If you’ve been stopped in your tracks recently by a bus with an ad on it proclaiming: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” you’re not imagining things.
The atheist bus campaign was sparked last June when London-based journalist Ariane Sherine saw a bible quote on two London buses. Irked by this religious branding she wrote a flippant opinion piece for the Guardian’s blog site suggesting that atheists do the same.
It seems lots of people agreed. She got so much support from readers, journalists, organisations and figures such as Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion), that a campaign took off. The British Humanist Association took up the gauntlet and organised the money-raising, aiming for £5,500 which, matched by Richard Dawkins, would pay for a poster campaign on 30 London buses for a month. But within two months they’d raised £126,000 alone and so the ad campaign went national, with follow-up slogans planned.
It created a global debate with similar actions happening in Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA, which in turn prompted counter ad campaigns from religious groups.
Buses sporting the ad in Sparkland can be seen in Bristol, Cardiff, Newport and Oxford.
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To find out more contact The British Humanist Association: 020 7079 3580, www.humanism.org.uk
Written by Hannah Latham
First published issue 56 (Spring 2009)
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