There are atheist bus ads currently running in Ottawa, Canada stating: “There’s probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
Writing a letter in the Ottawa Citizen, 13-year-old Mallory Skinner can’t understand why anyone would want to publicly say such things:
Atheists don’t believe in any sort of God, and don’t follow any religion. I don’t have a problem with atheists, though I am Protestant, and I do believe God exists in some shape or form. I believe these people are entitled to have their own opinions.
But placing advertisements on OC Transpo buses, trying to convince others of the non-existence of God — that is a whole other issue.
The majority of the people in the world belong to a religion of some sort, and many, like myself, would be greatly offended by ads like this one. What would be the purpose of displaying ads on the public transit system? Are atheists so insecure as to try and gain approval from others, just to assure themselves that what they say is true?
I would greatly prefer if atheists, like any other belief system, would keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves, and leave the buses free for advertisements that would not offend so many people.
First of all, how awesome is it to see a young girl voicing her opinion in a newspaper? Good for her.
Secondly, Mallory has obviously never seen what her Christian churches do on a regular basis — TV shows, mission trips, street preachers, etc — you want to talk about publicly getting your message out there?
We atheists are finally finding our voice and letting it be heard in a variety of ways. More power to us. But it’s all in response to having religion shoved in our faces damn near everywhere we go.
Stan Blakey thinks Mallory is right on. He’s the sole member of the “Canadian Obsequious Deference Society” (CODS):
CODS believe we all should limit public expression of differing opinions on all subjects, not just religion. Political advertising is clearly as insulting, if not more so. The implication that they are wrong about their political views is not something Canadians should have to suffer.
All advertising and opinion should only be available on secure websites with age verification to protect the most vulnerable Canadians from any feelings of insecurity about their ability to form a sound opinion. Mallory, the CODS are with you.
I think the sarcasm may go over her head, but I’m amused nonetheless
(Thanks to Marla for the link!)