Posts Tagged “atheist advertising”

Attention Lunatic AtheistsIt’s definitely the time of year for religious ads … as well as non-religious ads. Atheist bus ads are nothing new, but as the New York Times reports, Christians down in Ft Worth, Texas have added a new wrinkle to them (WebCite cached article):

Stand on a corner in this city and you might get a case of theological whiplash.

A public bus rolls by with an atheist message on its side: “Millions of people are good without God.” Seconds later, a van follows bearing a riposte: “I still love you. — God,” with another line that says, “2.1 billion Christians are good with God.”

A clash of beliefs has rattled this city ever since atheists bought ad space on four city buses to reach out to nonbelievers who might feel isolated during the Christmas season.

The problem, of course, is those damned uppity atheists, who don’t know their place in Texas — the Buckle of the Bible Belt — and who won’t stay silent and invisible:

“We want to tell people they are not alone,” said Terry McDonald, the chairman of Metroplex Atheists, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, which paid for the atheist ads. …

But the reaction from believers has been harsher than anyone in the nonbeliever’s club expected. Some ministers organized a boycott of the buses, with limited success. Other clergy members are pressing the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to ban all religious advertising on public buses. And a group of local businessmen paid for the van with the Christian message to follow the atheist-messaged buses around town.

These militant Christians have all kinds of excuses for why they’re so incensed about the atheist ads. First, the “it’s the holiday season” objection:

“It’s a season to share good will toward all men,” [Rev. Kyev Tatum Sr., president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference] said. “To have this at this time come out with a blatant disrespect of our faith, we think is unconscionable.”

Well, golly gee, Pastor … I had absolutely no idea that those vicious atheists were supposed to consult their calendars and mark off entire months in which never to advertise!

Next, it’s the “public property” objection:

“I’m not against them getting their message out,” said the Rev. Julius L. Jackson, pastor at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. “I just don’t think it should be on public transportation.”

That said, religious groups can advertise on Ft Worth buses, as the Times points out:

Dick Ruddell, the president of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, said churches were free to advertise. … “There is nothing in the policy about religious content,” he said.

So those atheists are supposed to refrain from doing something that’s otherwise permissible, because … uh … er … um … what was that reason, again?

Hat tip: The Friendly Atheist blog.

Photo credit: Chairman Meow.

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