Christian Bus Ad Advises Child with Druggie Parents to Pray, Not Call for Help

This bus ad, sponsored by Bus Stop Bible Studies, was seen in Toronto last week:

Dear Jesus, My mom and dad do drugs at home and it scares me. Will you help them stop? Thank you for hearing my prayer.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”

WHAT?! That’s the worst possible advice ever.

Hey, fictional child, God won’t help you. God won’t help your parents. God doesn’t exist. (Sorry, that’s another bus ad, but bear with me.) If your parents are taking drugs at the expense of your well-being, stop praying and call for help. Or talk to a teacher. Or a cop. There are solutions out there far more effective than what the Bible says.

It turns out several people complained about the ad, prompting the Toronto Transit Commission to review it.

And then they decided to do nothing.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross says there’s no formal report or anything created during one of these reviews… but since the ad doesn’t break any laws or the TTC’s advertising policy there’s no way to pull it.

That review was by TTC chair Karen Stintz and TTC commissioner Maria Augimeri.

Although I would not personally condone the comportment outlined in the advertisement, I feel that I do not have the jurisdiction nor the authority to promote its cancellation; particularly because the TTC would not fare well in a court challenge should the promoter of the advertisement choose to make this issue one of rights and freedoms,” Augimeri said of the Bus Stop Bible Studies ad.

I agree that the Christians have a legal right to put up their ad, but it’s just bad advice. No, it’s harmful advice. I suspect even most Christians would tell the child to seek *real* help from a trusted adult… before pointlessly thanking god for however it works out.

(Thanks to Heather for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Theshoves

    Speechless. Absolutely speechless.

    It’s staggering to think that praying to an invisible sky fairy will be helpful in that situation. Pitiful.

    • Theshoves

      Edit- In that or ANY situation.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

         Didn’t do shit for me when I had a knife to my throat.

        Playing unconscious and going limp, on the other hand, actually helped. (Barely, but that’s still a hell of a lot more than prayer did.)

  • gski

    Dear jesus,  If you really cared or loved you would have helped my parents stay off of drugs.  So thanks for nothing.

    • Ndonnan

      He did ,they said no,we want to do as we please,he said ok,but what about the kids,they said stuff the kids,its all about me,me,me

      • Anonymous

         Then why didn’t god help the kids? Why is it that god can’t tamper with abusive drug-addicted parents’ free will, but the kid’s free-will is fair game?

        Is social services taking away the parents’ free-will when they take their kids and put the parents in jail for child-endangerment? No? Then why can’t god do something about it?

        (Child welfare services do not count as god’s action, because they are so bogged down with thousands of cases, that god would have to be incredibly inefficient and powerless if that tiny service was his/her/it’s answer)

        • Ndonnan

          Free will my friend,otherwise He would have to “tamper” withyour choices in life as well

      • Ann Onymous

        Perhaps the imaginary god could, when he created the universe, have created one without drugs. The same way he could’ve created a universe without poison, shellfish (the eating of which he considers an abomination) or body odor.

  • Anonymous

    That’s bad, even when giving them very generous benefit of the doubt.   Bad presentation, awkward suggestion, etc.  In all fairness, it doesn’t say to not call for help, but it really should suggest calling for support.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amanda-Stephenson/718004746 Amanda Stephenson

    Maybe if I had prayed to a fictional character my mom wouldn’t have died of a heroin overdose. Stupid ad makes me want to punch someone.

  • Bryan

    No worse than many of the other adds I saw while living in T.O.   Keep in mind, this is the same transit commission that accepted the atheist bus adds upfront, without the need for legal challenges/etc.  I’m not equating the two adds; I’m simply pointing out that this one transit authority appears to follow their own policies and the law…

    …and in an ideal world that is what they all would do.  Apply the law and their policies equally, regardless of the specific content.

    Bryan

  • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey Mick Wright

     Now put up an ‘atheists exist’ ad and let it get the same number of complaints, and see if they take the same approach…

    • Kaiti

      They did! They ran the “There probably is no god” ad and didn’t pull it. 

  • Mairianna

    “Although I would not personally condone the comportment
    outlined in the advertisement, I feel that I do not have the
    jurisdiction nor the authority to promote its cancellation; particularly
    because the TTC would not fare well in a court challenge should the promoter of the advertisement choose to make this issue one of rights and freedoms,”

    Bet they wouldn’t say that if it were an Atheist ad………

    • glenmorangie10

      I believe that TTC did allow the “There probably is no god” ads a couple of years ago. 

  • Rwlawoffice

    Two comments- Just because you don’t believe in prayer doesn’t meant that it doesn’t help those that do. And nowhere in the ad does it say pray instead of or to the exclusion of telling other people such as a teacher.  You are adding that implication based upon your atheist bias.

    • Recoveringagnostic

      First, a slight increase in your inner peace isn’t actually going to do anything to stop the damaging behaviour or protect you from its effects. If you think it will, please provide evidence to support that assertion.

      Second, given that this ad tells the reader what to do, there’s a fairly strong implication that the prescribed actions will be sufficient to resolve the problem. Would you be happy if it told children in this position to have a nice cup of tea? It doesn’t say they shouldn’t do anything else, and many people find a cup of tea rather relaxing, so it must be OK, right?

      • Rwlawoffice

         This is in response to all of the comments responding to mine.  You guys are letting your atheist bias read too much into this ad. There is absolutely no implication that the message of the ad is to pray and then stay quiet and not tell anyone else.  I am sure that an atheist child would ignore it and a child who is a believer would read and it be reminded that all of our troubles are to be brought to God. It does provide us peace and reminds us that we are not alone in our troubles.  You never know, that reminder might be just what a child needs to ask for help from someone else. 

        • Piet Puk

          “” You never know, that reminder might be just what a child needs to ask for help from someone else.

          “We do know, “ASK FOR HELP” would do that better.

          Again, the bias you think you see is a bullshit detector.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          I think we all agree there’s a bias here. But I don’t think that any misinterpretation of this ad’s message is coming from an atheist bias.

          It is viewpoints like yours, publicly expressed, and like those in the ad, that demonstrate the ways in which religion materially harms individuals and society, and which provide justification for ethical people to speak out against it.

          • Rwlawoffice

            Honestly how many religious people do you know who pray and do nothing else? With the exception of very few, most religious people pray and take their children to a doctor. Religious people pray and set up food banks and orphanages.   Religious people pray and establish hospitals.  Religious people pray and provide support for each other. Prayer is just one part of our life.

            • Piet Puk

              This should tell you something about how effective prayer is..

              • Rwlawoffice

                Actually when I and others  go to orphanages and food banks what we here is that we are answers to their prayers.  So yes it is evidence that prayers work.

                • Piet Puk

                  Tell that to kids praying for their parents to come back. Those prayers never seem to work.
                  You religious bias is letting you see evidence where there is none. But then again, you don’t have a very high standerd of what evidence is when it comes to your own believe. So no surprise here.

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  Simple question: why won’t God heal amputees? Apparently God “answering” prayers comes in the form of things that are already physically possible, and already likely to happen.

                  Also, what about the prayers of children who die from starvation? Those children who don’t get the same help that the orphans and other children in your example receive?
                  Again, selective bias. “The prayers of a small number of children worldwide were answered, therefore God.”

                • Rwlawoffice

                  You are assuming that God has never healed an amputee.  You are also assuming that in God’s love he must answer the prayers the way you think they should be answered.  Both of which do not prove that prayers do not work.

                • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

                  Oh for pete’s sake…I’m weighing in now as an above-knee amputee whose CHILDHOOD bone disease (osteomyelitis) went UNTREATED medically by my RELIGIOUS PARENTS.

                  Telling a kid to ask “God” for their parents to treat them better is immoral at best and criminal at worst. The potential for abuse is huge. What about MANDATED REPORTING? Encouraging the child to tell a teacher?  No; they are welcome to all the inner peace they can pray themselves into…

                  38 US states still permit religious defenses to child abuse. Let’s start empowering these kids to ask for help.

                • FSq

                  Hard to argue with that! (well said Liz)

                  And when the medically -neglected-as-a-child-amputee speaks up, there is no trump card left.

                  Rwlaw, shut up now.

                • Piet Puk

                   You are assuming a god exists, that has never been proven.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  I think the sign is making an assumption about how God answers prayers.  If prayer works, then I don’t think it works the way most people seem to think it works.  In fact, prayer seems to ‘work’ in cases where non-prayer could also have worked, but prayer never seems to work in ways that only prayer could work.  So from where I stand, prayer seems pretty equivalent to random chance.  I can’t prove it doesn’t work, but then, as you say, God has no obligation to prove anything to me one way or another.

                • Rwlawoffice

                   This is in response to your last post. Christians believe that God can work even through those that don’t believe in him.  We are celebrating  an example of that this weekend.  Pilate certainly didn’t believe in God but God’s plan included him.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  If you think anything bad I do is because I have free will, and anything good is God’s will, then we’re not going to meet on this one either.

                  All the more reason that if I actually did believe in your god, I would reject him.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eefS0gayKFc 

                • Rwlawoffice

                  This is in response to your last post. I think that good or bad it is your choice, but that God uses your choices in his plan.  Because it is not just your choices that are in play.  They are interrelated with other people’s choices.

                • Coyotenose

                   1. No one need assume that amputees don’t get healed. It doesn’t happen. There’s no reason to think it has ever happened. You just argued that people who don’t think a unicorn is behind them RIGHT NOW are just “assuming” that and implied that they are wrong.

                  2. The Bible specifically says that people will receive what they pray for. Your dishonest semantics about “ambiguity” (using legal tricks as Apologetics? You don’t see the problem there? Really?) don’t magically erase that.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  You are assuming that God has never healed an amputee because you have never heard of it. As for the verse you cite, Mat. 7:7 it says pray and you will receive, not that you will get what you pray for in that moment but what you need. Sometimes that is a no.

                • Piet Puk

                  The probability of a prayer being ansewered is the same as random chance.

                • Anonymous

                   So in other words, pray and you may or may not get what you ask for or need, it works about as well as waiting.

                • Keven

                   Good for you, but what about the rapes victim, how come their prays are not answered?

                • TiltedHorizon

                  And when people sneeze I respond with “God Bless You”, “Bless You”, “God Bless” and sometimes “gesundheit”.

                  Note, I am not actually offering blessings nor am I German. It is just an automatic response, not much meaning behind it other than being polite. 

                • http://twitter.com/eva_lushin Eva Lushin

                  Fooled…the orphans were praying for ponies.

                • FSq

                  Have you ever known an amputee whop prayed for his/her limb to grown back actually see the limb grow back? Nope.

                • Coyotenose

                  “So yes it is evidence that prayers work.”

                   That is remarkably dishonest wordplay, and you know it.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Someone in Uganda prays for healing and a mission team comes from America to him and heals him. His prayers have been answered.  How is that word play? 

                • Piet Puk

                    It is a coincidence.

                • Anonymous

                   It’s wordplay because there are thousands of others in Uganda and millions of others around the world who just suffer and die. Why aren’t all their prayers answered? Does god just suddenly decide that some people don’t “need” food or clean water or adequate health care?

                • FSq

                  Let me tell you something shitstain - 

                  When I go to do my philanthropic and charitable work, it is because I MADE THE DECISION TO TO DO SO BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR ME TO DO….it is NOT, I repeat NOT because some fuckstain like you prayed.

                  Do not EVER belittle my actions in such a trite and dishonest fashion. You do not have that right.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  You can say that all you want but like it or not, your charitable work  may have been the answer to someone’s prayer.  

                • Piet Puk

                   It is a coincidence. Like it or not.

                • Anonymous

                   Again, what about the millions of other prayers from people who do not get the help they need?? How about starting with 1770* children who die from abuse/neglect every year?

                  *numbers from2009, link posted in other comment above.

                • FSq

                  If you were in front of me right now, I would slap you in the face. You are a vile, disgusting human being who has no concept of actual effort from humans.

                  Don’t you EVER, I repeat EVER try and draw my actions, training and work into the answer to someone talking to an imaginary friend.

                  GO AWAY.

                • Rwlawoffice

                   And if you did I would turn the other cheek.

                   Why are you so threatened? Unless you do a test to determine the belief system of those that you provide charity to, then how do you know that your help was not the answer to someone’s prayer?  Do you only provide charity to atheists?  If you have provided charity to a Christian in the past I can guarantee you that that Christian has thanked God for your generosity. 

                • FSq

                  As you are m,akingthe positive assertion that my actions were the result of prayer, I tell you to prove it. Until you can,you are full of self-delusional shit.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  So you are threatened by someone else’s belief? If the person you are helping believes that you are an answer to their prayers that doesn’t diminish your work in your mind.  You could certainly tell them that you don’t believe that.  The fact that the both of you disagree on the effect of the recipient’s prayer doesn’t degrade in anyway the good work you have done, unless of course you withhold that charity because they may give some of the credit to God.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  For me, I don’t mind if someone says “God Bless You!” if I do something for them.  I usually smile and say “I’m an atheist, but thanks anyway”.

                  However.

                  You saying prayer has anything to do with my actions is a different matter.  In particular because you know I’m an atheist.  It’s funny that I have free will to not believe in God, but not free will to do good things without God making me.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  It’s insulting because you are claiming credit for what he does.  Not you personally, but you’re saying it wasn’t him, it was God.  The closest analogy I can think of (and it’s not great) would be “You only give to charity because you’re trying to buy your way into heaven”.  It degrades and diminishes what you do.

                • Anonymous

                  when I and others go to orphanages and food banks what we here is that we are answers to their prayers. So yes it is evidence that prayers work.

                   
                  You, along with other human beings ‘answered their prayers’….
                   
                  Human beings helping each other.
                   
                  Where’s the need for prayer to a god in that?

            • Piet Puk

               PS: the add is directed to kids, who might still bevieve in magic, they may not understand that more is needed than just prayer.

              • FSq

                And remember that many of the religious idiots howled out against books like Harry Potter because they were afraid it would encourage them to turn to “magic and witchcraft.” So, when a retard like rwlaw starts with the “oh, this ad won’t harm children” it is hypocritical to the “Harry Potter is a gateway book to voodoo and woo” bullshit.

                And relax rw, you may not be against Harry Potter, but I am betting you firmly believe that many things kids are exposed to are tantamount to evil. It is just christian arrogance and part of their huge double-standard.

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              This abusive ad targets kids. Kids who who are in negative and dangerous homes. Kids who are under extreme stress. Kids who are scared and worried. Kids who may not know what their options are, or even that there are options. Kids who may not have developed the ability to filter good advice from bad.

              It flat out lies to them, telling them their situation will improve if they do something that will definitely have no effect. Snake oil. Doing that to an adult may only be unethical; doing it to a kid should be criminal- and in many cases is.

