Video of the Fort Worth Transit Authority Banning Religious/Atheist-Leaning Ads December 16, 2010

Video of the Fort Worth Transit Authority Banning Religious/Atheist-Leaning Ads

I posted earlier about how the Fort Worth Transit Authority voted to ban all future theistic or atheistic advertising.

Zachary Moore was at the board meeting and took this video:

I haven’t had time to carefully listen to all of it, but I can direct you to the 15:52 mark where board member Reby Cary talks about how we’re a “Christian nation” sliding away from that false history.

If you get a chance to watch it, are there are other parts we should look at?


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  • Someone should harness the power of da intertubez and find Reby Cary’s e-mail address so we can all politely e-mail her and let her know that her ‘christian nation’ accusation is incorrect.

  • This makes me angry.

    If I recall correctly, the “God” that is spoken of in the constitution isn’t the Christian God.

    What is up with this?

  • BeamStalk

    They stated that they didn’t want their tax dollars supporting religion views they don’t endorse. These are paid advertisements, there is no tax dollars going into this, instead the city is making money on it. *headdesk*

  • James

    Well, it would seem that Mr Cary is about 90, and still going strong, good luck teaching the old dog new tricks.

    He is into real estate, Cary, Reby – Cary’s Real Estate
    (817) 457-0713

    And you can reach the board of directors at tboard@the-t.com Which means his email is probably rcary@the-t.com or some other such permutation or first name last name.

    One would think that a black man who grew up through the 30’s would have a much higher understanding of equality for all. After all it was predominantly the southern christian “god fearing folk” that enjoyed a good lynching.

    The mental acrobatics of theists is an amazing thing to see.

  • Jess

    Why didn’t the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, some other christian group, or a group of christian churches and fellowships just buy ads and stick them on buses as well? They had that right!

    I think it is just infringes the First Amendment of our Constitution and shuts people up instead of letting us do what American citizens have the right to do.

    If we don’t discuss or advertise things that are controversial, everything would be censored because there are many things that could offend someone. Its a load of crap and just angers me.

  • Jonathan Duran

    Not to be a party pooper, but I think we should respectfully leave Mr. Cary alone. What can be gained from berating some old guy who’s fixed in his beliefs, regardless of how delusional they are? Do you think he’ll “see the light”? It just seems vindictive to pick on this one guy for the misconceptions of an entire demographic of people…

  • James

    I was just listening and heard something along the lines of “we do not want our tax dollars support a religious view we do not endorse”.
    Um..

    1. Your tax dollars support nothing, it is a privately paid buss advertisement, the city MAKES money off of it.

    2. It does not matter if you endorse it or not, taxes cannot be used to fund religious items. Church and state separation comes into play.

    3. How very hypocritical of you. You would be willing to let your tax dollars pay for something you believe in, but would be pissed if they went towards something I believe in.

  • bigjohn756

    The T is in the bidness of Transportation. What the fuck is all of the other shit about?

  • TWalker

    Alix Jules speaks well – I confess to not having heard of him before.

  • PegK

    Interesting that the first two speakers are given 4 1/2 and 4 minutes respectively to speak but the third speaker from the freethought group is given only 3 minutes and the woman with the buzzer allows it to continue to beep and comes up to him to cut him off.

  • Richard P.

    What the hell is the reference to the wall coming down, have to do with bus advertising. The guy looks so smug after he says it, must think he did a good job baffling them with bullshit.

    Does it not strike you as particularly ironic that African Americans would be standing up and declaring there deep heart felt concerns about peoples right to free speech. If it was not for this right African Americans would still be on the back of the busses.
    They would rather have their rights stripped away than allow others the same freedom.
    This is so pathetic, it’s a disgrace to humanity.
    What’s this about the founding fathers that came over to set up this country. Is he talking about those first boat loads to arrive that brought there good christian values and their African American slaves. Those founding fathers? Is he talking about those good christian values. Crack out the whip for his insolence. Lets see how much he thinks we need to get back to the good old days, when were done. Seems like senility has settled in on that one.

    I love the cavalier attitude by those, in places of power, so easily take peoples freedoms away. I can’t believe no one is freaking out about this. They have just swept away your right to free speech for complete demographic groups, and all their is, is praise. Not one nay? What the hell. Even the act of accepting the “if not all then none concept” is horrific. You have just been stripped of your rights. They have stomped on the first amendment and said fuck you people of Forth Worth. You should be flaming screaming mad at this.

  • Here’s a detailed synopsis.

