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‘Asshole’ angers atheists

IT may have happened in Nowhereville – aka Mojave, California – but the fall-out from a Ford dealership radio ad in this über-Christian enclave is fast becoming a growing embarrassment for the Ford Motor Company around the world.

Here’s the sorry tale, gleaned from The Underground Unbeliever:

A while back the Kieffe & Sons Ford dealership decided to have a pop at atheists in an offensive ad broadcast on a local radio station, The Quake.

This is the message Kieffe & Sons had for potential customers:

Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, ‘Under God’ out of the Pledge, and ‘In God We Trust’ to be taken off our money?

But did you know that 86 percent of Americans say they believe in God? Since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians, who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don’t tell the other 14 percent to sit down and shut up.

I guess I just offended 14 percent of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech. None of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford is afraid to speak out. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond, if we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.

The words of Mr Kieffe are now rebounding throughout the internet, with outraged atheists vowing to boycott Ford products.

This is what Anna Lemma, creator of The Undergound Unbeliever declared:

Well, Mr Kieffe, you won’t be seeing me either today or tomorrow. And you certainly won’t be seeing my money.

What an asshole. It seems that he is for free speech for himself and his majority, but the rest of us 14 percent are second class citizens who need to ‘sit down and shut up.’

And she offered a new version of the ad. “After all, ‘it’s called free speech.'”

Did you know that there are people in this country who are assholes that want to shove their religion in everyone’s faces? …

And she gave this advice to Kieffe & his sons:

We at the Freethinker urge readers of this post to contact Kieffe & Sons and POLITELY explain why their ad was so offensive, and so damaging to the Ford brand. Here are their addresses:

Kieffe & Sons Ford
16400 Sierra Highway
Mojave, CA 93501

Phone: (661) 824-2477
FAX: (661) 824-2801
Rosamond

Kieffe & Sons Ford
2985 Sierra Highway
Rosamond, CA 93560

Phone: (661) 256-2811
FAX: (661) 256-2743

E-mail at ksf@kieffeandsons.com

Hat tip: Freethinker subscriber Denis Watkins.

UPDATE (May 29, 16.00): Well, well, well, would you believe it? Rick Kieffe – in the face of a barrage of calls and emails from around the world – not all of them cordial – has apologised for his company’s disgraceful ad.

He insisted that he does not remember approving the ad, which he said was written by his longtime advertising writer and producer in Oklahoma.

It’s just something that went by us. We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.

Kieffe said he has received “an incredible amount” of calls from people as far away as Australia and England, most, but not all of them, from “very articulate, nice people.”

Some of them just call and just use four-letter words real fast and then just hang up.

7 Responses to “‘Asshole’ angers atheists”

  1. Stuart H. says:

    They’re selling Fords so what do you expect?
    You’d have to be illiterate not to have read the slagging off they get in the car mags, and you’d be praying it even starts every morning.
    Sounds to me like they found their ideal customers!

  2. Peter says:

    Maybe we can write to the Ford parent company to say that we don’t think we’ll be buying Fords at all any more?

    I think Kieffe & Sons publicity stunt may actually work, because the act of alienating this small percentage of a possible audience could actually strengthen their standing and brand amongst what they see as their core base (i.e. die-hard Christians who would be proud of an anti-atheistic company).

    Within their environment (the local area that they get their customers from) I don’t think “atheist disapproval” will be strong enough take make them feel the pinch. But, if we raise the issue out of their environment, and make the Ford Motor Company as a whole feel the pinch, (or even fear a pinch!) then maybe they in turn could reprimand this small dealer (e.g. speak out against them, take away their licence etc.)

    Notice that the Ford Motor Company promotes “diversity” as one of it’s most cherished values: http://www.ford.com/our-values/diversity

    I’ve registered my complaint at https://secure.ford.com/footer/contact-ford/contact-us-email?contactMainTopic=PublicAffairs to let their public affairs department that they’ve lost my lifetime custom, and I suggest all others who are outraged (atheists and religious moderatesa alike!) to do the same!

  3. I think ford’s design deparment has discredited them enough. Capri against Probe, Cortina mk3 against Mondeo… need i go on?

  4. Buffy says:

    What a riot. It’s free speech and they have a right to run their business as they see fit (just like we have the right not to buy their stuff if they’re bigots). But I love the way they backed down with a lame excuse as soon as the protests started coming in.

  5. […] man who enraged atheists worldwide with a deeply insulting ad he created for a Californian Ford dealership – and in the process put a sizeable dent in Ford’s […]

  6. Roger says:

    I am a “born again” Christian, which, of course, is my choice. That said, I was an atheist for many years before my conversion.

    I must say, however, that I believe Christians have made an egregious error in attempting to politicize our faith, especially in the past 25 years or so.

    Jesus, nor the apostles as they established the early church, ever attempted to institute matters of faith through the political and legislative process. Jesus made clear, that matters of faith were the choice of the individual. Attempting to mandate Christian values through government enforcement is naive, and is not supported by Scripture- and in fact, is contrary to the First Amendment of the Constitution, and is a main reason the Colonies were founded.

    Faith is a personal matter, and thankfully we live in a country where we are free to practice our beliefs openly, publicly, as well as in private.

    Today, however, Christians have created an “us and them” mentality within the church, implying that those outside the church are evil, and undeserving of love, acceptance, and friendship. This, also, shows a gross misinterpretation of the Bible message. Scripture says that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” meaning that God loves everyone, prior to becoming pious. Secondly, the Apostle Paul instructed “When I told you not to associate with evil men, I did not mean the world, for you would have to leave the world. I told you not to associate with evil men WITHIN the church, (emphasis mine.)

    It is to Christians’ loss to not have fruitful relationships with people who differ in their beliefs from us. Some of my closest friends are atheists or agnostic, and now and then we have discussions regarding my faith, or their lack of. The conversations are generally vibrant, uplifting, and most of all, very civil. These talks are always within the context of love for one another, and respect for each’s position. I believe that this was Christ’s model for the Christians. I believe that much of the hostility Christians encounter when talking with atheists, is actually a reaction by the atheist, to Christian aggressiveness.

    As a Christian, I feel that we owe a collective apology to the atheist community for our aggressive and combative assault on their beliefs (or lack of,) and their right to hold them. I think many times, these encroachments are by well-meaning, yet ignorant Christians, who unnecessarily feel threatened in their faith.

  7. Jason says:

    I have always been a Chevrolet person anyways.