              • Rwlawoffice

                 I was wondering when someone would take the position that   encouraging a child to pray  should be a criminal offense.  So much for the freedom to exercise religion.

                • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

                  Telling a kid to pray as a solution to a real and dangerous problem is lying, and it is a lie that can lead to injury or death. This is no different than refusing medical treatment to a child on religious grounds. These kinds of abuses against children are not protected by “religious freedom”. It is well established Constitutionally that freedom of religion refers to the freedom to maintain beliefs; it does not allow all actions that follow from those beliefs.

                  If a child suffered harm because of his parents’ drug use, and admitted that he did not seek real help because this sign on the bus reassured him that praying would solve the problem, a good lawyer might well recover significant damages from Bus Stop Bible Studies.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Have you not heard of religious expression? The freedom to express a religion goes beyond the right to belief a certain way in entails actions as well.  Your opinion that prayer does no good is just that, an opinion and one that is held by a minority of people. I can assure you that this ad would not support a claim of recovery and any lawyer taking that case would be thrown out of court with sanctions.

                • http://twitter.com/eva_lushin Eva Lushin

                  I am praying right now for the end of this ridiculous religious nonsense. Nobody is listening…

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  “Your opinion that prayer does no good is just that, an opinion and one that is held by a minority of people.”

                  Ah, the appeal to popularity. My opinion (which is NOT mere opinion) is a minority, therefore it’s easily dismissed.

                  Also, there are studies that show, without a shadow of a doubt, that prayer is not beneficially, and in some cases people who knew they were being prayed for were worse off as a result.

                  Also, you asked earlier, “How many people do you know who pray instead of taking action?” There are plenty of cases out there. For example: 
                  http://www.whatstheharm.net/christianscience.html

                  You are being willfully ignorant, and it’s sad really. Appeals to popularity, arguments from ignorance… you should be aware of logical fallacies.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Actually I did not base by argument that prayer works by saying the majority of people think that it does.  That would be a logical fallacy.  I did point that that even though the poster I was responding to said that prayer doesn’t work, that this was merely his opinion and alot of people disagreed with him.  I know you can see the difference.

                  Also, pointing to Christian Scientists who do not involve medical care is pointing to a very small minority in the Christian faith.  By one source the total number of practicing Christian scientists is less than 100,000 worldwide. So I really don’t think I was arguing from ignorance. Instead, it appears that my argument was spot on. 

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  You would think that somebody with the word “law” in their username would understand all that, but apparently that is not the case.

                  When prayer replaces action instead of supplementing it, yes, it is harmful in many cases. Children are very impressionable, and if you tell a child that (s)he should not worry about anything else, and pray instead, you are advocating inaction, with self-reflection to replace it.
                  Again, I really don’t understand how anybody could see this as nothing but harmful.

            • Keven

               So you are admitting that prays alone doesn’t work?

              • Rwlawoffice

                 Not saying that at all.

                • Keven

                   Yes you did.

                  “most religious people pray and take their children to a doctor.”

                  Why are they taking the sick to the doctor if God is all powerful. The Bible says that to pray for anything and it will be granted. I guess Jesus lied again.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Nope.  You are making an assumption from my comment that isn’t there.  I believe that God works through people.  As the bible says, “blessed are the feet that bring good news”.

                • Keven

                  Done with you, you are to delusional for my taste

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/7DTI2BTJIZ5SA72K2R5T7QX3A4 Lori

              This is addressed towards a child, a child asking for help, wouldn’t you give that child a little more substantial advice, such as telling a teacher, rather than just pray?  You may know what avenues for help are available but this child doesn’t or help wouldn’t be requested from Jesus.  It’s manipulative and dangerous to give that kind of half-assed advice to a child.

              • Rwlawoffice

                It is clear that the ad is intended to convey comfort.  I don’t think it is intended to be an all inclusive direction on how to handle this situation.  

                • Piet Puk

                   It is clear that this ad conveys stupidity.

                • FSq

                  Exactly – it is perfectly geared toward people like RWLAW – you know, feeble-minded, developmentally stunted stupid people.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

               Imagine how much more they could do if they weren’t wasting all that time PRAYING!

        • TiltedHorizon

          Again I say:

          If you can point out where it directs the reader to “tell others” then I’ll happily and humbly apologize for overreacting. In case you are thinking of replying with ‘it’s assumed’; don’t.

        • http://twitter.com/eva_lushin Eva Lushin

          But there is no god…

        • FSq

          No, you are letting your obvious christian arrogance see our atheist bullshit-o-radar as bias.

          We show error and bullshit, and you spin and whine – and use false logic and spurious reasoning at best.

          Look, you have mo leg to stand on. You are out there. In fact, it seems  that your meds aren’t working any more, and you may need to talk to your doc about altering the dosage levels.

          Also, why do you hate freedom? Who hurt you? If you would only accept reason and logic into your heart, you would walk without the angst. It is okay, let it go and be reborn into a better life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anique.vanberne Anique Van Berne

      “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

      it does not literally say not to do anything else.  However, it gives the suggestion that prayer unaccompanied by any other action will solve your troubles.This ad would be a lot better if it also gave a reference to some type of support group. This support group could be religion-based. The important thing is that kids in this situation should be stimulated to seek help from other adults.

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      Praying may help some people feel better. But it absolutely will not help a child whose parents are using drugs get into a safer position, nor will the child’s prayers have the slightest impact on the parents.

      The ad is horrible advice- unethical in the extreme. In most other contexts, its creators might actually incur legal liability when the predictable results (death or injury) occur.

    • Danny

      The ad is pretty clear in its implication: pray to the magic sky fairie and all your problems will go away. “Don’t worry about anything” to me seems to say your imaginary friend will solve all your problems, no need to take actual physical action other than groveling on your knees and talking to yourself. That kind of rationalization is beyond comprehension…

    • Piet Puk

       The question was “Will you help them stop”, the only answer that is given is “Pray”. The ”atheist bias” you see is called ”detecting bullshit”.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “Just because you believe in prayer doesn’t mean that it helps.”

      Works just as easily this way too.

      “…nowhere in the ad does it say pray instead of or to the exclusion of telling other people…”

      Actually, it says: “DON’T WORRY about anything; INSTEAD, PRAY about everything”

      If you can point out where it directs the reader to “tell others” then I’ll happily and humbly apologize for overreacting. In case you are thinking of replying with ‘it’s assumed’; don’t.

      • Rwlawoffice

         It doesn’t say one way or the other to contact or not contact others with the problem.  The implication that it is instructing the children to pray to the exclusion of anything else is put in by Hemant and the other atheists here.

        For example if it says tell your grandparents would you say that by implication it is saying not to go to the police?

        • Piet Puk

           “”For example if it says tell your grandparents would you say that by implication it is saying not to go to the police?”
          But it doesn’t say that, is says “Pray”.

          • Michael

            More importantly it says to pray and stop worrying. That implies to not do anything else about it after you’ve prayed.

        • TiltedHorizon

          So your answer is, its assumed. What did I say to not do?

          The implication exists because there is no clear text instructing the reader to perform any action beyond praying, it is therefore open to interpretation. We live in a world where people don’t always trust their common sense hence some substitute prayer for medical attention or drive cars into oncoming traffic because GPS told them to.

          Since your name suggests working in a Law Office I should not have to explain the implications of ambiguity to you.

