Jesus is the answer…

WTF was the question?

The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) are currently asking people to be on the lookout for any religious adverts; particularly on buses, billboards, or other media managed by APN.

Here’s a sample taken on the Pacific Highway near Hexham/Sandgate, you can also see it on Google Maps (though its a bit out of focus). It is unknown at this stage who the advertising company is that manages these particular billboards. If anyone knows please let me know.

jesus_billboard

As you should be aware by now the AFA was planning on conducting an Atheist Bus Campaign similar to the ones in the UK, USA and Spain. However APN has refused to carry the adverts.  The AFA has decided to pursue redress of the APN Outdoor ‘rejection’ with the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. If the AFA find any evidence of APN carrying religious advertising then this can be used as evidence in the case. Therefore it would be appreciated if all Australians could be on the lookout for religious advertising carried by APN. If anyone sees any religious advertising please let the AFA know by contacting them on their forum, or by leaving a comment here.

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48 Comments

Filed under atheism, Atheist Bus Campaign, jesus, politics

48 responses to “Jesus is the answer…

  1. That should be relitively easy for me, as currerntly I seem to be in the Bible belt of NSW. I recall a sign on the highway and will take a photo at my next opportunity (however, finding the time may be tricky).

  2. “If Jesus is the answer, you clearly don’t understand the question.”

    Bravo to AFA taking a pro-active approach. One of the complaints elsewhere with the “there’s probably no God” campaigns, and especially the Italian campaign (“The bad new is that God doesn’t exist; the good news is that you don’t need him”) is that such claims can’t be substantiated or proven. And yet all these pro-religion ads make their claims with outrageous certitude and absolute assurance. If the atheist views need proof, so should the religious ads.

    Hang in there — just a few more centuries and the world will be majority secular! :-)

  3. Pingback: MY LIFE » Blog Archive » Australian Atheist Bus campaign

  4. Who may have had a gay relationship with a young boy?

    “And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.
    Mark chapter 10

  5. “Who did a lot of walking and talking but not anything that ended in practical/useful results?”

  6. Gary

    There’s a Hillsong ad on the billboard next to the on ramp of the M2 at Pennant Hills road. (in sydney). I can’t recall the content however.

  7. results_are_better_than_ideals

    if you fundamentalists are going to try to deny the spiritually broken and crippled people of this world a crutch, then perhaps you should start doing the rounds yourself to help these people along in their lives.

    Hopelessness can kill, so why don’t you try tearing down something that spreads that instead of something that keeps people alive. Like for instance militant oppression, struggling economies, aids in africa! Lobby against these, bring peoples attention to these. But don’t try to destroy something which may or may not be true, but regardless helps a lot of people survive. You may as well be lobbying to put the weakest 10% of the population into death camps in order to improve genetic integrity.

    And frankly those billboards aren’t for you, they are for people who need answers. What you are attempting here is like trying to stop foreign aid shipments from reaching starving countries just because you aren’t hungry. And trust me the metaphor holds up, although it may not be the food you like, I know good people who are only alive today because some Christians reached out to them when they needed answers or some help along in their life, drug addicts, people in abusive relationships, people whose families had abandoned them who had no where to go. Judging from the attitude i see here, these people would all be left to the wolves in your ideal Darwinian world.

    I suppose you’d want to see Christian charities stop operating too, because they are founded on unscientific grounds and prevent natural selection.

    There wouldn’t be half as many charities in this world if there weren’t a spiritual agenda behind the scenes giving people a reason to help their fellow man. People are naturally selfish and without a belief system that rewards good and punishes evil, they will remain that way. And i’m sure you have constructed a nice little idea in your minds of what the world would be like without pacifist religions. But without a counterintuitive decentralized moral code like that provided by Christianity and to a lesser extent (by volume) Buddhism, taoism and Confucianism, you have no idea the horrors unfettered mankind is capable of. or maybe you do and you just don’t care.

    In any event, you likely regard yourselves as being more educated than the religious man, because you don’t see patterns or order in the universe, So why don’t you direct that intelligence and your efforts towards something constructive. Instead of something destructive. So that you can create some order instead of adding to the chaos!

    And until you can create a world where no one is ever injured, I say let the weak and broken advertise how crutches helped them walk.

    • Neil T (NZ)

      Yeah, well said. Really appreciate your upfront straight talk. How many atheists are out in the world feeding the poor, helping the sick, visiting the lonely in prision, caring for the hopeless. No where near as many Christians – and that’s a fact.

      • Well, given that believers make up a huge majority of the world, the raw figures will always give you the result you’re looking for. IN the US, around 90% of the population claims the christian label. Which means if only 10% of them EVER do anything “good”, then there’s no hope of any other group winning in the raw numbers category.

