German Bus Ad Calls for Church/State Separation: “A Papal State? No Thanks.” May 27, 2019

German Bus Ad Calls for Church/State Separation: “A Papal State? No Thanks.”

In an homage to the decade-old Atheist Bus Campaign, a group in Germany is calling for church/state separation on the outsides of a bus that’s traveling throughout the country.

The ad says “Kirchenstaat? Nein danke. 100 jahre verfassungsbruch sind genug,” which roughly translates to “A papal state? No thanks. 100 years of breaking the Constitution is enough.” (They’re referring to the Weimar Constitution of 1919, which created a parliamentary democracy in the country.)

The playful images on the side of the bus feature people sending break-up texts on their phones (again, roughly translated):

  • “Hello, Church. We’ve been separated for 100 years now, but you’re still contacting me. It’s enough!”
  • “Dear God, your place is in Heaven, not Parliament! Honestly, I can do better without you.”
  • “Dear Islam, thank you for always taking great care of me. But I think you’re just too old for me.”
  • “God! How can you create an entire universe, but not keep your staff under control at all?!”

The website for the campaign gets more specific, calling for a separation of church and state and the “strict observance” of religious neutrality by the government. Among the problems they list:

  • Bishop salaries are paid for by taxpayers.
  • Churches can undermine labor laws.
  • Catholic abusers escape law enforcement.
  • Critically ill people aren’t allowed to end life on their own terms.
  • Women who want an abortion are forced to undergo counseling.

The site also says that if these privileges aren’t ended, it’s all but impossible to argue against Islamic nations that impose Sharia law on citizens.

The bus has been traveling throughout the month, with various events and speakers at each stop. The final event is scheduled in Berlin on May 30.

The advertisements are sponsored by the Giordano Bruno Foundation with help from the International Confederation of Nondenominational and Atheists and the Humanist Press Service.

(Image credit: Evelin Frerk, via

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