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1:00 pm - 08/06/2009

DART: Controversial Bus Ads Pulled

Officials Say Signs Never Approved In First Place


DES MOINES, Iowa --

Atheist advertising signs on Des Moines Area Regional Transit buses that created a storm of controversy when they first went up on Aug. 1 have been taken down.

Officials with DART said the signs were not supposed to be on the buses in the first place.

Rest of the article. If you're linkphobic, suck it up.

I'm part of IAF. I saw one of the news segments (Ch. 13/NBC, not Ch. 8/CBS). The woman was told DART accepted church ads, why not these. She couldn't answer.

You'd think, with DART being in hot water (with one hitting a pedestrian recently, and some of their drivers having...less than stellar backgrounds) they wouldn't want to open this can of worms.
mylaptopisevil 7th-Aug-2009 12:11 am (UTC)
So why is phrasing it "Don't believe in god?" so wrong?

It's not wrong as much as it generates a conflict between faiths. The matter of that kind of conflict between faiths being seen as wrong is another matter.

But, that said, I don't think I see religious ads on buses that say things like "Don't believe in Allah, find out more about Christianity." I am very sure said ads would create the same kind of conflict and complaints.

I still don't see how it's confrontational. People ask me if I'm Christian all the time. Should I be yelling at them for being confrontational? Or is it different because Christianity is a religion, whereas atheism is the lack thereof?

No, it's pretty confrontational to be asked about a private spiritual manner. Now if you want to complain about it, that's your own call. Things like that don't bother me, but then again I wouldn't be against taking these ads down. I just recognize what makes them confrontational.
worldmage 7th-Aug-2009 12:32 am (UTC)
No, it's pretty confrontational to be asked about a private spiritual manner.

Asking "Are you an atheist?" isn't asking about a private spiritual matter?
mylaptopisevil 7th-Aug-2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Asking "Are you an atheist?" isn't asking about a private spiritual matter?

No, it is.
worldmage 7th-Aug-2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Then please resolve the apparent contradiction between these two statements you've made, if you don't mind.

If the ad was phrased as "Are you atheist? You are not alone." I would not see the ads as confrontational.

No, it's pretty confrontational to be asked about a private spiritual manner.
mylaptopisevil 7th-Aug-2009 02:29 am (UTC)
You were talking about someone directly asking you if you were of a specific religion, not an ad advertising a religion into the ether.
curseangel 7th-Aug-2009 02:35 am (UTC)
I don't think it does generate that conflict. I'm fairly certain any conflict is only really present in the minds of people looking for something to complain about. "Oh, they mentioned atheism - clearly it's an attack on us because we believe in god!"

I see ads all the time about how I need to change my ways and find Jesus and whatever, what's the difference? Oh, right - atheism isn't the "societally accepted" faith.

It does bother me. It bothers me because I had a professor who made me so uncomfortable for not being Christian that I feared revealing that I was an atheist because I honestly believed it would impact my grade in his class. And to be honest, it is probably because of that - because no one cares when it's Christianity that's in your face, but atheism, oh noes - that really gets to me here. Why is it only confrontational-in-a-bad-way if it's atheism?
mylaptopisevil 7th-Aug-2009 06:06 am (UTC)
I'm fairly certain any conflict is only really present in the minds of people looking for something to complain about.

Are we comfortable with making a statement like that for the Gates incident? Or for issues of race in video games/movies? I disagree that religious people, by nature, look for things to be offended over. Do some? Sure. Do all? No. It is possible to have issues with an advertisement without actively wanting to have issues with things.

I see ads all the time about how I need to change my ways and find Jesus and whatever, what's the difference? Oh, right - atheism isn't the "societally accepted" faith.

Since you reference Jesus, and most default this on something Christians do, along with the concept of a socially accepted religion, you raise a good question. Was the ad removed because it was about atheism, or because it was about something not Christianity? Would it have had complaints if it was about Judaism? Or Islam? Scientology?

It does bother me. It bothers me because I had a professor who made me so uncomfortable for not being Christian that I feared revealing that I was an atheist because I honestly believed it would impact my grade in his class.

I've received poor grades in specific classes for similar reasons.

Why is it only confrontational-in-a-bad-way if it's atheism?

Is it only if it's atheism, or if it's not Christianity?
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