    1. Bishop Billy George, True Light Baptist Church: the board should change its policy because the “Good without God” advertisements make Fort Worth look bad right before the Super Bowl and dishonor firefighters and police. Bishop George compared himself to a great American, Ronald Reagan, saying to Mikhail Gorbachev, “Tear down this wall.” (No, I don’t understand that, either.) Ran out of time but was permitted by the chair to finish his remarks beyond the allotted time for public comment.

    2. Rev. Julius L. Jackson, Jr. of the Macedonia Baptist Church: the board already does not accept advertisements for pornography, alcohol, or tobacco products, or political ads, so a ban on religious advertisements is the same thing. Also, at 6:34, objects to his tax dollars supporting a message contrary to his personal beliefs. As a good Christian, he could not stay silent while these ads were on the buses. Finished timely.

    3. Alix Jules, Fellowship of Freethought and DFWCOR: nonbelievers ARE good without God and the ad says nothing bad about Christians or other believers. 20% of Texans do not believe in God and we should not be marginalized. Ran out of time before finishing, and was not allowed to complete his remarks.

    4. Robert A. Parmlee, Chairman, FWTA: Board will decide the issue in executive (non-public) session. The Board voted to adopt the no religious advertisement policy. The Board’s counsel and its President (who would be the full-time, professional manager of the “T”) read the new policy to the public. I thought it interesting that beer and wine ads are okay but other alcohol ads are not. The critical language is a ban on “…theist, anti-theist, faith-based and/or religious and anti-religious messages, witchcraft, voodoo, cult, or other spiritual or anti-spiritual promotional, regardless of viewpoint, defamatory messages, hate speech, and/or language whose message targets or bashes individuals or specific groups, and all political ads.”

    5. Jeffrey L. Ritter, Board Member: if we allow one, we have to allow them all. The new policy will stop “this problem” once and for all.

    6. Reby Cary, Board member: Groups change our values in this country. They are attacking our background. We said the pledge of allegiance, which contains the line one nation under God. We should have a prayer before the meeting but we are scared to because it might offend someone. Our money refers to God. God is the fundamental basis of this country whether you like it or not. This country was founded on a relationship with God, whether you like it or not. God is referred to in patriotic songs.

    7. Gary Havener, Secretary: I don’t like the ads because they create divisiveness and controversy in the community. I also don’t like that people bother our employees while we’re trying to provide a public service. I want to put the controversy aside.

    Then the policy was put to a vote and passed with only “aye” votes. There was no roll call.

    Question for the readership here: the new policy bans “anti-theist”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-spiritual” advertising content. Is an advertisement that says “Millions Of Americans Are Good Without God” “anti-theist,” “anti-religious,” or “anti-spiritual”?

  • Vas

    @Transplanted Lawyer

    Question for the readership here: the new policy bans “anti-theist”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-spiritual” advertising content. Is an advertisement that says “Millions Of Americans Are Good Without God” “anti-theist,” “anti-religious,” or “anti-spiritual”?

    I was just going to bring that up, as soon as I heard the policy I thought, hey the current ad is within policy and should not be rejected under the new policy. Did the xtian overlords just ban themselves from T ads and leave the atheists a route to exclusivity in T adverts?
    Also is it just me or does it set a bad example to sit around doing public business in a sea of plastic bottles and styrofoam cups? Don’t any of you people own a cup?

  • (commenting as listening)

    That first guy’s a pastor? The way he mumbles? I can barely understand him. That’s probably a good thing.

    Hey, no fair, giving him extra time!

    Bad image! The idiot! He’s the one giving them the bad image!

    Ronald Reagan? Now he’s just kissing white ass and throwing whitie a bone. (Well, I’m sorry but he is.)

    What wall? Is he meaning he wants to tear down the wall of separation?

    At least the second guy can speak clearly.

    “I do not want to see my tax dollars paying for a message contrary to my own personal beliefs.” Shit, dude, now you know how I feel every time I’ve boarded a bus for the last 35 years of my life and got smacked with Christian prostelyzing in my face. Think he’ll remember this at the polls? No, me either. And I don’t particularly feel sorry for him getting a dose of his own medicine. I hope it’s opened his eyes a bit.

    “As a Christian, we couldn’t just not say something.” Ah, yeah, but how do you react when the Atheist says something because they just can’t sit by against an injustice?

    Alix is very well spoken and impressive. Go, Alix!

    Turn on the moderator’s mike. I can’t even hear him. What’d he say?

    Good they turned on Mr. Parmlee’s mike.

    So heartedly agreeing with Mr. Ritter! Exactly. (He speaks right before Mr. Carey.)

