The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Atheist bus ads pop up in Chicago

posted by jmcgee

ffrf_external_bus_ad.jpg
The bus ads from the Freedom From Religion Foundation that have cropped up in Europe are now appearing in Chicago, encouraging people not to go to church:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation plastered more signs on 75 Chicago buses this week encouraging Chicagoans to skip church and sleep in on Sundays. But that’s just the beginning.

Riders also will see 200 interior bus signs with quotations from five famous freethinkers or skeptics, including author Mark Twain, attorney Clarence Darrow, poets Carl Sandburg and Emily Dickinson; and actresses Butterfly McQueen and Katharine Hepburn.The interior ads also will feature a provocative quote from Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”

“Obviously, there are many reasons to reject religion, most of them intellectual,” said Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “But face it — one of the immediate benefits of quitting church, besides getting a 10 percent raise because you can stop tithing, is getting to sleep in on Sundays! What the world really needs is a good night’s sleep.”

The foundation started advocating sleep after the slogan was deemed too controversial in Australia.

UPDATE: This is turning into a religion-bashing free-for-all. Comments are now closed.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(32)
post a comment
romancrusader

posted June 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm


“‘Obviously, there are many reasons to reject religion, most of them intellectual,’ said Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. ‘But face it — one of the immediate benefits of quitting church, besides getting a 10 percent raise because you can stop tithing, is getting to sleep in on Sundays! What the world really needs is a good night’s sleep.'”
This qoute by Dan Baker is straight out of a bigot’s hand book.



report abuse
 

Ruth Ann

posted June 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm


I’m a native Chicagoan. My faith was born and nurtured there. For that I’m grateful. Some of us try to spread the Good News. Others have a different message. Either way, I’m glad we have freedom of speech in this country, although this message saddens me, and even strikes me as silly.
I won’t judge the sincerity of these people, but I’ll pray for them.



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm


Yes, we do have freedom of speech in this country…thus these messages can be displayed. I don’t find them silly. It might make some folks think. It could make those who are devout, more so, or it might make some folks question whether what they are being told by their minister, priest, Rabbi etc. is actually true. Questioning is always good. For those who are already in agreement with the quotes that will be displayed by the “free thinkers”? It might help to remind them that they are happy where they are in their lives with their beliefs.
Reading this made me think of the signs that are posted on the sides of the smaller highways in many places in this country….that say “Jesus Saves”, or “REPENT”, or scriptural messages. So actually, having the Atheist messages posted on the busses offers a different side of the story. :o)
As a person who admired Katharine Hepburn, I’m happy she will be quoted on some of the messages.



report abuse
 

JTMA

posted June 15, 2010 at 11:11 pm


As a Catholic, I too find this “voice” a bit perplexing. Those who wish to attend church will. Those who do not are already sleeping in or using their Sundays for other activities. Freedom from Religion could use the dollars spent on useless and wasteful slogans to feed the poor, house the homeless, contribute to Red Cross, clean up oil spills….but then, that would be too Christian of them.



report abuse
 

ragnarok_13

posted June 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm


JTMA: I don’t think the signs are very thought provoking but I would say the same thing about the Jesus saves signs that Pagansister was talking about. There are better uses for money.
Did you really need to make an insinuation that atheists or at least the Freedom From Religion Foundation aren’t charitable? How would you know? Besides, I am sick and tired of the bizarre comments that want to conflate being christian with being moral. One has very little to do with the other. Whether someone is a christian, an atheist or whatever tells the world nothing much about their character.



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted June 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm


Hmmm…better uses for their money. I suppose so…
– They could pay their “clergy” six figure salaries, as many churches today are doing.
– They could build a “mega-unchurch” in the suburbs, complete with wonderful multimedia equipment, coffee shops, and valet parking.
– They could spend a few million supporting “missionaries” to go into the hinterland and spread the atheist gospel.
– Or they could build large statues costing 3/4 million dollars in front of their “mega unchurches”, and act surprised when they are hit by lightning
Yep…there are a lot of other ways they could be spending their money, JTMA.



