Forum: Arts / Religion

Page:
Page 1 of 2: 1 2
Advertising religion and lack there off
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 03:22 AM

www.atheistbus.org.uk
Now that the atheist bus campaign has reached even my God forsaken (pardon the pun)country, and stirred up a lot of debates I thought I'd start a thread about this.)

I have to admit the first time I went to the States and saw a huge "Jesus saves!" billboard with neon lights my first reaction was to burst into laughter. I just wasn't used to it. I have to admit my thoughts were "I'm used to religion having more dignity than this, if I actually believed that I would be slightly offended by all the commercialism of what is supposed to be sacred". Then I went home and just a few days later the Finland's Lutheran Church (no we don't enjoy the separation of Church and state...) was advertising in buses and the underground like a cellphone company. (I'm having trouble translating. Needless to say my reaction was face palm...)Somehow it all went very smoothly and quietly.

Generally I think no one just seems to talk about how advertising Christianity is offensive to non religious people and people of other religions, but the minute someone advertises a point of view not held by the majority, it becomes offensive? Personally I would like to live in a world where only clearly commercial products were advertised, and matters of conscience were saved for books newspaper articles and private conversations. But in spirit of free speech if religions can advertise with no censorship (Only in Helsinki was the God probably doesn't exist, so don't worry and enjoy life - add allowed in it's original form two cities censored it to a different form), Free thinkers should absolutely be allowed to do the same.

Thoughts?

25 Replies to Advertising religion and lack there off

re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Sumayah
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 04:27 AM
People aren't spiritually minded these days, material needs seem to be the driving force behind everyone's lives. And I'm not meaning saving up money for superfluous things, I mean to pay the bills and keep the credit industry from eating you alive. Truism: wages never keep up with inflation. People have to work that much harder just to make ends meet and then when Sunday comes it's just easier to sleep in or goof off, it takes considerable effort to wake-up, put on clothing and get to church. However most religious people feel better coming from church than they did going to it, it gives a sense of peace and comfort to many. I think that's reasoning behind the churches advertising, it's a friendly reminder.

However, I do see how a person might be offended by that. I don't celebrate certain holidays and for me it's super annoying to walk into the grocery store to see the place practically dripping in holiday fluff. I don't follow that tradition so don't make me listen to the music or deal with the endless decorations and cards and try to be cheerful and jovial and the while wanting to slit the throat of the person who decided that *this* was the way to go. But I also recognize that I'm in the minority and holidays sell to the majority. I see the bunnies and eggs at Easter and it makes me crazy - the death and resurrection of Christ I get, the vernal equinox/rites of spring I get, but for goodness sake own up to what you celebrate. Don't mush them all together without really understanding them.

/erm end rant

Anyway. I get what you're feeling because stuff like I described drives me crazy. So I can imagine being constantly told (so to speak) that by not believing in God(s) you're doing something wrong would get old fast. 'If you don't believe in God you're going to hell.' 'If you don't go to church you lead an immoral life.' Seeing those ads, regardless of whether they're friendly reminders to Christians is also subliminally yelling those insults to non-believers. I'd imagine that just seeing those pictures of smiling families beckoning you to come worship with them on Sunday is enough to put a non-Christian in a very bad mood. Like you just want to yell at them, "who says your way is right!" and stab them in the forehead with a pair of scissors. Or something more passive and less violent... (my mind tends to think of doing horrible things to people when stuff annoys me - sorry for that).

But yes, in my opinion if the churches can advocate their religion then certainly those non-religious free thinkers should be allowed to advertise and pose questions. If nothing else it opens a dialogue and helps people who don't follow the religion they were raised in to feel comfortable exploring their own religious beliefs and discovering what denomination or philosophy they best identify with. Til then, I'll keep rolling my eyes at the chocolate bunnies and you keep rolling them at the happy Sunday family and we'll truck on in silence hating it but smiling because we're in the minority and majority rules.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By sat
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 05:13 AM
Edited by sat (208293) on 2009-07-06 05:26:34 i prefer to use the creator (could be anybody) instead of god,as I fear not to question his norms
Edited by sat (208293) on 2009-07-06 05:35:13
sounds like a political campaign "vote for me,for your votes come with a return blank cheque" and reminds me about ruthless rulers

In political terms, we choose/elect a president because we have an underlying faith in him/her.We believe in his vision,direction and conviction.We entrust him with all the responsibility to make the best macro decisions,policies,laws,legislation for us.This president cannot remain in power forever,he must give way after 2 terms.

In religious terms,if god exists,then he 'duly elected' himself as the self-proclaimed president of earth/universe.He decided the rules and laws of nature without consulting humans according to his free will/wish.There are no forums,no parliament for review.This god will remain in power forever.

