Atheists and believers get kicked off the bus

By David Waters The only redeeming thing about Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s decision to ban religious ads on city buses … Continued

By David Waters

The only redeeming thing about Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s decision to ban religious ads on city buses was the lead on Gordon Dickson’s story about it in the Star-Telegram.

The end is near for religious advertisements on Fort Worth buses,” Dickson wrote, striking just the right tone.

Sometimes you have to wonder if the end is near for all of us. Children around the world are dying by the thousands from preventable disease, impoverishment and war and what are we obsessing over?

Bus ads.

It all started in London two years ago, when the British Humanist Association paid to put this message on buses there: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

Christian groups responded with their own busboards: “There definitely is a God; so join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.”; “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”; and “There IS a God, BELIEVE. Don’t worry and enjoy your life.”

Wasn’t this a Monty Python episode?

The frivolity moved across the pond to Washington. The American Humanist Association bought $40,000 worth of space on 200 Washington D.C. Metro buses for this ad: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”

Not wanting to be left behind, the Center for Family Development, a Catholic-based nonprofit in Maryland, countered with a few ads with this message: “Why Believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness’ sake.”

Then things got ugly. Atheists, humanists and freethinkers launched similar offensives in Italy. Australia, Ireland, Spain and America, and were met with various levels of Christian resistance:

Outright rejection:

The Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR) tried to buy bus ads in Genoa that read: “La cattiva notizia è che Dio non esiste. Quella buona è che non ne hai bisogno”. Translation: “The bad news is that God does not exist. The good news is that you don’t need him”.

Catholics objected and an Italian organization regulating the billboards responded with some bad news, rejecting the ad on grounds it may “offend the moral, civic and religious convictions of the public.”

Vandalism:

The Detroit Coalition of Reason paid to put this ad on 12 city buses: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” Disbelieving believers, or maybe just pranksters, tore off the ‘Don’t’ on three signs. Atheist bus ads and billboards also have been vandalized in Tampa, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Iowa.

Counteroffensives:

The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason bought bus ads that read: “Millions of people are Good without God.”

A religious group hired a billboard truck to drive behind those buses with these messages: “I still love you — God” and “2.1 Billion People are Good With God.”

Then, someone bought a religious ad to appear on the city buses. The atheist message was on the side panel; the religious message was on a rear panel. It read: “What is there really is a God?”

If there really is a God, let’s hope he has a great sense of humor and infinite patience.

When it comes to expressions of religious dissent, bus ads are preferable to bullets or bombs. But do believers or nonbelievers really think that a slogan on the side of a bus would persuade anyone to believe or not believe in God?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was on the side of a city bus.

The Fort Worth transit board wisely decided to end the war of words by banning religious ads on buses.

Thank God or goodness, the ban won’t prohibit Texas Christian University from buying bus ads for its undefeated football team.

In Texas, everyone believes in football.

About

  • lepidopteryx

    Does anyone erally think that they’re going to change someone’s religious beliefs with a placard on the side of a moving bus?

  • raschumacher

    Atheists, Christians, feh. You’re all gonna burn in Aztec Hell when Quetzalcoatl comes back.

  • dastubbs

    Why am I not amazed that christians are so insecure in their faith that they feel the need to vandalize? Haven’t christians ALWAYS behaved like this? Simple minds believing that if they tear it down the idea no longer exists. That’s just silly. Since vandalism didn’t work, their new idea is to limit free speech. Even their own. I feel a court test brewing.

  • mika_england

    Trying to have a rationale discussion with religious zealots about the validity of CHOOSING not to believe in ‘God’ is like trying to argue with a kindergartner; It’s pointless and just an utter waste of time.I always love how the religious always get indignant whenever we non-believers attempt to point out to them that all we really want is to just not have any religion thrown in our face. It’s we’ve thrown down some challenge to them to ‘prove’ that we’re wrong in CHOOSING not to believe. And typically they tend to get violent about their arguments.Despite the fact that most every major religion on this planet teaches the basic concepts of ‘peace’ and ‘kindness’ and ‘love’, they all end up pushing violence and hatred onto anyone who CHOOSES not to believe what they believe.Organized religion is the greatest evil ever perpetrated on mankind.

  • Freestinker

    Does anyone erally think that they’re going to change someone’s religious beliefs with a placard on the side of a moving bus?Lepi,Probably not but couldn’t the motivation just be freedom of speech, expressing an opinion for the sheer sake of expression?Many atheists have been in the closet for a long time so for them it probably just feels good to tell it to the world with nothing else expected in return.

  • wrybread

    “Does anyone erally think that they’re going to change someone’s religious beliefs with a placard on the side of a moving bus?”I see the ads not as trying to change the minds of hardcore believers, but as reaching out to people beginning to question what they have been taught, and saying “You are not alone.” Especially in hostile territory like Texas where they might not even know any “out” atheists.

  • Maddogg

    Tis the Season to use Reason! LA LA LA LAGod’s have been around since the beginning of mankind. God’s come and God’s go. I just wish we could rid of some of the Christian kooks in the US.

  • ThomasBaum

    askgees You wrote, “And exactly when was religion EVER BANNED. It hasn’t ever…..Sure some forms may have been banned in lieu of another brand.”Seems as if “they” gave it a shot in the USSR and also in China among other places.You then wrote, “One would think that by now with science pretty much debunking every religious fable you would begin to figure out that man has grown up.”Science has never and will never prove that there is not a God and just what have we “grown up” into, look at the world, it is a mess.You then wrote, “But I know, with out PERSUCUTION you have nothing…..so feel free to continue playing the victim.”Just who is “playing the victim” here?It doesn’t matter to me whether or not you believe: in God or that man is the pinnacle of existence or whatever else you might believe.I used to believe in God and then I met God and you know what, God Is a Being of Pure Love and Is a Trinity.By the way, I have also met satan and science has neither proved nor disproved the reality of satan either.I still have many “beliefs” but now I do have a few things that I know.You also wrote, “And as expected you missed the ENTIRE POINT. Blinded by your weak upbringing and inability to realize YOU MAKE THE THINGS THAT HAPEEN BOTH GOOD AND BAD NOT A MAKE BELIEVE SUPER BIENG.”Could this “ENTIRE POINT” be the fact that God gave us free will and we have been called to take responsibility for our actions rather than blaming others?As I have said, God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • muawiyah

    The Fort Worth transit board is intruding into free speech rights.The Constitution does not permit jackbooted state thugs to suppress religious speech (among other things).These people should be punished.

