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Christian refuses to drive bus with atheist

 
 
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 10:43 am
Christian refuses to drive bus with atheist advertisement
by Peter Walker guardian.co.uk
Friday 16 January 2009
Company tries to accommodate employee's objections to humanist campaign

Ariane Sherine explains where the idea for the Atheist Bus Campaign came from and Polly Toynbee talks to Richard Dawkins about the word 'probably' Link to this video A Christian bus driver in Southampton has refused to take to the road in a vehicle emblazoned with an advertisement for a new campaign promoting atheism.

Ron Heather, 62, told managers at First Bus that his beliefs would not permit him to drive a bus carrying the message: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

The advertisements, initially suggested in a guardian.co.uk article by the comedy writer Ariane Sherine, first appeared on London buses and are now being placed on 800 vehicles around the country in a campaign organised by the British Humanist Association.

First Bus has made arrangements to accommodate Heather's beliefs, attempting to ensure he does not drive any of the buses carrying the advertisement.

"When I first saw the bus last Saturday I was shocked," Heather said. "I was just about to board and there it was staring me in the face. My first reaction was horror. I'd heard about this silly campaign in London but I had no idea it was coming to Southampton. I had certainly hoped they were not coming here because I didn't want to make a stand.

"I was in a dilemma but I felt strongly I couldn't drive that bus and so I went up to my inspectors and told them there was no way I could drive it. They said they didn't have another one, so I thought I'd better go home."

First Bus had been "very good" and was doing its best to ensure he did not have to drive any of the buses, he said. However, if the atheist campaign continued beyond its scheduled run to the end of February "I will seriously consider giving up my job".

A spokesman for First Bus said the company took no stance on any legal advertisements placed on its vehicles but recognised the strength of Heather's feelings and was "doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the buses concerned".

The spokesman added: "Mr Heather accepts though that he may need to drive one of these buses if no other vehicle is available for him."

The £140,000 advertising campaign, backed by a number of leading atheists and secularists, among them Richard Dawkins, was launched on January 6, with the money raised by a fundraising drive.

Sherine raised the idea in a comment article in June last year, after seeing advertisements espousing Christian views on London buses. She argued that she found the faith's threat of hell and damnation alarming.

Within days of the adverts appearing, more than 100 people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, among them Stephen Green, head of the campaign group Christian Voice.

"It is given as a statement of fact and that means it must be capable of substantiation if it is not to break the rules," he said. "There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

photo:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/16/atheism-christian-advertisements-buses
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 10:49 am
i can remember when busses had cigarette ads, beer and liquor ads, quite a few these days have fast food ads, all those things are damaging to your physical well being as opposed to your spiritual health, wonder if any drivers have concerns about that
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 10:50 am
Quote:
"There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.


Why would anybody with a functioning brain possibly use this argument for the existence of gods?

Oh...I may have answered my own question.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:02 am
Well, the driver has a choice. Drive a bus or find another job.

simple really.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:06 am
@chai2,
[tongue in cheek]Amen ! ! ![/tongue in cheek]
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:12 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Atheism is starting to look like a religion. They spent almost a 1/4 million dollars on ads that will "convert" no one. The money would have been better spent on supplies for an animal shelter or stocking the shelves of a food pantry. I thought atheists had better sense.

So Frank, would you be willing to drive a bus that had some big ol "Come to Christ" ad on it? - assuming you came out of retirement.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:23 am
@Green Witch,
Why not?

I'd be willing to serve a priest at Mass in the Latin rite if asked.

No skin off my nose.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:24 am
@Green Witch,
Actually...I would LOVE to serve as acolyte for Mass in the Latin rite.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:33 am
@Green Witch,
Note that the ad was placed by the British Humanist Association. The members of such a group may or may not be atheists. Saying that there "probably" is no god sounds a good deal more like agnosticism than "atheism."

However, i do acknowledge that there are "atheists" who behave just like the religionists.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 11:43 am
The United States has several court cases involving individuals refusing to provide services because of personal religious beliefs. I invite all of you on this thread to post comments on a thread I started in September:
http://able2know.org/topic/123186-1#post-3417838
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:11 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Quote:
"There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world."

This guy is getting his beliefs mixed up with reality. Apparently he can't tell the difference. That's really bad.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:39 pm
I hope he doesn't rely on the bus for personal transportation.

Maybe dog will provide him with a chariot.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:46 pm
I seem to remember reading that these 'Probably' ads are a response to christianity-promotional ads on buses. No link at hand.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:53 pm
Quote:
Within days of the adverts appearing, more than 100 people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, among them Stephen Green, head of the campaign group Christian Voice.


The Advertising Standards Authority have just thrown the case out !
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 12:57 pm
@fresco,
Fresco...I am assuming you mean that the Authority has determined that the ads meet the criteria established for these kinds of ads...and they do not have to be removed!

Am I correct in that assumption?

It is a victory, of sorts, for the skeptics?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 01:03 pm
@Frank Apisa,
As I understand it, the ads are deemed "not to be making false claims" and therefore can stay.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 01:03 pm
Ossobuco wrote:
I seem to remember reading that these 'Probably' ads are a response to christianity-promotional ads on buses. No link at hand.

I listened to an interview of the organizers of this campaign.

The reason they used the word is that they wanted to avoing getting sued and have to show evidence that "there's no god"....

This way, they are safe...
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 02:11 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Atheist bus ad campaign is not in breach of the Advertising Code
21 January 2009


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has concluded that the “There’s probably no God” bus ad campaign by the British Humanist Association is not in breach of the advertising code. The ASA will therefore not launch an investigation and the case is now closed.

The ASA carefully assessed the 326 complaints it received. Some complained that the ad was offensive and denigratory to people of faith. Others challenged whether the ad was misleading because the advertiser would not be able to substantiate its claim that God “probably” does not exist.

The ASA Council concluded that the ad was an expression of the advertiser’s opinion and that the claims in it were not capable of objective substantiation. Although the ASA acknowledges that the content of the ad would be at odds with the beliefs of many, it concluded that it was unlikely to mislead or to cause serious or widespread offence.
from the ASA website.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 02:29 pm
@fresco,
Just saw another thread started on the issue...quoting the same source you offered here.

Thanks.

Glad the skeptics won a victory here. They've been few and far between--and I've got a huge itch in my ass over all that "god" talk at the inauguration yesterday. I do think Obama's "...and non-believer..." inclusion was terrific...and probably will end up costing him something. He was rather emphatic when he mentioned the non-believers.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 09:38 pm
There is now way that this message is anymore 'offensive' or less 'truthful' than these eyesores:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v20/frostwinterheim/GodsBillboard.gif

This is DOGMA...
0 Replies
 
 

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