          • Rwlawoffice

             Yes I am a lawyer and I know that when interpreting a contract or a statute, you don’t create an ambiguity from a lack of language. You must find an ambiguity from the language that is used. You look to the four corners of the document to see if it is ambiguous. This ad is not ambiguous.  You are reading an intent that is not there.   

            • Anonymous

              Good thing it’s a sign aimed at children and not contract law or statute huh?

            • Cheron

              ” This ad is not ambiguous”

              You are correct, it clearly says tell god and he’ll make it “more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”

              Which is terrible advise to give anyone.

            • TiltedHorizon

              There is only one action prescribed; pray. Unless this, by itself, fixes the problems described then ambiguity exists. In assuming the reader has the wherewithal to use common sense and mature understand it, the language is not agreed on, it therefore becomes ambiguous as meaning is not controlled.

              • Rwlawoffice

                 If the ad said- “Go tell your teacher”  Would that imply that the ad is saying don’t go tell the police?

                You are adding to the language when you say that unless this fixes the problem, then the ambiguity exists.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  Language does not need to be added. It clearly prescribes the solution; pray.

                  “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” = Prayer is enough to address the described scenario.

                  There is no need to “add” language, the existing language allows this meaning to exist therefore ambiguity exists since meaning is not controlled.

                  As for your question, there is no point changing the dynamics. Directing someone to speak with a supernatural entity is nothing like directing someone to speak with person.

                • Anonymous

                  The term used is “instead.” In case you have language problems, that means to do one thing and not the other. If it meant to pray in addition to doing something else, it should not have used the word “instead.”

                • Edmond

                  Why would such an ambiguity even be ALLOWED?  Who checked this copy?  Was there something wrong with this ad saying to pray to god AND to tell a grown-up?  ANY grown-up?  It doesn’t have to specify a teacher.  It might say “go tell a teacher, police officer or other trusted adult”.  I’ve seen MANY secular signs, in hospitals or schools or any government agency where at-risk children might see them.  NONE of them are ambiguous about what to do in a situation like this.  ALL of them outline ALL the options a child has (well, all the REALISTIC ones).  They certainly don’t OMIT the most important advice the child will benefit from.

                • FSq

                  Do you have any real clients? Or do you just troll around these boards all day playing a fake lawyer on the interwebs?

                • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                  If it said, “Go tell your teacher INSTEAD OF telling the police”, yes that would be the case. Stop being dishonest. Address the fact that the ad specifically calls upon children to pray INSTEAD OF doing anything else.

            • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

              “It is not ambiguous because I say so. The implication, though non-existent, is apparent to ME.”

              Come on RW, think clearly here. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Do I really need to draw the connecting lines? Apparently so.

              The ad says to not worry about anything. It suggests to replace that worry with prayer, praying about everything in life. In the context of the given question to the responder, this is telling the child to not worry about his or her parents’ drug problem, and to instead pray about it. It is clearly suggesting a course of inaction, with prayer being the only action recommended.

            • Keven

               Can you post your real name, so we don’t ever seek your advice on legal issues.

              • FSq

                I am surp9irsed he hasn’t been reported to the bar or lost his BAR number.

                This daffy bastard has some of the most convoluted “argumentation” I have witnessed since I went to that Dale Carnegie seminar at The Off-Ramp Inn.

    • Anonymous

      The only implication is directly from the ad saying to pray and the child will experience “God’s peace.” Or did you not read it?

      The child is asking for help with his parents, and the response is to be silent and pray.

      • Rwlawoffice

        Honestly, where does it say be silent? 

        • Anonymous

           Right where it says “instead, pray about everything”

        • TiltedHorizon

          Problem: Mommy & Daddy do drugs.
          What to do: “Don’t worry” + “instead, pray” = Report the issue to god, no further action is needed (hence further action is silenced)

          Where does it say to do anything else?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I am leery of my bias, so I do appreciate you pointing it out.  I agree that prayer may very well help the child deal emotionally with things beyond their control.  But “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. ” doesn’t seem very far away from ‘to the exclusion of anything else’.  No, it doesn’t explicitly say “don’t do anything else” but it also does say “pray about everything” and “don’t worry about anything“.

      • Rwlawoffice

        I can see your point.  A child could read this that way.  

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

           So, you admit that even a child is smart enough to read the true intent of the ad, and you, a lawyer, could not.

          Great. Done with you. Buh-bye.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, I think you may have forgotten earlier that this ad was targeted at children. Children don’t have the same critical thinking skills that adults (should) have. A child would read that ad and think “if I pray it will help me.” A child will not read that ad and think “If I pray it will help me, but I should also tell an adult and get outside help.” Children tend to think literally.

    • FSq

      Do you believe god answers all prayers?

      Do you believe that prayer “moves mountains”?

      Do you believe prayer heals?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

       Christ, but you’re thick!

      How the fuck is PRAYER going to do ANYTHING to help that kid? Oooh, a bit more peace of mind? Yeah, that’ll last until the next time Daddy gets drunk and starts throwing Mommy around the house like a ragdoll.

      PRAYER DOES NOTHING.

      It is irresponsible (possibly even negligent) to even suggest to a child that they don’t need REAL help, they just need JAAAYZUSS-AH and life will magickally just *POOF* and be okay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

    So, an ad that says “Atheists. ” is too controversial.  But an ad that tells children to stay in a dangerous situation and not get help is just fine.  

    So controversy = bad.  Helping children stay in life threatening situations = good.  Gotcha.

    • LutherW

       I wonder if they would reject an add promoting fast food for the overweight, or sweets for diabetics? Or just one saying all medication and medical treatments are dangerous?

  • http://www.facebook.com/anique.vanberne Anique Van Berne

     This reminds me of a joke that circulated in the (liberal) Christian community that my mom still belongs to:

    A man was in the middle of a lake, when his boat sprung a leak. He had no lifevest, and the shore was too far to swim. So he prayed to God: “please save me!”
    While he was baining out water as fast as he could, onother boat passed him. The people on the boat asked him: “Do you need a hand?”
    “No,” he answered “God will save me.”
    His bailing could not keep the boat afloat and while treading water he closed his eyes and prayed: “Dear God, please save my life!”
    After a little while, another boat came near and the occupants reached out their hands to help him in their boat, but he refused: “I do not need your help, because God will save me.”
    His legs started to tire, and it became difficult to keep his head above water. Fervently he prayed: “Dear God, I’ve tried to be a good man, please spare my life.”
    Nearby he heard a splash. A man had jumped out of his boat and swam to him. “Take my hand!” he said. “I’ll save you!”
    But the man refused. Between gulps of water he managed to say: “No” *blub* “God” his head went under for a moment “I prayed” and then he slipped into the deep.

    When he entered throught the pearly gates and met his maker, the man asked Him: “My Lord, I prayed for my life, why did you not save me?”
    And the Lord answered: “Not save you? I sent three boats!”

    While I no longer believe in the existence of an omnipotent supernatural being, I like the morale of this story: Do not sit on your a$$ and wait for God to fix things for you. Take every chance that is offered to you.

    Many theists that do not care to give up their belief in a God, would do well to amend their world view to one that accepts that people and technology (like medical science) may be instruments through which their God operates. In my opinion, it would prevent a lot of unnecessary suffering.

  • Skjaere

    This advert will totally backfire, too. Kids might read it and follow its advice, notice that their situation does not improve, and conclude that there is no God. Well don, idiotic bus sign!

