(Photo: The Christian Post/Alex Murashko)
A new billboard unveiled this week by an atheist activist group in Orange County, Calif. makes the claim that "Atheists make better lovers."
The sign is sponsored by the Backyard Skeptics group with the help of New York members of the national American Atheists organization. The Orange County atheists group has been using a billboard campaign featuring various signs disparaging Christianity and belief in God for the last year to help other nonbelievers "come out of the closet," leaders say.
The sign, located on an American Legion parking lot off a major street in Midway City, depicts a couple in bed by showing two pairs of bare feet outside the covers and reads, "Atheists make better lovers. (After all, nobody is watching.)"
Although the billboard has brought little or no controversy to this normally conservative Southern California county, evangelist Ray Comfort, who regularly preaches a few miles away at the Huntington Beach pier, reacted with some harsh words when asked about the sign.
"Atheists have to have a reason to get out of bed each day, so they dream up things that give them a reason to exist," said Comfort, who regularly confronts well known atheists for their nonbelief. "They are bored, and this is sadly how they get kicks."
Backyard Skeptics founder Bruce Gleason stated on the group's website: "Atheists make better lovers because they have less guilt about sex, while people believing in religious superstitions attach a negative aspect to sex. We do not think a supernatural deity is watching us – neither in life nor in bed."
The billboard comes as pastors are trying to reclaim sex as a gift that God created.
Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church and author of the new book Sexperiment, has emphasized that "God thought up sex."
"It was His idea. And it's not just about procreation; it's about recreation and enjoyment (within the context of marriage)," he stated earlier, adding that Christians should be the "sexperts."
Though many view sex as just a physical routine, Young has stressed that it is a gift from God that is "emotional, physical, psychological, and above all, spiritual."
Some observers have argued that Orange County is becoming a hotbed for atheist or secular activism. The liberally slanted OC Weekly published a column last year which stated, "Atheists: so hot right now. They've been erecting billboards, engaging with church folk and even showing up at high schools in Orange County to enlighten young people."
Gleason said his group has more than 500 members, which use the social media site "Meetup" to regularly attend meetings and field trips to hold pro-atheist and anti-faith picket signs at events.
"Secularism is not only growing in Orange County, but it's growing all over the nation," Gleason told The Christian Post Wednesday. "Why? Because Americans are taking a closer look at religion, its harmful effects, its hypocritical leaders, and using the one thing that the Religious Right is scared [expletive] of – the Internet."
"The youth of this country now have an easy way to compare the pros and cons of any ideology. If religion had a worthwhile argument to prosper, it sure isn't working," he argued.
In a press release about the new billboard, the Orange County group references an article by Kanazawa that states atheists are "more likely to be sexually exclusive (more loyal) and have higher IQ's."
The Backyard Skeptics continue, "A study by Lefkowitz says religious people had less efficacy with condom use and strange thoughts about HIV risk. Other studies have repeatedly found that religious people are less educated about sex, have higher teen pregnancy rates and have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases."
Gleason, who told CP he is against the teaching of sexual abstinence before marriage, further defends his atheist point of view by saying, "It's common knowledge among atheists that they are just as moral, and often more moral than the religious believers because they follow their own world values vs. ones that are espoused by ancient religious texts."
Although Comfort had stern words for Gleason's group, he said he feels sorry for them.
"Like little kids, they want attention, and think that they can get it by attacking Christian ideals. These people need to get a life. They have written books, protested, attended monthly meetings and annual conventions where they gather to talk about something they don't think exists. You have to pity them," Comfort said.
Last September, about a dozen atheists organized by Gleason, held disparaging signs toward creationism and Christianity while demonstrating during the opening of the Human Anatomy Exhibit by the Creation and Earth History Museum in San Diego County.