The good news is that this doesn’t look like it will get very far.
The bad news is that this is
actual legislation in Parliament. [Note: It’s not legislation. Sorry. It’s just a way of MPs to express their opinions. Thanks to those who pointed that out.]
Last week, MP Gregory Campbell put on the table this motion:
That this House notes the recent advertising campaign based on London buses, There’s Probably No God, the brainchild of the British Humanist Association; also notes the fact that the rationale behind it is that people can be less careful about their lifestyle choices and general approach to life’s consequences by discounting the likelihood of a Creator and an afterlife; and recommends to Christian groups considering alternative advertising approaches to There’s Probably No God to counter it with the simple addition of But What If There Is?
Shortly after that, another proposition was put up by MP Bob Spink:
That this House notes that posters with the slogan `There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life’, appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the London Underground; notes that this causes concern to Christian and Muslim people, many of whom feel embarrassed and uncomfortable travelling on public transport displaying such advertisements and would not wish to endorse the advertisements by using that public transport; regrets that the British Humanist Association backs the campaign; and calls on Ministers responsible for public transport and advertising media to investigate this matter and to seek to remove these religiously offensive and morally unhelpful advertisements.
Victoria’s Secret promotions, posters for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and ads for pseudoscientific books like The Secret? Those are ok to have on buses. Suggest there may not be a God? That’s apparently horrendous, evil stuff that must be blocked from the public eye.
(Nullifidian‘s really mad about it.)
In any case, this episode just highlights why the atheist ads are so important.
We need to make people more conscious of the fact that religion tends to get a pass when it comes to criticism. Religious people don’t want to allow it, they don’t want to hear it, and they don’t want to be reminded that many people think their beliefs are absolutely absurd.
Bring on the opposition. If the atheist ads are taken down, the religious ads will have to come down, too. I just hope the British ad companies won’t cave to pressure like those in Italy did.