Christians vs. Atheists in the Billboard Wars

In several large metro areas of the United States, atheists’ billboards have popped up.  Among the messages are ones like, “Don’t Believe in God? You are Not Alone”and “You Know its all a Myth.”  One location is just outside the Lincoln Tunnel.  Others have been put up in Bible Belt locations like Alabama and Texas.

Churches have responded.  They have put up competing billboards with Christian messages.

It is too early to tell whether either group’s billboard advertising will make any difference.  But, one can speculate and so I shall.

Atheists have done little or no advertising during the entire  history of the United States.  Christian churches, on the other hand, have lots of it.  Every church steeple is an advertisement. 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. When a President says, “God bless you and God bless America”, most assume he is referring to the Christian God.  It is another free ad.

The problem with the Christian advertising is something we would call in economics, diminishing marginal return.  If McDonalds, for example, tripled its advertising budget, it would not triple its sales.  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.  This is spite of the huge amount of advertising.  It seems like Christians have reached market saturation.

Whether atheists numbers continue to rise we will find out in time.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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5 Responses to Christians vs. Atheists in the Billboard Wars

  1. Brad Campbell says:

    ….diminishing marginal return…..no way. One person finding God is worth more than any price put on it.

    At 41 yrs in my journey through life, I find my faith gets stronger as “secular society” tries to wipe away religion in our lives.

    Instead of “freethinkers” trying to take the Ten Commandments out of Fargo, why not channel that energy to something more worthy like helping the less fortunate in society.

    Let me see………Carpi diem……right?

  2. PK says:

    I agree with Mr. Campbell. It’s sad that so much time, money and effort is being put into trying to remove the 10 commandments in public places. Most of the money to pay for these monuments was donated by people, so it’s not like atheists tax dollars are paying for them. So why do they care so much, if someone is going to become an atheist they’re going to regardless.

  3. ROSS says:

    Wrong PK- Tax dollars are illegally being used for religious things all the time. You should do some research before you make guesses about such matters. Ever heard of of the organisation “Americans United”? And the Ten Commandments do not belong on government property as our forefathers had made clear. Read the FIRST Amendment.
    What really gets to me is when Christians use ANY form of advertisement, even the illegal use of tax dollars, which has been happening a lot, it is met with cheers from the religious community. But when it is from an Atheist organisation in any form, it is met with scowls, vandalism and protests. I just read (and saw a pict) about one Atheist billboard that only lasted a couple of hours before it was sprayed painted with death threats. How often to you see such behavior from Atheists when compared to the religious community.
    Perhaps it is the difference between rational minds and ones who believe in the absurd. I have seen many things in science prove themselves over the years, but have yet to observe talking snakes or water walking.
    While I am an agnostic, I do find the logical side of the fence to be preferable to myth-worshiping.
    Compare the amount of violence from religious believers to that of non-believers. How many times have you heard of an agnostic run into a crowd with a bomb, screaming “In the name of… nothing in particular!” BOOM!!!
    How many witch hunts and crusades do you hear of from a Secular Humanist Army?
    Non-believers are GREATLY on the increase in the US while religion is dropping like a falling cross.
    Who knew that the “New Age” would be about reason, science and rational thought and not religion.
    Humanity is waking up at last. Long Live Logic!

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