report abuse
 

JTMA

posted June 16, 2010 at 12:25 am


Whoa people….NOT attacking here, just saying! Ragnarok_13, I don’t know what you read into the comment, but I am not insuinating any such thing as noncharitable. Like you said, I have NO idea what others do with their $$, just that the FFRF could surely use this $$ in a POSITIVE way. Guns off the street, abuse shelters, etc. Don’t judge and you shall not be judged. It was a SUGGESTION for the betterment of society. Now, Hlvanburen, I am feeling such pity for you. Such hatred and contempt cannot be fruitful for you and nothing I can say will change your spitefulness. For you I will pray for peace in your heart. Rudimentary signs painted on wood along the highway versus slick printed ads on buses in a city rife with need are two TOTALLY different things. Peace be with you.



report abuse
 

XXXX

posted June 16, 2010 at 12:46 am


I really thought that using the money to put the signs on busses was for the betterment of society. Just think no more religious wars. The ability to control family size by the usage of Birth Control, no more unwanted, unloved children, keeping the family in poverty. No one telling a whole continent that using condoms doesn’t help prevent HIV. No school board trying to change history by taking Thomas Jefferson out of books so that children will believe that we are a “christian” nation when they are told. No women feeling guilty over sex. Equal treatment of everyone, regardless of who you are and what your sexual preference, religion (or lack thereof), ethnicity, etc. is.
Now, that is money well spent.



report abuse
 

JTMA

posted June 16, 2010 at 1:02 am


XXXX….your society is called communism. I am wondering why you are on beliefnet commenting on The Deacon’s Bench when you obviously have such blatant distaste for religion or the bible, Koran, Talmud, etc?? By the way….who tells continents that using condoms does not help prevent HIV?? Thank God (yes, God) that I am an American in a mainly Christian nation with the Constitution behind me. I am done with the attack of Christians tonight. Peace.



report abuse
 

MhariDubh

posted June 16, 2010 at 1:36 am


on a lighter note:
Dear Atheists,
I often sleep in on Sundays. Then I go to Mass Sunday night. Thanks, have a great day!
{winky smile}



report abuse
 

Gerard Nadal

posted June 16, 2010 at 3:18 am


Nihilists advocating sleep over activity. At least they’re consistent.
Throwing money down their own black hole.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted June 16, 2010 at 7:06 am


Quick poll?
Who is shocked that pagansister regards “Sleep In On Sunday” as thought-provoking?



report abuse
 

Snup

posted June 16, 2010 at 10:05 am


MhariDubh,
I had the same thought. My university has an 8 pm Sunday Mass and a University nearby has a 10:30 pm Sunday Mass.
;)



report abuse
 

Your Name Is a Bigot

posted June 16, 2010 at 10:41 am


Your Name made a rude comment about pagansister because she’s a pagan. It doesn’t take much thought to see the stamp of bigot all over that.



report abuse
 

Your Name Don Peterson

posted June 16, 2010 at 11:06 am


The greatest threat to faith is not a bus ad, but reason



report abuse
 

spunglas

posted June 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm


Before you ask, I was linked here by the FFRF as a way to comment on the ad campaign in Chicago. I would never come here as a general course of events because I do not believe in your god. I actually do not believe in any god since logic and real research tells me that there are many gods older than yours. The ad campaign started as a direct reaction to the religious right forcing their beliefs into our secular government and education. Over and over again I must endure prayer to this mythical character that someone chooses to believe in when I attend a public meeting. People who are not religious have just become fed up with the intrusive religious culture in their lives. So they are beginning to push back. I totally understand why religious people dislike being singled out by the secular ad campaign, however they now know how I feel every time I am forced to endure prayer as part of a public meeting. I want you all to have your god and your church, however, I do not wish to participate and since I do not attend your house of worship, I should not be forced to endure your religious worship. That is what this ad campaign is all about.



report abuse
 

Conservative

posted June 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm


The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion not freedom from religion. When others pray, don’t join in if you don’t want to. Sounds logical to me.



