Religion in the News: Will Atheism Be Advertised on London Buses?

The Situation

The British Humanist Association has decided to run advertisements on buses that say, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” After raising more money than they expected for this endeavor, they may even get some in-bus ads going. Richard Dawkins, world renowned atheist and author of The God Delusion has supported the group.

The idea, the group claims, is to make people think. Religious posters often adorn the sides of buses, and no one gives it a second thought as these religious groups are given liberties like tax breaks and the right to never be offended and more. This group seeks to put a stop to that free ride. At the very least, they hope to make people smile and think.

Compared to the many advertisements threatening eternal damnation or salvation through Jesus, the BHA hopes that its posters will be a breath of fresh air for commuters and locals. Some local religious figures made appreciative comments about the campaign because it encourages people to engage in deep and important questions about life.

My Thoughts

On the one hand, this seems antagonistic to me – trying to get people riled up about their beliefs. On the other hand, I love riling people up about their beliefs. It’s true, religious people do think they’ve earned the right not to be offended and it’s true that they’re allowed to preach at everyone else all the time and we are subject to their nonsense way too often. Just the other day I couldn’t get through a hoard of Scientologists without taking their stupid and nonsensical flier.

Putting posters up like this could make people think because many do worry too much about the next life and God and salvation and all that jazz to live enjoyable, meaningful lives here. Not all religious people, mind you, but there are enough to make this a valid comment.

Funny enough, England seems like a silly place to do this. England has one of the least religious populations and believers in God of nearly any country in the world. It seems like this is something better suited for a generally devout country (or part of it), like middle America. I’d like to see somebody try that here. But hey, I suppose it’s only a matter of time.

What do you think? Do you like the sentiment behind the posters or do you think it’s unnecessarily antagonistic? Do you think that religion deserves the free ride it’s on?

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Around the World Pic of the Day: Sacrificial Temple We Built at the Beach

Our Very Own Sacrificial Alter!

Our Very Own Sacrificial Altar!

I love building sand-castles – always have. When I was a little boy, my dad taught me the art of the drip castle. Later, I moved onto other things, like building my very own sacrificial altars out of sand. Hooray!

This sacrificial alter was constructed on the Jersey Shore, near a town called Tom’s River. Though I’m not in the picture (I’m taking it) my friends and I did build this great temple together, replete with wall, mote, and sacrificial altar in the center. On it, we put little sand crabs (though we didn’t kill them or eat their hearts believing that they would give us strength – or abilities to burrow into the sand with great success).

To be fair, unlike many of the other Around the World pics of me at religious sites, this one is not frequented by pilgrims and I daresay it may no longer be standing, destroyed by the conquering armies of generations (read: tides for the last three years). However, it’s glory will always be preserved by this photo.

On an interesting side note, I did spend that entire evening debating the fine points of a man’s theology since he insisted on screaming it to everyone on the boardwalk.

Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore? What’d you think? Get stuck by any needles while you were there?

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