06 February 2009

Bus Warfare

Probably everyone's heard about the atheist bus campaign, the one running ads on buses like:

There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake.

You Can Be Good Without God

was deemed too offensive. They wouldn't run the ad unless it was "toned down". *stares at the ad in puzzlement*

Predictably, the ads that did run caused histrionics among some folk, and some retaliatory ad campaigns, also on buses. I find it laughable that some have described the atheist campaigns as bigoted when ads depicting nonbelievers burning in hellfire (some of which inspired the original) are allowed and do not get criticized.

As for the web, there are many inviting commenters to come up with their own bus-ad slogans: The Friendly Atheist, Faith and Theology both have some interesting ones. My favorite, though, has to be from Think Buddha:

Neither an entity nor a nonentity
Moves in any of the three ways.
So motion, bus
and route are nonexistent.

But I have to wonder, why all the fuss over adverts in the first place? Are Christians really so insecure that an ad on the side of the bus will cause them to question their deepest beliefs? Or is this yet another example of attempted thought-control? These represent just about the mildest expressions of disbelief possible, and yet are attacked as "militant" and "offensive". Why? I suspect the answer is simple. The religious are used to having their viewpoint privileged in society, and are suddenly losing some of that privilege. I say, it's about time we put everyone on equal footing. And here's my contribution to the signage:
God is and is not. So be and not be, and be and let be.

I doubt I'll win anything for that, but that's the type of sign I'd like to see up.

Oh, there's also at least one streetcar campaign.

No comments: