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Atheist bus ads in Spokane

Ooh, this is wonderful! The Spokane Transit Authority (STA) will soon be running bus ads with the slogan “Are you good without God? Millions are”. They’ll look like this (without the “PhillyCoR.org” part, of course):

The ads will be funded by the Spokane Coalition of Reason (I live in Spokane, but have no connection to the group), a local chapter of the United Coalition of Reason.

In a rather conservative city like Spokane, this is a big deal. I’m very pleased that the STA has agreed to run the ads (the ads have been rejected by other transit systems in the past), but it’s depressing to hear that the SCoR faced legal challenges from STA’s advertising vendor, Ooh Media, who originally rejected the ads out of concern “that it could be offensive or harmful to the community”.

“Offensive or harmful to the community”? Really? There’s nothing offensive about the ad, and it certainly isn’t harmful. It’s a lovely ad, intended to raise awareness of the fact that atheists, agnostics, and other non-religious individuals exist. That’s all. Sometimes I forget that the mere existence of non-religious individuals is seen by some as “offensive” and/or “harmful”. Such reactions (see more here and here) make it clear that, despite the progress that has been made, we have a long way to go.

Still, this is a very encouraging development.

(& If you’re so inclined, please show your support for the ads by commenting here. Thanks!)

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11 Comments
  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing. I’ll be looking out for them when I visit Spokane.

    July 21, 2011
  2. Oh, how I wish these bus ads would run in Utah! However, I suspect they’ll be ice skating in Hades before that happens.

    July 21, 2011
  3. pete #

    Prettier than Palin…

    July 21, 2011
  4. I do like the slogan- it’s succinct, right-on, and it has a pretty background. However, I would prefer to go for something a little more direct. I was a fan of the slogan that was plastered on the outside of British buses a few years ago: “There’s probably no God… now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” However, I would have preferred them to have gone one step furtrher: “There’s no God… now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” I wonder how Ooh Media would have reacted that that?! :)

    July 21, 2011
  5. I like the slogan, particularly since here in NYC we have billboards asking “ARE YOU GOOD WITH GOD?” Plus, unlike the RDF ads, these aren’t telling people what to do (don’t get me started on THAT again!)

    July 21, 2011
    • I think that us lot telling the religious what to do makes for a rather refreshing change!

      July 21, 2011
  6. We had a big outcry from the Southern Baptists. They petitioned the transit authority, threatened boycott, allegedly rough housed some of the transit employees – and then pushed for NO religious ads of ANY sort to be allowed on the transit system (to get around the discrimination issue). Got tons of press: http://www.dfwcor.org/press-coverage/. More than the few thousand that we spent on the ads thenselves. They even hired a poster van – to drive BEHIND the buses with their own counter slogan (god still loves you)… I was not prepared for that one.(http://www.vimeo.com/17893985).

    July 22, 2011
  7. Robert #

    Absolutely essential that we get our message out

    July 23, 2011
  8. oriole #

    Anyone remember the similar “you can be good without God” ads that some religious types found offensive? What if we atheists ran an ad campaign with the slogan “you can be good WITH God”? This could provide entertainment value, as they’d probably find that even more offensive, because of the implication that anyone might doubt it.

    But it’s probably too much to hope that easily offended Christians would then notice their own inconsistency.

    July 29, 2011
  9. In holland, you can now be christian and atheist at the same time. Basically good with god, but a god who isn’t supernatural? Weird http://tonyryan.org.uk/?p=636

    August 5, 2011

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