  • glenmorangie10

    “Dear child: call 1-800-668-6868 immediately. While you listen to hold messages or redial after a busy signal, pray some more and wait for real help.Dear everyone else. Donate to Kids Help Phone at http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/en/donate/. Make sure this kid has more than prayer in his corner.”

    • Kristenanderson1

       Maybe someone will cover up god’s response with this info. Much more useful.

    • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

      Ramen, glen!

  • TiltedHorizon

    What a horrible presentation, and I don’t just mean the message, the narrative is completely FUBAR. It starts with “Dear Jesus”, does this mean the quoted reply is supposed to be Jesus responding?

    So what does this ‘Jesus’ say? “Don’t worry, instead pray.” Not, tell a trusted grownup, then pray or any such combination.

    “Tell
    God what you need”: What? Shouldn’t god already know?

    “thank him for all he has done”: Following the narrative, this means god got mommy and daddy hooked on drugs resulting in the need to pray OR god watched mommy & daddy get hooked on drugs and did not do anything about it. Um….. thanks… for nothing.

    “If you do this
    you will experience God’s peace”: If? Really? If? So if the child does not pray, F em?

    Crap like this is why I left faith.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      Also, Jesus’ response to the prayer was “Pray more.”

      Guess the child has to thank him for telling the child to do what they already did?

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

         Douchebag Jesus:

        You prayed to me to help your parents?

        PRAY MOAR, LOLZ!

  • Anonymous

    Praying to a god that does not exist is not harmful to a person.  Humans need to be able to cope with tragedies and suffering.  Believing in a fictional
    god may be beneficial to that child.  People including children must create meaning out of suffering in order to deal with that suffering.  We are meaning creating creatures.  

    If believing in god helps a person create meaning out of their suffering them more power to them.  Science is showing that religion helps reduce anxiety, religion is beneficial.  A good book on creating meaning out of suffering is Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”.  I also know from personal experiences how a belief in  god can help a person deal with suffering.  

    Religion helped me deal with tragedies and suffering in my childhood.  An atheist form of belief would not have worked for me at this time.  Of course suffering is a complex issue, if someone finds solace and help in belief or unbelief then more power to them. 
    Let me also point out that I am not saying that a belief in god is superior to non-belief they are equal.  

    I am saying that what ever works for the individual is what matters.  Lastly, one of my biggest problems with atheist is that at times their prejudice towards religion blinds them to the greater complexities of an issue like suffering.

    Harold

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      You have got to be joking. So you advocate children praying instead of calling for actual help? You are completely blind to this perfect example of how religion causes more harm than good. Religion as a crutch is all fine and dandy, but it should supplement real-life action, not replace it. Do you not understand that?

      • Anonymous

        TerranRichCollapse

        I don not advocate children praying instead of calling
        for help.  No were in the ad does it tell children to do this.  Terran the whole reason why I posted is because this is not an example of how religion causes harm.  

        My problem with atheist is that they are so blinded by their own prejudice that they cannot evaluate anything dealing with religion accurately.  My point is this religion and prayer are not crutches they are real life actions.  Taking a child away from their parents is only part of the solution.  

        Whether you like it or not religion and prayer can be another part.  Atheist need to wake up and put down their blinders and realizes that there are other ways of dealing with things that are just as valid as the way atheist deal with things. 

        Harold

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          Read the ad again. It specifically says to not worry about anything, and pray about everything. That is clearly replacing real action with self-reflection.

          And no, prayer is not an action. Prayer doesn’t feed children. Prayer doesn’t help the sick. Prayer doesn’t save lives in a life-or-death situation. Prayer doesn’t do anything other than make the one praying feel better about perhaps not being able to do anything else of use.

          There have been studies, time and time again, that show that prayer does nothing. You may or may not be aware of the recent study where heart surgery patients who knew they were being prayed for actually did worse than those were not prayed for. I really don’t see how prayer is anything but a self-soothing action.

          What you call “blinders”, I call seeing reason and logic. It’s one thing to say to a child, “Now that you’ve done all you can, all that is left is to pray,” but it’s a whole other thing to say, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

    • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

      The big lie of religion is CERTAINTY: “This will happen (or won’t) because it’s God’s will” or “you dion’t have the understanding to appreciate why this happened but you will.”

      Life is about uncertainty. Kids appreciate and respond to adults’ honesty. It is the adults’ job to explain the world as best they can, and admit when they don’t know even while doing everything they can to protect the children. Kids respect this. It is much more comforting to be able to depend on humans around us and learn how to find these people than to hope for magic solutions.

      • Anonymous

        Liz

        “The big lie of religion is CERTAINTY”

        This is not actually true.  A lot of things besides religion give us
        certainty.  Feminism, Humanism, Secularism also gives people certainty.  The reason for this has to do with how our brains work.  Our brains can not stand uncertainty.  Certainty is not the big lie of religion.

        “This will happen (or won’t) because it’s God’s will” or “you dion’t have the understanding to appreciate why this happened but you will.”

        God’s will is a powerful way to create meaning and has helped many people deal with adverse situations. Humans by thier very nature have to create meaning.  This includes atheist.  Now different people call it different things, fate, luck or god.  These are just concepts that help us answer the big questions in life.  These concepts are still around because they offer us practical use.  It does not matter if luck or fate or God exist or not.  All that matters is that people find these beliefs useful.  

        Harold

        • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

          By certainty I mean:

          Unquestioning acceptance.
          Misguided faith.
          Unreasonable tolerance.
          Dangerous passivity.
          Heartbreaking expectation.
          Agonizing and excruciating (as in  the verb TO CRUCIFY: how appropriate today!) hope of the impossible.

          I say this as a surviving child who was told to pray while her leg putrified and rotted to the bone with osteomyelitis in 1975-6. I say this as a surviving teen who stumbled through high school with a knee fused solid in a bent position, sure she had failed to understand  God’s Perfect Universe and so had not been healed. I say this as a recovered believer with two failed marriages, 35 years of PTSD and a horrific time of coming-to-my-senses in my past, all because of the religious protection that is STILL LEGAL TO PARENTS in 38 states.

          I say this as an above-knee amputee whose leg was so fucked-up by that childhood religious treatment that it was beyond all surgery and so cut off five years ago on February 26, 2007. (The day kinda sticks in my mind, you know?)
           
          Is it reasonable to admit that religion should do no harm? Would it be worth evolving past primative beliefs in order to save the suffering of kids across this country TODAY?? Is this collateral damage part of your so-called “practical use”?

          Faith in a god has outlived its usefulness.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/7DTI2BTJIZ5SA72K2R5T7QX3A4 Lori

      Yeah, because kids should just be left to their find their own inner resources when their parents are being neglectful.  I hope you’re not a parent.

      • Anonymous

        Lori

        Actually I am a parent. 
        Secondly, questioning my parenting abilities is called appeal to
        ridicule.  You need to deal with my
        arguments.  You also underestimate the
        power of religion.  It will and does give
        help in time of need.  

        Harold 

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          No, that is not an appeal to ridicule. An appeal to ridicule would be me saying, “You believe in ___? What else do you believe in, fairies? Unicorns? Ha ha!” That’s an appeal to ridicule. Being incredulous that you’re a parent… that is not.

          I’m sorry, but when faced with people praying for me vs. people physically help me, I’ll choose the latter every single time. Wishful thinking is not action.

    • TiltedHorizon

       “Praying to a god that does not exist is not harmful to a person.”

