Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is the Creation Museum a bad PR move?

My friend Mike asked me if I thought the SSA Creation Museum trip could be a bad PR move for the local atheists. He's a Cincinnati native, and...well, his opinion of the people's tolerance for atheism or any "alternate religion" isn't too great. Is this just going to set back Midwest atheists even more?

Honestly, I don't think it's going to make much of a difference. Think of it this way: The people who see any news report about atheists, even positive ones, and still think poorly of atheists are not going to have their minds changed. Even if our visit is trumpeted by the local news, it doesn't matter. We could be helping puppies in shelters, working at food drives, trying to cure cancer (hmm, all things we're actually doing) and it wouldn't matter to them. Atheists are still morally bankrupt people in their mind.

But for the atheists, people on the fence, or liberal theists, it's going to help. It's just like the bus ad campaign. It's our way of saying "hey, we're out here, we're civil, and we don't agree with this nonsense and we're not afraid to say so." We can't change the minds of the people who hate us, but we can improve our image with those who are ambivalent. And like always, it's good to show that us atheists exist. I hope there is a lot of news coverage throughout the Midwest, because I know there will be people saying "Huh, and I thought I was the only heathen trapped in this damned cornfield!"

Well, maybe not those exact words, but something close to it.

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  1. I wish I had something better to say here other than...yep, you're right, Jen. As long as nobody in the SSA causes an incident, calls creationists the enemy, etc...

    Just hopefully everyone behaves themselves and leaves the derisive comments till the tape recorders are off. Getting out the word that you exist is a must.

  2. Considering the sense of humor that seems to be shared by a lot of atheists, someone probably would say exactly that.

  3. Reminds me of dad once. At my grandfather's Catholic funeral, he was asked if he wanted to take communion. He responded, "Nope, I'm a godless heathen!"

    We had been drinking a little.

  4. In that part of Kentucky? It doesn't matter what you do. It really doesn't because as many of those "Kids sitting on the fence" there are... it doesn't change the fact that the locals are very much part of the bible belt [all be it north of it by a small factor].

    The last time I was in that area, I could smell the redneck in the air.

  5. Redneck has a smell?

    Holy crap. I might have gotten used to it.

    No wonder the air in more northerly cities smells fresher!

  6. You pegged it right there. It's crap.

  7. I really want to be at this event, but I'm going to be busy up at school that day :(. I just hope locals can be a little more tolerant to the athiests after you leave, although it may not happen to work out that way. Their threats just show you how closed minded they are.

  8. But I thought it was diesel fuel and cheap bratwurst!