Readers picked "You don't need God-to hope, to care, to love, to live" from the Center for Inquiry as their Favorite Atheist Ad of 2011. This ad is part of a wider multi-media outreach campaign to help people across the country understand that living a fulfilling life doesn't require any gods or any religion. Since the belief that gods and religion are necessary for happiness is a common misperception, this is an important message to get out.
Ronald A. Lindsay, CFI president & CEO, says about their ad campaign: "One common myth is that the nonreligious lead empty, meaningless, selfish, self-centered lives. This is not only false, it's ridiculous. Unfortunately, all too many people accept this myth because that's what they hear about nonbelievers."
Advertisements on billboards, busses, and other media are becoming a very useful component of activism and outreach for atheist groups. When those ads are accepted, they deliver a message to a much wider audience than would be possible with other means; when those ads are rejected or vandalized, they bring in even more publicity for the group and attention to the message.
It has to be admitted that some of the earliest atheist ads weren't always very good, but they are definitely improving. Every year they are more atheist ads out there in more diverse styles and with increasing quality. All of the finalists this year were very good and I'm looking forward to what these and other groups will be making in 2012.
All Finalists for Favorite Atheist Ad of 2011
- "You don't need God-to hope, to care, to love, to live" from the Center for Inquiry: 55%
- "Don't believe in God? Join the club" from the United Coalition of Reason: 19%
- "Reason's Greetings - Solstice Tribute" from the Freedom From Religion Foundation: 10%
- "I see beauty in the universe without God, - Ashley Paramore" from the Freedom From Religion Foundation: 15%