      Praying is not harmful, endorsing the act of praying as a sole solution to a harmful situation is. The ad clearly provides the reader a singular solution; pray INSTEAD of worrying about the issue at hand. Prayer without further action will not correct this or any situation where harm is pending.

      • Anonymous

        Tilted Horizon,

        They are not endorsing prayer as a sole solution.  This is an intent that you are reading into this.  The ad also offers a phone
        number.  If you check the website this phone number is manned by my people for the purpose of helping those who need help.  If these people believed that all you had to do is pray then they would not have people trained in how to help distressed people.  

        My biggest problem is not that atheists fine this ad ineffective but that they have this dogmatic view that religion is harmful.  The
        belief that religion is harmful is no truer then the belief that atheism is harmful.  This dogma of atheist blinds them to the larger world around them.  Atheists at times seem as close minded as any religious fundamentalist.  As I stated above religion and prayer are pragmatically useful; the good that religion produces out weighs
        any bad. 
         
        -Harold

        • TiltedHorizon

          As I have stated elsewhere.

          “If you can point out where it directs the reader to “tell others” then I’ll happily and humbly apologize for overreacting.”

          “My biggest problem is not that atheists fine this ad ineffective but that they have this dogmatic view that religion is harmful.”

          And where do I say that?

          “the good that religion produces out weighs any bad.”

          Tell that to the victims of faith.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Ok, as an atheist I can *still* write a better, more productive and STILL “god-loving” ad:

      “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Let God’s love and peace fill you and give you the strength to tell a trusted grown-up what’s going on.  Tell your teacher, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, or even a police officer – Any adult you trust – so that they, with God in their hearts, can help your parents to find the strength to get better with God’s love.”

      See?  God still gets all the kudos, the kid is going to pray like the dickens for strength, AND he’ll actually tell a grown-up who can help him get out of this abusive situation.  There is such a thing as having some social responsibility.  A child reaching out for help because of addict parents should be told to seek *physical* help.  As you saw above, you can keep all the god-lovin’ woo-woo in it that you want, but you can still MAKE SURE that child gets REAL help before something horrible happens to them. 

      If the child’s portion had said, “My father beats me every night, what should I do?”  Would you still stand up for this ad’s content of “Just pray.  You’ll feel so warm and fuzzy that you won’t feel the welts and bruises your dad left all over your body tonight.”?  Or would you, like we’re all saying of THIS ad, say, “Why are they not telling this kid to get help?  His father is beating him!  They should at least mention that he should tell his teacher or a cop or something!  They’re basically telling the kid to take the beatings and just pray.  They’re not even telling the poor thing to get help.”

      • Anonymous

        GloomCookie613

        I have a question, which is more important.  Telling people that god does not exist or helping remove children from harmful situations?  Is it more important to make sure prayers are not said at football games or to feed hungry children?  Atheist are spending a lot of money on billboards to inform people about atheism. 

        Additionally, if these religious people are causing harm because they are not effectively helping children get out of harmful situations.  Then are not atheist also doing harm because instead help children they are promoting themselves. 

        I want to know were are their ads helping children?  I would like to think that some atheist some were is actually spending money on ads to help those children who need to get out of harmful situations. 

        I hope that some atheist some were is running ads in papers encouraging children in harmful situations to leave in mass. 

        If you are going to talk the talk you should be walking the walk.

        Harold

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          I have a question, which is more important.  Telling people that god does not exist or helping remove children from harmful situations?

          Why can’t we do both? Who says we have to stop doing the former, and do more of the latter?

          Is it more important to make sure prayers are not said at football games or to feed hungry children?

          No, but it is nonetheless important.

          Atheist are spending a lot of money on billboards to inform people about atheism.

          It’s obvious that you have no idea why we do this. Because our mere existence is offensive to so many theists. Because we need society to accept us as equals, and to not be offended when we don’t happen to share the same beliefs that they do. Because activism is important, and this is the first baby step toward doing what we think is right. That first baby step is letting theists know that we exist and we’re just like them. When that alone offends people and causes our ads to be rejected for simply saying something like “Atheists”, then it’s apparent that we have a lot more work to do.

          Additionally, if these religious people are causing harm because they are not effectively helping children get out of harmful situations, then are not atheist also doing harm because instead help children they are promoting themselves.

          I’m sorry, but your logic is absolutely absurd. How are we doing harm by not putting up ads targeting children that counteract this one? Are you insane? We’re pointing out the harm that this ad does, and all you can point to is how there is apparently no atheist counter-action to the same effect? Give me a break.

          I want to know were are their ads helping children?

          How about every single other ad targeting children that does not mention a god? Sure, they’re specifically atheists, but since they already exist in high numbers, why should atheist groups run ads that help children? Who says we have to? Also, just because you can’t find them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Argument from Ignorance.

          I hope that some atheist some were is running ads in papers encouraging children in harmful situations to leave in mass.

          But, see, why would atheist groups be the ones who are expected to do so? Just because a religious organization did, now we must as well? That makes no sense. We are not here to counteract every single thing that every single religious organization does, with non-theistic messages. That is a waste of time, when there are already non-religious ads aimed at helping children already out there.

          If you are going to talk the talk you should be walking the walk.

          Oh, we do. Trust me. There are atheist organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry, helping the poor, building houses for the homeless, sheltering people, and so much more. Do a simple Google search and you’ll find them.

          • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

             Well, damn.  You touched on just about every single thing I was going to say in reply!  Though I do have one point that I’ll add above.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

           At risk of repeating just about everything TerranRich said below (which I couldn’t have said it better myself), I’ll simply point out the bits in this little rant that I found to be most ridiculous:

          A) You didn’t bother to even answer my question.  You still seem to not see the bigger issue of child safety and are just fine to wallow in your ignorance.  That’s sad.

          B) Your little arguments of “Atheists do this” and “Atheists do that”… do you realize that you’re doing the exact same thing that most theists accuse us atheists of doing?  Lumping all of us together?  Not all of us are activists, many of us do contribute to charity, many of us do many, many things that are selfless and for the good of the community as a whole.  Not all atheists are militant jerks.  Not all Christians are idiots who would tell a child to pray instead of getting help.

          C) The whole “atheists do this” and “atheists do that” bit is also a distraction because you can’t back up your original assertion.  You have no way to argue your way out of your ignorant stance, realize it, so you try to change the subject.  Seriously, dude, I was a teenage girl once: We’re the masters of the subject change and can spot manipulative use of it a mile out.  Nice try, but no dice.

          So how about this: If *YOU* are going to talk the talk, how about *YOU* walk the walk, sir?

    • Anonymous

      “A good book on creating meaning out of suffering…”

      Wtf? Why would ANY sane person want to create a meaning for suffering? My philosophy on this “issue” is that shit happens every day, deal with it.

      • Anonymous

        GlasoFruix,

        Thank you, your reply made me laugh. 

         

        “Why would ANY sane person want to create a
        meaning for suffering?”

         

        The answer to this question is: to keep
        sane.  Sane people make meaning out of
        suffering.  That is what they do.  To better understand this read Viktor Frankl’s
        book “Mans Search for Meaning”.  Dr.
        Frankl is a survivor of the Jewish concentration camps.  This is not a religious book but a psychology
        book.  Also your belief that “shit
        happens” is really a superficial answer and does not work.  That is why it is not more popular.  It would be interesting to see if any
        psychologist would say this to their patients.  

        Harold

        • Anonymous

          Why everything should have a meaning, especially suffering? Instead of searching a meaning for something I prefer to not bother my brain with such questions and instead focus on finding a solution to my problem, it works quite well and keeps me sane.

