News

Atheist bus ads warring with monotheistic bus ads in Texas

Pin it

There's a battle over the roads in Fort Worth, Texas. But unlike in, say, New York, it's not cyclists versus the combustion engine — down in the Lone Star State, it's atheism versus monotheism.

Oh wait, scratch that — it's almost exactly like it is in, say, New York.

The public buses down in Dallas' twin city are carrying atheist messages like "Millions of people are good without God." The religious are retaliating with their own vehicular ads, ones that carry assurances like “I still love you. — God” and “2.1 billion Christians are good with God.”

To get to the bottom of this, the theologically whiplashed New York Times did that journalism thing that they love doing:

“We want to tell people they are not alone,” said Terry McDonald, the chairman of Metroplex Atheists, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, which paid for the atheist ads. “People don’t realize there are other atheists. All you hear around here is, ‘Where do you go to church?’ ”

The paper then surveyed non-Fort Worth places with experience in the matter. Vandals destroyed similar ads in Detroit, Sacramento, and Tampa, FL, while Des Moines, IA, outright banned atheist ads… for four days, after which they reversed their position.

But Des Moines, IA, ain't Texas, where reaction is far more "forceful" than in the other locales:

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.

The atheists are sticking to their guns, however. “It can be pretty lonely for a nonbeliever at Christmastime around here," the atheist leader guy said. "There is so much religion. We thought, ‘What the heck? Nobody owns December.’ ”