Italy to get atheist bus advertisements

Italy to get atheist bus advertisements January 12, 2009

ATHEISTS in Italy have just announced a plan to begin a bus advertising campaign denying the existence of God.
The launch is set for the northern Italian city of Genoa on February 4, and the Italian atheists are certainly not mincing their words. Their campaign slogan is:

La cattiva notizia è che Dio non esiste. Quella buona è che non ne hai bisogno (The bad news is that God does not exist. The good news is that we do not need him.)

The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Genoa, whose Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco is president of the influential Italian Bishops Conference, is furious.
Said Father Gianfranco Calabrese, who is responsible for the diocese’s catechism:

There are some methods which promote dialogue and others which feed intolerance. Head-on opposition always demonstrates intolerance.

Wow! Talk about pots and kettles.
The Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR), which is behind the publicity campaign, said it is setting out “to challenge” conventional religious beliefs “on Bagnasco’s turf.”
The archbishop has spoken out against events such as Gay Pride in Genoa, which was held last year on the same day in June as a Catholic feast day.

UAAR also criticised Bagnasco’s many speeches against gay marriage and artificial insemination.
Update:  According to Wiki, On January , 16 2009 IGPDecaux, the company holding licenses for ads on public transport in Genoa, refused to give authorisation to the atheist bus campaign on the grounds that it may
Offend the moral, civic and religious convictions of the public.
Antonio Catricalà, the then head of the Italian National Authority for Fair Trading and Competition, announced that the Authority filed a case against the Atheist Bus initiative because of the potentially “dangerous and mendacious nature” of the ads. As a reaction, the UAAR launched a new campaign in Genoa with a different slogan to comply with the advertising authority’s rules:

The good news is there are millions of atheists in Italy. The excellent news is they believe in freedom of expression.

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  • Callisto

    Go Italy! Yes, yes, yes! at last, atheists who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, that is the truth, not some silly conciliatory bullshit ‘probably’ no God; what a cop out, whether it’s because of legal reasons or not, it was that word ‘probably’ that saw me, a committed atheist, to withhold support for the London Bus campaign. Probably no god indeed, it’s like saying there’s probably no Thor the Thunder god, or probably no Zeus or Chronos…let’s start getting tough, and tell it to their faces. There is no God (or gods or goddesses or angels etc).
    It’s time we all stood up and starting playing this game as the opposition does; for if the Religious can make ‘truth’ claims without a stick of evidence to prove it, then so can we. They cannot prove there is a god, and we cannot prove there isn’t one. This makes us equal and as equals we should have the full right to put it to them, hard and right in their lying fraudulent faces.
    The Religious have had their say and their way for far too long; almost two thousand years of it! So when they say they have a right to speak and voice their superstitious drivel in public, I say, No, you’ve had your say–for the past two thousand years you’ve had your say, now shut up and listen to reason. Now is OUR time, and it’s about time too.
    Well done Italian atheists…I’m with you all the way…

  • mn

    Oh my ! Bravo !
    I live in Romania (Eastern Europe) – over 50% of the population living in the rural area. Of course, they migrate to the cities for jobs, but from the mess they leave behind (throwing trash NEXT to an empty bin, crime, street aggression) you’d say they come right out of the stone age … My point is – if we had a campaign like this over here these apes that are confused with homo sapiens would likely kill the drivers.
    They still throw rocks and other stuff at gay parades, 800.000 women, by statistics, are beaten daily, children, orphanages, school billying …. In the wondeful democracy where 90% of the pop. is christian orthodox, where we have religion classes in public schooling …

  • valdemar

    Ariane Sherine really has started something. I nominate her for first President of the Secular Republic of Britain.

  • Simon Bishop

    I second that nomination.

  • The Val

    Man, that is so frickin cool. And how hypocritical is, “Head-on opposition always demonstrates intolerance.” That’s one of the funniest thing I’ve ever heard come out of a catholic. Sums up the entire history of that church, doesn’t it.

  • Callisto —
    Remember that the ‘probably’ had to be inserted to comply with some ASA law about ‘intolerant speech’ or some such bullshit.
    Or maybe it was for the same reason that Carlsberg always had to say “‘probably’ the best lager in the world…”
    They wanted the original wording to be stronger. I do like the Italian version, though. Very to the point.

  • Newspaniard

    Callisto: Whaddya mean “…no Thor the Thunder god, or probably no Zeus or Chronos…”? Does that mean I built this HUGE temple in my back garden for NOBODY? Hang on, hang on, you didn’t mention Father Christmas, so I can keep the elves, right?

  • Mike

    I need to name something after Ariane Sherine in my Agent Smoke (set in “the gay homeland”, but it’s highly atheist too) comic. Ariane Sherine Airport, perhaps? (The airports of the 2060’s will be all mirror-smooth lakes for Zeppelins to land on, too. They hover over the lake and pump water up into themselves to become heavier gradually until they settle onto the water)

  • Callisto

    Of course you can keep the elves, Newspaniard, just remember though, elves ‘probably’ don’t really exist! 🙂
    but the temple does, so that’s ok, cos I saw it at the bottom of your garden with the fairies…
    oh BTW, I live in Australia and you cannot say even ‘probably’ no God here…there’s probably something rotten in the woodshed (if it’s not in a bushfire that is…):(

  • Bob

    Repy to Callisto: you do have a point about the word “probably”; it is hardly a declaration of belief. How many evangelical Christians would say there “probably” was a Christ? However, you athiests need to remember that the Christians will have the last laugh. When we are in Heaven rejoicing you (unless you repent and get converted) will be in torments. You have been warned!!

  • TONY E

    Ref ‘The Christians will have the last laugh’
    No you won’t.
    Laugh and Christian never go in the same sentence.

  • Bob

    Yes they do; in our household there is a great deal of joy and happiness. All five of my family know Christ as our personal Saviour and we are often laughing and in happiness of spirit.

  • Broga

    Bob. You cannot be serious. An eternity of torment. Isn’t that just a little over the top? I think you have been drinking too much coffee. Research at the University of Durham says caffeine produces hallucinations.

  • Bob

    I drink decaf coffee!!