What some believe, What humanists think
Humanists Launch Largest National Advertising Campaign Critical of Religious Scripture
A national multimedia ad campaign – the largest, most extensive ever by a godless organization – launches today and will include a spot on NBC Dateline on Friday, November 12, as well as other television ads, that directly challenge biblical morality and fundamentalist Christianity. The campaign, sponsored by the American Humanist Association, also features ads in major national and regional newspapers and magazines demonstrating that secular humanist values are consistent with mainstream America and that fundamentalist religion has no right to claim the moral high ground.
The ads juxtapose notable humanist quotes with passages from religious texts, including the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Quran. The ads then ask the audience to “Consider Humanism.” One example is the following pairing: The Bible: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I Timothy 2 (New International Version) Humanism: “The rights of men and women should be equal and sacred—marriage should be a perfect partnership.” Robert G. Ingersoll, in a letter dated April 13, 1878. Another pairing is: The Bible: “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” God, Hosea 13:16 (New International Version) Humanism: “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.” Albert Einstein, column for The New York Times, Nov. 9, 1930.
To see images and videos of the ads and find more information about the campaign please visit: http://www.considerhumanism.org
“Humanist values are mainstream American values, and this campaign will help many people realize that they are already humanists and just did not know the term,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Humanists believe in and value love, equality, peace, freedom and reason – values that are comparable to those of moderate and liberal religious people.”
In addition to the television ad on NBC, ads will also be displayed on cable channels. Print ads will appear in major newspapers, including USA Today, the Seattle Times, the Village Voice, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Independent Triangle, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and magazines, including Reason and The Progressive. Ads will also appear on Metro trains in Washington, D.C., on billboards on I-95 near Philadelphia and in Moscow, Idaho, and on buses in select cities.
“We want to reach people in every corner of the U.S., from all walks of life, to raise the flag for humanists and show others that they have more in common with us than with biblical literalists,” said Speckhardt.
“It’s important that people recognize that a literal reading of religious texts is completely out of touch with mainstream America,” Speckhardt added. “Although religious texts can teach good lessons, they also advocate fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance. It’s time for all moderate people to stand up against conservative religion’s claim on a moral monopoly.”
All quotes from religious texts were checked by scripture scholars to ensure accuracy, context and proper translation.
The Stiefel Freethought Foundation was the primary sponsor of the Consider Humanism campaign with a $150,000 donation. Another $50,000 was raised from supporters of the American Humanist Association for the launch of this campaign, bringing the total ad buy to $200,000 so far.
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through over 140 local chapters and affiliates across America. Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.
[November 9, 2010]
Press Conference Speech – Sarah Ameigh – Communications and Policy Assistant of the American Humanist Association
The Consider Humanism campaign is the largest ad campaign in the history of the humanist and freethought movement. With a budget of more than $200,000, it stretches across print, web, outdoor and TV, reaching out to a wider audience than ever attempted.
$86,000 was spent on television, $78,000 on print, $33,000 on outdoor and $7000 on Internet.
I’m now going to introduce each ad and cite the outlets in which they will appear. The Raleigh News and Observer rejected a series of ads that appear only on our Consider Humanism website, including:
The Bible: “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” Luke 12:5 (New International Version)
Humanism: “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Bertrand Russell
The first ad in our campaign is as follows:
The Bible: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I Timothy 2 (New International Version) or
Humanism: “The rights of men and women should be equal and sacred—marriage should be a perfect partnership.” Robert Ingersoll, in a letter dated April 13, 1878
This ad is featured in today’s issue of USA Today, as well as a billboard in Moscow, Idaho. As of Nov. 15, this ad will be featured on bus tails in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, phone booths in New York City, and two billboards located on I-95 outside Philadelphia. This ad is also one of three ads appearing in the D.C. metro and the interior of D.C. buses, which will debut Nov. 15 as well.
The following ad will appear today in the Atlanta Constitution Journal, Seattle Times and Raleigh Durham Herald Sun, as well as the full page ad in tomorrow’s edition of the Triangle Independent Weekly and the December issue of the Progressive and Reason magazines. The Seattle Times required we put a “paid advertisement” border around the ad, as well as cite the American Humanist Association as the organization sponsoring the campaign.
The Bible: “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.” Exodus 21:20-21 (New International Version)
Humanism: “We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.” Humanism and Its Aspirations
The next ad will appear in today’s edition of the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Bible: “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” God, Hosea 13:16 (New International Version)
Humanism: “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.” Albert Einstein, column for The New York Times, Nov. 9, 1930 (reprinted in The New York Times obituary, April 19, 1955)
Today’s edition of Village Voice and the Arizona Republic, the full page ad in tomorrow’s edition of the Triangle Independent Weekly, and the December issues of the Progressive and Reason magazines will include:
The Bible: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus, Luke 14:26 (New International Version)
Humanism: “I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.” Katharine Hepburn, Humanist Arts 1985, Ladies Home Journal, 1991
The D.C. metro and interior of the D.C. buses will feature the following ad:
The Bible: “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” 1 Samuel 15:3 (New International Version)
Humanism: “We need international authorities that can keep interstate and interethnic disputes from erupting into outright war, and adjudicate and enforce measures to punish acts of genocide.” Carl Coon, humanist and former Ambassador to Nepal (One Planet, One People: Beyond ‘Us vs. Them’ pg. 111)
As well as:
The Bible: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (New Living Translation 2007)
Humanism: “There’s all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority, or revelation. “ Richard Dawkins, author and 1996 Humanist of the Year (Humanist Jan/Feb 1997)
The final ad will be published in the December issues of Reason and the Progressive magazines, and tomorrow’s issue of the Triangle Independent Weekly:
Islam: I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” Qur’an (8:12)
Humanism: “The American Humanist Association, in support of the creation of a global community, affirms the aim of avoiding the use and distortion of creeds, beliefs, ideologies, and worldviews as a justification for violence (or even for the threat of violence) in pursuit of a goal” AHA Resolution on Global Community and International Affairs, 2008
The current political climate is suffering an unfortunate wave of Islamaphobia, and as humanists, atheists and nontheists, we sympathize with and disprove of the religious discrimination Muslims face. However, the scriptural literalism being used by the Christian right to condemn and oppress, is also sometimes found within Islam. This is why we have included the Qur’an quote in our campaign.
On Nov. 12, a Consider Humanism commercial will air nationally on NBC’s Dateline at 9 p.m. EST.
Commercials will also air on stations such as MSNBC, CNBC and the Bloomberg Business Channel.
Facebook, Google AdWords and blogs, such as the Friendly Atheist, will run short ads pointing to the Consider Humanism campaign.
All quotes featured in the ads were checked by multiple scripture scholars to ensure accuracy, context and proper translation from original languages. Each quote featured in the campaign can be found at www.considerhumanism.org.