Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

 :: Main :: Religion

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:31 pm

Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Tim Madigan and Gordon Dickson
Fort Worth Star-Telegram.com
Nov. 30, 2010


Starting today, the sides of four Fort Worth city buses will bear this message: "Millions of Americans are Good Without God."

Their sponsor, the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, says it's only coincidence that the atheist-themed ads will debut during Christmas season. They are not exactly apologizing.

"We've been trying to put these ads together for awhile and we didn't plan for them to come out now," said Terry McDonald of the Coalition of Reason. "But I'm not unhappy it's running during Christmas. Why do Christians own December? There were people that said this may cause a problem. That doesn't bother me."

The ads on buses of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, also known as the T, feature a collage of faces that make up an American flag, and the Web address of the coalition, the local chapter of a new national group called the United Coalition of Reason. According to national Director Fred Edwords, the ads' target audience is not Christians but nontheists who might feel isolated.

"December would be a good time of year to let people know that these nontheist groups exist," he said. "These are people who during the holidays might feel a little left out. The holidays might be a good time [to run the ads]. People are thinking about these things."

To some Fort Worth clergy, the timing is an insult.

"I'm not a Christian, but I cannot help but feel it is done to hurt and to insult," said Rabbi Gary Perras of Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Fort Worth. "There is a better way of making your point. It's an in-your-face, mean kind of thing."

To Rev. Ralph Emerson Jr., pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church, the message is not offensive, just wrong.

"I'm not offended because they offend themselves," Emerson said. "We just accept there are persons who just don't fit into where we fit in. We'll pray for them and hope one day they'll come to see the light."

Similar ad campaigns sponsored by the national coalition have taken place in several cities. However, the ads won't appear on Dallas buses because Dallas Area Rapid Transit refused to accept them. DART also turns down ads for alcoholic beverages and some movies, spokesman Morgan Lyons said.

"For us, the point is to stay true to what we do -- we're a transit provider -- and not create a public forum," Lyons said. "We rejected the ads because we don't accept ads from religious groups."

The T does accept religious ads.

"We try to be fair to all parties in accepting advertising, and we do not discriminate among faiths or beliefs," T spokeswoman Joan Hunter said. "They met the criteria. If we receive other requests from other faiths, we'll evaluate them as well."

She said the ads would appear on four buses for the next 30 days. The ads, called "king boards," cover the sides of the buses, she said. Printing the ads and buying the space costs about $2,480, she said.

The local reason coalition includes 15 groups with various beliefs, McDonald said. One is Metroplex Atheists, which has several hundred members that actively campaign on issues such as separation of church and state. That group recently protested a pre-meeting prayer traditionally held by the North Richland Hills City Council, McDonald said.

Other agencies involved in the coalition are based at colleges, or are primarily for social interaction, he said. No political agenda is behind the bus campaign, McDonald said, other than to raise awareness of the groups.

"We're not trying to convert anybody," McDonald said. "There's so much religion in this area, and it's so visible. We're just trying to let people who are not believers know that there's a lot of people like them."

The Rev. Tim Bruster, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, said he distinguished the coming ad campaign from more aggressive attacks on religious faith by writers such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

"There is more of an anti-religious bent to what they are doing," Bruster said. "I haven't seen the ad, but it doesn't sound like it's anti-Christian. It doesn't sound like it's a frontal attack."

But Bruster took issue with the sponsor's name, which suggests that people of faith do not possess reason.

"I think for folks in that camp to suggest that claiming the Christian faith is unreasonable or that it's anti-reason, that's not a fair characterization," Bruster said. "I do find that insulting.

"But my reaction is not to lash out, but to demonstrate with our words and actions that we have a faith that is both reasonable and passionate. What we do in this season -- feeding the hungry, reaching out to the poor -- demonstrates in a concrete way who we are. Not issuing condemnations of someone with whom we obviously and strongly disagree."
avatar
TexasBlue




Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:21 am

TexasBlue wrote:"I'm not a Christian, but I cannot help but feel it is done to hurt and to insult," said Rabbi Gary Perras of Congregation Ahavath Sholom in Fort Worth. "There is a better way of making your point. It's an in-your-face, mean kind of thing."
"Millions of Americans are good without God". Yeah, there's a real and sustained violent assault on faith right there. I imagine the gas chambers and bonfires are already being stoked up to spread this message of hate.

TexasBlue wrote:"For us, the point is to stay true to what we do -- we're a transit provider -- and not create a public forum," Lyons said. "We rejected the ads because we don't accept ads from religious groups."
That's fair enough so long as they aren't discriminating.
avatar
The_Amber_Spyglass




http://sweattearsanddigitalink.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by TexasBlue on Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:58 pm

You should see the comments in that story in that paper from the religious right. It's almost comical.

