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Evidently it WILL Play in Peoria! November 22, 2008

Posted by sociallyacceptableinsanity in Atheism.
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Last month I wrote about The Atheist Campaign’s efforts to place advertisements on British buses reading “There’s probably no God.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”  I thought the ad campaign was a good idea but wondered if it would “play in Peoria,” meaning that I thought that Americans were so overly-religious that such a campaign would never get off the ground here.  I guess I was wrong about that, and I must say that I’ve never been more delighted to be proven so.

Just in time for Christmas,The American Humanist Association is spending $40,000 to place this slogan on Washington, D.C. buses:  “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”

It’s a pretty innocuous message, really, but of course it has already sparked outraged protests from religious groups.  Tim Wildmon (now there’s an odd moniker for a religious man), president of the American Family Association, has this to say about the campaign.

“It’s a stupid ad,” he said. “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”

Well, Mr. Wildmon, the ad is not stupid, but your asking “how do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God?” is stupid.  There are plenty of people in this world, myself included, who have no problem whatsoever defining good without receiving assistance from a mythical being.  Are you saying that belief in god is the only thing that is keeping you from breaking laws and hurting people?  That’s pretty scary…and crazy.

Mathew Staver, chairman of the Christian group Liberty Counsel, also weighed in with his two-cents, saying “It’s the ultimate grinch to say there is no God at a time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Christ. Certainly, they have the right to believe what they want, but this is insulting.”

Why is it insulting?  Has it ever occurred to Mr. Staver that it is insulting to have other people’s religious belief thrown in one’s face constantly, and to be treated as if you are a second-class citizen because you have chosen rational thought over blind ignorance and wish-fulfillment?

I think it’s about time that we had a little balance when it comes to expression of faith and belief, and I think that this ad campaign is being launched at exactly the right time.

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