10 feb. 2009

Anti-ateistisk busskampanj i London

Efter den uppmärksammade ateistkampanjen på Londons bussar häromsistens har tre kristna organisationer nu tagit ut en motannons. Den lyder så här:
Christian Party: "There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and
enjoy your life."
Trinitarian Bible Society: "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no
God. Psalm 53,1."
Brittiska Humanisterna ha svarat i ett pressmeddelande.

We entirely support free expression and freedom of belief, and so fully support the right of these Christian groups to place their ads on buses. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Of course, there are differences between the Atheist Bus ads and the new Christian ones and I want to take this opportunity to reflect them.

Our ads were a response to ads run by jesussaid.org whose website promised an eternity of hellfire for non-Christians. Our response message, suggested by comedy writer Ariane Sherine was intended to be reassuring, telling people not to worry and enjoy life, as there was probably no god and so no cause to fear an eternity of hellfire.

Our ads were funded entirely by thousands of individual donors who gave small amounts in an outpouring of popular support for the positive message. The ads now launched in response to our response are funded by organisations or wealthy individuals.

Our ads were positive and peaceful. They didn’t say, for example, that religious people were ‘fools’, unlike one of the response ads being run, which says that "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."

Our ads were undogmatic and funny, with the addition of the ‘probably’ in line with the continuing openness of humanists to new evidence and in an echo of previous funny ads, like the Carlsberg ad which stated that it was ‘probably the best lager in the world’. The new ads are dogmatic and declaratory, leaving no room for reason and debate.

Of course, these groups are free to express themselves as they choose. Our ads encouraged people to think for themselves and I am convinced that they will continue to do so.

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