The Truth Really Is Out There. It's Big, Red And Square

BACK IN OCTOBER, I wrote with no inconsiderable joy at the prospect of a campaign by the British Humanist Association to counter religious fundamentalism with billboards on buses using the slogan: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

"Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children. Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side. This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion." So said Professor Richard Dawkins, who supports the campaign and wrote The God Delusion. The campaign launched on 6th January with some fanfare. So far, none of the buses have been struck by a bolt of lightning. Maybe they're blessed. Probablemente Dios no existe. Deja de preocuparte y goza de la vida. How many of you clever boys and girls know what that means? Yes, you at the back, you're right! It's a direct translation of the BHA slogan, and it's going onto buses in Spain next week. This isn't going down too well in a country where Catholicism is the main faith. "Faith in God is not a source of worry, nor is it an obstacle for enjoying life," says the Catholic archbishopric of Barcelona. Tell that to the victims of the September 11th. And I suppose the Spanish Inquisition was just a jolly knees up too? Spain, is reflecting the worldwide trend of religious fundamentalism inveigling its way into issues of state and of law, where it has no business being. Prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's socialist government has passed laws "allowing gay marriage, simplifying divorce and reducing the importance of religious instruction in the school timetable," and is changing the country's abortion laws. The Catholic church has been spurred into action and is fighting the progressive measures.
Back in good old Blighty, the Advertising Standards Authority has received 150 complaints about the campaign. The complainants say the adverts are offensive to people of all religions (what, even Jedis?) "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," says Stephen Green of Christian Voice. "There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world. But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it." Well, if the beauty and design of the natural world are the evidence for God, then I'd offer this video of the natural world's violence, and man's inhumanity, as evidence to the contrary:

At least I would offer it, if I thought I needed to. But I'm grown-up enough not to need a Santa Claus figure to explain the whats and wherefores of life, so I won't. The final word on the nonsense complaints about the buses should go to Hanne Stinson of the British Humanist Association: "(I pity) the ASA if they are going to be expected to rule on the probability of god's existence. However, if they do investigate we will be very happy to respond."


taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Waaaa... that film clip scares me!

I love this ad campaign so much. Religion has gotta a free ride for far too long when all the evidence proves it causes people to do evil things to each other.

ka-os said...

LOL... you should see the original clip, which this one is a spoof of. The original is one of the most beautiful, lump-in-the-throat things you'll ever see...

◄Design by Pocket