British atheists launch ‘no God’ ads on buses

January 7th, 2009 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 7 (IANS) In a move to counter Christian advertisements running on London buses, an association of atheists has launched a “no God” advertising campaign on buses across Britain and on the London Underground with the slogan: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”A total of 600 buses in Scotland, England and Wales and 200 bendy buses in London will carry the slogan for four weeks following a fundraising drive that raised more than 140,000 pounds. The money raised will also pay for 1,000 advertisements on London underground and a pair of giant LCD screens opposite Bond Street tube station in Oxford Street.

The fund-raising drive developed from a suggestion by British comedy writer Ariane Sherine in a blog post on the Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ column last June. It found support from the British Humanist Association (BHA), prominent atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins and philosopher A.C. Grayling, among others.

At the launch of the campaign in London, Sherine said: “This is a great day for freedom of speech in Britain and I’m really excited and thrilled that the adverts have been approved and I hope that they will make people smile on their way to work. I am very glad that we live in a country where people have the freedom to believe in whatever they want.”

The organisers also unveiled a set of quotes from public figures - including Albert Einstein, Douglas Adams and Katherine Hepburn - who have endorsed atheism, or at least expressed scepticism about a Creator.

Hanne Stinson of the BHA said the advertisement was a simple statement of non-religious belief designed to reassure people there was no reason to worry about being non-religious.

Theology think tank Theos and the Methodist Church said it was a great way to keep people thinking about God.

However, the offices of London Metro, the government body responsible for the city’s buses and subways, received several complaints from the devout about the advertisements.

The initiative of the atheists prompted non-believers in Spain and Italy who are now likely to launch a similar campaign in Barcelona and some Italian cities, The Guardian has reported. In the US, some buses in Washington have already been carrying such advertisements supported by the local humanist association.

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