If the Dallas bus service doesn't do religious ads, then they shouldn't do atheist ads either. Fair is fair. Even though atheism isn't a religion, it's seen as just that by many others. To me, it creates a firestorm either way. I could care less about either.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
avatar
TexasBlue




Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:08 pm

TexasBlue wrote:You should see the comments in that story in that paper from the religious right.
How fucking stupid are these people not to realise that this guy was joking:
Actually the more I see of this the more I believe that the real target of these ads is Islam. In fact I think that if you look at the ad enough you will see that there is a picture of Mohammed drawn into the ad.

I believe I have heard that even though the word God is used, that the group really intended to use Allah instead.


TexasBlue wrote:If the Dallas bus service doesn't do religious ads, then they shouldn't do atheist ads either. Fair is fair. Even though atheism isn't a religion, it's seen as just that by many others. To me, it creates a firestorm either way. I could care less about either.
Absolutely agree. You're right its not a religion, but it is a religious position so in the name of fairness, that is their right.
avatar
The_Amber_Spyglass




http://sweattearsanddigitalink.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by TexasBlue on Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:18 pm

It's being intolerant of people who want no religion. I want no religion even though I believe in God. I'm not agnostic (Dbl) nor atheist (you) but I reserve the right to not be religious.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
avatar
TexasBlue




Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:12 am

Religious ads banned from Fort Worth buses

Gordon Dickson
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
Dec. 15, 2010


FORT WORTH -- The end is near for religious advertisements on Fort Worth buses.

Two weeks after controversy erupted because the Fort Worth Transportation Authority accepted ads with the atheist message "Millions of Americans are Good Without God," the T board revised its policy Wednesday night to ban all religious ads effective Jan. 1.

"I don't like the ads. I think they create divisiveness," T board member Gary Havener said before the nine-member board unanimously approved the new policy.

But Havener also criticized the people who pressured T drivers not to operate buses adorned with the ads and urged riders to boycott the transit system.

"I don't like people coming in here and muscling our employees when we're trying to provide transportation," he said.

The new policy is effective immediately, but existing ads will remain on buses until their contracts expire. No religious ads are under contract beyond Dec. 31, T President Dick Ruddell said.

The "Good Without God" ads were bought for $2,480 by the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, whose members said they wanted to raise awareness of nonreligious social groups.

Some church leaders were furious that the ads were running just before Christmas. Last week, a religious group hired a billboard truck to drive behind T buses with messages that read: "I still love you -- God" and "2.1 Billion People are Good With God."

This week, a bus with the atheists' ad on a side panel also displayed a religious ad on a rear panel: "What if there really is a God?" That ad was bought by Alpha DFW, the local chapter of an interdenominational group that promotes Christian dialogue.

On Wednesday, several dozen people packed the T boardroom in east Fort Worth. Atheists and church leaders applauded the decision to end religious advertising.

"Our concern is the kind of publicity that we get," said Bishop B.E. George, who represents the group Ministers Against Crime, noting the national spotlight on the area because of the Feb. 6 Super Bowl. "There are people that would like to take the opportunity to give our city a bad image."

But others urged the T not to cave into pressure from churches.

"It's not the function of government at any level to take the word of religious leaders as the divine word," said Zachary Moore of Irving, executive director of the Fellowship of Freethought Dallas.

Moore ended his three-minute remarks by offering T board members "holiday cookies."

The T's new policy comes months after other agencies, including Dallas Area Rapid Transit, banned religious ads to avoid controversy.

The T also bans ads that are political, have defamatory or hate speech, or promote adult entertainment or alcoholic beverages other than beer and wine.

The T's new policy won't prohibit Texas Christian University, which is associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), from buying ads for secular events such as Horned Frogs sports, T legal counsel Sylvia Hartless said. The policy targets the message, not necessarily the entity buying it.

But the policy could be interpreted to prohibit TCU ads promoting its religion program or Brite Divinity School, she said.
avatar
TexasBlue




Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:15 am

I was reading the comments in this article of that paper afterward. It amazes me how many people are drawn to this.... atheists and religious alike. It actually astounds me. Both sides are so damn unreasonable in this shit. One idiot said he was worried about his 1st Amendment rights. That's where I had to step in and tell him (like a little child) that his free speech rights are intact. Only the gov't can't take those away. But then, that's how uninformed people are these days. They whine about free speech rights but don't actually delve into what they're saying.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
avatar
TexasBlue




Back to top Go down

Re: Atheist-themed ads appear on Fort Worth buses

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 :: Main :: Religion

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum