But the reaction from believers has been harsher than anyone in the nonbeliever’s club expected. Some ministers organized a boycott of the buses, with limited success. Other clergy members are pressing the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to ban all religious advertising on public buses. And a group of local businessmen paid for the van with the Christian message to follow the atheist-messaged buses around town.
Because, you know, it's just all about the love of God.
The ads have incited anger in some places. Vandals destroyed two bus ads in Detroit, ruined a billboard in Tampa, Fla., and defaced 10 billboards in Sacramento. One billboard in Cincinnati was taken down after the landlord received threats.
And the local rapid transit authority in Des Moines pulled atheist ads off its buses in August last year because of complaints from local religious leaders. Four days later, however, the authority reversed its position after the local group that had bought the ads threatened legal action on First Amendment grounds.
Wait! What? What's the First Amendment shit? Sign up for God first and then you can start exercising that First Amendment right, you silly atheists! Where did you get this absurd notion that you have an equal right to not believe in a deity? Or to acknowledge publicly that others like you may be out there?
Sorry, that just poses too much of a threat so just keep your mouths shut and pretend to fit in here. You are making too many other people uncomfortable!
Some of the fiercest criticism has come from black religious leaders. The Rev. Kyev Tatum Sr., president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has called for a boycott of the buses, saying the ads are a direct attack during a sacred time in the Christian calendar.
Don't even get me stated on the sanctity of this "Christian calendar," and all those twinkling lights, decorated trees, Santa Clauses, and angry shoppers. Jesus would certainly encourage a fistfight if one of his followers failed to get that last iPad off the shelf before a hellbound atheist grabbed it!
And then things calm down a bit before moving on to colored eggs and bunny wabbits.
There is some hilarious irony in the fact that most of the atheists I know could be role models for many Christians. But that's not the point. Non-believers are supposed to sit down, shut up, and be invisible so as not spoil all the fun for the saved.
"Nobody owns December."
-- Terry McDonald, chairman of Metroplex Atheists, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason.