As more than one group has noted, people aren’t often happy when you mess with their religion. A group in Australia, however, has really gone after it—and they aren’t afraid of who they might upset.
As a billboard that went up in 2015 notes, the atheists down under aren’t afraid to offend their religious neighbors. The billboard, located in Sydney (Australia), was put up by the Sydney Atheists and the Atheist Foundation of Australia and doesn’t even pretend to hold back in its portrayal of religion as something you may need to “escape” from:
For members of the Sydney Atheists, their disdain of religion is especially personal: Most of them were at one time or another religious. They know the danger of religion firsthand, and aren’t afraid to poke the sleeping bear.
As they note, “With the benefit of a comprehensive and usually critical education, particularly in the areas of science, history, geography, philosophy and religion we have discovered the fallacies of religions. It is a great challenge for many to escape the religious indoctrination that most of us have suffered, usually from birth.“
Instead of embracing their former religious strictures, they’ve turned to a humanist approach that embraces reason, logic, and justice. They embrace inherent human morals, rather than any systemic code taught by any one particular religion, believing we’re better off without the dogma, superstition, and mythology of religions around the world, many of which claim to preach love while mostly practicing judgment and superstition.
And while it’s almost certain that the billboard offended at least a few religious passersby, it seems that much of the reaction—both when the billboard first went up and since—has been positive.
In fact, Sydney Atheists have grown large enough to have regular meet-ups both in Sydney proper and in multiple suburbs. They have regular podcasts, guest speakers, and more. Clearly, their billboard struck an audience.
Clearly, despite all the madness in the world that would seem to indicate otherwise, there is still reason in the world. There are people willing to turn on religion for the sake of reason and rational thought.
But what’s your story? Did you grow up religious? Or what prompted you to embrace reason, ethics for the sake of what’s right and wrong rather than dogmatic code, and led you to give up the superstition of organized religion? We want to hear from you—and for you to share this story and stories like it.