In some third world countries there are presidents/kings still ruling under dictatorship.Those who vote for the president are rewarded handsomely and those opposed are tortured in the secret dark underground dungeons.Some freedom fighters are testimony to this.No one can speak against the president/king,forget about discussing aloud in public.

If I apply this political theory to religion,then how different is it,god is the dictator (president/king),worship (vote) for him and he will save (reward) you,if you don't then you will rot in hell (dungeons/torture cells).Hello,we are living in democracy where people have a right and freedom to choose.

"god saves"...but saves from what! saves from his own self! or saves from saturn,evil,science or mother nature!

If god created humans/living beings and put us in a difficult place like earth,and wants us to worship him 'for selfish reasons and to enjoy power' by saying that "god saves from what god put you in the first place" then I am quite confused as I come from a family of strong belief in him.

However...

If evil,science or any other unfortunate turn of events created human/living beings and a noble force intervened to claim that "god saves from the trap of evil,saturn,and science that created me"...then I am all in praise and worship of god,for he is not a selfish dictator.

The aethiest and other groups are counter attacking because they feel that "why should anyone be punished just for not worshipping and believing in god"
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Snuffymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 05:32 AM
I don't know how I feel about any of this.

I'm not bothered by religious advertising. Well, I haven't been so far, anyway; I guess it's always possible... But then it'd have to be offensive for a good reason, not simply because it's a religion that I don't belong to.

I do think the commercialisation of religion is... um... something that I can't particularly agree with, but again, who am I to say whether religion should be advertised like any other consumable product? (Personally, though, I'm not a big supporter of the idea!)

Now... I'm of two minds about the atheist bus thing. On the one hand - cool! If religions get to advertise, then of course atheists should have every right to do the same.

BUT. Since when was atheism a particular group? I've always thought of it as a very, very broad term for people who don't believe in a deity, and who aren't religious. To put them all into one group would be to make them like another religion. So suddenly, it's not atheism against religion (or atheism simply not being religion); it become atheism as another religion in itself. Certainly it comes quite close.

I saw some mention on the website of "if every atheist contributed $5...", and the first thing I thought was that they're turning atheism into some kind of cult or something.

I mean, I see the wit, and I see the point that they're trying to make. I'm just not sure if I think it really works.

I would probably be annoyed (not offended, because I'm not that easily offended) if a bus went around promoting a particular religion and said that everyone else is going to go to hell. On account of this, I can imagine that to someone who is religious, telling them that there is no central deity could offend them too. I guess what I'm saying is that non-religious (or anti-religious?) advertising can be witty or make a point, but it should avoid being outright offensive in doing so.

Oh, I am of so many minds about this issue!
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 02:45 PM
Advertising ANYTHING could be offensive to ANYONE. Personally, I am offended by PETA's ad campaigns. I haven't come across this Atheist Bus thing, but that would offend me as well. But I don't make a stink about the fact that they advertise because I recognize that they have as much right to do so as any other organization that has the financial means. They're just wasting their money on trying to win ME over. Therefore I feel that the church has every right to advertise if they feel the need. Some are obviously in better taste than others, but still, it's their right.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By MrsFinnigan
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:25 PM
I think some people can be a bit thin-skinned about religious "advertizing." It's everywhere anyway. I am not offended by people promoting a religion or philosophy to which I do not subscribe. It happens all the time where I live anyway. As long as the messages don't actually denigrate people who don't agree with them, I don't have a problem.

Advertise away, atheists. But as I'm sure you don't like being told you may go to Hell, I don't like being told I'm some superstitious relic of the Dark Ages.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:09 PM
I think every religion or atheist group that wants to put up billboards, bus signs, etc should take that money and donate it to charity. For instance, ProLife Across America has thousands upon thousands of billboards. If they took the insane amount of money they spend on those, and put it toward an adoption charity or maternity homes, it'd make such a difference. When it comes to spiritual matters, advertising doesn't change minds.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:42 PM
We've got our share of religious billboards along our freeways here. Many are Christian but there are also quite a few pushes for just being "moral" or doing "good", where you will see a picture of say, Desmond Tutu or Christopher Reeves or something. We also have a large presence of Freedom from Religion - they are quite active around here and so you will see lots of bumper stickers and advertisements.

I don't like religious billboards. When I see one that says something like, "Got God?" (like the Got MIlk? campaign) I feel like I'm being preached to. Yuck. But I also don't like the Freedom from Religion ones because their comments are quite pointed and sound cranky and you get the feeling that they would never, ever like to see any reference to a religion (particularly Christianity) anywhere at any time - EVER.

