Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR

Atheist Buses vs. Christian Trucks (in Ft. Worth!)

God vs. No God is fighting for placement in Ft. Worth. Or something like that. Ft. Worth Christians are pissed because Ft. Worth atheists bought some ad space on four buses. FOUR buses.

Some ministers have even called for a boycott of the buses.

Poor buses. They can’t help what gets put on them.

Anyway… according to New York Times

Stand on a corner in this city and you might get a case of theological whiplash.

A public bus rolls by with an atheist message on its side: “Millions of people are good without God.” Seconds later, a van follows bearing a riposte: “I still love you. — God,” with another line that says, “2.1 billion Christians are good with God.”

A clash of beliefs has rattled this city ever since atheists bought ad space on four city buses to reach out to nonbelievers who might feel isolated during the Christmas season. After all, Fort Worth is a place where residents commonly ask people they have just met where they worship and many encounters end with, “Have a blessed day.”

“We want to tell people they are not alone,” said Terry McDonald, the chairman of Metroplex Atheists, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, which paid for the atheist ads. “People don’t realize there are other atheists. All you hear around here is, ‘Where do you go to church?’ ”

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.

Read the New York Times story here.

Thank Lindsey for the heads up!

Comments read comments(31)
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posted December 14, 2010 at 11:45 am

I wonder which one is the Decepticon?

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm


    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Now that’s really funny Rosie!

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April L.

posted December 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

So are they saying that there are 2.1 million Christians total, or just 2.1 million good ones? Because, from where I stand, not all professing Christians qualify as “good.”

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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 14, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Billion… not million… :)

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      April L.

      posted December 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

      Oops. I don’t know if that makes it better, or worse. :)

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posted December 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

Good question.

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posted December 14, 2010 at 11:55 am

A very interesting and non-violent way to counter the atheist “message”. Nicely done!

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    How is this countering the “millions are good without god” message?

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posted December 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

I can think of better ways for the Christians to spend money & time. They would probably be more effective then this as well.

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posted December 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

You know, it seems to me that the atheists’ hearts are in the right place. They’re actually caring for people, whereas the Christians are just being antagonistic and don’t care about the pain that comes along with the holidays. That seems messed up.

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm


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    posted December 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Atheists are caring for people? What? Most atheists care only about themselves. Every church in our town is providing food, clothing and gifts for hurting people at Christmastime. The atheists? Not so much…

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      posted December 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm


      posted December 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      I will use this comment in my writing classes when I talk about the logical fallacy of generalization. It is a textbook example.

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        posted December 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

        Yes, we non-believers (skeptics, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers whatever) are evil, evil people! We eat baby.. the other, other white meat.. with our fava beans. We wear jackets, hats and boots made out of human skin (also we prefer our lampshades to be made out of human skin as well). We believe in evilution because it gives us permission to kill inferior human beings like Jews and Africans and children with intellectual disabilities…

        (My master’s degree is in Neuroscience/molecular biology. I went into that field because I wanted to help find cures for people with neurodegenerative disorders and brain injuries… because I was a special education teacher in my first job for children with severe intellectual disabilities. Yeah, I don’t care about anyone but myself.)

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          posted December 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

          I want my baby, my baby, my baby, my baby, my baby back ribs….

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Bob Chapman

posted December 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Somehow I think that “Therefore go and make disciples of all in the city, spamming them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, plastering your faith on the side of vehicles,” is not what Jesus had in mind.

While it was a slogan born of a Mad Man, this is the bright idea on evangelism: “Make a friend, be a friend, lead a friend to Christ.”

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posted December 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm

The Christians renting the trucks do seem a little insecure in their faith. Normally wouldn’t they just pray for the bus driver to drop dead?
On the bright side, Fort Worth is also home to Joel Burns 

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Matthew Lyon

posted December 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm

MATH QUESTION: if world population is roughly 6.8 billion. 2.1bn are “good with god” “millions are good without god” assuming “millions” is less than 1billion, that leaves a solid 3.8 billion people who are…?

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Not using public transportation

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Following a non-Xian religion

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Bad with math

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posted December 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

As a person that lives in Fort Worth can i repent on behalf of the peeps giving Christians a bad name?

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posted December 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Sigh. Proclaiming your “goodness” is not a good way to evangelize. “Look how awesome my life is!” is never a good technique to get people to come to God, unless you want to portray God as a vending machine who dispenses blessing to those who are following him.

I know plenty of atheists who are wonderful, loving people.

I know even more Christians who are hateful, bigoted morons.

And I know Christians who are wonderful and loving and Atheists who are still bigots and terrible people. There are all kinds in all different beliefs.

Can I rent a third truck to follow the other two around that simply says “I’m sorry for all this crap. We’re all human.” ?

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    posted December 14, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Could it be an ice cream truck?

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      posted December 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm


      (especially if said ice cream truck is playing “pop goes the weasel”… the ice cream trucks in my childhood played that song so it has a special place in my heart)

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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted December 15, 2010 at 1:06 am

what’s most interesting to me is that atheists are pulling money together to do this stuff – who is so passionate about it that would donate? they must really hate religion.

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    posted December 15, 2010 at 11:30 am

    no, I think it’s that they feel frustrated and isolated. It’s hard being one of a few that believes something unpopular. Atheism is a logical conclusion, even if you don’t agree with it. And hating on the atheists is just as wrong as hating on Jews and Muslims. They’re letting people know there are other atheists out there, even in such a God-saturated area as Texas. It’s hard to feel alone.

    I think bus advertising in general’s tacky, but I understand the sentiment

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      posted December 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Noelle, you are so full of WIN today! :D

      I’m a skeptic science geek from Texas. I currently live in Dallas– home to Ed Young’s megachurches, Prestonwood Baptidome (where I used to go), and Highland Park United Methodist, where Jerry Jones takes his wife when he isn’t philandering with younger women at Javier’s cigar bar (saw that with my own eyes, so it’s not gossip).

      I am constantly bombarded with people who think that evolution is a conspiracy (because my cousin who barely finished high school is DEFINITELY qualified to criticize my Masters from Columbia in neuroscience/molecular bio), that Sarah Palin is smart, that Glenn Beck is on fire for Jesus (even though they think Mormons are followers of a CULT), and that Hitler was an atheist (when he was actually Roman Catholic).

      My own family belongs to this sad group of people. I do have plenty of friends who are skeptics and also who are believers who keep it to themselves. Even so, as an educator I am none too pleased with the Texas Board of Education and all of its creationists… as well as the history revisionists who want to cut Thomas Jefferson out of history books and proclaim the US a “Christian” nation.

      These folks may be “fringe” elsewhere, but they are everywhere here. It sucks.

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