First, let’s be honest: American Atheists, founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, has always been the most obnoxious and loudest anti-God organization, at least in the U.S. Not content to simply argue against the existence of God, American Atheists has made it a point to ridicule those who do believe in God and actively try to persuade others to disbelieve.
Their obnoxious side has recently surfaced again with billboards promoting the group’s upcoming “Reason Rally.” The billboards generally say, “You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice.” They posted one in Arabic in a predominantly Muslim community in New Jersey. But when they tried to put one up in a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, they were stopped. Not by a lawsuit, but by the owner of the billboard site, exercising his ownership rights.
The reason, according to Dave Silverman of American Atheists? “Religious bigotry.”
He also said this to the Christian Post:
“It disappoints me that a group which has been the victim of religious bigotry over the millennia has now become the purveyor of such bigotry. … I wonder how the Jews would react if they were told where they could advertise and what they could say, because some people might be ‘offended’ at their position.”
Apart from the red flags that the term “the Jews” raises, let’s look at what Silverman said.
- In what way is this “religious bigotry”? For one thing, and not to make too fine a point of it, but I thought the atheist thing was about being nonreligious. So, shouldn’t it be “nonreligious bigotry”? OK, that’s picayune, but how obnoxious is it that a group would insult another group and then cry bigotry when the owner of a billboard in that neighborhood decides not to allow them to promote that insult?
- Well, Jews have been told where they could advertise or conduct business, but suffering that fate at the hands of a government is a bit different than suffering that fate at the hands of a business.
- Speaking of being “offended,” the billboard included, in Hebrew, the divine name. The billboard owner probably denied American Atheists based on that alone. Jews are very careful about the use of God’s name, never destroying anything that contains it or even uttering it aloud beyond very special ritual occasions.
What has happened here is that a property owner decided not to allow a message insulting devout Jews to be displayed on said property. The American Atheists are throwing a snit fit because they didn’t get their way, which involves insulting a group that has been the target of genocidal maniacs throughout its history, and has survived … how?
By believing in God.