The Atheist Bus Campaign in London had given themselves two months to raise £5,500 to place their slogan, “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” on the sides of 30 busses for 4 weeks. (Richard Dawkins, noted atheist author, had pledged to match funds up to that amount.) In less than 24 hours they had raised £47,900. There was apparently more support than they had counted on.
Soon afterwards a new set of bus adverts purchased by the Christian Party hit the streets. These looked exactly like the atheist ads, but the wording had changed to “There definitely is a god, so join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.” Right after that, the Russian Orthodox Church bought their own bus ads proclaiming “There IS a god, BELIEVE. Don’t worry and enjoy your life.” Not to be outdone, the Trinitarian Bible Society quotes Psalm 53:1 for their ad, which reads “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God…” This is a good one for me. I’ve always felt that the best way to defend the bible against people who think that the bible is a bunch of made-up hooey is to quote the bits of that same bible to them where it says that the bible is real.
My favorite part of this was that many christians who found the atheist ads offensive called the ASA (the Advertising Standards Authority) to complain that the claim that there “probably is no god” could not be substantiated, and therefore was a fraud. Now in order to rule on this complaint properly, the ASA would have had to put themselves in the position of publicly coming out either for, or against, the existence of a supreme being. Wisely, they punted, declaring that the adverts were an “expression of the advertiser’s opinion and that the claims in it were not capable of objective substantiation.”
If I had an ad on the side of a bus I wonder what it’d say…