This is the American Humanist Association's Christmas campaign this year:


The American Humanist Association’s Consider Humanism campaign, the largest nontheist advertising campaign in history, is a series of advertisements that feature two “sections”—one devoted to quotes from religious texts, the other to humanist principles.

There are millions of Americans of strong moral character (There are? Where are they hiding then?) who don’t happen to believe in a god. Humanists have always understood that you don't need a god to be a good person, but many other Americans have not, and that’s one reason we’ve been running ad campaigns in the past. This year, we’re going further in our attempt to challenge the intolerant view that atheist and agnostic humanists can’t be good without Bible derived morality. We’re taking a hard look at what is included in religious texts.

The first section of each ad displays one of several quotes from the New International Version Bible and a Qur’anic quote as well. A description accompanies each quote, naming the source of the quote. This section includes large-font text that reads, “What some believe.” The second section features contrasting quotes from humanist documents. These have been pulled from Humanism and Its Aspirations and from nontheist luminaries such as Katharine Hepburn and Richard Dawkins. This section includes large-font text that reads, “What humanists think” and “Consider Humanism.”

The ads will be featured in major newspapers such as USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Village Voice, the Durham Herald Sun, the Arizona Republic and the Independent Triangle, and magazines such as the Progressive and Reason. The ads will also appear on buses and phone booths across Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, inside the Washington DC metro and bus system, on billboards in Moscow, Idaho and Philadelphia, PA, as well websites such as the Friendly Atheist. Consider Humanism TV commercials will appear nationwide on NBC’s Dateline, and stations such as MSNBC, CNBC and Bloomberg Business Television.

The campaign is costing them $200000. Money that could be better spent on feeding the starving victims of faithless capitalism if you ask me.

Until these bitter people start proclaiming the good news of their non-religion that they cling to so religiously and stop shouting about the bad news of the world's faiths, they are only going to encourage more people into religion. You won't get anywhere advertising Apple Macs with photos of spotty geeks using them.  For the same reasons you are not going to sell atheism to our godless and consuming generation if all your spokesmen (yes, men) are obviously boring nobodies with huge chips on their shoulders who have never been laid.



  1. So there are no quotes one could take out of context from humanist writtings and shine a bad light on them as well?

    You can find things to take out of context from just about everyone’s ideas. Perhaps even +Tutu, +Gene or the Dalai Lama.

  2. “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” springs to mind immediately. A lot of nasty people took a lot of that book out of context and a lot of people died. In fact, more people died because of that particular (super)humanist work than in all the crusades put together.

  3. When it comes to faith (and politics), I have never understood making it one’s objective to proclaim everybody else’s bad news as one perceives it. What’s up with that? It would seem that that message reveals more about the messenger and his/her insecurities than anything else.

    Great pic, Mad One.

  4. Darling, IT. As I’ve told you before. If they start it I’m happy to slap them back. You get the atheists to stop calling me stupid and I’ll stop making mincemeat out of the unimaginative nerds every time they open their jealous little mouths.

  5. MadPriest, I salute you! Why they can’t keep their unbelief private instead of ramming it down our throats I just don’t know.

    Love the pic.

  6. Hello, MadPriest. Maybe indeed it’s the atheists on your side of the pond who start it. Over here, however, it’s typically the religionists who start it. They can be truly vicious to people who are simply exercising their constitutional right not to adhere to a theistic religion. My sympathies are with the humanists – at least the ones in the US. They get an incredible amount of abuse.

  7. I think that Mad One’s response to “fundamentalists” of any faith, or those with faith in no faith, is consistent. I have wonderful friends who are atheists, but they’re not fundamentalists, nor am I, so we have great times together. I’ve never read anything from you, IT, that sounds like fundamentalism, and if I drank beer, we could talk over one or two and have a wonderful time. It would certainly be an “us” experience.

    But all faiths, and faiths in no faith, have extremists that embarrass the rest of us, and we take care to point out that we cannot be painted with the same broad brush. That’s the primary reason that, depending on context, I identify myself as an Episcopalian and not a Christian.

    Of course, if anti-theists, as opposed to bog standard atheists, called themselves what they actually are (e.g., The Anti-Theist Association), this would all be a lot more simple and easier to ignore. Most in mainline churches would have much more in common with atheistic humanists than differences, and be easily able to ignore faith, or non-faith, matters.

  8. “you don’t need a god to be a good person”

    …when the sun is shining and the belly is full and the rocks are gotten off.

    But what KEEPS people good, in the absence of the material? Why does one go to the cross, if not for the crown?

    I know humanists would like us just to “trust them” on this.

    …but I’d really like a lil’ something more. (Cuz I think the trust might evaporate in the absence of the material, too!)

