I had just opened my digital copy of the Plain Dealer this morning, despaired at the Tribe losing yet another one to the Athletics, turned to page 2 & 3 ... and spent the next couple seconds recovering my jaw from the floor, mostly because the following article was smack in the middle of Page Three:
[Click on the above article to enlarge it.]
Atheism hasn't been a large hot-button issue in Cleveland that I've seen, but to see this piece and the billboards is encouraging to me, especially that the Northern Ohio Freethought Society is taking these steps.
I'm going to be very intrigued to see what the reaction is in the PD, as well as to spot the billboards in my travels!
Congratulations! And, job well done!
Molto grazie, Pat. Your support, along with the rest of A|N, is greatly appreciated and makes doing things like this a lot easier than they might be otherwise.
Loren, thanks for this piece on billboards and your letter of appreciation to the author, Tom Feran, as well as your response to Tom S. Johnson. Pro-atheism billboards bring me so much joy, and appreciation for the courage it takes for people to state proudly that they are atheists. We have read too many comments on this Atheist Nexus site of people being afraid of repercussion for allowing it to be known that they are atheists. Families reject members to do not have evidence of there being a god, employment sometimes depends on one being a believer, and our culture as a whole often retaliates against freedom of thought.
These billboards are not anti-religion, they are pro atheism. I feel strong, competent, and confident when I say I am an atheist. I feel the same way when I say I am able to think and reason my way through challenges, or when I break family tradition in order to escape assaults against my mind and body.
I do scorn believers. I am satisfied with what I have accomplished and the ways I chose to overcome violence. I feel shame when I remember that I lived my life as a victim, until something inside me refused to remain one. Atheism is a belief system that allows me to learn and grow as a human being.
Joan, as always, words of wisdom.
While I will admit to having talked considerable trash around A|N for the past 4-1/2 years, I'm not down with scorning believers as a matter of course, unless their behavior in my presence has earned such treatment. The kind of smarmy response Mr. Johnson gave to Tom Feran's article is not the first bolt I would prefer to take from my quiver most times. As with my letter, I prefer sticking with the facts as I see them and letting that make the statement.
Nota bene: while it's not my first choice by a long stretch, scorn, sarcasm and mockery are all available. As Montgomery Scott would say, "the right tool for the right job."
I like this idea. stick with the facts, have ready "scorn, sarcasm and mockery".
Your letter seems good, Loren. Go for it.
Long since done, Michael. We'll see what comes of it.
Well done Loren. Please let us know of any future responses you receive on this topic.
I wish I had the ability to express myself as well as you and many of the others on AN. But I know my limitations. So I'll leave it up to you and others.