anti-atheist billboard

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BoogieMonster (January 16, 2012, 13:50:34 PM):
This person saw a contravention of the law/guidelines, and reported it. I cannot fault him for it.

IMHO this should have been done on the basis of the ad making untrue claims:
* atheists have no intelligence/empty heads
* they believe they are here by accident. (Some may but it's not all inclusive)

I couldn't care about him being offended, to be honest. People get offended by lots of things, I value my right to free speech much higher than my "right" not to be offended.

This also sets a precedent that would prevent all kinds of atheist advertising in the vein of Dawkin's posters. But it could still be done as long as they are very PC and not directed at a certain faith.

Hermes (January 16, 2012, 15:06:40 PM):
Note how restrictive this clause is once the ands and ors are highlighted.

Clause 1 of Section II states, inter alia, “No advertising may offend against good taste or decency or be offensive to public or sectoral values and sensitivities, unless the advertising is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom”.

I agree with BoogieMonster that I would have preferred the billboard to be banned based on being untrue rather than offensive. Considering the way in which the ASA adjudicates, I support Mr. Gerber's initiative.

GCG (January 16, 2012, 15:15:11 PM):
Funnily enough, I saw this billboard too, and I was irked, of not offended. I sent them a mail in that regard actually (I fibbed, as to not give away my true evil intentions of trolling:
Good Day

My husband and I are debating the meaning of the new billboard outside your premises on South Road.
I think, the words and the image of the depressed man, means that being an atheist comes from being depressed, and that comes from having a mental health problem.
My husband thinks it means that being an atheist, can only lead to unhappiness.

Can you please help us with the meaning of how the words and the image. Also, could you possibly send me a copy of that image, I forgot to take a picture when we there last.


I got a response from Kogi Nareen, Personal Assistant to Senior Pastors, Rivers Church
Good day Adele,
Thank you for so much your enquiry about our billboard, we are glad that it has stimulated interest.
We are a creative church, that enjoy thinking out the box and as such the image and quote was intended to stir interest and provoke people to think about their relationship with God. The idea behind the advert is loosely based on Psalm 14:1 . The fool[a] says in his heart, “There is no God.
There is no implication that an atheist is depressed or has mental health issues, but is rather someone who is not really thinking about the purpose of life and the reality of creation.

benguela (January 16, 2012, 16:05:34 PM):
I disagree with the ruling. As long as the money to pay for the billboard was private they can put up whatever they like, even if there are no true statements on it.
Mefiante (January 16, 2012, 19:18:14 PM):
As long as the money to pay for the billboard was private…
Is it, though? The spending of donations by any registered charity is subject to stringent audits, which makes it difficult to argue that those donations are strictly private funds. Also, as a private recipient of any donations, one is obliged to make appropriate disclosures and pay commensurate dues. The same rules don’t apply in the case of religion merely because it is religion, so the argument could be made that the monies, or at least an appreciable fraction thereof, are public by virtue of being both unaudited and tax exempt.



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