Some people see this as a victory. I do not.
Apparently, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority has made the decision to ban ALL religious advertising on its busses because of the brouhaha that erupted when the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason had the unmitigated gall to pay for ads that displayed the blasphemous statement “Millions of Americans are Good Without God” on 4 of the transit authority’s 150 buses (during the holiday season, no less!).
Terry McDonald, the coalition’s organizer, said Thursday that the group did not initially plan for the ads to run during the Christmas season but that he hopes the message will bring comfort to those who feel left out during the holidays. He said the ads are not intended to undermine anyone’s belief in God.
He called the new ban a “secular victory,” because he said churches have been buying ads on buses for years and the new policy will help keep religion and government separate.
Um. No. This isn’t a church and state issue. This is private money buying ads on public transportation. It’s about equal treatment under the law. The churches can buy ads. The Coalition of Reason can buy ads. In no way is taxpayer money going to fund either free expression/exercise of religion. Get it straight.
Dude, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Do you mean to tell us that the end game of these ads wasn’t to acknowledge the millions of us in this country who live moral and upright lives without a belief in God, but rather, to shut down the marketplace of ideas? If so, you succeeded because YOUR message is banned as well. Wow, that’s some kind of marketing genius. Doofus.
Some ministers had been so upset about the ads — especially their run during the holiday season — that they urged a boycott of public transportation and offered residents free rides. The ministers also threw their support behind several transit employees who say they were forced to take days off without pay for refusing to drive the buses carrying those ads
A bus boycott? Are you effing kidding me? For ads on four busses? When I think of bus boycotts, I think of the great struggle for civil rights, you know, the right to SIT where ever one wishes, regardless of the color of one’s skin. Boycotting because the ad on the outside of the bus points out that not everyone holds your religious view, but does nothing to prevent you from holding that view or, for that matter, riding that bus? Are you kidding me?
And allowing drivers to refuse to drive the bus because the ad offends them? I’d have fired their sorry asses.
There’s more. I read this next sentence with some hope.
While some ministers support the transit authority’s ban as a compromise, not all secular groups or religious leaders do.
My hopes were quickly dashed with the article does not quote any secular group, but devotes two paragraphs to this fellow.
The Rev. Kyev Tatum said he thinks a better solution would have been continuing to allow religious advertising while rejecting the atheist ads under the transportation authority’s policy that prohibits political, offensive and other types of ads. He said he doesn’t understand how atheists could find Christian messages offensive because “religion is not about divisiveness but about love.”
You see, when one doesn’t hold the majority opinion, that’s divisive. Why can’t we all just shut up and go along?
And this is where I differ with Terry McDonald and Rev. Tatum. I would prefer that the FWTA not ban either type of ad at all. And it appears that the FWTA was once on the right side, until they weren’t.
When the controversy erupted two weeks ago, Fort Worth Transportation Authority spokeswoman Joan Hunter said the atheist ad had been approved because it was not inappropriate and “we strive to respect First Amendment rights.”
Too bad they weren’t willing to stand their ground. Oh, wait. That might mean they might lose a bit of revenue, though I doubt it. But, oh! My! They might get nasty letters and phone calls! They might get yelled at during their public board meetings! I can understand how avoiding a few minutes of discomfort is way more important than standing up for First Amendment rights.
Understand, this is no victory for secularists.
And get ready, there’s more. From PZ Myers comes this.
Sorry, fellow atheists, but if you thought you could just get away with sitting quietly and not making a noise, you’re doomed. The situation is worse than simply some silly believers flying into a snit because horribly militant, aggressive, obnoxious atheists put up signs that say something offensive and vile, like “you can be good without god” — you thought if you just avoided confronting people with such criminal sentiments, you’d escape their notice and condemnation.
But soon, they’ll be coming for you if you are insufficiently fervent in cheerleading for god. Look at this: a group of atheists attended a city council meeting to protest (politely, of course) prayer before meetings and ten commandments signs, and they were threatened with expulsion for the terrifying t-shirts they were wearing. They bore a slogan that other attendees complained about as “offensive”. That slogan was simply One nation, indivisible.
Did you catch that horror? They left out the words “under god” that are supposed to be there, dividing “nation” from “indivisible”! I don’t know how Cape Coral City will cope with all these people going around not saying things.
PZ goes on to discuss some “Christian” reaction to Elizabeth Edwards’ final words.
Wait, you’re thinking, no one could possibly be so insensitive and arrogant that they think they should dictate what a dying person’s final thoughts should be — other than us atheists, that is, who are expected to barge into the deathbed scenes and slap the weak-willed fading sap until they renounce their false beliefs in gods.
Oh, hang on…we don’t do that, either.
OK then, no one could be that arrogant…except a Christian. Get a napkin ready, just in case you feel an urge to throw up a little when you read how one Christian reacted to Edwards’ farewell.
Please click on PZ’s link and read for yourself.
Please, people, this is one reason I get rather peeved at all the internal chastising going on within the godless community about who is a dick and who isn’t. There are no atheists who can compare in dickishness to your average, pedestrian conservative Christian.
Also, you might want to start working on your deathbed lines now. If they aren’t all about Jesus, there’s a mob of ghoulish Christian dicks who’ll be gnawing on your corpse afterwards.
So you see, it’s not merely about shutting us up. It’s about us kissing their collective asses.