  • Garak

    Atheist have as much right to trumpet their views as do believers. And that drives the believers crazy. They know only they have the right to express their views. They know that god is on their side, and no one else’s. Their reaction shows the intellectual bankruptcy of their cause.

  • askgees

    Well I’ll have to call BS. As it appears you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE talking about. I was drug through the Catholic oppression and one thing is for sure. God is not who PEOPLE like you say he is. As a matter of fact HUMANS REWORTE THE BIBLE (THE NEW TESTAMENT) BECAUSE THE REAL GOD (OLD TESTAMENT) WAS A CRUEL MEAN HEARTLESS S0B. However the TRUTH hurt your feelings so you MADE UP YOUR OWN VERSION. Spare me the sermon I probably know twice as much about the subject than you do. You met God. LOL NO ONE HAS EVER MET GOD. Many claim to have MET JESUS but that’s a different story as he was flesh and bone. You may have met GOOD and may have met EVIL but nothing more. But continue on with your fairy tales if it helps you sleep at night. LOL

  • tyree230

    I don’t think anyone’s faith should be forced on another, whether its Christianity, Islam, Hindu or ATHEISM. Yes, Atheism is a faith. A little fact they ignore while pushing themselves as these rational, scientific and enlightened individuals. While I cannot scientifically prove the existence of God, an atheist cannot scientifically disprove his existence. That is the heart of any faith, the belief in something that cannot truly be known.

  • detroitblkmale30

    too funny. Hey if they can put atheist billboards up groups have a right to counter them and vice versa.Good luck trying to get a resolution if they re-allow the ads in court as similar issues have been handled in Chicago(Grand Theft Auto ads) One thing is for sure, regardless of dissenting opinions, Christians believers like myself will continue to believe, some others will learn to beleive for the first time and others will maintain their non-belief. Ads may highlight a perspective, but won’t tip the scales in either direction.

  • MarkDavidovich

    The ads are more stupid than offensive. The only almost clever thing about this is the vandals cutting out the word “don’t.”

  • detroitblkmale30

    what’s your point askgees?

  • stevie7

    Atheism is no more a faith than not playing football is a sport.”Faith: belief that is not based on proof”But atheists bbase their views only on what CAN be proved – the exact opposite of faith.

  • trumeau

    This is ridiculous and against the freedom of speech. I hope someone sue Dallas-Fort Worth. ACLU; do something good for once and sue the city.

  • Freestinker

    Yes, Atheism is a faith. A little fact they ignore while pushing themselves as these rational, scientific and enlightened individuals. While I cannot scientifically prove the existence of God, an atheist cannot scientifically disprove his existence. That is the heart of any faith, the belief in something that cannot truly be known.Tyree230,Atheism is a lack of religious faith. Do you believe in Zeus? If not, is your absence of belief in Zeus also a religious faith? Or just the absence thereof?Is not collecting stamps a hobby?Is not playing basketball a sport?Is not believing in Santa Claus also a religion?Now I’m even more confused. Can you help me out here?

  • detroitblkmale30

    Im curious, If the ads had been to attend Christmas services or pro-faith ads, would those of you decrying the violation of free speech be making the same argument??

  • trumeau

    Im curious, If the ads had been to attend Christmas services or pro-faith ads, would those of you decrying the violation of free speech be making the same argument??Response: Easy one, Yes I would. This is against freedom of speech and this country is not based on that. No matter how your feelings are hurt. The ads could also had been in favor of an atheist event. Censoring them would be against freedom of speech.

  • detroitblkmale30

    fair enough trumeau good answer.Im not opposed to the atheist ads myself on free speech grounds anyway.

  • MaryC4

    If you really want to start a bloody struggle, try putting up signs that say “You know your parents pretend to be Santa Claus,” with a picture of a small child in pajamas peeking around a door to see parents putting a trike and other gifts under the tree. It is funny to me how most Americans are more invested in children believing in a literal Santa Claus than in God. When my five-year-old begged me, with tears in his eyes, for the truth about Santa Claus, I had to warn him that he mustn’t spread the truth to the kids in his kindergarten class. If he did, they or their parents might be angry with him. The social pressure from family and friends to instill the Santa belief is more intense than the pressure to take a child to church. As an atheist, I felt as guilty about going along with the Santa business for five years as I would have about lying to my kids that I believed in a God.It never seems to occur to anyone that promulgating the myth of Santa Claus so aggressively might later make it easier for their children to reject God as another pleasant fairytale. If it does, it at least has that value.

  • kuvasz

    “There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • thebump

    Until an atheist commits suicide, he is a liar.

  • lesbomar

    I would like to point out, there are a ton of folk that need to go and read things again. First of, The “State” is constitutionally prescribed from promoting one religion over any other, or to enact laws offering protection to a religious belief over any other. That is separation of church and state. As for censorship, it is only truly censorship if it is restrained from public knowledge. Secondly, if they allowed only christian sects and no other to advertise, that would be censorship… What they are doing is saying, for fiscal and safety reasons we will accept no advertisement that is religious in nature, from anyone, period… everyone treated equally, since apparently, all were being equally moronic… Sex and religion are fine, done in your home, behind closed windows, if I wish to know, I can ask, if you wish to share you may, or may punch me in the nose, but If I don’t ask… leave me alone…

  • massmedia77

    Science is Humanity’s attempt to explain the works of God. It really doesn’t matter though and there’s really no need to argue who’s right or wrong….we will all find out the truth in the end.

