Wednesday, February 04, 2009

We’re atheists, thank God!

Oh, the furor over some bus ads! A few simple words can spark controversy, hate and censorship. This all comes courtesy of a group called Humanist Canada and their new ad campaign entitled “Good without God” making its way onto the sides of some city buses. But not in Halifax, where the folks at Metro Transit have deemed the ads too controversial. Here’s the story along with a bunch of comments from readers.

In my humble opinion, I quite like the campaign. It’s so sublime it borders on brilliant. Does it change my mind about God or Jesus? No. I think this particular organization is entitled to a POV. As long as the ads are not derogatory toward another religion – go ahead, buy your ads and support the local economy. Lord knows we need it!

The mission of the Humanist Canada organization is “to promote the separation of religion from public policy and foster the development of reason, compassion and critical thinking for all Canadians through secular education and community support.”

Ok, fair enough, it’s an atheist group whose main guiding principle is to “reject beliefs held in absence of verifiable evidence, such as beliefs based solely on dogma, revelation, mysticism or appeals to the supernatural.” Sounds like they are just promoting rationale thinking. I know a few warring countries that can use a dose of rationale thinking!

So why the ban? Why the censorship? Don’t other religious groups advertise and proclaim the way to salvation? I mean, isn’t there one ad-toting religious fundamentalist group whose strong belief is in plural marriages? Is that ok?

At the end of the day, Humanist Canada will have achieved so much advertising value and brand recognition with the PR buzz generated that they will have more than accomplished their goal of getting the word out. In fact, I didn't see the bus ad in Toronto, I read it about it online!

Small miracle indeed ... and a lesson to all!


Sarah said...

Thought you might want to see the Toronto version.

Adrienne said...

Absolutely love the ad for those of us who can put it in perspective.

My only criticism is (and this might just be stemmed from years of defending, not even debating, my position as an atheist) that for most, this perhaps to light-hearted ad might simply fuel the idea that atheist are lacking in moral structure. I would have loved to see a more blunt (and I think this is the first time I would prefer a blunt over subtle ad) telling people it might be time to take responsibility for their actions.