  • JR

    If you look at the tiny print below the response, it suggests that this is an “actual” Bible verse from the “New Living Translation”…
    KJV (King James Version) :

     6Be careful for
    nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
    let your requests be made known unto God.  7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.NIV (New International Version) :6 Do not be anxious about
    anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with
    thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The underlying message of the ad is, “the solution to every problem is to turn to the Bible/God” – both of which are useless.

  • Nym

    these folks shouldn’t be disallowed their ad, they should just have better brains about their message…maybe like the (defaced) PA atheist slavery billboard.

  • Keven

    Delusional people will always make excuse for their stupidity and irrational thinking.

  • http://twitter.com/numalum Numalum

    What a terrible ad. I don’t think it would be allowed in the UK.

  • Anonymous

    I only skimmed the comments so if I missed something, then I apologize.  But another facet that has been ignored, is the drugs. No one’s going to bat for the drugs here?

    Drugs can be great.  And a child can have other reasons for worrying about their parents doing drugs than cracked out parents with needle marks and missing teeth. They also have a shitbrained education system telling them that all drugs are bad, regardless of their parents wishes on the matter.  I can easy see a child overhearing their parents talking about drugs and being convinced that their parents are doing something bad.

    I’m not having kids and I understand it’s a delicate matter, but I’d be honest with my kids about drug use. Obviously I’d forbid them until they were old enough to make their own choices, but drugs are out there, and a good deal of them that I personally have done have been healthier for my mental state than two decades of Catholicism.   And the best part is, the more time passes, the more I see articles saying science backs me up on this.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      Excellent point.

      Also, the fact that at the same time, we’re practically pushing drugs on kids. No problem if the kid legit needs to be dosed to keep him from, like, bouncing off the walls and disrupting the entire class, or something, obviously. But there are also school administrators and parents who are pushing doctors for a diagnosis because little Cznofleykke’s behavioral problems can’t possibly be a result of a no-discipline kid-centric “parenting” style. *rolleyes* We also have adverts for this drug and that drug and what-have-you running on television 24/7.

      We’re telling our children “drugs are bad, mmkay”, while inundating them with data telling them that, no matter what it is, “there’s a drug for that!” (All while trying to convince them that a wonderful little plant — a PLANT, FFS! — is The Worst Drug Evar!)

      I’m going to go have a smoke, now, because I can’t EVEN.

  • Vikram K. Mulligan

    I’ve created a petition about this issue on Change.org, for those who would like to sign.  Here’s the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/chair-toronto-transit-commission-stop-ttc-advertising-that-encourages-child-abuse-victims-to-remain-silent

  • Anonymous

    It is interesting to see the public responses to some of our
    displays.  In the past 5+ years we have posted literally thousands of
    ‘studies’ on public transit in Canada (the majority on the TTC) and it is
    surprising to us how little response we do get from the general public. 
    Thankfully, most of the responses we get are quite positive.  Sometimes
    the testimonies we receive are life
    changing which is what encourages us to keep doing what we do. The text for
    this particular ‘study’ has been on the TTC almost continuously for
    5-years.  It was only when someone took a photo of it last week and
    Tweeted with a negative comment it that it has become an issue.  We now
    live in a world of instant media.

     

    Over the years of this ministry we have come to learn
    that people’s paradigms dramatically impact their response to any message we
    might display.  I have personally experienced too many direct answers to
    prayer to not believe that  God is perfectly able to respond to any
    child’s genuine cry for help.  In the Bible Jesus holds up children as an
    example of what our faith should be like.

     

    Consider this for a moment… A child prays the suggested
    prayer in genuine faith (recognizing that God is able).  God answers that
    prayer by convicting the parents of the damage they are doing to themselves and
    their child and they turn from doing drugs.  Would you not then agree that
    our counsel has been effective?  Our paradigm is faith based.  Others
    will scoff and say “Ridiculous!”

     

    Having said this, some have made an excellent point that
    children need to be directed to resources where they can find practical
    help.  To this end there are other ads on public transit which promote the
    Kid’s Help Phone,
    an organization that is equipped to direct children to practical resources if
    they feel the need.  Due to copyright restrictions, etc. we cannot simply
    display this information on our ‘studies’ but children on public transit who
    read the ads can avail themselves of both the spiritual and the practical.

     

    Our transit messages may not be the complete answer to
    every situation but we do believe they are at least part
    of the answer.

     

    David

     

    David
    Harrison, President

    Bus
    Stop Bible Studies

    • Keven

      DavidOHarrison -  ‘Our transit messages may not be the complete answer to
      every situation but we do believe they are at least part
      of the answer.’

      Wrong your message are totally delusional, out of date, useless to the victims, not to forget that religion is the number cause of slowing down advancement in science, medicine, psychology and human rights.

      Wake up, grow up and try to live in the 21st century please.

    • Anonymous

      “I have personally experienced too many direct answers to
      prayer to not believe that  God is perfectly able to respond to any
      child’s genuine cry for help. ”

      I guess about 1770 children had to die because their cries for help were not “genuine” enough for god to do anything about it. (That’s just in the United States)

      http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/fatality.cfm

      “Perfectly able” just not willing…

      • http://twitter.com/westhillsgirl Hilda Ward

         Maybe God took those children out of a horrific situation.  The alternative is that there is no God, in which case we are no more important than the flies we swat or the spiders we step on.   If our lives are just the produce of a Big Bang, then our lives don’t really have a point and the strong will just  survive longer than others.  Some will suffer some won’t.    Personally I believe in God.  I have been in many bad situations and have come out of them much stronger, and much more compassionate for others who have suffered.   Evil, with or without God in your heart, will always exist in this world.   God promises to give you the strength, and peace to get through it.  He has never broken that promise to me.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I don’t understand why we need someone to give us a purpose as opposed to making our own purpose.  So, God exists.  What then is our purpose?

    • Parse

      I have personally experienced too many direct answers to prayer to not believe that God is perfectly able to respond to any child’s genuine cry for help.

      Nice use of the word ‘genuine’ there.  So if a child does exactly what you tell them – don’t worry about anything, instead pray to god – and nothing happens, is it because they aren’t ‘genuine’ cries for help?  Or is it that God is perfectly able to respond, and he just decides not to?
      Also, I have personally experienced too many direct answers to prayer to not believe that Discordia will intercept prayers to any god and force her will to happen.  What argument do you have to reject my personal revelation, that I cannot turn around and use on yours?  What I’m trying to say here, is that if you aren’t talking to your fellow believers, don’t use personal revelation as proof for an all-powerful god.
      Though it is true that copyright restrictions prevent you from directly copying the text of the Kid’s Help Phone ads, do they also prevent you from mentioning their existence at all?
      Finally, you say “Our transit messages may not be the complete answer to every situation but we do believe they are at least part of the answer.”  They’re as much a part of the answer as Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs are part of this balanced breakfast – the breakfast is balanced before the cereal is even added.

    • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

      Unfortunately, your god isn’t a mandated reported of child abuse.

  • Paul D.

    As stupid as that ad is, telling children to report their parents to the cops just for doing drugs is far worse advice.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      I agree, especially since small-ish kids tend to generalize “drugs” to mean ALL drugs, not just the “bad” ones. (And some of debatable “badness”).

      Plus, there’s just something… creepy and wrong about telling kids to narc out their parents. It’s Orwellian.

