Press Release: Kitten Billboard

LOCAL ATHEISTS PUT UP KITTEN BILLBOARD

Springfield, MO – Commuters on Glenstone Avenue may be surprised by a new billboard with an unexpected message.

The advertisement, created for the Skepticon atheist convention, features the innocuous tagline “Kittens are cute,” framed by several inquisitive-looking tabby cats.

“Atheists are among the most despised minorities in the United States,” said Skepticon organizer Jeffrey Markus. “We want to set the record straight: we’re not evil, and we’re not scary. We’re part of this community.”

A 2007 Gallup poll showed that 53% of Americans would refuse to cast their vote for an otherwise well-qualified atheist candidate. The following year, another Gallup survey found that only 13% of Americans have a positive view of atheists as a group.

Skepticon’s director of development, Katie Hartman, says that last year Skepticon attendees were briefly barred from a local Gelato shop after the owner discovered the conference’s irreligious content. “The ‘Skepticon not welcome’ sign was up for only a short time, but we got the message – and it doesn’t have to be this way moving forward. We’re a friendly, playful bunch of people. The billboard is an olive branch.”

Billboards raised by atheist groups in other parts of the country have sparked public outrage and been subjected to vandalism. Hartman says the Skepticon organizers don’t anticipate any setbacks. “They’re kittens. Who could possibly be opposed to kittens? They’re intended to make people smile. I can’t imagine this offending anybody.”

Skepticon has been held in Springfield since 2008, when it was created by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Missouri State University. The organizers anticipate an audience of about 1,500 at the 2012 event, which will be held November 9th-11th at the Springfield Convention Center.

The billboard will remain in place through July.

Press Contacts:

Micah Weiss
(417) 425-6150
[email protected]

Katie Hartman
(360) 450-8678
[email protected]

Skepticon Giving Back

 

Thanks to our speakers for allowing us to put their recordings online Skepticon has received around $125 from online support. In accordance with our promise we wanted to give this money back.

We decided to put the funds into individual loans through Kiva. “Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.” www.kiva.org

For more information on who Skepticon has been supporting, take a look at the links below.

Eufemia Margarita

Azhar

Fazilat

Bothina

Halima

Also i want to give a special thanks to our Media Production Team for making all of this happen.

Become a Volunteer!

Now is your chance to sign up, Skepticon Needs Volunteers!

I could sit here and tell you how much your contribution means to us at Skepticon, and I will! You are the ones that allow us to put on this event; it is all thanks to your donated time and effort that lets us make the decisions that keep Skepticon going, but when it comes down to it, you volunteer because you want to. Also, getting to spend time with the speakers is an added bonus.

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Update: Kitten Billboard

Thanks to your generous donations, we’re able to move forward on our ridiculously adorable billboard!

This is our current frontrunner design – but we’re looking for your suggestions and criticisms. By all means, have at it!

If we’re able to afford a second billboard, we’ll be using the next most popular image:

Your support makes us feel warm and fuzzy!

Challenge Accepted

Richard at the Friendly Atheist recently posted his suggestions for ‘soft sell’ pro-atheist billboards, including:

To which we at the Skepticon team say:

We’ve priced billboards in the Springfield area and think it can be done for as little as $2,000 – and if we end with more? We’ll put it on buses in St. Louis and Kansas City. Here’s our concept template:

(Note that this is an updated version of our first concept, altered based on your comments and suggestions.)

But, internet – we need a star. And there are so many deserving candidates! Like these kittens punching holes in their known universe:

And these bulldog puppies:

And this fluffy kitten! And this awkward pair! And this slightly less awkward group of baby critters

Help us decide, internet!

[poll id=”2″]

And please, please help us pay for it.

Local Support

Tons of local businesses went out of their way to serve HUGE Skepticon crowds on short notice. Farmer’s Gastropub was AMAZING! Jimmy John’s and Pickleman’s showed us lots of love! Trolley’s opened early for us & made us a special express menu! If you had a positive experience with a local restaurant, please give a nice review!

Skepticon Book Shelf

 

A lot of people ask about the books that our speakers write and talk about in their speeches. Here is where you can find all of those books

 

 

 

Nailed by David Fitzgerald

Nailed
by David Fitzgerald
Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn’t it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out, no. NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagination; a messiah transformed from a purely literary, theological construct into the familiar figure of Jesus – in short, a purely mythic Christ.
http://www.amazon.com/Nailed-Christian-Myths-Jesus-Existed/dp/0557709911/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1324284610&sr=8-6

God's Brothel by Andrea Moore Emmett

God’s Brothel
by Andrea Moore Emmett
The subtitle says it all: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 Women Who Escaped
http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Brothel-Extortion-Contemporary-Fundamentalist/dp/1930074131

By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus by Charles M. Larson

By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri
by Charles M. Larson
Exposes the Egyptian burial papyri that Joseph Smith claimed was “The Book of Abraham.”
http://www.amazon.com/His-Own-Hand-Upon-Papyrus/dp/0962096326

 

The Complete Heretic’s Guide To Western Religion: the Mormons
by David Fitzgerald
(coming 2012)

 

Under The Kilt
by Kilt Kilpatrick
A dozen brilliant, sexy stories of love, lust, wonder and suspense in several genres (contemporary, historical, paranormal, science fiction, steampunk, horror and fantasy)
http://www.ravenousromance.com/anthologies/under-the-kilt-the-best-stories-by-kilt-kilpatrick.php