Tuesday, February 03, 2009

OK, time to grow up!

By now I am sure many of you have heard that atheists in Britain have bought ads on buses that read "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life". (really though that strikes me as more of an agnostic-leaning towards atheism ad than a stridently atheist one) And similar ads are being proposed in various Canadian cities. To what response?

Well here's one:
A 'Without God' ad has proven too controversial for Halifax transit.
Humanist Canada wanted to place ads on Metro Transit buses with the slogan, "You can be good without God."
But officials with the transit authority deemed that too controversial.
And it appears that many people of faith (predominantly extreme and vocal Christians) think the transit authority are right. AFter all, we don't want to actually discuss if there is a God do we? OR heaven fordid admit that not everyone shares our beliefs!

I can only assume that people are not secure in their own faith if they think an ad on the side of a bus is a threat. Because believe me, there are faith-based ads on public transit all over the place already: "keep Christ in Christmas", anti-abortion messages (both of which are often sponsored by the Knights of COlumbus I have noticed), ads for specific churches/denominations, not to mention the whole faith of consumerism that sparks advertising in the first place. So it isn't faith-based ads that are controversial, only faith-based ads that challenge "the norm".

REally people grow up. Let's be open to dialogue.

PErsonally I prefer the UCCan response which is also described in this article:
In anticipation of the bus campaign, the United Church of Canada is rolling out an online response to the ad today and a national print campaign tomorrow.
The United Church ad, created by Toronto-based Smith Roberts Creative Communications, encourages readers to choose between the original message and theirs, which reads: "There's probably a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."
That is much more like actual debate. That opens up to dialogue. ANd as of right now the vote on WonderCafe stands 54-46 on the atheist/agnostic side.

PS> in an oddly fortuitous coincidence, the cover story of the United Church Observer is about the rise of extreme atheism. You can read more here and here


  1. I agree Gord. I think the people doing the most belly-aching are the more-than-right-of-center Christians who feel attacked when anything looking like a doubt or a question crosses their path.

    I like the UCCan's response. It's simple. It's not in anyone's face. It doesn't ask for a fight at recess time. I suppose that most of the time that's why I like the UCCan in general...

  2. That quote from Wondercafe was stolen (appropriated) by a local conservative Baptist church for its street sign.