  • massmedia77

    “Straight people think nothing of being seen in public with lovers or spouses, or introducing these to family members or friends. It’s not right to expect ask gays to live any differently.”I agree. However, I also agree that it’s not right to force people to accept you. If someone finds homosexuality disgusting or shields their child’s eyes in you and your lover’s presence in public….don’t get mad. Just realize that some people will never accept a man kissing a man as “normal”. People have a right to believe as they wish as long as they do not harm others and that goes for any and everything in my book.

  • mgallo2

    askgees/?My point is hardly offensive or controversial; therefore, should not be removed. I’ll attempt to repost verbatim. Your earlier point was simplistic overgeneralization, referring to religion, and faith/spirituality more importantly in condescension with epical note to, “burning at the stake,feeding to the lion and other heinous act. These periods of corruption and cruelty are no more essentially of the faith, spiritual world and principle way-of-life of our Lord, as to say that any National blemish in our nations history defines and destroys the essence and Truth of Democracy. Periodic foolish acts of humanity cannot change or destroy enduring Universal spiritual truth.

  • Carstonio

    I also agree that it’s not right to force people to accept youGays aren’t doing any such forcing. If anything, it’s a minority of straights who are doing the forcing by insisting that gays should keep orientation private.If someone finds homosexuality disgusting or shields their child’s eyes in you and your lover’s presence in public….don’t get mad.I’m a parent myself and I don’t care if my children see gay people living openly. Because I know that the idea that homosexuality can be learned is pure crap. I’m much more concerned that my children might learn to think of gays as bad people who deserve discrimination.Just realize that some people will never accept a man kissing a man as “normal”. People have a right to believe as they wish as long as they do not harm others and that goes for any and everything in my book.This isn’t about “normal.” Seeing gay men kiss in public won’t lead to kids becoming gay themselves. Can one believe that homosexuality is “abnormal” and not also believe that gays deserve harm? I strongly doubt it. Which leads to my next point…It really doesn’t matter though and there’s really no need to argue who’s right or wrongIn principle, what one believes is less important than how one treats others. In practice, if someone believes that others with different beliefs deserve eternal suffering after death, it seems likely that this belief will motivate him or her to harm those others. Probably the single greatest cause of the persecution of Jews in Europe was the belief that they were responsible for the death of Jesus.

  • mgallo2

    Askgees/?Pay attention, now and aim for better reading comprehension; since, we partially concur, but diverge on a centrala point. Humanity HAS errored using religion to justify foolish and cruel acts, (as already noted); howvever, this can never change or destroy the spiritual/faith essence or universal truths; such as, Democracy. Nations or humanity (get off the stick, it, the US has not been alone) may have faltered at times, but Democracy will also always be an enduring principle and Truth.

  • eezmamata

    The foolish acts of a group of humans who claim to have this enduring truthiness may in fact be evidence they do not have it.People lie. The best lies, the ones that work best for the liar, are ones that get inside your preconceived notions, your gullibility, your credulity – like the priest who claims to serve your enduring truth but really is only their to serve themselves on your children.Your insistence that there are in fact enduring truths is childlike, perhaps even charming in a juvenile kind of way, do you ever ask yourself if it blinds you to the enduring ugliness which also exists?

  • Wakeupevery1

    “Two thingsThe above post is the wisest, and most American thing said here today. If our citizenry would embrace well-informed and intelligent discussion, especially on controversial topics, we would be in a far better place in many ways. Well said, Mr. Switzer!

  • mgallo2

    The words of the complete, supercilious, arrogant cynic who disavows every any possiblity, LOL. Yes, some throughout history were hypocrits, (but you miss my meaning, like your friend, Askjees). A leader may democratic rule unjustly or despoticly; howevr, this does not in itself distort, Democracy; as a religious corrupt person will not dimminish moral, spiritual value, get it, now?Rejecting “Devine” and “Special Providence” is personal choice, but if you are dismiss certain Universal Truths; i.e., Freedom, Democracy and another obvious uinmentioned value the arguement ends respectfully to disagree.Also, Atheist resent prosylitization, but Christians resent the generalization.One needs to ask, furthermore,is it wrong to introduce and offer guidance into a new faith, any more than to teach about a number of other subjects and topics?

  • DIMMY

    We are a screwed up science experiment. Some ALIEN from another world sure messed up and forgot all about us. We are a retarded ant farm with no pupose. Those who believe and those who don’t are useless and do not contribute to making this world a better place.

  • HookedOnThePost

    I love the idea of a public debate that will raise the revenues of public transportation. Public transportation is one of those things that will save our planet. So, atheists and believers will be benefiting what the creator created, if there is a creator.

  • OneWhoSpeaksTruth

    Then things got ugly. Atheists, humanists and freethinkers launched similar offensives in Italy. Australia, Ireland, Spain and America, and were met with various levels of Christian resistance:How’s this for nasty: Atheists and freethinkers were burned at the stake, Late 1400′s Spanish Inquisition and other atrocities. SAY NO TO RELIGION

  • mgallo2

    We are, therefore, some extremely lucky ants; since, according to Bill Bryson, author of A Complete History of Everything, our ant species just made it through the survival portal 1,000s of times over millenia against statistically numerical unbelievable odds. Actually, pardon the words, atheists, our existence was indeed, miraculous. From a Scientific great mind Bill, thank you for making me a believer!

  • Fabrisse

    AreYouSaying: Do these people think a bus ad is going to convert anyone either way?I don’t know. What I do know is in a city that is very overtly religious — Washington DC — the atheism ads comfort me and let me know that I’m not alone.

  • sarahabc

    I’m from the South and when I go back, I see Christian billboards EVERYWHERE (Jesus has some marketing budget.) So that this all became an issue because of a few atheist signs is unfortunate. We’ve had the other way for so long that I can’t imagine why anyone would think atheists aren’t allowed some say. Someone doesn’t believe in your God? Big deal.

