Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Support the Atheist Bus Campaign and see atheist ads on London buses

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When comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine joked back in June on Comment is Free about atheists chipping in to get ads on London buses to counter those with the off-putting Bible quotes ("When the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"), she didn't think the idea would actually take off. Indeed, as she says in our forthcoming diary (you'll have to wait for that one), she only called the bus ads company for a quote so she had the punchline for her article.

Four months later and Ariane, with the support of the British Humanist Association and a certain Professor R. Dawkins, has just officially launched the Atheist Bus Campaign. Here's the deal – for £5,550 you can put an ad on 30 London buses for 4 weeks, which if you do the maths means the campaign needs 1,100 people to donate £5 each. And just to make things even better, Richard Dawkins has agreed to match all contributions up to £5,500, so if you all raise that amount the campaign will have £11,000 – that's two rounds of 30 buses for 4 weeks.

And the slogan? Well, as you can see in the mock-up above they're keeping it bright and positive, nicely countering those Bible ads, and it reads "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life".

Great, isn't it? You can donate right now by visiting the fundraising page – at the time of writing they're over halfway there after just 10 hours, so you can help push it further towards that magic £5,500 mark. If you want to learn more or show some additional support (on top of donating, of course) then visit the campaign's website and join their Facebook group.

The campaign's had loads of media coverage today (and as I hinted at above we've got some more coming up), having already been featured in the Guardian, the Telegraph and The Times, as well as on BBC News 24 and various radio stations.

If you're still wondering whether to get involved, I think it's best I leave you with Richard Dawkins' endorsement of the campaign:
"Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride – automatic tax breaks, unearned 'respect' and the right not to be 'offended', the right to brainwash children. Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side. This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion."

18 comments:

AT said...

What an incredibly polite, light-hearted way of getting across a point. Maybe between this and the christmas comedy special the more outspoken religious element will catch on to the value of a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

We need the same in the USA.

Champ said...

Yeah but if we did this in the US, it'd be an insult blah blah blah and it would be somehow found as lying or something (although it is freedom of speech), it is "limiting the rights of religion" by saying that what they believe is true is in fact a lie.

Lynne Harrison said...

You need to remove the "probably"

Dave said...

I'm with Lynn. The "probably" still feeds their false hopes. We need tough love to to get this message across! If someone steps up to do this in the US i'll donate 5x.

Anonymous said...

Wow... you guys are going to be in for the biggest shock of your life one day. Your futile attempts to explain away God are... well, futile.

Mock away, mock away while you still can. You can have you own opinion that God doesn't exist, but you don't get your own truth and reality.

Everywhere you look, evidence of God's creation is there. You're standing on it right now. Pull the shutters up from your eyes and set aside your pride and you'll see it.

Benjamin said...

Funny, when I look around I see a lot of evidence contradicting the idea of God.

You need to stop acting like you understand reality and realize we know very little. That, and there's probably no God.

sarahelizabeth said...

Great idea and much needed in the US

Dave said...

If you talk about "evidence of god" as nature all around us, then amen, brother! But i assume you mean one of the thousands of gods from one of the thousands of books written & rewritten in just the last few earthly millennia by humans with agendas, claiming to be 'tools of god' writing 'god's word' as it corresponds to their mortal wishes. in that case, i proclaim from the same credibility those guys did that i am writing god's word right here right now, which are...are you ready for it?? "I DON'T EXIST, NOW GO ENJOY YOUR LIFE"

Kim said...

I agree with champ, anonymous and sarahelizabeth. We need this in the US. Being around all of the religious obsession in this country is just painful.
...but who cares about freedom of speech anyway? =(

Thomas said...

This is GOD speaking!!! All this blasphemy aches my brittled old bones. Get back to your church and pray that I don't strike vengeance upon everyone, except anonymous.

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea, and I now have that much more respect for Dawkins for supporting it so wholeheartedly. I dream of a day when examples of True freedom of speach such as this will find their way into my area (East Texas).
Just be aware that as our civilization continues to gain and spread knowledge (thereby dissolving religion), religious factions will only get more and more desperate to maintain their brainwashing hold on their current and future members. It's going to get worse before it gets better!
It does brighten my every day to know that religion, as a whole, is on its way OUT. =)

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's a BAD idea - What a great way to breed hate and discontent towards believers via public transportation...


why can't we all just.... get along...


Your mind shouldn't be SO open that your brain falls out.

Anonymous said...

I think if this inspires hate and discontent with anyone, the fault lies within THAT person(s). This is very, very, very mild compared to a large portion of religious propoganda.
I used to argue (politely) with people on this issue, but after so many years, I've learned to weed out the people who can't or won't listen. If you are that convinced in your belief in an involved God, read some of my Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins material. Then we'll debate. I've read the bible over a dozen times, so I'm ready when you are. =)

Anonymous said...

"Wow... you guys are going to be in for the biggest shock of your life one day."

Actually no we won't be in for the biggest shock of our lives, since we won't find out anything until our lives are over.

"Everywhere you look, evidence of God's creation is there. You're standing on it right now. Pull the shutters up from your eyes and set aside your pride and you'll see it."

Wow, you're right. Now that I've cast aside my pride, I can finally see the majesty of Allah. Thank you for opening my eyes. Perhaps I should also give some credit to Zeus, the Shinto kami, and Ra while I'm at it.

Tim said...

It's refreshing in light of all those selfish childish religionists cramming their "beliefs" down everyones' throats and trying to be dictator by funneling money into bigoted efforts to corrupt states' constitutions to bash consenting adults' rights in order to draw attention away from clergy abuse of alter-boys and consummating polygamous marriages with under-age girls.

Ben said...

@religious anonymous: You are so right! Why even try to study or figure out the origin of earth, animals, and the entire universe? The kind of thought, technology, creativity, and problem solving skills needed to try to form a guess at why or how we got here is way too hard to accomplish. So why even try? Exactly, don't. Because the answer is God. There, now I'm smarter than the best scientists because I can answer questions they cant. Why are we here? God. Why did our circulatory system evolve this way and why don't all other animals have the same system for supplying their body with oxygen? God. Case closed. You're stupid if you dont know the answers to lifes greatest questions cuz its just God, duh. I'm so smart, just like anonymous.

Good person said...

I'm surrounded by people who have an unfettered belief in god, who know for sure that he exists. I'm tired of hearing this blind belief over and over again that is totally unjustified, has no grounds and can not ever be proved. I start to lose a bit of respect for people when they share their views because they have obviously not questioned their belief, for if they did they would arrive at a different conclusion.I do not understand how seemingly intelligent and educated individuals can even conceive of the idea of the existence of a god. I feel sorry for those who need to cling on to the hope that there is a god out there who loves us etc etc. There must be something lacking in their lives. Like the dude said on the news, there is as much chance of a tooth fairy or santa clause existing as there is a god. For me, they all come under the same category and will be one of the bed time stories I tell my children before they go to bed. Furthermore, I have more morals than the majority of people I know, and not for any other reason than the fact that I am a good person and do not do things for personal gain. Peace and love