Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollectionsGod

In Theory: Should pro- and anti-religion people advertise their beliefs?

October 25, 2013

The argument between believers and atheists has found a new and very public forum in recent years — billboards.

Pro- and anti-religion advertisements and messages have been appearing on the sides of buses in places as diverse as London and Dallas, on billboards in Australia and California, and now in New York's Times Square.

Paid for by the evangelical group Answers In Genesis, an electronic billboard there displays what the New York Times describes as “a friendly jab” at atheists: “To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong.”

Advertisement

The battle of the billboards has also been used provocatively, as when an atheist group paid to have the message, “You Know it's a Myth: This Season Celebrate Reason,” about Christmas, put above the Lincoln Tunnel in New York. Within a few days, a religious organization answered with, “You Know it's Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus” at the other end of the tunnel.

Q: What do you think of the opposing sides advertising their beliefs in such a way?

 
Context is everything, isn’t it? The experience of historical works, movies, television and novels is heightened as the viewers or readers have knowledge of the background, circumstances and frameworks in which a piece might have been composed. It is the overriding reason that Westerners are so influenced by pop culture. Humans are bombarded by not only the news, but also the media version of the milieu in which events happen, thereby also heavily informing the perspective that is derived from any event or series of events.

Holy seasons are a heady time, a time when beliefs and cultural practices come out of cardboard boxes that have been stored in the cupboard all year long. Those beliefs are checked to see if the lights are still working from last year, and then strung up on houses, places of worship, and of course now even on signboards. Spiritual believers must work hard to learn the contexts in which their beliefs were formed.

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles
|
|
|