THIS week saw the appearance in London of the first buses bearing the atheist campaign slogan There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.
The Barcelona ads are being funded by Spain’s Union of Atheists and FreethinkersÂ – and they appear at a time when relations between the Spanish government and the Vatican are, to say the least, frazzled.
You can contribute to the Spanish campaign by visiting their site here, which has a donations button at the top of the page, on right,
According to Mediawatchwatch, the prickly Catholic archbishopric of Barcelona hit back by issuing a statement saying:
Faith in God is not a source of worry, nor is it an obstacle for enjoying life.
Javier Maria Perez-Roldan of the church’s Tomas Moro centre, blamed the socialist government for the privately funded campaign.
It is an attack on all religions. The government has created an atmosphere of belligerence.
But if the Catholic Church is dismayed by the lack of respect it is now experiencing in Spain – once a thumping great jewel in the Catholic crown – it will be incandescent with rage if the campaign rolls onto it own hallowed turf.
This is a distinct possibility. Yesterday, Ariane Sherine – who set the atheist bus campaign in motion in the UK by by firing up the imagination of non-believers throughout the country and in many places abroad – revealed in the Guardian that Italy’s Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists are planning to roll out atheist buses too.
In a campaign update published in the Comment is Free spot, she revealed:
Today, thanks to many Cif readers, the overall total raised for the Atheist Bus Campaign stands at a truly overwhelming Â£135,000, breaking our original target of Â£5,500 by over 2400%. Given this unexpected amount, I’m very excited to tell you that 800 buses – instead of the 30 we were initially aiming for – are now rolling out across the UK with the slogan … in locations all over England, Scotland and Wales, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Cardiff, Devon, Leeds, Bristol and Aberdeen.
She also revealed that the campaign is now poised to make its presence felt on the London Underground. From Monday, January 12, 1,000 tube ads will run on tube trains, and will featuring atheist quotations from people like Douglas Adams, Albert Einstein, Emily Dickinson and Katharine Hepburn alongside the original campaign slogan.
An animated version of the slogan will also appear on two large LCD screens on Oxford Street, opposite Bond Street tube station.
The fact that enough money has been raised to take this campaign to levels Sherine and her supporters never thought possible should not deter readers from continuing to donate cash to the cause. This will make possible an effective and enduring campaign against nonsensical religious propaganda, and will inspire others in furtherflung places to launch similar campaigns too.
You can make a donation here.
Non-believers, for far too long, have been deprived of a voice. This campaign has given us an unprecedentedÂ opportunity to herald our presence, and to show how proud and happy we are to be living god-free lives.
Long may the atheist buses (and tubes) run!