In several large metro areas of the United States, atheists’ billboards have popped up.Â Â Among theÂ messages are ones like, “Don’t Believe in God? You are Not Alone”and “You Know its all a Myth.”Â One location is just outside the Lincoln Tunnel.Â Others have been put up inÂ Bible BeltÂ locations like Alabama and Texas.
Churches have responded.Â They haveÂ put up competing billboards with Christian messages.
It is too early to tell whether either group’s billboard advertising will make any difference.Â But, one can speculate and so I shall.
Atheists have done little or no advertising during the entireÂ history of the United States.Â Christian churches, on the other hand, have lots of it.Â Every church steeple is an advertisement.Â Churches buy advertisements in media just like other businesses.
Prayers to Jesus in front of a million people at public meetings every day is another form.Â When a President says, “God bless you and God bless America”,Â most assume he is referring to the Christian God.Â It is another free ad.
The problem with the Christian advertising is something we would call in economics, diminishing marginal return.Â If McDonalds, for example, tripled its advertising budget, it would not triple its sales.Â That is because it advertises so much already. The extra ads will not do as much good as the previous ones did.
The percentage of people who say they are Christians has stopped rising.Â This is spite of the huge amount of advertising.Â It seems like Christians have reached market saturation.
Whether atheists numbersÂ continue to rise we will find outÂ in time.