Atheist Campaign Questions God
The Metro Transit Authority proudly states that New York City’s subway system is one of the busiest in the world with more than 5 million riders per day and more than 1.6 billion total passengers in 2008. Beginning Monday, passengers in a several busy subway stations throughout Manhattan will be treated to advertisement posters which challenge their belief in God.
”A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?” , is the question emblazoned across an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds. This is the product of a coalition of eight atheist organizations that are sponsoring a month-long campaign to get their message across
According to CNN, On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as “part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a god”, according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.
The group decided the “best bang for the buck” was to place posters in popular subway stations to capitalize on the amount of potential viewers, says Michael De Dora Jr., executive director of the New York Center for Inquiry, one of the associated atheist groups. He explained that the coalition also hopes to encourage “talking and thinking about religion and morality,” as well as support involvement in groups that encourage a sense of a social community for non-believing New Yorkers.
De Dora said individuals “don’t need religion to be good people and productive members of society” and ultimately he feels that groups of nonbelievers are “adding to cultural life of NYC.”
In a statement to CNN, Metro Transit Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan said, “The MTA maintains basic advertising guidelines with prohibitions on nudity, four-letter words, and the like. Beyond that, to accord with the First Amendment, our advertising guidelines are written so as to not prohibit the free exercise of religion or abridge the freedom of speech.”
The Big Apple Coalition of Reason emphasized that the New York City campaign is just one component of a “nationwide effort” that will see billboards and postings in transit systems across the United States.
It is interesting, however, to observe that the poster does seem to offer reverence to a specific monotheistic deity. “God” is spelled with a capital “G” and significantly occurs at the end of their opening sentence: “A million New Yorkers are good without God.”
Perhaps just being “good” without God isn’t the real issue. - Amen brother?