        So 80% of the population could be christians *and* complete assholes, and christianity would still win in your little fallacious numbers game.

        Well done. You’ve stacked the rules so that you can win while *actually* losing. Which qualifies you as christian for sure.

        The numbers will also be skewed by the fact that christianity (like other cults) *actively recruits* from vulnerable sectors of society. The disadvantaged are not people to be helped. They are fresh meat for the belief mill.

        Spare me your bullshit

      • Conversely it’s interesting to note that several of the wealthiest individuals in the world, who are also atheists, donate way more of their own wealth to charities, than do many of the wealthy churches.

        Both the Red Cross and Medicins Sans Frontieres are both non-religious charities that have huge numbers of volunteers and help millions of people.

        I wonder if there really are more Christians involved with charitable works? I suspect that percentage wise (as Jason eluded to) there maybe more atheists involved in charity than Christians?

  8. ryno

    Have you had a look at the website of the dot-org that sponsors this particular billboard?

    The whole premise looks quite dodgy, and the links page includes nutter groups like Joel’s Army.

  9. RE: Sysiphus Fragment

    Unable to find that excerpt via SkepticsAnnotatedBible.com

    Mark 10 is here:
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/mk/10.html

    Am I blind? I’d love to use that passage, but I ain’t doing it if I can’t refer back to it…

  10. Google turns this up:
    “According to the US Biblical scholar, Morton Smith, of Columbia University, a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958, showed that the full text of St. Mark chapter 10 (between verses 34 and 35 in the standard version of the Bible) includes the passage:

    “And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.

    From http://www.petertatchell.net/religion/jesus.htm
    and http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Secret/letter-engl.html

    It does not appear to be in the Bible.

  11. Excellent work Mr. Skegg. Thx muchly.

    I fail @ google, obviously.

  12. Hi There – just a social call from an Atheist in Scotland. I see you are having trouble getting your Atheist Ads rolling. You reckon the Ad agency is scared of losing lucrative christian advertising? Or maybe they are a hotbed of Cod botherers?

  13. Christine

    I think I saw a Hillsong ad on a Sydney bus recently, but didn’t take much notice. Next time I see one I’ll note details.

    Is it relevant that all the Sydney buses were plastered with adverts for World Youth Day?

  14. It’s so strange because over here in the U.S. the AFA stands for the religious hate group the American Family Association. It’s kinda backwards.

    • “It’s so strange because over here in the U.S. the AFA stands for the religious hate group the American Family Association. It’s kinda backwards.”

      Yes but if you write the AFA (American Family Association) acronym backwards it becomes AFA, and that is the opposite measure, of the bigoted fundamentalist right wing loonies. Don’t forget we are upside down, live in the opposite hemisphere and drive on the left hand side of the road, from the right hand side of the car, So AFA means the opposite. Over here, the Opposite of the IRS is the SRI (Saints Relieving Inequity) is a warm friendly charity, run by the government, that sends you lots of money each year, helps, with tiding you office and gets lots’ of your unnecessary paperwork done. If you don’t accept the payment, it sends attractive agents around who embarrass you with syrupy compliments and euphemistic platitudes, while giving you neck and shoulder massages to relieve the stress. LOL

  15. Pingback: Athvertising in South Carolina but still not in Australia « Skepacabra

  16. My new years resolution was to do what the Christians do and complain to companies who’s messages are too “offensive”
    Hopefully in making a point, and getting their notice of Athiests.

    Can’t do that if i do not know the company

  17. novparl

    The question was, who is more famous : Zoroaster, Rolf Harris, Bill Frindall or Jesus?

  18. Zoroaster, obviously. Everyone loves roasted zo. :)

  19. And frankly those billboards aren’t for you, they are for people who need answers. What you are attempting here is like trying to stop foreign aid shipments from reaching starving countries just because you aren’t hungry.

    That analogy would only work if the food were imaginary and all that were shipped to starving people would be empty boxes.

    No good can come from anything where it’s foundations are built on a falsehood.

  20. Results_are_better_than_ideals, what are you talking about? Everyone knows that the delusional need no convincing that Jesus Christ will return.

  21. arthurvandelay

    . . . you fundamentalists . . .

    . . . You may as well be lobbying to put the weakest 10% of the population into death camps in order to improve genetic integrity. . . .

    . . . Judging from the attitude i see here, these people would all be left to the wolves in your ideal Darwinian world.

    I suppose you’d want to see Christian charities stop operating too, because they are founded on unscientific grounds and prevent natural selection. . . .

