Humanist Advertisements That Didn’t Make The Cut

Did you know the American Humanist Association was one of the first freethought organizations to run national advertisement campaigns in the United States? The AHA began purchasing magazine ads in progressive publications like The Nation, American Prospect, and The Progressive in 2005, and we were the first freethought organization to run atheist bus advertisements in the United States in 2008 with our famous “Why Believe In A God? Just Be Good For Goodness’ Sake” campaign around the holiday season.

But not all of our ad ideas came to pass. Here are just a few of the various advertisement ideas that AHA staff and members came up with over the years that didn’t make the cut for a national campaign (click for larger images):

Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” 

Many of our members found this advertisement hilarious, but test groups deemed this advertisement “too offensive,” and some didn’t quite get it right away.


Blind Faith or 20/20 Humanism?

Some humanists thought the image of the man’s covered eyes was unfair to our progressive religious friends. Plus, that other eye is a little creepy.


Graphic Bible Verse for “Consider Humanism” Campaign

AHA’s Consider Humanism Campaign in 2010—which compared Bible passages with humanist quotes—was the largest freethought ad campaign at the time, with advertisements in nearly all major newspapers and the first prime time television ad which aired on NBC’s Dateline, MSNBC, and the O’Reilly Factor. One of the Bible quotes we planned to use, however, was seen as too graphic. (Hey, we’re just quoting directly from the Bible!)


Jesus Is a Humanist

Our 2005 “My Values? I’m a Humanist” Campaign focused on ads in progressive magazines and featured prominent humanists like Daniel Dennett and Steven Pinker. So, this particular advertisement was made mostly for fun, but it’s got some truth to it, right?