Even though I don't much like any of this stuff, it doesn't really bother me because I kind of ignore it all. I don't count it as legitimate evangelizing (for either side) and so just let it all roll off my back.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jul 07, 2009 02:25 AM
I've sort of become to realise that religion becoming that commercial is in a way a by product of freedom of religion and as such annoying consequence of a good thing. The lack of it I've enjoyed most of my life probably is due to the state protected monopoly of only two Churches in my country.

The whole campaign has just made me wonder is there anything polite and positive that can be publicly said about atheism, that would not infuriate the religious public to cry out for censorship. For me saying there probably is no god is not the same thing as saying there is no god, but people completely treat it as such. There's a big cry for religion drivers who have to drive those buses, but no one gave a second thought to atheist drivers, driving "Jesus buses".
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By MrsFinnigan
On Tue Jul 07, 2009 01:22 PM
Kekoa wrote:

I think every religion or atheist group that wants to put up billboards, bus signs, etc should take that money and donate it to charity. For instance, ProLife Across America has thousands upon thousands of billboards. If they took the insane amount of money they spend on those, and put it toward an adoption charity or maternity homes, it'd make such a difference. When it comes to spiritual matters, advertising doesn't change minds.


However, abortion is not just a "spiritual matter," an ad for a crisis pregnancy center may actually help a woman who doesn't want an abortion but isn't aware of her other options, or it may simply point out that a culture that doesn't regard all living humans as people is a culture with big problems, and it can change minds or at least get people to think if it's done right.

In fact, I almost appreciate religious advertising and proselytizing because quite unlike most other advertising, it's about important stuff and it encourages people to think rather than just to just sacrifice minds and money on the altar of materialism.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By flower_facePremium member
On Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:24 PM
Personally, if I am bombarded by ads for anything, and have to see it everywhere I cease to care what it is for or what "product" is being pushed . I am immediately turned off by hard sells tactics, whether it's an in person pushy sales agent, or billboards/ posters/ t-shirts and tv ads . I always wonder , if the sneakers, medication, political view, religion, non-religion , blah blah is truly so great then why should they have to spend so much money and effort trying to convince everyone of it's "greatness" ? Anyone trying too hard to sell me something is likely to make me wonder what corners they cut, and how big a whopper they're trying to pass off.

If I'm interested I'll look it up myself, investigate the claims , the purported facts, benefits , etc. I don't take things at face value, never have, so whether it's effective on others I can't say, but on me all the posters and bus billboards etc. aren't effective. I research before I buy a hyped up fad tv dinner, the same for religions, politics and whatever and decide for myself, on my own schedule.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By dancin_til_death
On Wed Jul 08, 2009 06:51 AM
I'm generally against any ideas that are forced upon me, and if advertising becomes bombarding like. Then it does push me out.

I know the bible says you should spread the word, but I think this really should be done by example, advertising.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By MrsFinnigan
On Thu Jul 09, 2009 03:51 PM
dancin_til_death wrote:

I'm generally against any ideas that are forced upon me, and if advertising becomes bombarding like. Then it does push me out.


What do you mean, if advertising becomes "bombarding like"? In modern civilization, you're already bombarded with advertizing.

I think people tend to notice they're bombarded more when the message or the presentation is disagreeable to them.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 09, 2009 04:17 PM
Edited by Heart (21721) on 2009-07-09 16:17:55
This is the 21st century, anyone and everyone advertizes. Shouldn't we be over this? I couldn't care less, really.

I've actually been to a few religious and spiritual groups that I never would have heard of if I hadn't seen their ads. In fact I'm going to a Bible study tomorrow that I never would have known about if I hadn't seen their sign on the quad! So it totally works, and I think it especially works for religious (or nonreligious, as the atheists may be) groups because that's not something you're going to hear about otherwise. As opposed to a product, that you might see in a store... atheism and Christianity aren't sitting around on shelves waiting for you to try them!
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 10, 2009 02:07 AM
Edited by Elfie (64279) on 2009-07-10 02:11:19
I think there is a big difference between advertising church services and advertising religion. Because in many ways services are a genuine product, I don't think a religion itself is. At least in my country an advertiser should have a genuine product and some scientific evidence to back up their claims. In many ways saying that "Simply crossing your hands is the best free phone connection upstairs", is scientifically speaking a false claim. It doesn't work for me, so basically I should be able to make a complaint somewhere? Isn't this a line between science and religion, religion would be better off not crossing? The church services are something I understand their consumers need awareness about, but honestly I doubt there are that many people living in a mainly christian country who have not heard the phrases like "Jesus saves" and "Jesus is the only way"....
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 10, 2009 06:50 PM
While I was driving home from Las Vegas yesterday I saw a gigantic billboard with a huge crucifix with dying Jesus on it that said, "Jesus, the ONLY way to God." As I am a Christian you would think this was something of which I approve. But I didn't like it. It didn't do anything but probably offend just about everyone driving by. If a church feels it MUST have a billboard then I think a better way to "advertise" Christianity would be to say something simple like, "We hope you have an awesome day", love the Church of Whatever. Or, "Hard day? Jesus will listen."

