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Tuesday, 21 October 2008


The following piece recently appeared on the Guardian "Comment is Free" site. I love the idea of the Atheist Bus Campaign. It's good to see those of us who are rationalists and humanists taking positive action.
I hope as many of you who can will donate to this excellent campaign.

Comment is free
All aboard the Atheist Bus Campaign
It's real, it's happening: you can sponsor the first atheist advert on a bus – and Richard Dawkins will match your money
Comments (537)

Ariane Sherine,
Tuesday October 21 2008 07.00 BST

The Atheist Bus Campaign launches today thanks to Comment is free readers. Because of your enthusiastic response to the idea of a reassuring God-free advert being used to counter religious advertising, the slogan "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" could now become an ad campaign on London buses – and leading secularists have jumped on board to help us raise the money.
The British Humanist Association will be administering all donations to the campaign, and Professor Richard Dawkins, bestselling author of The God Delusion, has generously agreed to match all contributions up to a maximum of £5,500, giving us a total of £11,000 if we raise the full amount. This will be enough to fund two sets of atheist adverts on 30 London buses for four weeks.
If the buses hit the road, this will be the UK's first ever atheist advertising campaign. It's an exciting development, which I never expected when I first proposed the idea on Cif in June. Back then, I was just keen to counter the religious ads running on public transport, which featured a URL to a website telling non-Christians they would spend "all eternity in torment in hell", burning in "a lake of fire". When I suggested the atheist counter-slogan (now shortened for readability), the response was extremely positive, and hundreds of you pledged your support after the follow-up article.
As you read this, a new advertising campaign for Alpha Courses is running on London buses. If you attend an Alpha Course, you will again be told that failing to believe in Jesus will condemn you to hell. There's no doubt that advertising can be effective, and religious advertising works particularly well on those who are vulnerable, frightening them into believing. Religious organisations' jobs are made easier because there's no publicly visible counter-view to refute their threats of eternal damnation.
The Atheist Bus Campaign aims to change this. In addition to the slogan, the adverts will feature the URLs of secular, humanist and atheist websites, so that readers can find out more about atheism as a positive and liberating alternative to religion. We've also set up an interactive campaign website and Facebook group, so that questions raised by the adverts can be publicly debated.
CBS Outdoor, the bus advertising company, will run the atheist adverts in January if the funds are raised – but we need your help to make this happen.
Your donations will give atheism a more visible presence in the UK, generate debate, brighten people's day on the way to work, and hopefully encourage more people to come out as atheists. As Richard Dawkins says: "This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think – and thinking is anathema to religion."
To donate to the Atheist Bus Campaign, please visit here.


Stewart Cowan said...

"It's good to see those of us who are rationalists and humanists taking positive action."

From what I've read of your writings Mrs/Miss Honeyball, you are neither rational nor humanist.

In the traditional sense of humanism, i.e. regarding the dignity and value of humanity, you fail as you are pro-abortion, arguably the most effective means of degrading, devaluing and shaming humanity.

There is nothing rational about it either, just as there is nothing rational about attacking Christianity and I'll tell you why.

Religion rules the world over, whether it is Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism or Satanism/Luciferianism or whatever.

Mary Honeyball, I would say you were an atheist, but highly attracted to the blood sacrifice associated with Satanic rituals, hence your love of abortion and probably euthanasia - and you were praising Marie Stopes the other day.

To remind you, she advocated sterilisation of those deemed "unfit for parenthood" including those who were ill, suffered alcohol problems, the 'feebleminded', revolutionaries and half castes."

She had many other strange and unsavoury ideas, but why do you praise a woman who advocated eugenics along Nazi lines?

Back to what I was saying about religion ruling the world. What is filling the vacuum that people like you have created by shoving out what were our common Christian values and laws?

I'll tell you. Despair, depression, hopelessness, suicidal feelings, murder, low self-esteem and FEAR.

No wonder, when your education system drums into children that they are decended from pond scum.

You might say, but that's the truth. A theory is only a theory and much evolutionary science is fraudulent or just wishful thinking - NOT truth!

The calls for Sharia law (including by the "Archbishop of Canterbury" - the druid gets inverted comma treatment) will undoubtedly be met due to the PC climate and cowards and traitors in 'high' places.

This is because there is always a hierarchy of belief systems.

What the atheists are actually doing is changing this country from a caring, compassionate and just society under God, to a degenerate, selfish, unfair and dangerous place.

Christ said to the people ready to stone the adulteress - "he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

What does the impending Sharia law demand as 'justice'?

Do you think it will help your feminist cause?

Christians want adulterers and homosexuals to be changed, not stoned to death, but you are risking the latter, because the Muslim's duty is to conquer for Allah.

One definition of religion is this: "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion."

You are religious, Mary Honeyball, but not in a saving way.

Your soul will live on, as will everyone else's.

Do you think there is a humanist heaven for unbelievers or will universal justice demand you pay for all your sins without possibility of reprieve or redemption?

As for Richard Dawkins saying that "thinking is anathema to religion."

He must also mean his and your religion of atheism, because I can think just fine.

Jon Worth said...

Thanks for posting this Mary - most appreciated!

We could do with taking this Europe-wide so please do tell EP colleagues about it.

Most of the programming for the campaign site was done in Brussels about 1km from the EP actually... :-)

Martin Meenagh said...

This bus campaign sounds like a bit of fun. When Florence on the Magic roundabout completely lost it, she turned into a 'number 13 to the strand' as I recall. What bus will you be when caricatures of catholicism finally make you pop a vessel Mary?

'Tis an important point since you'll have to find your way back here next year so that your friends in the party can reappoint you from a list after a pretend election. Please don't be a number 74, that comes near me.

Martin Meenagh said...

I completely apologise. It was Ermintrude who went mental, and decided that she was a number 12. My bad.

I am developing a bizarre affection for this batty blog. Please do not reciprocate.