June 9, 2011

California Bigotry

Like many atheist groups across the U.S., the Orange County Coalition for Reason erected a billboard. In doing so, they selected one of the mildest messages of all.

Don't believe in god? You are not alone.

Think about that message for a moment. What does it mean? It seeks to normalize the experience of atheists by reminding us that there are others like us. We are not nearly as alone as we often feel. It is difficult to imagine a more positive message.

And yet, that is not how some Christians perceive it. According to the Orange County Register, Orange County Mayor Margie Rice had this to say about the billboard:
That billboard is going to turn my stomach every time I drive by. But there is not much I can do about it. I guess it's fine to make a statement, but if I could help it, I would not allow it.
How could such a positive message possibly be that objectionable to anyone? Bigotry. Mayor Rice is sickened by the very existence of atheists because she is a bigot. And she's not alone.


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