:)
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 10, 2009 07:24 PM
I don't have a whole lot to contribute to this debate, but once I was driving in New Mexico and saw an adult video store with a BIG black sign that simply said "XXX".
Not 100 feet behind it was an even BIGGER billboard that read "Jesus is watching!" And had a picture of a very upset-looking Jesus on it.

I died laughing and still chuckle every time I think of that. It was HILARIOUS.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By xMJx
On Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:30 PM
As an atheist, I really don't think atheist groups need to waste the time "advertising." Sure, I live in a blue state and am still bombarded with religious imagery on the side of the road a lot of the time, but I think I'm pretty immune to it by now. By countering, it just makes the religious more defensive. I say, just ignore it. Sure religious advertising can be offensive, but no amount of counter-advertising is going to put a stop to it in my opinion, only make it worse.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By dancin_til_death
On Sat Jul 11, 2009 05:54 AM
I think people tend to notice they're bombarded more when the message or the presentation is disagreeable to them.


In regards to general products, I agree, the more you see it the more you like it. In studies of attraction they say if you repeatably see the same face repeatably with no negative feelings attached to it then over time you will find the person more attractive.

The key is that the message shouldn't be accompanied by negative connotations... I think advertising religion is tacky, hence the negative connotation.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By MrsFinnigan
On Thu Jul 16, 2009 03:41 AM
Elfie wrote:

At least in my country an advertiser should have a genuine product and some scientific evidence to back up their claims.


I'd have to see commercials and ads from your country, then, because I highly doubt that there's any scientific evidence to back up most product advertizing- for example, "This toy is the most fun," "All the coolest people shop here," "Wear this, and you will look like this airbrushed supermodel," "Buy this, and people will find you irresistible."
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jul 21, 2009 01:41 PM
MrsFinnigan wrote:

Elfie wrote:

At least in my country an advertiser should have a genuine product and some scientific evidence to back up their claims.


I'd have to see commercials and ads from your country, then, because I highly doubt that there's any scientific evidence to back up most product advertizing- for example, "This toy is the most fun," "All the coolest people shop here," "Wear this, and you will look like this airbrushed supermodel," "Buy this, and people will find you irresistible."

False advertising - look it up. It's not like USA has no laws on that what so ever.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By MrsFinnigan
On Thu Jul 23, 2009 03:20 PM
^Pfft. There are so many ways around that. They don't have to say anything flat out to say, "use our stuff, and you'll look perfect, be irresistible to others, etc.," which would be a outright falsehood.

They get away with it by merely suggesting it. That's why the commercials that show a guy who uses such and such body wash has girls falling all over him are not considered false advertizing. The people who drink such and such beer always are shown having the time of their lives, not getting depressed, drunk, sick, arrested, or becoming alcoholics. Drug commercials rarely ever show people who look sick. And if clothing or cosmetics had to be advertized with strict honesty, why is it so few hire models who look like regular people?
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Elfiemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 23, 2009 04:27 PM
Yes, but what about when the customer complaints start to pile up what then? You can put does the most amazing toothpaste really wash your teeth and make them shiny white to the test, see what it actually does, compare to other products, but what about "Jesus Saves", what are you supposed to do then? Wait for "Judgement day"...a little too much to ask, if you ask me.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By MrsFinnigan
On Fri Jul 24, 2009 05:48 PM
^No, you don't have to wait for Judgment Day. That is patently ridiculous and indicates you don't really know that religious people do put the claims of their religions to the test and how they do it.

It begins with reading a religion's scriptures, judging its teachings, applying them, and discovering whether or not those teachings really are a way to a better life right now as well as in the next life, whether following them makes you a better person right now.

Besides, even for a non-believer, Jesus Saves is vague enough. You could say it's false advertizing because a person who was saved from, say, alcoholism or abuse is still not saved from the certainty of eventural physical death. To the person who believes Jesus saves, their death doesn't matter anywhere near as much as the relationships they have before hand and the life they hope for after.

Yes, we'll all need to wait for irrefutable proof of an afterlife, but meanwhile it is possible to test a religions claims, teachings, and benefits in this life.
re: Advertising religion and lack there off
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 24, 2009 05:56 PM
I took a roadtrip through the States this month (Edmonton, Alberta to Montreal, Quebec via Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan) and all I can say about the matter is this: if I'd never been to the States before, all I would have thought you had for sale in the whole country (judging by the roadside billboards) was fireworks, Jesus, anti-abortion propaganda, and adult superstores. Seriously. Every freaking billboard. It was so completely foreign to me.
Page:
Page 1 of 2: 1 2

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2019 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS