This is the coolest thing ever. The Atheist Bus Campaign began after comedy writer Ariane Sherine saw an advert on a London bus reading: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find Faith on this Earth?” [sic].
She explains how a website URL ran underneath the quote and, when she visited the site, she was informed how as a non-believer she would be “condemned to everlasting separation from God and then spend all eternity in torment in hell”.
And that seemed a bit much, on the way to work.
She says that, unsettled that religious groups were allowed to advertise websites warning the non-religious that they faced torture at the end of their lives, she conceived a comment piece for The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, called Atheists – Gimme Five.
She proposed a fundraising exercise in which all the atheists reading the piece donated a fiver – enough to pay for a bus ad in London reading: “There’s probably no God – now stop worrying, and enjoy your life.” It was a bit more complicated than that – but now the campaign is up and running. It took 10 hours for it to reach its £5,500 target and is nearly at £75,000 as I write.
If you donate a fiver then I can’t promise eternal life – but I can say that you’ll get a very strong feeling of satisfaction and of solidarity with people like you who may believe in leading an ethical life but not a religious one. Or with everyone who wants to make a stand against the incursion of religious belief into areas of life like politics, education and healthcare (and even public transport) where it has no place.
You can donate via the widget below, which also shows how the campaign is going. Bear in mind this is actual money collected, not funds pledged:
And, by the way it’s getting up the noses of wingnuts, god-botherers and the sniffier members of the commentariat, it’s already done its job and is definitely worth every single penny.
I’ll end with a quote from the inestimable Terry Pratchett that the British Humanist Association is using to help explain this campaign. He says:
“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.”