  • bobdog3

    Why do Christians insist that everyone must declare whether they believe in God or don’t believe in God? And if you don’t believe, you are an “athiest”. Personally, I refuse to declare that I don’t believe in something that simply does not exist. The “belief” in God is fine for some people if that is what they choose; but as a free thinking, intelligent individual, I cannot claim to not believe in something that never was or isn’t. I don’t believe in Santa, either, but I don’t call myself a Santathist.

  • aschau66

    The bad news is that God doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need HER.

  • gonhkn

    You want to convert someone or convince them that you’re view is the right one, (no matter which side your on)? Try this instead:How about you meet a really deeply felt need for someone and do it in a way that is both loving and respectful of that individual.

  • r_leever

    If a religions god is so great, their meesage so profound….why do they have to advertise?

  • Chops2

    If god is real and can reveal himself why does he need to advertise on billboards?

  • ThomasBaum

    askgeesYou wrote, “God is not who PEOPLE like you say he is.”"PEOPLE like you”, kind of a cop out, isn’t it?I could also “group together” all atheists but I don’t for the simple reason that they are all individual people and I have spoken with some on here where there was an actual dialogue going on rather than just a double monologue.Some, both believer and non-believer, look at the “label” and some look at the person.No matter what the “label”, believer or non-believer, the old saying, “hard-headed and stiff-necked people” is applicable to many, as I said, God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof. You wrote, “Spare me the sermon I probably know twice as much about the subject than you do.”First off, it is not a sermon and second, if by the “subject” you mean the bible or religion than you probably do but I was speaking about God.You then wrote, “You met God. LOL NO ONE HAS EVER MET GOD.”How would you know?You then wrote, “Many claim to have MET JESUS but that’s a different story as he was flesh and bone.”I have never met Jesus but I have met the Father and the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit revealed to me that the Catholic Eucharist is Jesus.You then wrote, “You may have met GOOD and may have met EVIL but nothing more.”Are you saying that GOOD and EVIL are some type of being?For someone to “meet” GOOD and/or EVIL, wouldn’t they have to be some type of being rather than a mere concept?You then wrote, “But continue on with your fairy tales if it helps you sleep at night. LOL”Don’t worry, you and everyone else will “see” in God’s Time and in God’s Way that these “fairy tales”, as you put it, are anything but.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • larryclyons

    While a bit simplistic I think this partially expresses my opinion on the matter:Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right.

  • kiler616

    i laugh when i hear that christianity is under attack….every other phrase uttered on talk shows ,political and otherwise ,begins with…the bible says….if god wanted this…even in political discourse!….are you people kidding?….GOD and your BIBLE are being shoved down my throat 24/7 in a relentless assault on free thought and education…that IS what is damaging our nation beyond repair,a generation of people that in a science class will start out their thesis with…It says in the Bible….

  • kiler616

    Quote from text: “If there really is a God, let’s hope he has a great sense of humor and infinite patience.”

  • withersb

    We should just abide by the constitution; that sets the rules. I want everyone’s constitutional rights respected. That is the discussion for me.

  • arturor44

    why is it we don`t have our children to do wrong things but teach them to do good things. and what does God tell us about ourselves and why we do we fight against the truth , because you can`t take the TRUTH !

  • eezmamata

    Why is it in the christian mythology that humanity is guilty of the sins of our fathers, but “Our Father”, who art in heaven, is not guilty of the sins of his children?It’s really fun watching you believers dance around these kinds of things.A man rapes and murders all his life, but on his death bed he converts to your religion. In the intervening milliseconds between his hate-filled murderous life and his actual physical death he does NOTHING good, for anybody. But he gets to go to heaven.In the meantime, all his buddies who didn’t convert, they get to roast in hell with Ghandi and all those other non-christians who didn’t believe, who led exemplary lives, who gave everything of themselves and took nothing — all roasting in hell. In the meantime, cretins like Jerry Fallwell are up there humping god’s leg and basking in the effulgence.You people have got to be retarded to believe this crap.

  • onthejourney

    it should not matter what the ad in the bus reads – it should matter what is in your heart – let all the ads go up and those who read can admire or ignore

  • ztcb41

    This Believer just kicked an athiests off his facebook, I allowed him to join only to find out he was an athiests, and so since I don’t like athiests kicking off folks of faith I will in turn kick this athiests off of my facebook, he asks me if he could join my facebook, I agreed until I found out he’s not in touch with reality or “God.”…”In conclusion, it’s sad really to read that athiests don’t respects folks of faith, and it’s even sadder to see that they don’t believe in anything, makes you wonder “WHAT’S HOLDING THEM UP?

  • eezmamata

    do you respect muslims, ZTCB41? Do you respect the old romans, greeks, thracians, aztecs, egyptians … do you find their religious beliefs to be primitive, barbaric, even ridiculous?If you met someone today who insisted they were a fervent believer in one of these old religions, would you respect them? What would you have to say to such idiots, eh?Think about it.

  • MrSherm

    stories like this are becoming more and more rampant and personally i couldnt be happier to see that. i too am an atheist/secularist/non-theist. the one thing i want to clarify is that i see Christians (not Hindus, Muslims or Jews) constantly in defense mode. its as though you’re all afraid that we nontheists are here to steal your thunder. some of us are; okay i agree and i agree we ought to, but more importantly–and my particular stance–is less to do with deconverting Christians (or theists, period) and more to do with letting other “closet” atheists know (as Mr Terry McDonald eloquently puts it), “You’re not alone.” The secular group Im a member of called Metroplex Atheists is committed more just to informing the public and letting individuals who dont buy into the Christian/theistic themes any more that they dont have to hide. They have nothing to be ashamed or afraid of.To you theists who find it acceptable to shame and belittle and besmirch the rest of us who dont buy your beliefs: shame on you. I have been a Christian and I can recall from reading the gospels that your Christ would not be whining and complaining to the extent that I’ve seen over the past few months.In closing, happy festivus!

