Swift reader Malcom Dodd (and others) brought this wonderful bit of activism to our attention:
Dear Mr Randi
I am sure that you will be interested in this http://www.justgiving.com/atheistbus/ and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7681914.stm
£51,000 raised in one day (in the time that I have taken to write this the total has risen to £51,850), that is enough for ads on 300 London buses for four weeks!
As I write this, the total climbs to nearly £100,000.. almost twenty times the original asking amount. This is a project of the British Humanist Association with major support from our friend, Professor Richard Dawkins. While the JREF does not concern itself with the "god" question, as the existence of a deity or deities is not testable, we often find ourselves aligned with those who question organized religion and subsequently, the idea of god.
There are a couple of interesting things here... first, the sign says "There's probably no god." Think about that... and how refreshing it is. It's not a dogmatic statement: it's a skeptical one. Second, the next line reads: "Now stop worrying, and enjoy your life." Wow, how nice to see something positive like that!
Philosophers and pedants might point out that the statement is also saying that if there is a god, you'd better worry, but given the amount of space they had I'm willing to ignore that debate.
Reaction from some religious corners has been predictable... the busses will drive kids to satan, etc. but I was intrigued by the response of Reverend Jenny Ellis of the Methodist Church, as reported by the BBC :
This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life. Christianity is for people who aren't afraid to think about life and meaning.
As someone who often "engages with the deepest questions of life," I have not chosen Christianity, and I assure you that fear had nothing to do with my choice. But I appreciate the Methodist Church for treating this campaign in a positive light. Kudos to them for opening discussion, rather than crying hellfire and brimstone.