  • Ndonnan

    Not worring about somthing dosent mean not doing anything,it means not stressing,for someone so anal about grammer,you would know that

    • Parse

      If a friend said to you, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, tell me about everything (you know there’s nothing I can’t handle),” how would you interpret that?  Would you apply the same logic to say that you still need to handle your own problems?

      At minimum, can you at least see why other people see the ad giving the message “You don’t need to do anything except pray”?  

    • Hlkingsfan

      The implication of the ad IS that you don’t need to worry since “god” will take care of it. There is no other suggestion given. (And it might do you some good to worry about your grammar a bit).

  • Tinker

    When I read the section that reads “If you do this you will experience God’s peace,” to my wife she suggested that means that the drug addled parents will eventually kill the kid and the kid will get a free ticket to heaven.

    So now tell me that it is not detrimental to children.

  • Spherical Basterd

    Why on earth do y’all even argue with this psuedo-lawyer fuckwit. Come on, you have to know you’re being trolled. Don’t you?

    • Piet Puk

       I am just facinated by is extreme delusion.
      And I use it as bullshit detector practice.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “Why on earth do y’all even argue with this psuedo-lawyer fuckwit”

      Because he/she is a person and I am too principled to deny a person their voice. As an atheist I argue for equality, the right to be regarded by deeds, by action, by the content of my character, not by lack of belief. It is hypocritical and counter productive to expect fairness without offering the same courtesy.

      This means, as long as he/she is polite or polite-ish (I don’t object to snark) then the least I can do is return in kind.  

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

       Entertainment value, for me. It’s like a mouse that keeps trying to get away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arthur-Pershing/100000290815716 Arthur Pershing

    I think if you read between the lines, you get a whole different scenario.

    “Hey kid, your parents work very hard, and they get tired. The last thing they need is their whiny brat running around talking about Jesus. So why don’t you go in your room and pray, and let your parents make that funny smell in the bathroom where they leave the fan running. OK? Thanks”

  • Nazani14

    The ad directs readers to web sites.   No doubt that at the bottom of it they are selling something, but it’s probably legal.  I’ve seen ads for quack medicine on buses, and that’s equally immoral.

  • Nazani14

    The ad directs readers to web sites.   No doubt that at the bottom of it they are selling something, but it’s probably legal.  I’ve seen ads for quack medicine on buses, and that’s equally immoral.

  • Beth

    Perhaps it’s time we enact a law to prevent advice which can harm a child.

  • Orson

    http://www.busstopbiblestudies.com/contact/atheist-visitors.phpAt least they have this.
    Don’t go if you want your brain to not hurt

  • Sue Blue

    I think praying is harmful to kids (and to anyone) because it is a form of dissociation.  Instead of facing problems and taking real steps to get help or change a situation, the person is encouraged to retreat into fantasy and hope for the best.  And what is the kid supposed to do or think if his ‘prayers’ are not answered?  That he or she wasn’t good enough or that the problem wasn’t serious enough for God to do anything about it?  Advocating prayer as an approach to serious problems is just giving kids a push down the road of emotional problems to mental illness.  

    My own mother is a good example of this.  She has remained in an abusive marriage for nearly fifty years because her religion frowned on divorce and admonished women to submit to God in prayer and to their husbands in all things.  She was told over and over by her pastor and church counselors to pray for change in her husband and also for herself to be a “better wife”.  My sisters and I tried for years to get her to think for herself and see the problem objectively.  We told her “You’ve prayed for decades for God to change Dad’s ways and he hasn’t changed.  Has it ever occurred to you that maybe God won’t answer?  Or that he has answered – and the answer is “NO”?  Or that he wants you to leave?  Or even that there is no God up there to hear you?”  We got nowhere.  She is still twisting herself into all kinds of mental and emotional knots trying to please an impossible man – and God.  

    One of my aunts, who is a more moderate Christian, has a saying that I’ve always liked, even as an atheist – “God helps those who help themselves”.  In other words, “Take action and try to solve your own problems.  Get help in the real world.”

    • Nathan

      Praying for somebody to change is not one of the many miracles God can perform. I can’t stress this enough. God cannot physically fix problems himself as he has given us “free will”. Praying for your dad to change is not what she should be praying for in my opinion. Praying for a solution is what she should be asking for. A way to “get help”. God works in indescribable ways sometimes. I don’t know why God hasn’t answered your moms prayers but I do know that he is listening. I will pray for your mother as well as you. I hope one day you can see the light in his words and in his miracles. God bless!

    • Nathan

      Maybe God has answered but she just isn’t listening..

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Maybe ‘God’ doesn’t exist.

        • Nathan

          Maybe you just don’t want ‘God’ to exist. Maybe it’s selfishness, maybe it’s because you have trust issues. Maybe it’s that you think the idea of an eternal God is childish. I don’t know what your problem is with creation, or God but I do know that you are making a very big mistake. Live forever in peace and light or die and that’s it. I choose life. If we are just going to die, WHAT IS THE POINT?! At least Christianity gives people hope, what do you have? Your selfish ways. I know I’ve been there, I’ve lived that way. You can have everything in this world but if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord you will never know true happiness.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            You are projecting your “I know, I’ve been there” on me.  You haven’t been me.  You assume I’m selfish, but just because you were selfish doesn’t mean I’m selfish.  Just because you’re happier now doesn’t mean I’m not truly happy.

            In the same way that Christians often accuse atheists of trying to understand God on their own terms, you are trying to understand me on your terms.

            • Nathan

              Just remember its never too late until your very last breath. Then you must kneel before him and be judged like the rest of us. I truly hope you realize his love is real before it is too late. That goes for all of you. He gave us free will, and it is your choice. God bless, have a wonderful day!

  • http://lizheywoodwriter.blogspot.com/ Liz Heywood

    Now I’m thinking “Bus: STOP BIBLE STUDIES!”

  • Higherlight

    This hiher light minitries ware the powre of God manifest, if you are in any spiritual problem and you need a solution thire is nothing God can not do(jere 32 ves 27) you can contact us with in out email address or through our phone number 08030897033 08184268576 for prayers and you will the power of God in action

  • Higherlight

    This hiher light minitries ware the powre of God manifest, if you are in any spiritual problem and you need a solution thire is nothing God can not do(jere 32 ves 27) you can contact us with in out email address or through our phone number 08030897033 08184268576 or follow us to our facebook with the name higher light for prayers and you will the power of God in action

  • James Henderson

    To be fair the cop probably won’t help things either.

  • Nathan

    All the ad is stating is that the child should pray and God will provide a solution. It’s not saying that god will physically reach down and remove the child from the situation. You people seem somewhat intelligent and I’m sure if you open up your narrow minded way of thinking you might just be able to understand. God bless!

  • invisible
  • brandi thacker

    What is wrong with the world today the devil really has done some work hasn’t he God does give free will and yes prayer works it says” if you ask you shall receive” the devil has done nothing but destroyed families theres hardly no marraiges left that’s what he wants he goes through your family first all the technical crap he is using all the drugs, sex, lies, and look at all the bad in the world today JESUS is coming back soon you all need to be ready hes coming for his people and I want to be one of them turn your ways let him work in you,,,, you know hes there why does god let things happen we may never know on earth but he has a plan for each and every one of us he knows every hair on your head he loves you regardless he will never forsake you you just have to let him in. He is a loving God repent before it is too late I love each and every one of you and you think someone else can help you no put all your trust in god and he will see you through it………


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