report abuse
 

Erik

posted June 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm


It provokes thoughts alright. It makes me mad that a person can claim that they are a free thinker, and that only those that reject religion and morality, have been given full mental capacities.
If I saw that sign, I would realize that it only comes from a sad foundation of people who just want the freedom to do and think whatever they like without those “pesky” concepts of Truth, morality, righteousness, and faith in a creator. They consider them pesky, but my adherence to my faith in God, and the resulting change in my life, family, and society, allows my fully functional mind to vote for the side of Christianity. Go to church on Sunday. If not for your own good, go so that you can made another person’s life better with a kind word, your share of the money it takes to help them in times of need, and just the fact that to be a believer means that you want to live for SOMETHING bigger and better than yourself. The Church, a community of believers and followers of a similar personal and creating God, needs people to think. We need to sharpen our minds enough to accept ALL possible scenarios, including the fact that we were created to live a more focused life than just taking up oxygen.



report abuse
 

JTMA

posted June 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm


Amen Erik.



report abuse
 

Ruth Walker

posted June 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm


“Sleep in on Sunday” signs are no more rude than “Attend Church” signs. They help those who don’t understand Christian math (3 = 1) to realize they are not alone. The signs inside the buses have quotes from famous like-minded people and give information to contact an organization that understands. Hooray for FFRF!



report abuse
 

Ruth Walker

posted June 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm


How rude and false of Eric to equate rejection of religion with rejection of ethics and morals! The Bible Belt does not have lower crime and divorce rates! Many of the most famous freethinkers have been leaders in freedom and equality (race and gender) while clergy quoted scripture to protect the status quo. Religious leaders have repeatedly worked to curb science research. (Later, they try to rewrite history to pretend they were in the right all along.)



report abuse
 

Conservative

posted June 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm


“How rude and false of Eric to equate rejection of religion with rejection of ethics and morals!” (Ruth wrote)
On what do you base you “ethics and morals” if you do not believe in God, religion or spirituality?



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted June 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm


Erik: Do you really think that those who don’t attend Mass or other religious service on Sunday or Friday evening or whatever day they are held are “Sad”? They too believe in those “pesky” concepts of truth, morals, and rightousness, but without attributing them to a divine being. Just a question…for all those truths etc., how do you explain the wars and people killed for those particular beliefs? All religions have killed for their particular “truths” to force others to believe as they do. The Crusades, the witch trials in Salem, and many other examples to numerous to name where people were killed for not believing in the dominate religion…the “sanctioned” one. 911 ring any bells? Those things are the result of the hard core believers to get rid of or “convert” folks. Do you consider those methods “moral, rightous”, for promoting truth? Personally, I’m proud to be in the company with Kate Hepburn, Butterfly McQueen, Carl Sandburg, Emily Dickenson, Clarence Darrow and Mark Twain and many others of their caliber. Better folks than I will ever be….
Erik, those of us who don’t attend a religious service on a particular day…Sunday or Friday evening or Wednesday or Saturday night are just as fine as those of you who do. Nothing sad about it. You do your thing, we’ll do ours.
The signs on the buses are …just that signs. Freedom of speech. No problems.



report abuse
 

Louise Dotter

posted June 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm


@conservative wrote: On what do you base your “ethics and morals” if you do not believe in God, religion or spirituality?
I do not speak for any other A-theist but my ethics and morals are based on the one precept found in all religious and ethical traditions: THE GOLDEN RULE I prefer Confucius’ version: “Do nothing to others that you would not want done to you.” Or the African Yorbi – “Before you stick a small bird turn the point on yourself first.” You might want to check out http://www.thesynthesizer.org/golden.html for other versions.
Too often christians subvert the meaning of the rule because they “KNOW” that everyone would want to be saved by jesus and that makes it ok to impose their beliefs and practices on others. If christians were really practicing the rule the bus signs shouldn’t bother them at all. FFRF is merely returning the “favor”.
And further, my ethics and morals are just fine, thank you. The Ethic of Reciprocity does not require belief in goblins, ghosts, gods, or fear of damnation to keep me on the “straight and narrow” I have a whole wonderful universe to explore, learn from and dream of!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted June 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm


Truth is as you admit, your ethics and morals are based on something other than a vacuum. Did not Jesus also teach the “Golden Rule” or was it only Confucius?
Further Jesus instructed his followers to teach others what he taught them. No one is imposing them on you are they? Are you being forced to accept GOD?
While you are exploring the universe maybe you could ponder how it all came about. Maybe Confucius made it?



