If you’ve never heard of Jim Helton, count yourself as one of the few. He is one of the leading activists of our time, fighting for equality and the separation of church and state everywhere he goes. He’s managed to find time in his schedule to come to Jackson, Mississippi on July 10 to speak. As we get ready for the upcoming event, let’s look at five times he was way cooler than the rest of us.
That Time He Protested Against the Westboro Baptist Church
The Westboro Baptist Church has been a thorn in the side of all reasonable people since its first protest in the early 1990s. The church is known for its hateful rhetoric and protests against the LGBT community and United States soldiers. None of us can stand the church, but few of us actually get out there and do something.
Count Jim Helton as one of the few.
When the so-called church rolled into Cincinnati, Jim was there, holding a sign that read, “When equality is under attack, atheists show up.”
That sign did more than fight back against the Westboro Baptist Church. It showed the world that atheists believe in equality, and we will do what’s necessary to achieve it.
That Time He Protested the KKK
By now you should now that Jim isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in, and that includes racial equality. That’s why he sent twenty people from the Tri-State Freethinkers all the way to Indiana to protest the KKK.
Atheists believe in equality for all, and we are lucky to have Jim on the front lines, doing just that.
That Time He Fought Back Against the Ark Encounter
When the Ark Encounter opened in Williamstown, Kentucky, Jim Helton had something to say about it. This Christian evangelical theme park has a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark, but that wasn’t Helton’s problem. The issue had to do with the tax incentives the park received while requiring employees to sign a “statement of faith.” This was a clear violation of the separation of church and state, and Helton fought back, organizing rallies and collecting signatures. There is even an Ark protest on July 7 of every year.
Jim sent a strong message with his actions. If you violate the separation of church and state, he is coming for you.
That Time He Created an Ad Mocking the Ark Encounter
So, it’s no secret that Jim isn’t too fond of the Ark Encounter, but few expected him to go as far as to raise money for a billboard, but that’ just what he did. Jim helped raise $10,000 for a billboard that said, “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 Years of Myths.”
Unfortunately, Lamar and Event Advertising and Promotions, LLC both rejected the billboard. They were apparently too worried about the scandal.
Even though the billboard never went up, Jim still managed to get a lot of press about it. His message ended up getting out, and it ended up not costing him the $10,000.
That Time He Was in Bill Nye: Science Guy
Atheism and science go hand in hand, and Jim was able to put that on full display during his appearance in the documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy. While the rest of us were at home watching old episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy, Jim was talking with him in person in front of the cameras.
That’s pretty cool indeed.
RSVP to See Jim Helton Today
As you can see, Jim Helton is a leading activist, and you don’t want to miss his speaking engagement. RSVP to attend An Evening With Jim Helton of American Atheists on July 10. He will speak at the Flamingo in Jackson from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and there will be a social hour afterward.