    Mr. Carey is a moron who is also pointing out exactly why we should restore the Pledge to its orignal version without the under god that was inserted during McCarthyism and off the GD money. No, you idiot, it was not founded on religion, it was founded on religious freedom.

    lol, did you see the pained look on the face of the dude next to him when he picked up the song lyrics and started reading them? Dude looks like he was thinking, oh, God either shut him up or get me out of here, please.

    That was Mr. Havener who is being impressive and well spoken given his turn to speak. While he didn’t like the ad and called it divisive, I think despite that amen someone interjected, he was somewhat calling out the ministers actually when he talked about strong arming. I liked what he said about just wanting to do their jobs and provide transportation. Christ, I’m tearing up over that. I wish to hell the local bus company felt that way about what they do.

    (end of tape)

    I actually think we rather triumphed here. They can take the signs to another venue and while it came about for the wrong reason, I’m glad no religious signs are going to be allowed on the buses.

    The ministers just looked like the haters they are and Alix came off as very broad-minded because, frankly, that’s what each of them displayed.

    It’s a win overall, people. I’m glad CoR put the signs up. I have called and complained (in other cities) about religious ads on the bus and been mocked by people who suspected I didn’t have the money with why don’t you buy your own ad in a sneering, contemptuous tone. I think this was a triumph. Those ministers shot themselves in the foot and did more harm to the religious community than they did us.

    I really, really hope other cities seeing this mess follow the no religous ads mandate.

    Now off to read all the comments before mine.

  • Jon Moles

    The making our city look bad comment at around the 4:20 mark pissed me off until the weird segue into the Reagan thing around the 5:00 mark jarred me through sheer congnitive dissonance. I also thought the taxes comment at around the 6:45 mark was not only stupid but ironic. Alix Jules from the DFWCOR rocked the mike, so to speak. Reby Cary is a long-winded moron, enough said. I didn’t begrudge Gary Havener’s point of view about wanting to just provide transportation. I think that covers it. H/T to Transplanted Lawyer for the rundown, it made my post easier.

  • The tax dollars come in because cities and/or counties often subsidize the buses though I don’t know if that’s the case here. If not for that, the ads would cost far more and bus fares would be beyond the means of the poor who ride them but it makes them a gray area between public and private property.

    Got to say, I’ve always considered them public because of that and it did piss me off to have them preaching at me. In my mind, it’s the same as having a manger at Town Hall.

    Question for the readership here: the new policy bans “anti-theist”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-spiritual” advertising content. Is an advertisement that says “Millions Of Americans Are Good Without God” “anti-theist,” “anti-religious,” or “anti-spiritual”?

    The T’s lawyers will probably realize this mistake and adjust the language accordingly. If not, CoR shouldn’t take advantage but move it to a billboard or something. Look better than them instead of snarky. Right now CoR looks much better and should run with that.

    We really did win here — if we take the high road and continue to act classier.

  • David P

    The new policy bans “anti-theist”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-spiritual” advertising content. Is an advertisement that says “Millions Of Americans Are Good Without God” “anti-theist,” “anti-religious,” or “anti-spiritual”

    Does the new policy mean they can’t have any more ads that say ‘Merry Christmas’?

  • Carlie

    If they made an ad that said “Millions of Americans are good for goodness’ sake”, would that violate the policy?

  • Linda Binda

    LOL. The SCLC was the one whinging about the ads? Well, big surprise now that they’re being led by noted homophobe Bernice King who declared that her father Martin Luther, Jr. (yep, that’s the one!) didn’t die for gay marriage, and big surprise that they have so many organizational issues. No wonder, then, if they have time to whine about bus advertisements!

    Awful.

  • Vanessa

    Question for the readership here: the new policy bans “anti-theist”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-spiritual” advertising content. Is an advertisement that says “Millions Of Americans Are Good Without God” “anti-theist,” “anti-religious,” or “anti-spiritual”?

    I wondered this too. I think the ads can be considered in the religious category because they mention “God.” However, if it were reworded like Carlie said, I don’t think that falls into that category.

    They did say political ads were banned also, so maybe these types of ads would be lumped in that category if there isn’t enough support for it to be considered “anti-religious”

  • I find it kafkaesque that these ministers demanded that the Transit Authority prohibit religious messages in buses while at the same time the rest of the christian mouthpieces are screaming about being silenced and muzzled in the public square.

    They can now be used by atheist groups as an example of a ministerial organization that sees eliminating religious messaging from public places as conducive to the public good.

    As a matter of fact, if removing religious messages from buses is good, then removing them from currency would also be good-that way no one will ever slip in an atheist message in the future. 🙂

    Next the COR could (should) have a series of bus ads created supporting excellence in education, each ad showing a key piece of evidence for evolution to help promote learning about science.

