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Atheist Bus Ad Leads To Counter-Messages

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth Transportation Authority may rethink its position on allowing spiritually based advertising on buses.

The Transportation Authority, known as ‘The T’, has garnered national attention for allowing an atheist ad on their buses with the message: “Millions of Americans are Good Without God.”

As it stands, The T says it allows spiritually based advertising no matter the viewpoint. But a ‘T’ representative says the board will discuss company-advertising policies at a meeting next week.

Meanwhile, the atheist ads prompted some bus boycotts and a surprise sign with a different message.

“I’m not riding a bus that’s got it [the atheist ad] on there,” said ‘T’ rider Gale Stafford. “I won’t ride a bus to my destination if it’s got it on there. I’ll walk if that bus has got it on there and I know it.”

A planned boycott of ‘The T’ had church buses and volunteers coordinating to give rides to those wanting to protest what is being called ‘pro-atheist” advertising.

But the boycott didn’t have an apparent impact on traffic at The T’s Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) in downtown Fort Worth. Many said four signs in a fleet of nearly 200 buses wasn’t reason enough to cost them their mobility. “Seventy-five of the people who use the bus, public transportation, [do so because] its their only means of getting anywhere,” declared ‘T’ user Dan Collins.

Others made their opinions more forcefully known. A truck, paid for by anonymous business donors, was hired to follow the buses displaying the controversial signs. The message on the window of the truck said “I still love you. – God”

There are also three new religious messages that will soon adorn ‘T’ buses. One message, saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season. Merry CHRISTmas!” should roll out on buses Tuesday.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason purchased the atheist ads.

Even though the City of Fort Worth doesn’t operate the buses, Mayor Mike Moncrief has asked the board of directors for The T Board to meet with the Fort Worth City Council about its operations, since the city does help appoint board members.

  • Alice Dehm

    What’s the opposite of “I love you-God”?”You’re on your own-Didn’t say who”..

    • richard meisler

      If you really want to start a war; Do it with religion; This has been a problem for thousands of years, to date. Maybe there should be no ad; But a generic ad that say’s (love what you believe) Can’t fight that;

  • Sheila Howard Stoelting

    I am curious as to what exactly the opposition of these ads is really afraid of? That people will see the ads and cause them to..think? Where are the Muslims? The Hindis? The Sikhs? Should they all take out ads on the bus now so everyone gets equal time? And if they do, should I be afraid an advertisement will change my beliefs? Or my children’s? I think this whole argument is ridiculous. However, the atheists got what they wanted–attention. Good job, Christians.

  • sandra hastings

    The last time I looked Fort Worth is in the United States of American,and I believe my Father lost his leg fighting in WWII for our Freedom of Speech, Expression and Religion…So what if a group of people wanted to express themselves on the side of a bus…iF YOU WANT YOUR FREEDOM, YOU BEST GIVE THEM THEIRS!!!!

  • Heather

    This is hilarious to me. These Christians actually spent money hiring a guy to drive a truck around to follow these buses?! HA I’m not disagreeing with their right to do that, becasue they certainly do. But if they are SO concerned about getting their pro-God or pro-Christian message out, why don’t they spend that money doing something constructive – like donating to charity or actually doing the “Christian” thing and helping people? The Athiests put these ads out because they are no doubt in the minority and wanted to let those minority people know that they are not alone. Then the poor Christians feel offended and threatened so they have to be silly and respond in such a way as to waste money like this. Weren’t a lot of wars started over attitudes like that? Intolerance for other religions (or non-religions in this case). Seems pretty petty and pathetic in my view.

    • mrader

      How about these wonderful free loving atheists put the money they used for advertising in helping people, after all, Christian organizations use their money full-time to help others. It’s what they do. Of course they are offended. This is their God. How about putting up an ad that offends worshipers of Allah or Buddha. I bet that would gain a protest or 2. Even better, how about all of the Christian signs and symbols that have been protested over the years. Yes it is our freedom to speak out and to protest.

  • Josh

    Christian protestors speaking… “WHAT, there are people who don’t believe the way WE do???!!! How preposterous!” Please, quit being cry babies and just get over it! The Athiests have a right to buy ad space just like anyone else. If the T bans them, then they shoudl ban ALL religious ads as well.

  • http://goodwithgod.info/cbs-story/ CBS Story | Good With God

    […] matter the viewpoint. But a ‘T’ representative says the board will discuss company-advertising policies at a meeting next […]

  • Amanda Rice

    So,some christian are having issues with another viewpoint?? What else is new? Atheism ad’s on a bus?? Don’t ride the bus!! I would make a bet though that those same individuals wouldn’t blink an eye over telling a stranger god bless u after a sneeze or Merry Christmas to everyone they greet all day EVERYDAY during the holidays. Which is really self centered by the way.
    So,people are offended with this. People outraged , even disgusted. What is so threatening about the thoughts or views of other’s …..Whatever happened to “mind your own business”?..Why would u be personally offended by the views of another…a stranger EVEN! Is it a fear of being corrupted , that although the” good lord” enabled man with the power of “free will” you fear your will isnt strong enough to withstand the persuasion of another, and so much so that you’re unable to go about your day. .. Get over yourselves!!!

  • Chris Pederson

    I frankly tired of the faux christian outrage at the existence of atheists in their community. They are the ones with the privilege here. Yet a couple of bus signs go up and it’s all wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. FAIL… I’m an atheist, I exist… get over it.

  • Wall Dodger

    Oh my Christians are all up in arms, over a sign … why ? fraid their kids might start thinking, questioning? Dang that would be terrible…What a bunch of flat heads.

    • mrader

      Flat heads. What century is this from?
      Yes, we are afraid that our children might even consider a choice that would doom them to hell. We even care about the atheists.

  • wfd

    To mrader–
    If your god “still loves you” for being an atheist, then would this loving god still “doom them to hell”? Strange….I guess that’s tough love. It amazes me that you feel that your Christianity teachings are so fragile that this single ad would unravel all those years of teachings.
    Also, you mention this sign being offensive. How so? It’s not putting down your God. It’s simply stating that some don’t believe in what you believe. And that is offensive? If so, then why stop at signs? Why not go after each person individually that doesn’t believe in what you believe…because, after all, it’s offensive for them to believe that way. At least, according to your logic.

    If not for the reverend screaming for a boycott, I’m curious how many people would’ve decided to boycott the T on their own….

  • ClarySage

    Be honest, Christians. Put yet another truck behind this on that says, “And you’re going to hell.” You people have a god who “loves” everyone, and then dooms people like Ghandi to hell because he didn’t declare JC his personal god. Whatever.

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