The other day on the radio I heard that the United States has the smallest population of atheists, who make up less than 5% of the population. The announcer went on to tell of the new ad campaign of atheists for this Christmas season: “No God? No Problem. Be good for goodness sake.” Apparently this campaign has been active for some time world-wide.
The following are excerpts of an article appearing on-line November 12, 2008 from the Associated Press:
“Last month, the British Humanist Association caused a ruckus announcing a similar campaign on London buses with the message: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.”
“Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”
Fred Edwords, spokesman for the Humanist group said the “purpose isn’t to argue that God doesn’t exist or change minds about a deity, although “we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people’s minds.”1
In another article, the Executive Director of AHA, Roy Speckhardt, is quoted as saying, “that religion does not have a monopoly on morality and that people can be good without a belief in God.
The Catholic ad response was this slogan “Why believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness’ sake – GOD.”
In trying to learn more about this, I came across this explanation for the ads: “People also misunderstand the point of the ads. They are mostly for ATHEISTS and other non-religious people to realize that there are people out there like them, or for theists to realize that atheists can be good people (instead of the caricature that they are devil worshipers or something). They aren’t really out there to change minds about belief in god!”
If you are a person of faith, does this advertising offend you?
1 ‘Why Believe in a God?’ Ad Campaign Launches on D.C. Buses, Wed., 11/12/08