I don’t normally spend so much time being down on religion (which you wouldn’t know from my little Christianity video round up yesterday) but I thought this was noteworthy, it was the first thing i found when I googled “Spain” for news today:

Atheist Bus Ad Campaign Provokes Bitterness in Barcelona

This campaign started in the UK, as a bit of a retort to a campaign of religious ads quoting scripture on the sides of buses. The idea was to present an alternative view so they used a Richard Dawkins quote, and quite a mild, upbeat one at that “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

atheist-bus

So the campaign’s going worldwide and obviously ruffing some feather’s here in Spain:

Campaigners say that with 20% of Spaniards professing they do not believe in God, it is time atheism becomes a visible phenomenon.

“It is time for non-believers to make themselves seen and display their pride in their own convictions,” said the Catalan Atheists group.

The campaign has provoked a reaction from the Catholic archbishopric of Barcelona. “Faith in God is not a source of worry, nor is it an obstacle for enjoying life,” it said in a statement.

“It is an attack on all religions,” said Javier Maria Perez-Roldan of the church’s Tomas Moro centre, blaming the socialist government for the privately funded campaign. “The government has created an atmosphere of belligerence.”

Apparently it also did not go over well in Australia where they wanted to use the slightly cheekier message “Atheism – Sleep in on Sunday Mornings” and the campaign was banned.

In this guardian article on the original campaign in the UK there’s also a short video with the campaign’s creator and a chat between Richard Dawkins and Polly Toynbee.

I agree that it was a good choice of quotes. I mean, they didn’t go with Nietzsche’s “God is Dead” or Marx’s oft-quoted, little examined “Religion is the opiate of the masses” or something down and dreary like that did they? No they’re like “Hey! No worries! there’s just no god. Let’s go get a beer, eh?”

After a bit of online perusing, here’s a couple other quips I liked, perhaps for future buses:

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. – Abraham Lincoln

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. – Thomas Paine

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature – Frank Lloyd Wright

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