  • Secular

    I see this is clearly a Christian plot to limit the outreach bu Atheists and Secularists. We should sue the City of Fort Worth and their bus system. Those boards must be stacked with Christian bigotsm who cannot stand the thought that they may be exposed. These Ads may not convert people as the first order affcet. BUt as the second and third order affect it will. First more non-believers will feel empowered to come out of the closet. Which in turn will first make it OK to be an Atheist, just because of the numbers. This may persuade others and youth to think and questions the brainwashing they had endured. Which in the secondary and tertiary effects convert people to become rational. So let sue them bigots.

  • wireman65

    It’s probably best that we keep our beliefs to ourselves and not try to impose them on our neighbors. If I’m curious about your beleifs, I’ll ask. I’m not curious.

  • thebump

    @WIREMAN65: Yet somehow you yourself felt compelled to unburden yourself of your opinion without being asked. Now, that’s curious.

  • thebump

    Put this on your bus: There’s no future in atheism.

  • mshapiro2

    Wireman – It’s more than that. It’s athiests trying to let god fearing people know that they can put the fear away and believe the obvious. Your response is like don’t ask, don’t tell. I don’t want to know that you’re gay.

  • mshapiro2

    The bump – You areunfortunately, probsbly right since the world is so full of Santa Clause followers like you.

  • WmarkW

    The Fort Worth transit board wisely decided to end the war of words by banning religious ads on buses. They could decline all advertising, or limit it to government services (a count bus service near me does that), but as long as they run paid advertising, this is an unacceptable line to draw.

  • richard36

    While I may strongly disagree with some of the remarks being made, in the US censorship of this type is illegal. We have a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that prohibits this type of censorship.

  • patmatthews

    Be like a Buddhist, we do NOT advertise our faith in the media, we addvertise through our behavious as a human being. I am a Nichiren Buddhist.

  • areyousaying

    How stupid. Do these people think a bus ad is going to convert anyone either way?How about both war mongering sides donating the money for medical care for poor children who have no health insurance as a result of the theocon Jesus’ vengeful punishment of their parents for their sloth and inability to find a job in this depression?

  • blasmaic

    Technically, the Ft. Worth transportation authority should not exclude religious ads. The authority has the right to screen ads for appropriateness, but if the ad isn’t blatantly pornographic or hate-filled, then they shouldn’t block it. The constitution prohibits laws that favor or disfavor religion. An atheist taking out an ad should not later cause a church to be restricted from advertising an invitation to the public.

  • rexreddy

    Quote from text: “If there really is a God, let’s hope he has a great sense of humor and infinite patience.”God invented the Platypus then waited millions of years for humans to get the joke.

  • BlueTwo1

    Authoritarians Unite! You have mouths to seal and hands to manacle. Believe as I do or else God will get you.

  • pierrejc2

    Thank you, Texas Christians, for showing the world what a pathetic bunch of sniveling cowards you really are.(As is if we didn’t already know it.)

  • patsteuber

    It seems silly to waste good ad revenue. Besides, the messages are amusing.

  • dckid

    “The Fort Worth transit board wisely decided to end the war of words by banning religious ads on buses.”How about “foolishly decided to end the freedom of expression by banning religious ads”? Seriously! What’s the big deal if someone wants to promote their faith, without inciting hate? I for one think the “dueling” faith/atheist messages probably made people think, which is good for them.

  • rsl903

    Its heart warming to read about atheists in other countries buying ads and in effect telling those who cling to dangerously foolish supernatural creator myths that we arent going to be silent anymore. Its the 21st century! We here on Earth are all we have and its past time we treated ALL myths with the same level of credibility.

  • bproulx451

    I believe in God, it’s his followers I can’t believe in. They say turn the other cheek, then it’s off to war for Jesus!

  • Carstonio

    rejecting the ad on grounds it may “offend the moral, civic and religious convictions of the public.”They’re really concerned only about Christians being offended. Apparently it doesn’t concern them that believers in other religions might take offense at being told that they deserve eternal suffering after death. That’s not necessarily saying that one type of offense is worse than the other. The message the Italian authority is sending is that religious minorities (which includes atheists by derivation) need to be sensitive to majority feelings I see that as the real issue with the billboards and bus ads. I’ve long condemned the minority of atheists who label believers as stupid. I also recognize that for a very long time, the majority of atheists correctly perceived that society wanted them to remain in the closet, often treated as pariahs even by their own families. Other religious minorities may have suffered worse discrimination, but the principle is still the same. Christian groups put up billboards all the time, but it’s only the atheist ones that are deemed controversial and that result in rebuttal billboards. Similarly, the difference between Jesus fishes and Darwin fishes is that the owners of cars with the former rarely worry about parking-lot vandalism. There shouldn’t be a double standard on which types of religious expressions are publicly acceptable.

  • WmarkW

    Was Ft. Worth accepting church ads until the secularists got into the picture?I think it’s a First Amendment violation to suddenly decide you can only handle a monologue, not a debate, on this issue.

  • veerle1

    All of this quoting from a book of lies, whether it’s the koran or the Xtian bible, illutrates how stupid most people really are.No credible historian can find any support for any “Jesus Christ” as having been a real, breathing person. The “Corporation of Churches America, Unlimited”, are the ones sucking your monetary blood and infesting your minds with this garbage. And they always do it from the earliest point possible, to make sure it sticks. The average American is so dumb, that their plan actually worked.So, enjoy celebrating your Messiah’s no-show birthday. For the rest of you sane people, have a nice solstice.

  • Carstonio

    I don’t want to know that you’re gay.That’s actually related to the issue I just raised. A gay couple holding hands in public isn’t forcing their homosexuality on anyone, any more than a straight couple doing the same thing. Asking gay people to not show that they’re gay amounts to asking them to live in the shadows. Straight people think nothing of being seen in public with lovers or spouses, or introducing these to family members or friends. It’s not right to expect ask gays to live any differently.

