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Something fun. And yet serious all at the same time.

But for today, just gonna stick to the fun side…

I’m on a billboard!

It’s part of the Freedom From Religion Foundation‘s new “Out of the Closet” campaign to normalize atheism, an effort to help people see that atheists are normal everyday individuals. Not scary, not evil, no drinking of pig’s blood while dancing to secret agendas. Atheists are the people who help you at the grocery store, your nice neighbor across the street, the old couple walking their dog. Regular normal people “just like you and me.”

Even that pastor who used to work at that church in the suburbs. Well, maybe not him. Did we ever really think pastors were “normal” anyway???

But the billboards for the FFRF’s Chicago chapter went up yesterday. And they look great. Hemant Mehta has all eleven posted on his Friendly Atheist blog. And they really do look great. I especially like the Calato family’s tagline: “Finding purpose & meaning together… religion free!”

Now my original tagline didn’t make it past Clear Channel Outdoor censors, but this is what it would have said:

“More joyful without Jesus.”

A bit too offensive this was to the religionists.

Was I a little bummed that it didn’t make the cut? Of course! But I’m still glad with what made it up instead.

Apparently it’s a little too offensive for a former pastor to become a public atheist, so we had to change it to “freethinker,” which is also a term I embrace. The FFRF also had to negotiate over location placement since proximity regulations keep us a certain distance from all church buildings. Like I said before, serious concerns here… But let’s not get too bogged down in all this serious stuff tonight…

So I made it out to my spot today. On 47th Street, just off Halsted in Chicago.




And here are a couple more billboards I came across today:

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Now my mind is racing with all sorts of more serious things I could write about. Much more serious causes for concern relating to the desperate need to erase the stigma of atheism. But we will save those rants for another day. For this moment and this day, I’m just glad we’re starting to get the message out there.

Normal people are atheists too.