The press release wasn’t slated to go out until next week, and the ads aren’t even up yet, but word leaked to the local media and, all of a sudden, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason and their subway ads are a hot topic in Manhattan:
I love the wording: “A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?”
It’s not offensive in the least (unless you’re offended by the existence of people who disagree with you). Rather, it’s a and a callout to other like-minded people.
The campaign — which is being paid for by $25,000 from an anonymous donor — follows a similar but unrelated monthlong campaign on buses by New York City Atheists in July. Jane Everhart, a spokeswoman for the New York City Atheists, said that campaign was highly successful and brought in many new members. “We are trying to raise money to do it again,” she said.
[Executive director for the New York branch of the Center for Inquiry, Michael] De Dora said the million-person estimate of New Yorkers who do not believe in God was an extrapolation from surveys on religion. The American Religious Identification Survey, which was released earlier this year, showed that those who put “none” for religion had risen to 15 percent in 2008, from 8 percent in 1990. Based on their projections, New York City, with its 8.3 million population, would have more than a million nonbelievers, Mr. De Dora said. (It is questionable, of course, whether New York City, given its demographics, is representative of the country as a whole.)