  • briannholli

    I don’t think the purpose of the ads was to ‘turn’ anyone to “Atheism”. Just as religious institutions put up billboards all over the country saying ‘god is love’ and all kinds of other things along that line. In all cases, the purpose for me is to let other people know they are not alone in their lives. Religious people have been saying that forever, while also turning away and vilifying non-religious people. So the non religious are saying – come out of the dark, you are not alone, it is ok to not believe in a god. Not everyone wants to stone you. Others, who are quietly afraid around the world to speak out against the religious majority who seek to silence the non-religious, are encouraged to speak up. That is a beautiful thing. There is certainly a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ aspect around the world for atheists. Put up billboards! Yell out loud! We are here, you love us as individuals when you don’t know we are athiests, just don’t be so afraid of us or your own religion that you can’t face facts – there are a lot of non-believers in the world. THAT IS OK.

  • gggg2
  • Carstonio

    until the secularists got into the picture?They were atheists, not secularists. The latter wouldn’t have a problem with religious ads on the buses unless the transit authority was only accepting ads from some religions and not others.

  • paulhume

    I have to agree with the poster(s) who see a First Amendment case in the offing.

  • askgees

    One would assume that mankind has matured enough to realize GOD is not real. That religion has been used as a means of control for over 2000 years and that it is time to put this behind us. Unexplainable things we’re always attributed to a GOD but that’s because of mans inability to understand. Those days are behind us. One thing religion has provided is MASS DEATH FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. BAN IT NOW.

  • mhoust

    I was born into a Roman Catholic family. I endured years of religious “education”. I went to church every week, observed all the holidays. And for what?No answers beyond, “Because I said so.” And this from an organization that supported graft, larceny, child and sexual abuse, and did their best to cover up scandals and hide their misdeeds. Which shouldn’t have been surprising in light of the past 2000 years of their history.I took courses in religion to see if there was some kind of logic, some way of proving there was someone, some group, something, in charge of the universe. I did get some truth there. The answers? We can’t prove or disprove the existence of a supreme being. We don’t know if there is life after death. We do know that any mystical experience is a unique, personal experience. We think mystical experiences are manifestations of mental conditions; but we don’t know if they are caused by the brain, or working through the brain.In short, nobody knows.Fine, let them advertise all they want, as long as they pay for it.

  • hitpoints

    As you said, it’s better than bullets and bombs. What’s wrong with a vigorous debate in the public marketplace of ideas? It seems to me that buses are a suitable vehicle (ha ha) for getting messages out in the open and debated. I’m not religious, but I like this concept of dueling placards. It might get people talking and thinking – as long as they don’t start hurting each other, how is it bad?

  • jkblodge1

    As a member of the American Humanist Association I’m glad they bought the ads because it lets people who may not believe in a god know that there are others out there like them. I don’t think bus ads are going to topple Christianity or any other religion. I mean if the sheltering of Pedophiles hasn’t hurt Catholicism then what are bus ads by a group of nonbelivers going to do

  • spidermean2

    Common sense and science rules :If the atheists can make a brain, probably they have a reason to say there is no God. But if they can’t, it is better that they shut up and not spread their STUPIDITY around.Science and common sense declare that they are FOOLS.We don’t allow FOOLS to spread their stupidity around, do we?

  • askgees

    @WIREMAN65: Yet somehow you yourself felt compelled to unburden yourself of your opinion without being asked. Now, that’s curious.

  • gggg2
  • Davidd1

    Like gays, a group of citizens christians also dislike, we atheists exist and aren’t going away. We demand the right to express ourselves in public spaces. Get used to it.

  • gggg2

    “Be like a Buddhist, we do NOT advertise our faith in the media….” Posted on WashingtonPost.com by patmatthews, December 20, 2010, 8:44 a.m.Today’s moment of zen.

  • Carstonio

    Most people give up make believe friends when they grow up. I guess all but those who are weak and pathetic and much have someone to cry to. It’s inappropriate to make the ads issue about whether gods actually exist or not, and that goes for people on both sides of the question.

  • blasmaic

    If localities followed the Ft. Worth example, then religious speech would be wrongly limited. Then sometime in the future, the atheist ads will reappear and will be permitted because they are not religious.

  • SEdmo27421

    How ironic that the very God of such intense debate has given each and every person the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE to believe or not to believe in His existence.

  • stepnRazr

    As an atheist, I feel my beliefs constantly under assault by the Christian Right. The only consolation is that the Christian Right feels that their beliefs are under constant assault by atheists. In a perverse way, life is in balance.

  • tboyer33

    Every organized religion in the world got where it is through prosthelytizing (or witnessing or mission or whatever word is used). But when atheists/agnostics/humanists publically witness for THEIR beliefs, believers can’t tolerate that? What kind of religion is so insecure that it doesn’t want to be challenged? Did Jesus have Thomas beaten up for his worrisome questions?

  • morryb

    God is a result of indoctrination of very young children into believing in superstitous myths as facts. Imagine a curriculum where little Johnny or Mary is exposed to one hour of BS from a minister or priest, the next hour to a Muslim mullah, the next hour from a Rabbi and the next hour from a Buddhist, all of whom tell Johnny (or Mary)not to believe in what he (or she) heard from the others about God since the others were wrong. AND the parents butt out. And this continues from age 4 to 18.

  • mwcob

    Banning bus signs is still way better than being eaten by lions… So we’re still ahead of the game. As far as refusing to believe in God – ehhh – that’s anyone’s constitutional right. But if they’re wrong?

  • jonswitzer

    Two things

  • ThomasBaum

    bproulx451 You wrote, “”Heaven” I suspect is going to be sparsely populated.”God’s Plan is, ultimately, for ALL to be in God’s Kingdom.This does not mean that one may not make a detour to hell and/or spiritual death but God in God’s Way, by becoming One of us, won the “keys” to the “netherworld” (hell and death, spiritual and physical) and will use them in due time, God’s Time.Many, believers and non-believers alike, are like a bunch of bickering childish children even tho we are called to be child-like and to shed our childish ways.There is a world of difference between child-like and childish and aren’t we all, some of each?If God was even remotely like the egotistical, blood-sucking tic that many “believers” seem to believe God to be than one could not even say, God help us.As it is written: “My Ways are not your ways and My Thoughts are not your thoughts”, seems as if there are quite a few who have “figured out” God and have built “their perfect box” to put God into, God does not fit into anyone’s box.When Jesus’s said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”, those words are just as true now as when Jesus first spoke them and there is no * after “them”, is there?The GOOD NEWS wouldn’t be GOOD NEWS if it were only GOOD for some, it would be horrific news.God’s Plan which God has had since before creation will come to Fruition and It is even now unfolding before our very eyes, God becoming One of us is just part of that unfolding Plan.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ml1952

    Let see if I have this right. It is awful, and perhaps even disruptive of public order, for some skeptics to be as candid about their disbelief as many religious persons are about their belief.