    Nothing about creationism, ID, faith, etc, just “x” shows that evolution is real. Attractive and engaging photos and copy with a web link for more info.

    THEN if there’s a refusal to display ads supporting education and science (not mentioned in the policy in any way, shape or form) take the Transit Authority to court for discrimination against a recognized minority group.

  • Peter

    The christian ministers apparently realize that “in the market place of ideas”, their silly superstitions/religions can NOT compete side-by-side with reality.

    Thus, when it comes to thoughts/ideas, theists can not compete in an “open market” and thus they must shut it down. How PATHETIC they are.

    Thus, their only hope was to CENSOR the entire conversation.

    It would be like back when Coca-Cola was by far the TOP cola, if they were to stop the advertisement of ALL soda pop (even their own). For a while, they would maintain their base without their base constituents being exposed to options like Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc. BUT in the long-run, they lose out by losing one means of advertising.

    My summary: it is sad that censorship wins in this venue. But… AWESOME job getting this much publicity for just $2,400!!! WOW!

    The theists are SO insecure that just a 4 little posters on buses have the majority religions scurrying like ‘chicken littles’ and then they’re giving up their own rights to advertise.

    If these ads keep rolling out in various cities, playing out like they have been, it’s an overall WIN by taking religions off their pedestals. Criticizing or competing with religions is NO longer taboo. The SPELL is being BROKEN.

  • The last guy, Gary Havener, gets it best I think:

    “We’re supposed to be providing transportation, nothing else, but to provide transportation.”

    What better understanding of the importance of separation of church and state do you need?

    If there were no theists trying to control everything there would be no atheists trying to stop them. And if there were no theist ads on the buses there’d be no atheist ads on the buses.

    Nice to see that the its the peaceful and righteous Christians involved in “muscling” the employees.

    Still, it’s bizarre that the message “other people are (also) decent” is divisive, while “you deserve to be tortured for all eternity (and BTW fuck you)” isn’t.

  • BeamStalk

    The critical language is a ban on “…theist, anti-theist, faith-based and/or religious and anti-religious messages, witchcraft, voodoo, cult, or other spiritual or anti-spiritual promotional, regardless of viewpoint, defamatory messages, hate speech, and/or language whose message targets or bashes individuals or specific groups, and all political ads.”

    So does this mean SyFy can’t advertise for Ghost Hunters now? If so I applaud this and laugh at the wording of this.

  • Revyloution

    I wonder if you can buy an ad that says
    “Millions are healthy without homeopathy”

  • Revyloution

    I just typed that quip above on a whim, then my brain started clicking.

    Could we, through an effort like this, get Fort Worth to place a ban on all naturapathic medicine?

    “Millions live pain free without a Chiropractor”

    “Millions fix their allergies without acupuncture”

    “Millions get healthy without Reiki”

    Wouldn’t it be great to see a ban on all nonsense in Fort Worth!

  • Jeff

    “I do not want to see my tax dollars paying for a message contrary to my own personal beliefs.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – they do NOT believe in democracy. For them, it’s a buzzword they can throw out whenever they feel their hegemony is being threatened. “Freedom of religion” means they have the freedom to shove their religion down your throat.

    Robert W., let’s see you spin this one, if you have the balls even to try.

  • Question for the readership here: the new policy bans “anti-theist”, “anti-religious”, and “anti-spiritual” advertising content. Is an advertisement that says “Millions Of Americans Are Good Without God” “anti-theist,” “anti-religious,” or “anti-spiritual”?

    I agree that nothing in the CoR message falls under those limitations. They could make a case that the ads should remain. However, I do agree that “Millions are good for goodness sake” would remove any argument and force the issue further.

    If the ads were still deemed inappropriate, then the problem would be the messenger and not the message. So then the question becomes “what about christian groups that don’t mention God in their advertising?” Would the Salvation Army be allowed to advertise? How about the YMCA? Various Christian charities like Christian Children’s Fund or World Vision?

  • the late Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. who have puked if he heard a member of the SCLC quote Ronald Ray-Gun and even call him “great” (and yes Ray Gun was alive and well during the time of King and doing his dirt)

    then again, King was always critical of Christians and members of the SCLC

  • Vas

    If I say, “millions of steaks are good without steak sauce” does that make me anti-steak sauce and if so does that make me against people who use steak sauce as well?

  • Erin

    I like how one guy kept saying “amen” while Reby Cary was talking. Is this a board meeting or a Baptist worship service?