Monday, June 14, 2010

Godless Leafleting - Opinions Requested

Occasionally, after leaving a grocery store, shopping mall, restaurant, etc., I sometimes see a leaflet underneath the windshield wiper of my car advertising a store, restaurant, local business, or whatever. I recall sometimes seeing advertisement for churches and, on one occasion, after leaving a gym I noticed a leaflet advertising a competitor’s gym.


What are the implications if I placed a leaflet similar to my sign, with my email and phone number on it under the windshield wiper of cars in church parking lots during Sunday service?


Some issues to think about are: -


  • What if I wrote to the church prior to doing this and informed them of my intentions and/or asked permission?
  • What if I placed these leaflets on cars in business parking lots next to churches during Sunday worship? (I notice that due to the limited parking space in the church lots, people spill over into neighboring business parking lots.)
  • What if I placed these leaflets on cars in both church parking lots and neighboring non church parking lots such as shopping malls, etc.?
  • What if I placed these leaflets on cars in the parking lots of religious meetings such as conference centers, festivals, stadiums, etc.,
  • What if I placed these leaflets on cars in the parking lots of religious meetings/rallies such as an anti-gay marriage demonstration or an anti abortion protests?

Also, what are the legal implications of: -


  • If (or should I say “when”) the people throw the leaflet on the ground, am I liable for littering? (What if I contact the church or organization and offer to clean up the litter myself?)
  • Is being on a church parking lot without permission trespassing?
  • Is touching someone’s car without permission against the law in any way?
  • From a purely business perspective, could my atheism or simply the presence of an atheist discourage people to attend that particular church, so therefore I’d be liable in a court of law for adversely affecting the church’s cash flow?
  • Would it make a difference if I gave a bunch of kids $10 each to put the leaflets on the cars for me? (Other than child labor laws, tax evasion, and the inevitable headline, “atheist exploitation and ‘abuse’ of children”.)

These questions lie on the fringe of First Amendment rights, social acceptability, and the local city laws so I can understand their subjectivity.


Doug


P.S. There’s a youtube video of an ex-priest that did something similar at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioIayArNWt4.

Move Along! Move Along!

I was outside The Healing Place Church, (formally know as the Trinity Christian Center), in Baton Rough this Sunday. The mega church has an estimated congregation of just under 8,000 and it's spectacular! (I have no idea how much it cost to build but I would estimate many tens of millions of dollars.) Check out the web site at http://www.healingplacechurch.org/. Its configuration is also excellent for my needs in that the only two exits are very close together. So my sign, “Hello I’m an Atheists. Do you have any questions for me?” placed just opposite the exits was viewable to everyone leaving the grounds.

I had quite a few people talk to me and, after I bombarded them with more logic, reason, rationality, critical thinking, etc., than they’ve probably ever had in their life, I was informed on several occasions that Jesus still loves me. (Ahhhh.) For the first time, I even got given a bible!

But, alas, as always, I was told to “move along” by the police yet again. There was public road works opposite the exits so, I was asked to leave “for my own safety”. I did converse with the police officer, (who incidentally was very respectful), and asked the obvious question of is my safety the real issue here or is it the message? And of course, I got the usual reply that it was nothing to do with the message.

As I’m over an hours drive away, I have a challenge to anyone in the Baton Rouge area, Christians and atheists alike. How about partaking of a science experiment and standing in the “dangerous construction zone” on Highland Road next Sunday (they also have a service Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.) and let me know how long your there before you get moved along… “for your own safety”. I’m willing to bet quite a few Hail Marys that you’ll be standing there ‘till the second coming of Christ.

Because of the title ‘Move Along, Move Along, here’s the video of the All American Rejects. I love a song that starts out with the sarcastic lyric, “Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking”. Yes, what ever you do, don’t think!

video

Sunday, June 13, 2010

But Only God (and Craig Venter) Can Make a Tree

Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918










Trees


I THINK that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree;


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the sweet Earth's flowing breast;


A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;


A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;


Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.


Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God (and Craig Venter) can make a tree.



Check out my new video about Craig Venter’s manufacture of the first synthetic life and the impact it should have on religious belief.










video

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

News Flash – God can now “drive out the inhabitants of the valley”, BECAUSE of their “Chariots of Iron”



Judges 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

While trying to “Spread the Word of Reason” this Sunday, June 6th, outside the New Covenant Presbyterian Church of Mandeville, 4375 Highway 22, in Mandeville, Louisiana, god cast me out because I have a ‘car’.

As always, I was approached by the Louisiana police and told that my car was parked illegally. This time I was “inhibiting the flow of traffic” by “blocking the driveway”. I was actually parked in the entry road of the First American Bank parking lot… on Sunday? There wasn’t actually a “flow” or even “traffic” as I never saw anyone pass me.

I asked the police officers that maybe the reason they were there wasn’t anything at all to do with my “parking violation”, but maybe it had just a little bit to do with the message? Of course, they denied it. I asked them if they were just passing by and saw me “parked illegally” and they said no. They did tell me that someone had called in to make the complaint. (Hmm? In the interest of science, I think I’ll park my wife’s car in the exact same place and see how many minutes; hours; days; weeks; it takes for someone to make a complaint.) After coaxing them further by implying that they weren’t really being honest with me or even themselves, they put an end to the conversation by telling me that “they were not here to debate with me”. Oh well.

I’ve therefore had a revelation that maybe, after a couple of thousand years, god’s figured out how to drive out the inhabitants of the valley even though they have a chariot of iron. Therefore, next time I’m going to just sit there on an aluminum fold out chair holding my sign. Hopefully god hasn’t figured out how to drive out chairs of aluminum. Even though he knows how to drive out the First Amendment.

Every single church I’ve been ‘godless evangelizing’ outside seems to suddenly have a fascination with safe parking! I knew religion was obsessed with other issues such as, say, sexual oppression. “Problems” such as homosexuality, sex before marriage, non-missionary position, contraception as opposed to abstinence only education, circumcision, and masturbation. But this obsession with ‘parking safety’ is a new one for me.