‘Atheist Organization Denounces Christian Freedom’

Imagine reading a headline like that in your local newspaper. Christians and non-Christians alike would be outraged. But upon reading the article, you discover that ‘Christian Freedom’ is the name of an organization engaged in a nation-wide smear campaign against atheists, and some atheist organization responded by denouncing the activities of the ‘Christian Freedom Organization’.

Now, read this headline which actually appeared in today’s BBC News:

‘Free Thought Takes on Organized Religion’

It sounds like “Freedom of thought stands up against organized repressors” at first glance, but actually it’s an organization called “Free Thought” which is engaged in a national ad campaign against faith. They’re putting up billboards that look like this:

What I find astonishing is not the billboard campaign (even though–sniff! sniff!–it’s about Columbus, my beloved hometown), but rather the reporter which gave this campaign a good publicity headline for what can only be described as a venomous attack against religious faith. ‘Free Thought’ is attacking, not being attacked!

The reporter (and his editor) made the amateurish mistake of reporting what the “Spin Doctors” at FFRF.ORG wanted reported. In Journalism school way back in the early ’80s they taught us that Public Relations people will often name their organization in such a way that provides free, good publicity whenever the press refers to the organization. The press fell for it! Headlines are especially vulnerable to this free publicity, because space is limited, and some editor, not having enough space for “Freedom From Religion Foundation” simply condensed the essence of the title to fit the space.

I just thought you’d be interested in what they teach you in journalism school.

Also, I wanted to blog this quickly before my good friend Joesnake blogged it, because it’s actually Joe’s discovery, and a good one at that. Thanks Joe! I love you, man!

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4 thoughts on “‘Atheist Organization Denounces Christian Freedom’

  1. lbeech

    After reading your blog, I had to check out the article written about this billboard. I was stunned upon reading this ending quotation in the BBS News article:

    “Imagine no religion. A world free from dogma. It’s a beautiful and long overdue freedom of thought.”

    Dogma (the plural is either dogmata or dogmas, Greek δόγμα, plural δόγματα) is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization, thought to be authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted or diverged from.

    The majority of the article speaks against the established or perceived beliefs of Christianity – espousing that Christians belief’s have “driven people from Ohio and distracted the state from the serious economic problems it faces.”

    The belief system that “Free Thought” actually embraces – is one where anyone who participates in organized religion is enslaved by the oppressing – enslaving views of the church and that church-goers (Christians?) are unable to express clear thoughts as their minds are somehow controlled by the church leaders. Somehow a Christ follower or perhaps a church-goer must not be able to use reason and must be freed from the constraints of religion.

    I am “all about” being released from the constraints of religion – I am a Christ follower who has a relationship with God – but to imply that Christians or those who believe in God are unable to be reasonable is absurd, even ludicrous.

    So I agree, it would be nice to live in a world free from dogma – the Dogma that states that it is irrational to consider the existence of God – where you are able to reasonably consider the existence of God and that if God does exist then perhaps he did reveal himself to his creation and that even more so – it is reasonable and possible that he would relate with his creation.

    Such a poor argument – blind to its own dogma of intolerance – I say they protesteth to much!

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