Thursday, August 20, 2009

don't want to drive a bus? you are not alone

The atheist bus adverts continue to be a rich source of humour and entertainment. The latest little nugget of absurdity comes from Des Moines, Iowa, where bus driver Angela Shiel had an attack of the vapours on learning that the bus she'd been assigned for her shift carried an advert by the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers on its side. The advert is the same one that's been appearing on a few billboards around the USA recently, and carries the message below.

The interesting thing to consider here is what exactly it is about this that a Christian would find offensive, regardless of how absurdly sensitive they are. For all its anodyne wording the original advert was at least making a (qualified) statement about God's existence (and sure enough one bus driver had a Jane Austenesque fit of pearl-clutching and swooning at the "starkness" of it all); as this guy points out all the American ad is saying is that atheists exist, and that there are at least two of them. Pretty uncontroversial you would think. But no, apparently not.

Also worthy of note is the always reliably loopy WorldNetDaily's response. Mainly notable for the absolutely textbook bit of anti-Semitic well-poisoning in the headline, as follows: "Former Jew claims...." Well, you're not going to believe anything he says after that, are you? Certainly not if you're one of WND's core constituency, i.e. insane right-wing fundamentalists (and indeed mentalists).

I recall a film review section in one of the old Monty Python books which simply read "Well I liked it", claims non-Nazi. The difference being, of course, that they were joking.

Here's a couple more atheist billboard ads for you - actually one of them isn't really an atheist billboard at all. Can you spot which one it is?

Actually Rev. E. F. Briggs sounds like he could be a character in a Monty Python sketch. It would be better if he were called Rev. E. F. Gumby, though.

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