    . . . you have no idea the horrors unfettered mankind is capable of. or maybe you do and you just don’t care. . . .

    Ah, that good old-fashioned Christian love!

  22. I realize this is quite woefully old now, but just as a point of interest: These keep appearing around Adelaide.

  23. nathan

    Hey guys

    It’s so funny that you try so so so so hard, to push God out of your lives….

    But the thing is, in trying to get rid of God in society…. you’re admitting that He actually exists in the first place!

    Thing is, you’ll never get rid of God (hence why He has remained since the beginning of time if you understand anything of history, and why His Church has remained standing for the last 2,000 years!).

    God exists. God is. You may not think He exists, or you may want to push Him out of your life, but the truth is, He will always be there.

    Whether you want to look out of your own life is your own choice.

    I’m praying for you guys! =)

    God bless you all, and I hope that one day you will be able to experience the joy that Christians know in finding God.

    Thanks for reading, and sorry for the tough remarks but I only wish you would know and believe what we do.

    Cheers

    Nathan

    • @ nathan, you really need to read a few books, blogs and forums before you make random comments like this. It is painfully obvious you know nothing about atheism and the reasons people don’t believe in god(s).

      Atheism: the understanding that there is no credible evidence for god, god(s) or the supernatural.

      I (and other atheists, agnostics and various other non-believers in the christian god) are not trying to “push god out of our lives”. How can we push something out of our lives that doesn’t exist?

      People like myself and many other outspoken atheists are not, as you wrongfully imply, “trying to get rid of god in society” we are trying to rid society of the influences that people who follow these so-called gods have over society. These are many and varied and mostly bad, please don’t ask me to list all the evils committed in the name of religions, or how much it costs in time or money. Go figure it out for yourself. Go read something beside the bible, a book that has more errors and contradictions than any other book I’ve read. Start with “50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God” by Guy P. Harrison.

      How do you know your god exists, and which god are you talking about? The christian god has only ‘existed’ (in peoples minds) for a few thousand years. Before that there were countless other gods, many which still ‘exist’ (in peoples minds) today. Such as the many Hindu gods.

      I know a lot about history, I’m thinking I probably know way more than you. I understand how and why religions have such a stranglehold on society. It has nothing to do with the existence of any god(s), but mostly to do with politics and power.

      You can pray for me all you like, it won’t do any good, prayer never has. The only thing prayer does is waste your time.

      I find joy in all sorts of things, I don’t need an imaginary friend (god) to be joyous and happy.

    • “It’s so funny that you try so so so so hard, to push God out of your lives….”

      Like you push the tooth fairy out of yours right?

      Honestly! How atrociously idiotic can you be? You want to pretend that atheist don’t ACTUALLY disbelieve in the existence of any god. You would actually rather pretend that atheists DO in fact believe in god. Indeed not just ANY god, but because you can’t avoid your own bigoted parochial prejudice, you will no doubt be thinking of your own particular manifestation of the deluded fantasy. Your own wing of the loony bin and your own, imaginary friend. That’s the one which you think nobody could possibly fail to believe in isn’t it?

      Well I’m here to inform you that you are an atheist with respect to almost every god mankind has ever conjured up, real atheists simply go ‘one god further’. All you are demonstrating with your little pretense, is how well theists can PRETEND.

      And how closed minded is this? Your mind is not only closed to the hypothetical possibility that there may be no deity, but it is so closed you refuses to accept that anybody else is a disbeliever. Reflected denial I guess you might call it. In this case it’s ridiculous. If anybody is BS’ing about what they really believe it’s you.

      Atheists are happy to go where the evidence leads them. They are not preoccupied with belief. Unlike Christians they do not buy into a belief system that actually tells them what to believe and that believing is the highest virtue. They do not buy into a horrendously barbaric tale of doom and infinite torture, as the punishment for disbelieving (as if believing were a choice).

      Do you think I am unaware of the horrendous doom you like to pretend your imaginary friend has in store for naughty girls and boys like me, who disavow the existence of such a being? You think I would (against my better judgment) estimate the probability of this god, at or near any degree worth being considered likely, and instead denounce the existence of your imaginary friend?

      It’s cowards like YOU who have a motive to try try try, desperately to believe this and close your mind to the alternatives. Pascals Wager demonstrates the delusion that belief can be chosen at will, despite it’s disregard for factual probability. YOU however provide the demonstration of the DESPERATE cowardice and fretful bigotry that a deluded mind has, once it has been CLOSED against reason. Don’t tell ME what I do or don’t believe sunshine. I have a mind of my own and I am the only one of us two, who can claim what they believe has no ulterior motive.

