Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blasphemy in Charlotte, or not, for DNC?

American Atheists (AA) and Adams Outdoor Advertising have mutually agreed to remove billboards criticizing Christianity and Mormonism in Charlotte, NC. Citing "public reaction" which AA characterized as "vitriol, threats, and hate speech against our staff, volunteers, and Adams Outdoor Advertising," the AA billboards will be taken down before the DNC to protect "innocent people...caught in the middle" (AA).

However, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is apparently in the process of putting some billboards of their own in Charlotte. And for those who apparently don't know, there has been an active group of atheists in Charlotte for some time now. They are affiliated with AA as well as the Atheist Alliance and the American Humanist Association. I recently joined the Charlotte group, and I don't think they had anything to do with these AA billboards. Personally I think the FFRF message is more effective. But I do support the AA's blasphemy rights, and I am troubled by this type of intimidation by religious bullies.

I wish AA would take Adams up on their counter-offer, and ask them to put up a simple billboard with the following quote:

"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend it ceases to exist."
 - Salman Rushdie 
And a footnote in support of AA, in strikethrough!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Local church pastors as change agents

I want to share a couple things from my Twitter feed today. Because frankly, I don't often get to quote Rick Warren! Yes, that Rick Warren! So here goes:
Case in point? Meet Jerry DeWitt!

If you are recovering from religion in the Charlotte, NC area, come join us for a meeting: The Skeptical Poets Society formed a local "Metrolina" chapter in June. Our next meeting is this Sunday, Aug 26, at the Maiden Recreation Center. And if you are an active and former clergy who does not hold supernatural beliefs, The Clergy Project is here to help you!