May 17, 2009

Atheists Stand Up in Bloomington

IMG_3734Image by Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign via Flickr

I wholeheartedly approve of the atheist bus ads and billboards we have seen sweeping the U.S. Although their message varies, the common core is that they demonstrate the simply truth that atheists are present even in more religious regions. This is empowering for atheists and a useful eye-opener for those who have not yet been able to leave superstition behind. As I am sure you have heard by now, our bus ads have been meeting with some resistance in Indiana. The Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign and ACLU deserve credit for taking this fight to court.

Briefly, the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign seeks to run an ad on area buses stating, "You Can Be Good Without God." The Bloomington Public Transportation Corporation rejected the ad on the grounds that it is "controversial." Now the ACLU is suing the Bloomington Public Transportation Corporation in federal court, alleging that they are in violation of the 1st and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Despite apparently confusing the ACLU and American Humanist Association, a recent article in the The Indiana Daily Student had some great quotes from Charlie Sitzes, spokesperson for the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign.
My personal opinion is that if a simple truthful slogan, ‘You Can Be Good Without God,’ can shake a religious institution to its core, then perhaps its adherents might want to consider abandoning that system of faith for one that has a stronger footing.
This notion that human morality somehow requires gods may be absurd, but it also seems to be a central assumption many Christians make in reference to atheism. Of course, incorrect assumptions must not be off limits from criticism. As Stizes correctly notes,
Atheists are at the low end of the totem poll, and we are fed up with it.
It is also great to see that the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign has support from an unlikely source, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan.

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