A little while ago, inspired by Ariane Sherine, Jon Worth started a tongue-in-cheek campaign to raise enough money to put an atheist advert on a London bus, to counter the large number of sky-fairy promotions.
The pledge didn't make its numbers, but now Jon has started it up again in earnest.
The Atheist Bus Campaign launches today, Tuesday October 21. With your support, we hope to raise £5,500 to run 30 buses across the capital for four weeks with the slogan: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Donate online now!
Professor Richard Dawkins, bestselling author of The God Delusion, is officially supporting the Atheist Bus Campaign, and has generously agreed to match all donations up to a maximum of £5,500, giving us a total of £11,000 if we reach the full amount – enough for a much bigger campaign. The British Humanist Association have kindly agreed to administer all donations.
Sounds like a giggle...
UPDATE: the Beeb have picked up the story.
The atheist posters are the idea of the British Humanist Association (BHA) and have been supported by prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins.
The BHA planned only to raise £5,500, which was to be matched by Professor Dawkins, but it has now raised more than £15,300 of its own accord.
Hanne Stinson, chief executive of the BHA, said: "We see so many posters advertising salvation through Jesus or threatening us with eternal damnation, that I feel sure that a bus advert like this will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air.
"If it raises a smile as well as making people think, so much the better."
Mind you, comment of the day has to go to that dangerous, joyless fucking lunatic Stephen Green, of Christian Voice.
But Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: "Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.
"I should be surprised if a quasi-religious advertising campaign like this did not attract graffiti.
Oh look—it's a barely concealed threat!
"People don't like being preached at. Sometimes it does them good, but they still don't like it."
Says Stephen Green, the man who tried to bring an entirely frivolous lawsuit against the BBC and, having lost, pleaded that he shouldn't have to pay them. This man is a hypocritical cunt and even if these posters only annoy him, it will all have been worth it.
UPDATE 2: good god!
If I start an atheist Devil campaign, could I raise £44.7k, I wonder?
UPDATE 3: The Daily Mash is a treat, as always...
BUSES which carry adverts doubting the existence of God are risking their eternal souls, Christian campaigners said last night.
But Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, said: "Any bus which allows itself to be abused in this way will spend eternity in the company of Satan's bus.
"They will burn alongside gay buses, buses that have had abortions and buses that knowingly took people to see Jerry Springer: the Opera."
Unfortunately, I don't think that one can actually satirise Stephen Green: he is just too barking...
UPDATE 4: there are some very bizarre comments on this post. People seem to have little problem with your humble Devil promoting his belief in libertarianism, but doing the same for atheism seems to have raised some hackles. Apparently, promoting libertarianism is fine, but promoting atheism is being "close-minded".
Ah well, for me, The Nameless Libertarian has hit the nail on the head.
The neutrality of the message has won me over as a supporter - I can't be bothered with militant atheism (I can't be bothered with anybody who is shrilly evangelical about any belief - believe what you like, just shut up about it when you are around me) but the message is a nice counterpoint to the increasingly ubiquitous Alpha course and other demented religious advertising.
The advert does not say, you will notice, "everyone who believes in a god is a fucking moron and should piss of and die. And rise again (if they can)" or anything like that. It says, "There's probably no god [allowing for all probabilities, y'see—DK] so stop worrying and enjoy your life." I thought that it was a rather positive message, frankly. But no: apparently
However, as TNL has pointed out, the whole campaign gets even better...
And whilst you are there, take a look at some of the totals. As I write the campaign has made £55,288.90—the target was a mere £5,500.00. And, best of all, the Gift Aid stands at £13,039.22—that's right, over £13k of government money is going towards the promotion of atheism.
I wonder how Gordon Brown, who was raised by a minister of the Church of Scotland, feels about that?
So this campaign is pissing off evangelicals at the same time as probably pissing off Gordon Brown. And as such, it is one of the most worthwhile causes I think I have come across for a good, long time.
Quite. Great: it's annoying two birds with one mischief-making stone!
Although there is a downside: it does mean that we are promoting an organisation that made Polly Toynbee its president, and that does make me unhappy. But—hey!—it wasn't my idea to involve them and Jon is a Lefty, after all...
Oh, and donations are now at £60,623.82, with Gift Aid of £14,051.15. Lordy...