Chambersburg Harrisburg Lancaster Lebanon York

Billboard Apology

I want to say that I’m truly sorry that many people have misunderstood this billboard. It was never our intention to use “race” as our message itself – The point of our billboard was:

  1. The bible is NOT holy or moral as promoted by the PA House of Representatives in the “Year of the Bible”.
  2. The bible was used as an excuse for many very bad things – Including American slavery.

We would have hoped this message was clearer to observers. In any case, the point is currently moot. The billboard was destroyed by vandals overnight. Attached is an image, submitted by one of our members who discovered it, of the destruction.

The irony of course is in what they destroyed: they left the bible verse that supports slavery, one of many missed opportunities in the bible for the authors to actually say “Slavery is bad”. They removed the entire point of the billboard, the criticism, and left the actual ignorant and savage part.

Brian Fields
President, PA Nonbelievers

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  • flowing311420

    I just heard about this billboard today on facebook. A friend of mine had been out in Harrisburg yesterday and came across it and took a photo. Then the typical debate happened. She was stating that she found the billboard to be offensive but not as offensive as some of the ones that crop up on 322 with pictures of aborted fetuses on them. And then there was the other drivel from people stating that Atheists are the devil blah blah blah… I chimed in with the fact that what people need to do is stop being so F@#&*ng offended by everything and to start looking that the world objectively. And that this billboard is actually historically correct. Slavery and The Bible go hand in hand through out. This is simply pointing it out.

    I am sad to see that some one destroyed it… I hope it gets put back up soon… Or maybe some kind of replacement that peoples small minds wont look at as racist.

  • Elroy

    I would just like to say THANK YOU for putting up the billboard. I’m an Atheist from southern PA. Don’t apologize for the billboard. It spoke the truth, whether people wanted to hear it or not. More and more these days I am worried about how much religion is now influencing our politics, on the state, as well as on the national level. If we don’t speak up for ourselves and others, we only condone what the religious and zealots are saying and doing. We NEED a voice of reason to speak out against the injustices, bigotry, and corruption.

  • Matt24Dupont

    After listening to numerous people complain to the news media about the billboard, I am truly convinced the majority of religious people do not know what is printed in the bible. People offended by the billboard do not seem to be secure with their own religious beliefs. Truly sad.
    The news media also appears to be giving Pennsylvania legislature a free pass by not pressing them on why they can endorse one religion and not another. It’s quite obvious that the PA legislature is full of hypocrites who have no regard for separation of church and state. The bible belongs in a church and not government.

  • 24ktgld

    If you don’t find a black man with metal restraints on his neck “ignorant and savage” don’t bother to apologize.

    • Brian

      Of COURSE we find it offensive – That’s the very point of the billboard. Slavery, racism – These things are ALL legacies of the bible. That’s the whole point.

  • Willis Shirk

    As an atheist myself, I must speak out to express my opinion that the image depicted on this billboard is very counterproductive in promoting our cause because it reinforces already existing negative stereotypes of atheists as troublemakers. The billboard is equally as abhorrent as those billboards depicting aborted fetuses, and it is as equally ineffective in promoting in its message. Yes, the message the billboard contains may be true, but it is not likely to win many friends or influence many minds. Let us also not forget that there were Christians fighting on both sides during the American Civil War, and this billboard therefore gives those believers who cite the positive role of religion in history the ammunition they need in defense of their fairy tales. For me, atheism is grounded in reasoned critical thinking, the scientific method, and a deep skepticism of all forms of religious belief. It is about the sense of wonder at the immensity and mystery of the cosmos, and sharing with others that sense of wonder and mystery, together with the pursuit the proper methods to follow in pursuit of that mystery and gain a better understanding of our place in it. Some of the best modern role models for this kind of positive atheism are Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Hawking. Though Albert Einstein frequently made conflicting statements regarding God and religion, I always loved his answer to a direct question that was put to him about religion when he declared with the lovely double entendere “I am a religious unbeliever.” In my experience, perhaps the best ambassadors for atheism are the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and The Skeptics Society. Let us follow their example of modeling free and open, but non-threatening, discourse in our common pursuit of promoting reason, science, and skeptical inquiry.

  • CRS

    I think the message is more powerful now that only the top half of the billboard remains. They left the most important part of the messgae…that their Holy book s filled with hate.

  • Real

    Thanks for this billboard. Point well made – this is a healthy dialog. I am in California and saw this on Facebook. I will repost the picture, I have a feeling many will as this goes “viral.”

    Good job and thank God for the Internet!


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