious institutions have.

I say BRAVO, to the atheists who helped out with this campaign!

Joe Carlin
Joe Carlin

Atheists are just being asked to be let alone. Evangelicals are asking to bother everybody. 

Guy
Guy

My thoughts exactly. So the atheist answer to those pro-life billboards is to create billboards that are equally ugly and tacky?

As a side note, I often find it hard to reconcile my devotion to free speech with my utter distaste for large, obtrusive advertising of any kind, for any products, services, causes, etc. So much damn unappealing clutter.

Chris
Chris

Hard not to agree - would be nice if opposing sides didn't have to shout at each other from the extreme sides of the spectrum. Though sometimes it takes applying the same brand of shock value to counteract the way too vocal agenda of close-minded advocacy groups.

T Blackford
T Blackford

Wow, this hostility to someone just because they aren't hostile to the same group as you?

Boof Bonser
Boof Bonser

This is why babies should be seized from their parents and raised by the state.

Tracy
Tracy

Gee, I wonder which group YOU'RE in? Try actually thinking for yourself. If you're going to be swayed by a billboard, then you have bigger problems on hand.

T Blackford
T Blackford

It isn't an answer to pro-life billboards. Atheism isn't about trying to kill babies.

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