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On atheism
ampelmann
catundra
I have been rose bunching again these last few days and as a result have been listening to talkback radio - something I never do off my own bat.  Today one of the topics that piqued my interest was the fact that there has been some controversy about bus billboards promoting atheism.  Apparently there have been pro atheism signs on buses in London and similar ones in Spain have been rejected.  Now Australia has followed Spain and banned them here too. The the guy on the radio was interviewing the president of the Atheist society, who put his case well I thought.  Then the callers gave their opinions. Some were quite rational quoting the whole idea of freedom of speech and expression.  Others tried to argue that atheism is a religion because they believe in, well, um, not believing...one lady was too upset to actually speak on radio because she was beside herself that they hadn't found God like she had.  One man argued that religion was a construct to keep people under control and give them rules historically speaking.  The DJ sounded sceptical at this and suggested many would disagree...

Now, I was raised C of  E and would probably describe myself today as a person of faith in something.  I have no problems with anyone expressing their views and beliefs to me as long as they don't try and convince me I am wrong or misguided in mine.  I found it very odd therefore that there has been such controversy about these whimiscal messages and how they are found insulting to others when it is ok to not only put pro Catholic/Christian slogans on buses but also underwear ads, alcohol ads etc which may be just as offensive to some groups. 

The whole response would be amusing to me if it weren't so disturbing.

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(Here via girliejones' flist.)

"Australia has followed Spain and banned them here too"

While it kind of sucks that the ads won't display here, that's happening because the ad company that does the bus posters declined to accept the job - the media seem to be reporting it so as to imply an official ban. Hopefully they'll find an advertiser elsewhere who'll carry them.

So was the ad company opposed to printing them based on religious/anti religious grounds or for some other reason? As usual, talkback radio was hardly interested in enlightening their listeners to the real facts...

All I've read is that the company decided not to go with the posters, I don't think they've given reasons. I suspect that they were worried about getting heat from the religious folks (or at least some religious folks, pace that Catholic guy who was quoted in the report as saying he was fine with it).

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