Atheists find solidarity through ‘Out of the Closet’ discussions on Facebook

In addition to our Freethought of the Day and Action Alert email lists, our members-only forum, and website, FFRF’s Facebook page is a great way to get your daily dose of virtual freethought!

FFRF’s Facebook friends have been keeping close tabs on FFRF’s fun new Out of the Closet virtual billboard campaign. You can create your own personalized friendly neighborhood atheist or agnostic cyber-billboard to declare and share your freethinking views.

FFRF staff regularly post a few “staff picks” (viewable on our website or on Facebook) but you can view all of the thousands of “cyberboards” at FFRF’s website here, and soon you will be able to comment directly on the billboards using Facebook connect.

Several well-known freethinkers have contributed to the campaign, to the delight of our online fans. Daniel Dennett’s message, “It will be great looking back at this campaign in a few years and marveling that this was such a big deal! Here’s to the end of Lip Service about God,” is one of the most “liked” and commented-on boards to be submitted.

Evolutionary biologist and bestselling author Steven Pinker’s sentiment, “Morality comes from reason, not dogma,” and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who wrote thoughtfully, “If people are good only because they ear punishment or want a reward, we’re doomed,” have elicited hundreds of thumbs up.

The Amazing James Randi, who wrote about “questioning Sunday school at age 9,” impressed many onlookers just by being part of the campaign. “He was in my gen psych book,” noted Gretchen Ferguson. Angela Dawn Handerson called him “one of my heroes.”

FFRF Members and nonmembers alike have found camaraderie and solidarity on our Facebook ‘Out of the Closet’ Staff Picks album. Washington State FFRF member Beth Taylor’s message, “True goodness is caring for others with no thought of a heavenly reward,” was deemed “the best one” by Gene Blodgett, but other Facebook friends beg to differ on which is actually “the best.”

“I believe in a world full of love, and without superstitions,” writes Arie Turner.

Many of the Out of the Closet messages are practical. “I vote secular,” said Brian McCaskill, who described himself as a “Registered Voter and Out of the Closet Atheist.”

Merri Ann Langhorst described herself as an “ex-missionary” and “Atheist, Lesbian. Wife. Mother. Normal. Happy.” Te Finnegan commented: “Welcome home!”

“Black should not equal religious,” Kelli Tumeur’s message, elicited an “Amen” from Facebook friends including Guido Edwards.

G. Ortiz, who describes himself as a “Godless Marine,” prompted Lynn LeGault, who identified herself as “Atheist US Sailor here,” to advise, “I know how hard it is, brother! Keep your strength up!”

Zeke Rodriquez’ message, “Fine, I evolved, you didn’t,” prompted a respectful debate in which Zeke noted, “A little snarkiness isn’t always a bad thing. Some of us are tried of apologizing for being rational.”

Bailey Reid noted, “These are amazing! I’ve never been on this page before but it comforts me” to see so many messages from nonbelievers. “These are wonderful,” commented Robin Mattingly. “I just can’t pick a favorite,” Emma Smisek said.

The virtual billboard campaign is an idea that came to FFRF after a successful and exciting Madison, Wis., outdoor electronic and traditional billboard campaign in October of 2010. Since then, area freethinkers have warmly welcomed the chance to come out in other billboard advertising campaigns in Tulsa, Okla.; Columbus, Ohio; and Raleigh, N.C. In answer to Facebook fan Caryl Danyls’ question: “Have you thought about using these in a billboard campaign? I’d donate to that!” FFRF is spending Out of the Closet donations as fast as they come in, so please do contribute to the Billboard/Bus Sign Fund here.

“Keep ‘em coming!” said Doug Knowlton in a Facebook comment. In addition to donating, the best ways to “keep this coming” is for you to participate, make your own statement on a virtual billboard, and share this online app with friends. Lots of participants are adding their “billboard” to their e-mail signature line, websites, and social networking profiles.

So far the response to FFRF’s social networking presence and virtual billboard campaign has been great. FFRF has about 32,000 Facebook fans and over 2,000 submitted “cyberboards” as of this release but we know there are many, many more freethinkers ready to bust out of the closet!


View all cyberboards here.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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