Waiting for a train from Wakefield station on a cold and frosty December morning, my eyes glance over at the opposite platform. Cold commuters rub their hands together, bleary eyed workers sipping on their Costa coffees. Billboards run across the whole of the wall, most advertising the local indoor shopping centre. One however, directly in front of me shouts at me, in bright bold letters:
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." (Psalm 14.1)
Oh thank you very much thoughtful sign. I was just thinking to myself how a God could exist in this world when I am made to go to work on a Monday morning. I better believe one exits before I am branded a fool.
That's why I've just donated to the Atheist Bus Campaign. Started by The Guardian's Comment is Free Ariane Sherine, the comedy writer proposed:
[if all atheists reading this] contribute £5, it’s possible that we can fund a
much-needed atheist London bus ad with the slogan: “There’s probably no God. Now
stop worrying and [enjoy] your life.”
Sherine thought of the idea after seeing a similar advert to myself on a London bus stating:
“When the Son of Man comes, will He find Faith on this Earth?” [sic]
Visiting the URL on the bottom of the advert, she was told that, as a non-believer, she would be:
"condemned to everlasting separation from God and then spend all eternity in
torment in hell”.
Nice. Thank you enlightened advert. Sherine researched into how religious groups could advertise websites warning that atheists were going to hell, she found that the Advertising Standards Agency were unable to censor any URL links as they weren't part of their remit.
Her idea for an atheist ad campaign soon picked up speed with political bloggers, the British Humanist Society and even Richard Dawkins getting involved. The eminent biologist and author of The God Delusion even agreed to match donations to a campaign (up to the tune of £5000).
The campaign has become reality and has now raised a staggering £134, 805.83. Really quite an achievement in the face of religious fundamentalism. Buses will be rolled out across the country with the message:
'There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life'
Here, here. 2009 is going to be a tough enough year for all without the crippling doubts over the danger of a fiery end. All aboard the Atheist bus campaign.