  24. nathan

    It would be a shame if you did not publish my previous comment…

    But if you think that God doesn’t exist for you, then what have you got to lose by publishing it? By questioning you strengthen your faith, or you lose it completely.

    [Edited due to repost]

    • I published your first comment as soon as I could, I do have a life after all. Please be a bit more patient next time.

      the following is for nathan’s and any other new commenter’s benefit

      Like many blogs, this blog has comment moderation. The first time someone comments I have to approve them. This is purely done to keep out the spammers, not because I’m ‘afraid’ of any comment. After you have been initially approved, your comments will appear straight away.

      Next time please wait a while(up to a day or two) after your first comment on someone’s blog before accusing them of trying to censor you. They, like me, may be busy with other more important things than approving blog comments.

  25. nathan, do me a favour- prove there’s any such thing as a god.

    No can do? Didn’t think so.

    Thanks for playing.

  26. Sam

    “I know a lot about history, I’m thinking I probably know way more than you. I understand how and why religions have such a stranglehold on society. It has nothing to do with the existence of any god(s), but mostly to do with politics and power.”

    Spare us please!

  27. Why do these people keep playing the same old broken record? Lol.

    “You don’t disbelieve, you are trying to keep God out of your life.”

    You know what. I wouldn’t believe Nathan if he told me that he didn’t believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He’s just trying so so so so hard to keep that noodley goodness out of his life.

    Nathan, when you stop denying the truth of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, your blindness to the wonders of noodley love will be cured. Ramen.

  28. Sam

    p.s. i should say i appreciate a good solid argument from athiests. But i am miffed as to why you would spend time rallying support to get rid of billboards like the one above? Seems kinda trivial if what you say is true. i.e. there is no god(s)

  29. The point wasn’t getting rid of the xian billboards, it was pointing out the hypocrisy of APN Outdoor for accepting xian ad but not atheist ads.

  30. “p.s. i should say i appreciate a good solid argument from athiests. But i am miffed as to why you would spend time rallying support to get rid of billboards like the one above? Seems kinda trivial if what you say is true. i.e. there is no god(s)”

    Can these f#@%ing morons even go to the toilet by themselves? How retarded do yo have to be, to not get the point of the criticism? Oh yeah! Magic sky pixie, talking serpent, resurrect zombie. That’s right! That would be plenty deluded enough. LOL.

  31. skep, I have little doubt that Sam understood the point going in (especially if she read Oz’s post) but clearly, she needed a premise for a bit of a troll.

    Might I advise Sam that arguments are in room 12A; this is abuse. ;)

  32. Sam

    actually wasn’t aware of the argument in full. makes more sense now. on what grounds do they refuse atheist billboards? they have them in London.

    http://www.theage.com.au/travel/londons-iconic-buses-declare-theres-probably-no-god-20090107-7bme.html

    p.s. weez. why is this abuse? confused :)

  33. Sam, you really should familiarise yourself with issues before commenting.

    APN Outdoor have objected to running atheist adverts, despite the AFA submitting several revisions of the proposed text, on grounds no more specific than they are ‘unacceptable.’ Yet APN gleefully carry practically any message xians care to pay to have posted. APN are in fact not offering any reasonable explanation for their refusal to carry atheist messages. APN’s refusals are thus arbitrary and capricious.

    We thus can only speculate upon why APN are refusing atheist adverts; perhaps APN fear that religious advertisers will withhold future business from them if they accept atheist adverts. Perhaps it’s more nefarious than that- maybe APN or its employees do not agree with atheism and are denying selling advert space to atheists on that basis. The latter may be legally perilous for APN. Discrimination and denying opportunities to a person or group based upon their religious preferences may well be unlawful in Australia.

    Regardless, APN appear intent upon not carrying atheist adverts unless forced to do so through mediation by regulatory bodies. Seems counterintuitive for a business engaged in public communications. You’d think that business is business and advertising dollars from an atheism organisation spend just as well as dollars from churches.

    Your comment made presumptions about atheists and atheism (e.g. ‘atheists want to get rid of xian ads’), which could innocently have been based upon lack of information. In fact, most atheists don’t object to religious adverts- but we certainly do object to being denied equal access to the advertising medium- and especially so if the denial is not based upon reason but rather upon religious discrimination.

    Bear in mind that religionists huddle in their little echo chambers, inventing all manner of nonsense and outright falsehoods about atheists and atheism. They frequently then bring their fabrications (such as nathan’s) to public forums like this blog’s comment threads, alleging them as fact. Often, this is done merely with the intent of annoying atheists and seeing if we will respond angrily (i.e. being ‘trolled’).

