Suburban Detroit Buses (SMART) Carry Atheist Message

I don't think the Detroit Suburban buses (i.e., SMART) should have carried the Atheist Ads for $5,600 bucks.

It adds more pollution to our streets and neighborhoods:

The buses will run in the greater Oakland County area all the way south into the central business district in Detroit," said Milan, 54.

I wanted to hit as many major thoroughfares as possible so we could have greater visibility to the public about our message."

detroitnews.com/article/20100303/METRO/3030426/1041/SMART-buses-to-carry-atheist-message#ixzz0h9VXMJZj

[quote="Dwyer, post:1, topic:192340"]
I don't think the Detroit Suburban buses (i.e., SMART) should have carried the Atheist Ads for $5,600 bucks.

It adds more pollution to our streets and neighborhoods:

detroitnews.com/article/20100303/METRO/3030426/1041/SMART-buses-to-carry-atheist-message#ixzz0h9VXMJZj

[/quote]

"Don't believe in God? You are not alone." This is laugable. We don't live in the dark ages. People know atheists exists. This has what it comes to, from the intellect of Jean Paul Satre to bus messages carry dumb slogans. I don't for a minute agree with Jean Paul Sarte on the non-existence of God, I believe that God exists, but the new atheism has lost it's intellect!

I thought Father Barron summed it up very well in his video:

youtube.com/watch?v=Xe5kVw9JsYI

To the contrary, buses pollute less than the equivalent number of cars needed to carry the same ridership. And, the new hybrid buses pollute even less than the others and are quieter.

Whether they carry messages that we like or don’t like, riding a bus makes sense if you are close enough to a bus route.

I realize you disagree with the message, but freedom of speech requires we allow the advertising of messages we disagree with.

During the past three years, this sort of ad, and counter ads paid for by religious groups, have appeared in many cities in the US, and in Europe. It wouldn’t surprise me if they appear in other parts of the world.

I think evangelical atheism is a bit odd, but its proponents have just as much right to expressing themselves as other evangelists.

I realize you disagree with the message, but freedom of speech requires we allow the advertising of messages we disagree with

.

That is true, about freedom of speech, however SMART gets almost all of its funding from property taxes from the Detroit Metropolitan area's three major counties, Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb.

So, it is a public, community service, and is publicly funded.

It also has received $20.5 million in federal tax dollars to repair and improve its buses:

smartbus.org/Smart/News+and+Info/Press+Releases/ARRA+funds.htm

I just don't think a public transportation and community centered service, that is funded mostly through property taxes, should make the decision to run a controversial advertisement placarded on the side of its buses.

Obviously, its customers include both theists and atheists.

I think a publicly funded bus service should take a neutral stance in the Culture War.

You are not alone in that decision. In the city of Des Moines, Iowa the ads appeared on the buses, and then were pulled after a storm of protest from conservative Christians. Then, about a week later, on legal advice, they ads were allowed to appear again.

Unless we ban all religious advertising from public buses (and Des Moines had allowed church ads on its buses in the past), I don’t think its possible to ban the athiest ads.

[quote="Dwyer, post:5, topic:192340"]
I just don't think a public transportation and community centered service, that is funded mostly through property taxes, should make the decision to run a controversial advertisement placarded on the side of its buses.

Obviously, its customers include both theists and atheists.

I think a publicly funded bus service should take a neutral stance in the Culture War.

[/quote]

In this case a neutral stance means taking ads from both sides. Refusing the atheist ad probably would have meant spending big $$$ defending a lawsuit.

In this case a neutral stance means taking ads from both sides. Refusing the atheist ad probably would have meant spending big $$$ defending a lawsuit.

I am pretty sure the Bus System, despite what they are saying / claiming, have the ability to accept or deny any advertising offers they receive.

Otherwise, I think you would see advertisements for strip clubs, alcohol, bars, placarded on the side of buses.

The typical advertisements I have seen are mostly for Network TV programs and Radio Stations or Radio programs.

Just because someone approaches them with a fist full of dollars and an advertisement, it doesn’t mean they automatically have to accept the advertisement.

[quote="Dwyer, post:1, topic:192340"]
I don't think the Detroit Suburban buses (i.e., SMART) should have carried the Atheist Ads for $5,600 bucks.

It adds more pollution to our streets and neighborhoods:

detroitnews.com/article/20100303/METRO/3030426/1041/SMART-buses-to-carry-atheist-message#ixzz0h9VXMJZj

[/quote]

It's called the first amendment.

I don't like the message, either. But they didn't ask.

And the Detroit bus system is run by the local government, right? Denial of one religious group's rights to advertise would be a government interference in their religion.

Denial of one religious group’s rights to advertise would be a government interference in their religion.

My understanding of the First Amendment is that government isn’t supposed to get involved with actively promoting any sort of religious message.

Hence, the prohibition of tax dollars going to religious schools in the USA.

However, not everyone out there always follows the law, so some transportation authorities may advertise messages with religious slogans, as Dale mentioned in Iowa.

There is a slick argument and loophole that atheism is not a religion, so the secularists and atheists use that argument and to brainwash their opponents, even though atheism expresses a direct opinion involving the existence of a Deity / Creator (God or Gods), and nullifies the basis of almost all religions.

Also, sometimes you have to fight legally instead of caving in to the multiculturalist liberals every time they threaten a lawsuit.

There are a few Christian based legal services non-profits like the Thomas More Society and the Alliance Defense Fund that may take the case for free or at a reduced cost.

That’s what that school district in Mississippi did; they stood their ground and didn’t cave in to the lesbian student who wanted to dress like a boy and attend the prom with her girlfriend or to the ACLU.

At least the federal judge didn’t force the school to accommodate this person this school year.

That Mississipi school district at least has some gumption, and earned my respect, even though they lost the case because of some liberal multiculturalist (i.e.,many cultures) federal judge’s opinion.

That's the bad thing about freedome of expression -- its for everyone, even advertisements for the preisthood.

http://www.jessicamurphy.com/LookingForASign.jpg

The atheist ad is only supposed to run for a motnh, so this particular controversy may be at an end. However, the group which paid for the ad sure picked somewhat controversial timing: March 4 - April 4… ending on Easter. I suppose they might have chosen encourage atheists during all the religious talk of the Easter season, but Christians might also see it as tweaking their noses.

It's just like any other religious advertisement. I don't fuss whenever I see a "Calling Home Catholics" sign outside. (Or what is it called? "Come home Catholics?")

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