Imagine No Religion?

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The other day I was walking down Mission Street in San Francisco and I saw a billboard on the side of a passing bus that read, “Imagine No Religion.” It was done in the style of stained glass, deliberately meant to conjure up an old church window.

You can see a picture of it over at SF Citizen.

The organization that is paying for the billboard, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, makes an interesting claim: “The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.  In modern times the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women’s right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization and abortion have been freethinkers, just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery.”

It’s funny though, because sometimes I feel like the most deeply religious people I know are those godless, pro-choice, far-left San Franciscans who venture into the hot, dusty desert every August, engage in a week of revelry and on the final night of the week, set ablaze a sky-high wooden icon.

In that sense, I’d hate to see religion go.


Michael Berger is a barely-published writer and book-seller living in San Francisco. He is one of the founding Corsairs of the Iron Garters Bike Club and is currently pursuing a degree in applied pataphysics. He sometimes eats oatmeal for dinner. More from this author →