Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Still Love You Atheists: God

As atheists declare war on Christmas through a variety of advertisements, some businessmen respond with a loving message from the Bible, but the city of Fort Worth decides to outlaw all religious advertising in its control.

-- From "Atheist Ads on Buses Rattle Fort Worth" by James C. McKinley Jr., New York Times 12/13/10

A public bus rolls by with an atheist message on its side: “Millions of people are good without God.” Seconds later, a van follows bearing a riposte: “I still love you. — God,” with another line that says, “2.1 billion Christians are good with God.”

A clash of beliefs has rattled this city ever since atheists bought ad space on four city buses to reach out to nonbelievers who might feel isolated during the Christmas season. After all, Fort Worth is a place where residents commonly ask people they have just met where they worship and many encounters end with, “Have a blessed day.”

But the reaction from believers has been harsher than anyone in the nonbeliever’s club expected. Some ministers organized a boycott of the buses, with limited success. Other clergy members are pressing the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to ban all religious advertising on public buses. And a group of local businessmen paid for the van with the Christian message to follow the atheist-messaged buses around town.

The face-off here follows efforts in other cities by several coalitions of atheists — American Atheists, the United Coalition of Reason and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, to name a few — that have mounted ad campaigns to encourage nonbelievers to seek out others of like mind. Some have compared their efforts to the struggle of gay men and lesbians to “come out” and win acceptance from society.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Religious ads banned from Fort Worth buses" by Gordon Dickson, Fort Worth Star Telegram 12/15/10

The new [Fort Worth Transportation Authority] policy is effective immediately, but existing ads will remain on buses until their contracts expire. No religious ads are under contract beyond Dec. 31, T President Dick Ruddell said.

On Wednesday, several dozen people packed the T boardroom in east Fort Worth. Atheists and church leaders applauded the decision to end religious advertising.

The T's new policy comes months after other agencies, including Dallas Area Rapid Transit, banned religious ads to avoid controversy.

The T also bans ads that are political, have defamatory or hate speech, or promote adult entertainment or alcoholic beverages other than beer and wine.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.