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted June 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm


“An ye harm none do what ye will” or in more modern language,”Do what you will, so long as it harms none”. Wiccan Rede
There are many theories on the formation of the Universe, and one is a divine being. Not my theory, but some think so. No one can say for sure, not even religious folks.



report abuse
 

Louise Dotter

posted June 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm


@your name Are you always so sarcastic & arrogant or are you just having a bad day? Whatever, I’m sorry you are missing out on some wonderful ideas and people with your “off putting” language. “Talking” nice is not a sign of weakness – you might want to try it sometime.



report abuse
 

Al

posted June 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm


Way to go FFRF… about time we non-believers in the “invisible men in the sky” had a voice. Keep up the great work and keep those ads coming. It’s only fair… I have to run proselytizing mormons and jehovah’s witnesses off my property on a regular basis. But over the years, i’ve learned to enjoy converting them much more than they try to convert me. And unfortunately for them… my argument against invisible men in the sky is much more persuasive than their predictable religious rant.



report abuse
 

XXXX

posted June 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm


JTMA…Really, I mean, Really, Really… Now you have equated me to a communist? Really? Wow, I was thinking there for a minute that I was for freedom of thought, but according to you anyone who does not see YOUR religion as the sole point of view is a communist? Well, that being said I think I need to change my name from XXXX to CCCP.
And to answer your question about HIV and condoms: The pope stated (regarding HIV/AIDS), “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem”. Please see the link.
I know, I know we are a “christian nation”. No matter how many people point out the truth to you, you really do not care to listen, but we are a nation that was to get away from a national religion and anyone could practice the religion (or lack thereof) of what they believe, that is the United States that I believe in and the one I went to war for (P.S. there are atheists in foxholes).
Now, to counter your communist (even though it is I who uphold the constitution by believing that we are not a “christian nation” and that all can practice whatever [so long as there is no harm…blah, blah, blah]) I would counter to you that there are many theistic societies (you know Iran, Pakistan, etc.). What would happen if you were in that society as a christian there? Would you want to be treated that way? Why would you want to treat anyone who does not believe the way you do, the way a theistic society would treat you?
Calling me a Communist does not argue the facts that I pointed out. Is this your avoidance? Are you slighting me to avoid? What are you hiding, maybe a little skepticism/doubt regarding your own religion?



report abuse
 

JTMA

posted June 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm


XXXX…I have NO doubt or skepticism regarding my faith and that Jesus Christ as the son of God. We are a Christian nation, based on fact…percentage of Christians in the US and our history with God referenced in stone, on paper, in our laws, on our money, etc. etc. That said, you are FREE to not believe, but do NOT undermine what the majority of us believe. We are not theocratic (Muslim) but unlike Mohammad, Jesus Christ wishes peace, love, acceptance, brotherhood, not killing, terrorizing, murdering in his name.
Regarding Pope John Paul, HIV/Aids was, he argued, “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem”. He is saying that using condoms can give you a false sense of security in not contracting or spreading this terrible disease. God gave us a brain and free will…we are a step UP from the rutting animals and should use our free will, conscience and common sense above that of mating rabbits.
Perhaps you are just a socialist…..pardon me.



report abuse
 

XXXX

posted June 17, 2010 at 1:38 am


That is so odd. The Treaty of Tripoli states that we are not a christian nation. Oh…It’s love, peace, blah, blah, blah, only so long as it doesn’t undermine your teachings. If you have the faith that you claim, then there is nothing that I can say that could undermine the faithful majority, so why would that bother you? See that doesn’t work, now it is no longer a two way street of love and peace. It is okay for the christians to spread thier gospel and trying to undermine my system based upon scientific evidence, but it is not okay for me to question your fairytales.
And your take on what the pope states is interesting, but given that the church preaches to not use birth control, I would beg that the meaning is quite different. Now, if the pope had stated that sexual intercourse was only for after marriage, etc. then I would have bought your interpertation of the no condom usage meaning.
Socialist…Really, you categorize me, lest I say judge and bear false witness against me. Well that is really nice that anyone who disagrees with you or your faith gets a category, the next thing you know I’m a liberal, a criminal, a fanatical (oh, you probably remember that song).



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted June 17, 2010 at 7:22 am


No Louise, not always arrogant, just to people like you who think that they are the center of the universe and not God. Spread your wares on an Atheist blog.
As for other theories of the creation of the universe they are all baloney.



report abuse
 



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.