Texas Christians Freak Out Over Atheist Bus Ads

Cities deep in Christian country are well-known for their vocal proselytizing, but when your viewpoint veers off the God script, watch out. That's what atheists in Fort Worth, Texas, are discovering, as a new non-godly ad campaign on buses is being attacked by local believers. According to the New York Times,clergy members and others are trying to take down ads saying “Millions of people are good without god,” even as a majority of religious-related campaigns tout Christianity in that city.

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.

But the little war in Fort Worth is just a larger indicator of a trend playing across the United States, says the Times. Billboards in various other cities have invoked similar opposition and even vandalism, even in outwardly liberal Manhattan:

“In New York City, a large billboard promoting atheism at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel, which a local affiliate of American Atheists paid for, has generated controversy. (The message: “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason!)”

The religious ad-space stand-off is particularly acute at this time of year, when atheist groups take out ad space to help non-believers feel not-alienated around Christmastime. Read more at the Times.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at December 14, 2010, 4:17am

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