Atheist Bus Ad Controversy

Ali de Bold
on Mar 06, 2009 @ 02:19 pm

I'm just wondering what you guys think about this. There is quite a discussion that has been generated from it and people are very passionate about it on both sides.

What's your take?

5 Replies

don't like it on Mar 06, 2009 @ 04:14 pm

Straight up, I am an atheist/agnostic. Either way you want to define those words, there is no god who is a part of my life. Nonetheless, I do not think its right for atheists to parade around and impose their non-beliefs on others. Just the same, I HATE It when religious folks push their views on me. Whether it be subtle or blatant, I hate it.

There are many businesses out there that freely, albeit sometimes subtly, proclaim their religious virtues. Places like this drive away any business I may have had w/ them. For example, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. In-n-Out burger prints a scripture on the base of their cups. A local ice cream parlor has a scripture painted in the corner of their wall mural.

I guess people are free to express what they want. And likewise, I choose not to give the companies that express their religion any of my business. So in turn, if I were to see one of the atheist bus ads, I would not ride that bus.

I must admit though, I guess I am a bit hypocritical, though. I often fancy a good Indian or Thai restaurant and they often have statues or portraits of their respective gods. Be that as it may, since Hinduism and Buddhism are not mainstay religions in the USA, I see the religious shrines in their restaurants as cute and quaint. Yes, I know, hypocritical. Shrug

Ali de Bold
Interesting on Mar 07, 2009 @ 08:56 pm

I think there is a difference between having a faith and trying to impose it on others.

Question for Spotty: If you say you won't go to a restaurant because they are closed on Sundays (and therefore must be an establishment owned by Christians), isn't that a form of discrimination/intolerance too? Would that be different than saying, "I don't want to go to a restaurant that is owned by ?"

I try not to judge people based on their beliefs because it's their actions that are the most important. In any religion it is the people who take things to extremes that cause the strife. A person truly following their faith (regardless of which one) will actually be loving and more tolerant than most because that is what their faith expects of them.

We have very good friends who are Muslim, Jewish, Christians and other major religions - all of whom take that faith seriously - but none of whom fit the stereotype of 'religious people' of being judgmental and pushy.

I do believe in God and I try to live my life in a way that reflects that by my actions, not by preaching at people. I think it's really important to respect other faiths and likewise to respect that some people don't buy it and don't want to hear about it.

What makes the atheist campaign amusing to me is that they went to the trouble and a lot of expense to run a campaign about what they don't believe in.

Either way I think discussion on any topic is a good thing.


not really on Mar 08, 2009 @ 09:33 am

Question for Spotty: If you say you won't go to a restaurant because
they are closed on Sundays (and therefore must be an establishment
owned by Christians), isn't that a form of discrimination/intolerance
too? Would that be different than saying, "I don't want to go to a
restaurant that is owned by ?"

The restaurant is widly known to be a Christian establishment and proudly proclaims it, so no assuming on that one. I don't view my statements as intolerance or discrimination. To me its just a matter of free speech and the freedom to do business as you wish. They've established a business that works for them. How they so aggressively instill Christianity and faith and morals in their employees and business practices is off-putting to me, so I choose not to eat there. Its no different than someone choosing not to eat at an Indian restaurant b/c they don't like Indian food.

Please don't read me wrong. I have no problems w/ people following a faith. And like MC, I have friends that proclaim many different faiths. Whatever means people seek morality and good-naturedness is fine by me. I just don't like it when it enters public domain and is impressed upon me.

Ali de Bold
Fair enough on Mar 08, 2009 @ 01:48 pm

Thanks for the additional explanation, Spotty. I think I understand what you meant now. :)

No problem with it on Mar 08, 2009 @ 03:22 pm

I find it was more of an agnostic bus ad than an atheist one, as the
word "probably" was put in there. When you're saying "There probably is
no god" you're acknowledging that there might be one.

I have no problem with their message because they were saying don't
worry about pleasing some man up in the heavens, live life like you
want. Religious groups put up ads all the time, but we don't see it as
pushing their beliefs in our face, because we feel a little afraid to
confront it, yet when it's an agnostic ad it's seen as more of an
attack. We write news stories about it, even though it's nothing new.There's no new method being used.

I don't find anything wrong with telling people to enjoy their lives.
It's not insulting in the slightest, but just saying that there's
probably no god, but even if there is one go out there and enjoy
yourself instead of always watching what you do. There was also the
Christian one that said "There probably is a god. Join [blah blah
blah]". I see that as more of an attack on the bus ad, because they are
blatantly copying the style and everything, but hey as long as it has a
positive message to people, I'm fine with it.

I have no problem with people posting their beliefs. If other religions
(mostly notably Christianity) are allowed to put their beliefs
everywhere, whether instilling them in the government, creating ads and
flyers and whatnot, why can't agnostics or athiests do a simple thing
like a bus ad without people attacking them?

Anyways, I might not have made much sense, but those are just my thoughts.

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