    The response you got from skep (and myself to a degree) reflects the frustration and annoyance anyone would feel about being misrepresented and repeatedly trolled. You said that you ‘appreciate a good solid argument from athiests,’ making it look like you were looking for a fight. Welp, skep gave you one.

    My Python reference (did you read my link?) was a dismissive wisecrack. I don’t invest a lot of effort in getting wound up by godbotherers and won’t argue with them much. There’s no general need for me to defend atheism to religionists. There’s as much evidence proving the existence of gods (inclusive of the xians’ god) as there is for the Tooth Faerie, so I’ve won before I start. Lampooning religionists for their baseless beliefs is as far as I feel I need go.

    • Well said Weez.

      Sam:
      “p.s. weez. why is this abuse? confused :)”

      Oh I get it. You’re looking for ‘clueless bumbling’. that used to be in 11c but we don’t do it anymore, as nobody ever turned up. They would just get lost on the way and spend all day wandering the halls asking stupid questions and believing things for no apparent reason. LOL.

      • skep, Stupid Questions has been demerged from Clueless Bumbling and shifted off to 4B with Passive Aggression, which was amalgamated with Indefensible Smugness last quarter. The C of E has been downsizing lately due to lack of tithing and greater interest in footy on Sundays, so IndSmug has picked up a few very talented ex-vicars. The ‘Vic bushfires caused by abortion law changes’ thing didn’t play so well for Catch the Fire, so natch, their stocks are down and they’ve shed some staff. I’m afraid some of those weren’t even qualified for Clueless Bumbling, but Centrelink found them a gig through Work For The Dole as speed humps at Bunnings. ;)

  34. weez Says:

    11 November 2009 at 8:09 pm

    skep, Stupid Questions has been demerged from Clueless Bumbling and shifted off to 4B with Passive Aggression, which was amalgamated with Indefensible Smugness last quarter. The C of E has been downsizing lately due to lack of tithing and greater interest in footy on Sundays, so IndSmug has picked up a few very talented ex-vicars. The ‘Vic bushfires caused by abortion law changes’ thing didn’t play so well for Catch the Fire, so natch, their stocks are down and they’ve shed some staff. I’m afraid some of those weren’t even qualified for Clueless Bumbling, but Centrelink found them a gig through Work For The Dole as speed humps at Bunnings. ;)

  35. Belinda Guildea

    hmmmmmmm
    am saddened
    “Jesus is the Answer”
    have been thinking about it in bed, woke
    have been driving the Pacific Hwy have seen it
    my Question is
    and I have lots of them
    Who will save me tonight while it pours?
    Who will stem the tide of my lonely tears?
    how do I still the tears of trauma?
    How do I quell the anger rising?

    Whatever the matter “Jesus is the answer”?
    Why does it have to matter?
    Well sometimes I think of taking my own life because it just gets so hard, and I ask, “Jesus what is the Answer”

    I have no idea whom it is that whispers in my ear YOU ARE Worth less

    but I like to think that it is Jesus whom is whispering back to me

    “You are beautiful”
    “You are of sound mind”
    “You are worthy”

    My Mental Health is now mental wellbeing due to Jesus Christ, I spent a month in a mental hospital(5 years ago, and I have learn’t more and been rescued more times by the thought of someone who had it worse then me.

    Quite simply Jesus never asked to be called Christ Jesus never asked to be struck in the side through the ribs STABBED
    Jesus never asked for a crown of thorns.

    Jesus asked for his GOD believing that he could be a united GOD A God that forgives all your woes to forgive those that accused
    and hung him

    perhaps his whole life if he was real of course “Jesus” actually knew that when he was 33 the crown of thorns the stabbing and a horrid death from suffication would occur

    How could anyone have lived knowing that,
    that is why Jesus is the Answer dear friend so in your honor

    Dear Heavenly Father, please send to this group of people an ABUNDANCE of validation enough to prove either way, I want to say thank you Dear Heavenly Father as I have driven around 6000 kilometres in the last month and I have seen an abundance of these signs. So with this in mind I ask you to send these people all the wealth they need to support a Capaign as large as this one.
    Thank you for my life, for the lives of my children and bless all those in my contact.

    In Jesus name I pray
    Amen
    so shall it be

  36. Pingback: If Jesus is the Answer… | Friendly Atheist

  37. These kinds of signs piss me off too.. but really,.. who gives a fuck at the end of the day? Atheists need to stop attacking Christian advertisements get on with it.. Only idiots would be swayed by this kind of billboard anyway.. in the same way that only IDIOTS would believe in a guy walking on water and turning water into wine!

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