Atheist Billboard In Tulsa

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Updated: 9/10/2010 10:04 am Published: 9/09/2010 9:47 pm

A Tulsa man came up with a national billboard posted in Midtown Tulsa.

The message in patriotic colors reads, “Atheism is OK in Oklahoma. Saluting Gore-First Atheist Senator.”

Not surprisingly the billboard is getting a lot of attention.

On the westbound Broken Arrow Expressway at the 15th Street exit you’ll see the Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard.

A national group sponsored the board but the idea came from a Tulsa man.

Billboards are a way to sell a product and a way to promote beliefs. Christians do it and now Atheists are too.

"I thought playing into Oklahoma's desire to be number one. Well we will capitalize and advertise the fact that we are number one with the Atheist," says Bill Dusenberry.

Dusenberry is a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He is talking about U.S. Senator Thomas Gore who was an Oklahoma native who Dusenberry believes was the first openly Atheist US Senator. He was first elected in 1907 and says the sign is a tribute to him.

"It's promoting freedom from religion. I've met a lot of people in the Tulsa area that have no idea what an Atheist is," says Dusenberry. "Atheism is a statement of fact that there is no God.”

It’s a statement attracting no lack of comments on the FOX23 Facebook page:

Paul writes, “"I disagree with the message, but in the USA we have "freedom of speech". And Jeanie writes, "Not ok in my neck of the woods what is happening isn't this part of the country known as the BIBLE BELT!!" Tinisha says, “Freedom of Speech is what its all about! We have to see church advertisements, so what's wrong with this one? Just because so many others believe in a higher power, doesn't mean we all HAVE to! –agnostic.”

However, Jarrod doesn’t agree, “They should not be allowed to put up a sign or not even be allowed to be a foundation"

Bill Dusenberry expected comments like these. He welcomes them and that’s what this billboard is all about.

"We just want to let people know that we are here and if they want to come and chat with us we are here,” says Dusenberry.

This billboard is the group’s first billboard in Oklahoma. It’s part of a month-long campaign where the Freedom From Religion Foundation is placing 50 billboards throughout the country.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is based out of Wisconsin with 16,000 members, 125 are from Oklahoma.

The group says its mission is to work to keep church and state separate.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

welcomer - 10/8/2010 11:54 AM
0 Votes
As a clergyman for 56 years, I think the atheist is a healthy thing. I know organized religion well, and it needs a big dose of humility. We need to listen to folks who don't easily buy into the religious stance.

Yakkydo - 9/14/2010 7:04 AM
0 Votes
It is impossible to separate religion and politics or "church and state"! As long as there are people and people are in politics religion doesn't sit outside. You ale lying when you say you want separation of church and state. What you want is your humanistic "I am god" viewpoint to reign in our country. Admit it. If you want to see a Godless political leadership? Take a look at the FAILED Communist leadership. Stop using goofy phrases like separation of church and state you look like an oxymoron.

watchdog1 - 9/13/2010 6:10 AM
0 Votes
Back to what I said in the beginning, believe what ever you want, as long as it doesn't interfere with my life, and my beliefs, you have the choice, exercise it, and don't bother me.

lilsuzq32 - 9/12/2010 10:13 PM
3 Votes
Hooray to all the intelligent people living in Tulsa! You ROCK!!! "Organized Religion", "The Mafia", and "The US Government": Three separate groups, with the same purpose: to frighten and subjugate the regular people; and to separate those frightened and subjugated people from their money.

ballanross - 9/12/2010 6:30 PM
3 Votes
I fully enjoy this rare, brief time being a human being among other human beings on Earth. For example, I appreciate the scarcity of verbal communication in the universe, as I've learned about it so far anyway. I also appreciate the fact that we humans have learned how to socialize and sacrifice for the survival and thriving of the most of us. I am awestruck and humbled by the idea that this -- snap your fingers there it went, 70+ Sun years if we're average Americans -- entire time most of us are at least mildly self-aware, self-concious, self-motivated, self-actuated beings! Talk about rare! In the known universe anyway. I'm entirely gratified, satisfied, satiated and sated. I am adequately guilt-riddled for having been born who I am instead of in one of the numerous death traps for newborns. With no god as I live I don't feel alone, isolated or desolate. How could I while experiencing life? Whatever next happens to my awareness of everything, and having studied the subject to my satisfaction for 56 years I believe I will die when I die and that will be that; all of me will quite naturally and normally disintegrate. And that's okay! I'm not greedy or desperate for more or longer. I love every rare nano-second of life, even when I recover from feeling horrible. I feel a strong personal obligation to "behave" regarding others, considering our rareness and short life spans. Earth's human beings are still more animal than not, regardless of the propaganda about us being "civilized". I do not "love everyone". I don't even like everyone. And neither do any other humans, following any religion or none; it's a directional goal. I believe that the only consequences you will suffer for anything you do here are those you face here at the hands of other humans, justified or not. Which means people get away with stuff, though they shouldn't. It's all going to happen and be over in a blink, even if you think 70+ years is a long time. Then you'll be dead.

esposadenacho - 9/12/2010 6:29 PM
3 Votes
It's their right. It isn't vulgar in any way. Everyone in this country should realize we have a choice of religion or a choice of lack of religion. Those who feel they need to try and change people are the ones with the issues. Persecution in any form is wrong.

CowBot9000 - 9/11/2010 12:28 PM
0 Votes
As a Christian Libertarian (I know, I know...), I could really care less about this billboard. With their whopping membership numbers of 125 people in this state, I'm not worried about anyone being forced to subscribe to their own particular brand of religion. What I wonder about is why these people obviously feel so threatened. I'm not aware of any laws requiring an atheist to attend worship at any church, mosque, synagogue, or temple.

truckhounddog - 9/11/2010 7:27 AM
0 Votes
my belief is live and let live we spend so much time bickering over useless things like religion or beliefs but if u really want an eye opener talk to your paster about goverment of church i am married to a baptist prechers daughter and have seen the underbelly of church a church in itself is a goverment body at work there a board members elections tresury and rules and regulations u must follow to even be allowed to preach / what i am trying to say is do some homework 4 yourself before pointing a finger at people and come to your own conclusions thats the one true belief we all can have

myykeyy - 9/11/2010 5:53 AM
1 Vote
slimjim, what you've stated is known as Pascal's Wager. The reasoning is flawed in about a dozen ways and most Christians debating atheists don't bother bringing it up, knowing how flawed it is. First, a person believes something based on evidence, he cannot will himself to believe something that evidence tells him is false. Second, which god to believe in. All theistic religions claim to be the right one and have the only "true" god. Of the thousands of gods you have to make sure you pick the right one. Next, believing alone doesn't get one into heaven (according to the bible). There are many more flaws to the reasoning but I'm too lazy to go into that much depth. When a Christian debates an atheist, he tends to say he knows god is real, he can feel it, he doesn't know how he knows, he just knows. There is no intelligent reasoning, just faith. The lack of evidence for the existence of gods is the best evidence for their nonexistence. The Bible is an incredibly flawed document made up of stories passed from generation to generation verbally by people who couldn't read or write, lived in tents and slept with goats. If the Bible is the word god, god is an idiot. Debating the existence of gods can be interesting and enlightening if both parties understand the mythology in question. Unfortunately there is nothing in this thread to hold my attention. Without intelligent debate, atheists get bored and move on.

slimjim - 9/10/2010 8:11 PM
0 Votes
Sooooo myykeyy, which is best, to believe there is a God and die and be wrong, or to believe there is no God and die and be wrong?
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