Atheist Bus Campaign in… Finland!

They’ll have the classic: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” wording and they’ll be seen in Helsinki and Tampere.

bussimainos-perus

The Finnish Humanist Union, together with the Union of Freethinkers of Finland, is currently collecting funds to carry out the campaign, which will be fully financed through donations.

Freethinkers of Finland Chairman, Jussi K. Niemelä, says the intention is to discuss atheism in a positive way.

‘The intention is to create a discussion’, says Nimelä.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so by going to this page, clicking on “Donate,” and following the (translated) instructions.

(via Atheism Examiner)

  • SmilingAtheist

    Good on them! I like Finland, I’ve been there twice and married my wife there in Savonlinna at the castle. My wife is Finnish/Australian. It’s a great little country and I thought it was pretty secular minded regardless of the large cathedrals that they have in Helsinki rather significant number of churches. The Luthern church is big there and many people are associated with it but I think most people don’t take it too seriously. Watch a Finnish movie and you’ll see what I mean.

  • elianara

    Finally, I’ve been waiting for this.

  • http://ozatheist.wordpress.com/ OzAtheist

    this is getting really embarrassing, Australia still isn’t allowed to have one.

  • Eskomo

    And on St. Urho’s day too. Cool.

  • SmilingAtheist

    OzAtheist Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 10:48 pm
    this is getting really embarrassing, Australia still isn’t allowed to have one.

    I’ll second that being in Australia myself. I can’t seem to understand why that is though. Aussies are not known for being overly religious in the first place so what’s the issue? Maybe they should try in another state.

  • Balthazar

    Although the outdoor advertising corporation responsible for ads on the buses has perapproved the campaign the bus companies of the target cities have the final say. In Tampere the bus company CEO has already made noises that they may nix the ads on their buses. (They have refused to carry freethinkers’ ads before.) The CEO of the Helsinki city transport isn’t reportedly too happy about the campaign either.

    We’ll see how this thing plays out…

  • geru

    I’ve been posting updates about the bus campaign on the richarddawkins.net forum:

    http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=75562&start=0 (Probably requires registering?)

  • Another Finnish Infidel

    Firstly, I must say I love the way Google translates the name of the fundraising as the “infidels campaign”. :D

    The website has been updated with a first report that I’ll summarize (along with my own comments) in case you find the machine translation difficult to understand. The campaign has raised at least 3500 € (a conservative estimation) during day one, the figure being the sum of more than a hundred contributions. It also gained a lot of media attention which, I think, turned the campaign into what was easily yesterday’s hottest topic across the nation.

    Considering the relatively small population of Finland, I agree day one turned out to be a successful kickoff in terms of funds raised. Though it’s still early to say, the 12 000 € mission seems like a realistic target thus far.

    Not all publicity has been positive, though. Some concerns were raised by the Christian-affiliated newspaper Kotimaa, which published an interview with the chief executives of both the Tampere and Helsinki public transport companies, asking for their opinion on the ads. Whereas the Helsinki CEO only stated briefly that he is “wary about negative advertising”, the Tampere CEO took a more worrying stance: He claimed that the campaign is “an offence against Lutheran beliefs” and believed that his company would find a “reasonable cause to refuse the ads”.

    Because the campaign will be focused mainly on Helsinki and Tampere, failure to place the ads in either city would imply major changes to the plans, but according to the website, the organizers are still assured that refusal by either of the public transport companies will be highly unlikely.

    Nevertheless, doubts are maintained by some of those who remember the Freethinkers’ unsuccessful attempt to advertise their highly popular “resign from the state church” website (eroakirkosta.fi) on Tampere buses back in 2004. However, the ads were refused by the Tampere public transport company. The Freethinkers took the matter to Administrative Court, claiming that the publicly-owned company had neglected its legal obligation to honour the organization’s freedom of religion and right to equal treatment. Unfortunately, the trial ended in favor of the company’s right to refuse, a verdict that the Supreme Administrative Court later made final after hearing the Freethinkers’ appeal.

    Finally, I’d like to kindly remind you – and I’m sure I speak for both the organizers and all the donors – that foreign donations in particular are appreciated with great honour. You can contribute either by bank transfer or PayPal. Your name and contributed amount will be placed on the donors list if you wish so.

    Thank you for your interest in this campaign! Best wishes from an eager donor & supporter.

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