  • huguenotklj

    Why does everybody believe it’s the job of government buses to do their religious work for them? Pray! Don’t Pray! Believe! Don’t Believe! What both sides are wanting is for the people to let them(and only them!) give somebody else some money to preach about their beliefs. If you believe in the saving grace of Jesus (and I do) go out yourself and make disciples (Matthew’s gospel says something about that). If you don’t, then go convince a believer he’s mistaken. Don’t expect the government in the form of buses to do it for you.

  • flonzy1

    As an atheist I don’t know why some atheists have to be such jerks about it.

  • ThomasBaum

    askgees You wrote, “One thing religion has provided is MASS DEATH FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. BAN IT NOW.”Hasn’t that been tried?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • smt123

    Cries of “blasphemy” and “I’m offended” are the last refuge of an idea that cannot be defended through actual thought.

  • bb211

    The comfort that the atheist ads bring is to let others who have doubts about God know that they are not alone. In extreme right-wing societies, one would never be able to express those kinds of doubt. You don’t think religious freedom (and the expression thereof) is vitally important in a “free” country? I certainly do.

  • askgees

    askgees

  • Capn0ok

    It would be the height of arrogance to say that there is no higher intellegence in the universe than Man. Our knowledge of the universe is not so much as a grain of sand to all the beaches and deserts of the world. That being said, I’ve not seen a shred of evidence that a single word of any holy scripture that has ever been written came from anywhere but the imagination of the writer. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a great sentiment, but I think anyone with any sort of moral compass could come up with it.

  • willemkraal

    Americans are smart, they have figured out that religion is a scam a major fraud , total HOKUS/POKUS.

  • cjpotter19

    As an agnostic who sympathizes with athiests, I find these bus ads to be counterproductive. The goal of athiests shouldn’t be to “convert” believers into non-believers by mockery, it should be about advocating tolerance. There’s no way these billboards are going to turn believers into non-believers, they will on antagonize those who already believe. When viewed in this light, these ads are completely counterproductive as they will only serve to make believers even more hostile towards non-believers. That and let’s all be honest here; arguing about the existence of god by means of bus advertisements is incredibly stupid and an incredible waste of time and energy, that goes for both sides. I think all parties involved in this bus dispute need to grow up a little and focus more on building bridges, not alienating people.

  • mgallo2

    askgees/?Your logic certainly does not follow, it fails in it simplistic over-generalization. Religion or faith/spirituality more importantly, is not in question, when experiencing epic, moral abuse. The corruption: “burning at the stake, feeding them to the lions,” or other to which you refer, in no way represents the principle faith and meaning itself anymore than major errors in our human history would, for example, put to judgement our National system of government, Democracy. Get my point? Our war in Iraq or even Veitnam, does not at all shake or invalidate the essential foundation of Democracy, itself, as the dark pages of religious history cannot soil the essential meaning of spiritual faith.

  • Spectator

    Marshall McLuhan was 40-50 years too early. The medium really is the message.

  • Spectator

    Give us this day our daily pharmaceutical-, cell phone, computer, -anythingmadeinChina Ads…

  • dragondancer1814

    Briannholli, I agree with you! The purpose of the atheist billboards was NOT to proselytize, but to let the Christians know that there are also non-Christians in this country who aren’t going to lockstep to their religion’s dictates and desire the same freedom to express their faith without fear of repercussions as the Christians do! For the non-Christians, some of whom may feel they’re alone out there because of the in-your-facedness of the Religious Reich, it’s a way of saying, “Hey, you’re not alone out here! There are indeed others who think the same way you do!”How ironic that the Christians, who see no harm in trampling over non-Christians’ religious freedom and acknowledgement of their holidays as well as the Christian ones (something especially obvious this time of year), scream that THEIR rights are being oppressed when the non-Christians stand up and demand THEIR right to live free from religious persecution and harassment! News flash, RR: You are NOT the only oysters in the stew! Get over it and actually follow Jesus’s words instead of merely using him as an excuse for being close-minded, bigoted rectal sphincters! You might actually LEARN something that way!It irritates me sometimes that the Religious Reich feels they can trample over the rights of the non-Christians without repercussions simply because they’re the majority, but at the same time I feel more pity for them than anything else. Pity because they are wasting so much time and energy hollering about being persecuted themselves when they have no idea what it truly means! Pity because by closing their minds, they are missing out on a terrific opportunity to learn about the non-Christians around them, what paths they follow, how their religions work, and the common thread of treating one’s fellow man the way they want to be treated that runs through all the faiths of the world. Pity because they parrot the words and don’t actually follow them. I’m sure that if Jesus is up there, he’s rolling his eyes and hollering “No no no, that is NOT what I meant, you idiots!”Happy Holidays, everybody! Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year, to name a few!

  • MarcMyWords

    You definitely have the right to build your life around a giant imaginary person that lives in the sky and spies on everything you do.Just like I have the right to belive you are completely nuts.

  • lifeonmars

    bproulx451:”I believe in God, it’s his followers I can’t believe in. They say turn the other cheek, then it’s off to war for Jesus!Best comment I’ve seen all day. And Christians question ATHEIST morality?

  • geopoet

    I would love it if the City of Ft. Worth could convince the U.S. Congress to remove ” In god we trust” from American currency, or to be fair to those with other views, alternate it with ” In greed we trust”, which you can take to the bank.