    [As opposed to Fundy Theists, whom I KNOW not to trust, cuz their god is basically, themselves! (Themselves w/ a Cosmic Uzi)]

  9. Sigh.

    JCF, been there before with you, surely. My morality vanishes when the times get rough.

    KJ, whatever you’re drinking, I’ll buy a round.

    MP, I think you owe ME a pint or two, for years of abuse!

    Ellie, thanks.

  10. Yes, IT. But only because I have occasionally abused Americans in general. I have never abused atheists in general, only those who attack my religion in general. You defending the American Humanist Association is like me defending ACNA. Unless, of course, you are, in fact, a fundi-atheist in deep cover 🙂

  11. “How do those who abuse them know they are atheists?”

    This may or may not surpise you, MP, but over here (especially in the “Bible Belt” where I live) people really do get in your face and demand to know what you believe. And if you were to be so bold as to say, “None of your business,” they will KNOW that you’re not “saved” and you will be considered fair game.

    Also, humanists are maligned publicly as a group. They are accused of perpetrating all the evils that have beset this society (I’m not kidding; do a search on “secular humanists”).

    I could go on.

    I’ve actually been to a number of meetings here of the Humanist Association of Tulsa. I like the people. They talk about interesting things.

    (You’re welcome, IT.)

  12. Well, Ellie, this is what happens when an entire nation rejects good manners. Talking about religion in public is so rude, even if you happen to be talking to the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time.

    Actually, the question is sometimes asked in England but it is worded slightly different . . .

    “You don’t believe in God and all that stuff, do you?”

    . . . to which the polite answer is, “Of course, not. Not seriously, like.”

    If English Christians can lie to maintain social etiquette I don’t see why American atheists can’t do the same.”

    Seriously, though, this campaign is counterproductive. It is too similar in style to the campaigns waged by Creationists – both are built on straw and a deliberate blindness to the truth.

  13. Another thing, Ellie (and I know I keep going on about this) is that the term “humanist” should not be a party political thing as it is such a wonderful word and concept that could unite lovers of life whatever their religious persuasion or lack thereof. Together, we really could cause some damage to the life-deniers, where ever they are found.

  14. As a rather gruff Marine of my acquaintance used to say, “If you want an argument, you’re going to have to change the subject!”

    Needless to say, I completely agree with you here.

  15. MP I agree that “humanist” should not be inexorably linked to “atheist.” And all of us across that divide should be about doing some good that needs to be done.

    Unfortunately there are the fundygelicals who link all goodness to their beliefs and the “Ditchens” types who forge the same link to their “unbelief.” ;;sigh;;


  16. Humanism originally arose during the Renaissance and reflected the convictions of many thinkers that human beings were created in the image of God and therefore humans and our world and our culture were to be taken seriously. (God’s creation is bigger than just “religion.”) Eventually, of course, the “religionists” won out and drove the folks of humanist inclination away. This made God very sad and more than a little ticked off.

  17. Us British like to think humanism was rediscovered by Pelagius. Of course, it was first brought into the limelight by Jesus Christ (also British).

  18. JCF, been there before with you, surely. My morality vanishes when the times get rough.

    Well thank you, IT, for at least (unlike the Fundy Anti-theists) admitting it.

    —WAIT! Are you being facetious? Dammit, I can’t tell. O_o

    When times get rough, I’m sure we ALL feel the pull of selfishness. I would LIKE to think that those who truly FOLLOW Christ (approx. .000000000000000001% of those known as “Christians”), course-correct onto the selfless cross path.

    …or perhaps it’s just when the sun is shining, our bellies are full, and our rocks are well&truly removed. ;-/

  19. same song, 313th verse:
    Religious belief and ethical belief are not identical, either in concept or in daily life. Religious belief may *contain* an element of ethical belief or may not focus on ethics.

    There’s a reason why historical Christian belief is characterized as “orthodox” – belief in doctrine has always been considered more important than specifics practices. Jewish religious culture has focused more on “orthopraxy”, appropriate behavior as reflected by adherence to the Law and its interpretation.

    I don’t see a correlation between personal piety and adherence to the “Golden Rule” (either the “Do unto others…or the “Do not do unto others version). Yes, there are outstanding believers, but most believers behave no differently than non-believers, and some actively use their religion to persecute.

  20. I (generally) behaved myself when I was a child, not because I loved my parents or because I believed their ethical teaching, but because I was scared of what they would do to me if I misbehaved.

  21. Yeah, that’s the Damning-to-Hellfire God theory.

    I can’t go there . . . but I suppose IT would argue that DTHGod is no more or less credible than Pie-in-the-Sky God (Delicious, delicious pie! With added extra gayness! ;-/)