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Atheist Bus Ad Leads To Counter-Messages

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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A truck, displaying this message, was hired to follow Fort Worth 'T' buses displaying an atheist ad. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

A truck, displaying this message, was hired to follow Fort Worth ‘T’ buses displaying an atheist ad. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

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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.

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