  • morphex

    Back in the days of the Cold War and Moral Rearmament (If you don’t know what that was, google it.), there were billboards in my Western New York town proclaiming that “The family that prays together stays together. We uppity high-schoolers, who knew better from simple observation, looked around us and upped the ante with the chant (we couldn’t afford to buy billboard space), “The family that prays together slays together.”I am no longer sure whether memory serves me as well as I think it does, but I think that our variation on family solidarity was insformed by some notable mass murder or other. I offer this reminiscence only as an observation on the present debate as to whether self-proclaimed atheists ought to respond to the ceaseless promotion of prayer and other pagan practices with something other than polite silence. Notice: I do not say “worshippers.” It is the professionals who bother me, and their pretensions to privilege.

  • hotdogzman

    There are approximatly 164 beliefs,sects,religions to date, and any athiest like myself has no interest in them,but in the same scheme of things many of the religions refrut the existence of certian types of other religions or sects and the way they operate so in fact they are operating as religious atheist, now thats confusing.

  • tjmlrc

    areyousaying and bobdog3,being a Cro-Magnon types, it’s understandable that you don’t get it.

  • ThomasBaum

    Kaelinda1 You wrote, “”God has such a deep reverence for our freedom that he’d rather let us freely go to Hell than be compelled to go to Heaven.” – Desmond Tutu”Not only does God have “such a deep reverence for our freedom” but God, Who Is a Being of Pure Love, took all of our sins, wrongdoing or whatever one wishes to call it, upon Himself and went to hell and death, both physical and spiritual, for ALL of us and in the process won the “keys” and will use these “keys” in due time, God’s Time.God’s Plan which God has had since before creation is for ALL to be in God’s Kingdom and God’s Plan will come to Fruition.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    schnauzer21 You wrote, “Its all or nothing when religion of any kind is involved. The transit authority can ban all religious messages or it has to allow all. It would run afoul if it said the atheist ones were ok, but not the christian one (or vice versa). Just like religious diplays on government grounds. Everybody is welcome, or no one is.”As you said, “Everybody is welcome, or no one is”, shouldn’t it be that either all ads or no ads at all, not that religious, whether belief or non-belief, should be singled out for exclusion?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • fabricmaven1

    Hello, All good Christians in America. Quit whining. Last time I looked around you own tax free real estate on every corner of every town in America. You are subsidized by local, state and federal Government. You are not under any threat. Go to church. Live your beliefs. Just please, stop whining.

  • slowe111

    .”… But do believers or nonbelievers really think that a slogan on the side of a bus would persuade anyone to believe or not believe in God?”

  • Rylee55

    “If there really is a God, let’s hope he has a great sense of humor and infinite patience”How about “If there really is a God, let’s hope S/He has a great sense of humor and infinite patience”. I’d like to see that as a billboard ad, anywhere.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    I don’t quite understand why the offense taken by Christians (generically speaking) is given more weight than the offense taken by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, little children, women, the elderly, men, gays and lesbians, environmentalists, etc., atheists, et al, in the West. And, actually, offense taken by Muslims, even, occasionally, Jews, does get attention.It shouldn’t. What is vile is another story.Otherwise, ads should be permitted supporting whatever they wish. It’s that old freedom of speech thing.Atheism and agnosticism are growing rapidly not only in the US, but worldwide.Perhaps, if religious zealots would end their corrupt and immoral practices of trying to legislate in the US Congress and muzzle freedom of speech, they would gain more adherents or at least end the flight from their houses of worship.Believe what you wish, but leave folks alone. Until you do, you will not only see ads but cartoons, etc. Get used to it and live with it. If you do truly believe, it shouldn’t bother you much, anyway.Again, I’m not supporting the vile sort of thing one finds in the ME and Asia. A different matter.

  • Rylee55

    Ok, that was a billboard idea.I personally have a faith, but i won’t even go into it here, since that’s personal, even though there also happen to be others who share it. Having a shared faith of whatever sort does not validate, anymore than having a faith that no one else does. Why do people insist on feeling that their faith is only validated by being shared, and often seem to feel it’s only validated by getting others to share it too? I hold my faith with a strong dose of agnosticism – i have come to feel that not being “sure” of the nature of the divine (which is to me pretty amorphous anyway) or of my ultimate faith, doesn’t create any sense of terror or insecurity at all. I believe there’s SOMETHING there i feel it, but i can’t prove it – but no one can disprove it either. I’ve studied enough science to be quite sure of that, and if you ever hear of scientific research that offers “absolute” proof in either direction, i’m sure it’ll make headlines – in places where free speech is allowed, anyway. Many physicists (and other scientists as well – physicists are i think probably closest in their field to being an area where research might be relevant, if there was going be any such) believe as i do, but i don’t feel that in and of itself validates my belief, it just shows that it’s possible to be a scientist and also believe that a divine, or simply an over-arching presence is there, but not provable. Some scientists hold the polarized positions on the scale as well, but from what i’ve read, they’re in the minority. A truly honest scientist knows that absolute proof isn’t possible. That’s the nature of science: there are no absolute proofs, only theories. I find it humourous that Atheists claim to have a corner on being backed up by science. I also find it humourous when those at the other extreme seek in response to diminish science. Science has it’s place, but proving or disproving a higher presence isn’t one of them. I personally think the world would be a happier place if more people were agnostic (although i’m not going to proselytize that opinion, i’m merely stating it).

  • areyousaying

    areyousaying and bobdog3,being a Cro-Magnon types, it’s understandable that you don’t get it.Posted by: tjmlrc——————————–I wish you could see my middle finger wagging at you now. Happy Holidays!

  • areyousaying

    Cro-Magnon, your Excellency?St. Augustine: “… For as it is not yet six thousand years since the first man, who is called Adam, are not those to be ridiculed rather than refuted who try to persuade us of anything regarding a space of time so different from, and contrary to, the ascertained truth?.” (The City of God, XVIII, 40)The earliest known remains of Cro-Magnon-like humans are radiometrically dated to 35,000 years before present.Areyousaying St. Augustine was wrong ???

  • beautiful-mind

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