New Atheist Ads Go Head-to-Head with Bible, Quran

The Stiefel Freethought Foundation and The American Humanist Association, which has run ads critical of God and the national motto, launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday that directly challenges the Bible and the Quran.

In its largest marketing endeavor, the groups plan to spend at least $200,000 toward television, newspaper and bus ads promoting secular humanist values by putting them head-to-head with what the group calls "biblical morality and fundamentalist Christianity."

Last year, AHA ran "No God? No Problem!" bus ads for its national holiday ad campaign. But this time around, the group is taking it a step further to show "that secular humanist values are consistent with mainstream America and that fundamentalist religion has no right to claim the moral high ground."

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"While the Bible may contain some valuable lessons, it has messages on hate and war. It teaches hate and religious bigotry. It presents values that are the antithesis of American self-reliance, individual liberty and equality before the law," AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said Tuesday at a press conference announcing the campaign.

The latest atheist ad campaign takes on moral topics including women, slavery, war, homosexuality, and punishment by comparing verses from the Bible and Quran with quotes from AHA or humanist figures. It then invites viewers to "Consider Humanism."

One ad on homosexuality juxtaposes scripture from Leviticus that calls the act of a man lying with another man "detestable," with an AHA resolution affirming "sexual equality" and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

One video ad features the renowned atheist Richard Dawkins giving the humanist take on intelligence. Responding to a Bible verse from Proverbs 3:5, which calls on believers to trust in the Lord and not lean on their own understanding, Dawkins says that belief should be supported by "evidence and logic" and not by "tradition, authority or revelation."

Quotes from the Quran were used in ads addressing the humanist response to war and violence.

"We are raising the flag for atheists and agnostics who are already humanists but didn't know the term and also didn't know there is an advocacy organization out there for them that they might join instead of joining a church," said Speckhardt.

The campaign will include a television spot on NBC Dateline on Friday and print ads in major newspapers, including USA Today, the Seattle Times, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ads will also run in Metro trains in Washington, D.C., on billboards in Idaho, and on buses in select cities.

Earlier this year, AHA also targeted the national motto and the National Day of Prayer in marketing campaigns for its organization. The humanist group ran billboards reading "In Good We Trust" in Idaho in April and later declared May 6 the National Day of Reason to counter the National Day of Prayer.

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