Yes, this is old news. Yes, I’m still going to write about it. Tough, I say!
You’ve probably read about the atheist ads being purchased on buses in London and Washington, DC. The one in London reads, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The one that will run on DC Metro buses reads, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”
Predictably, a lot of religious folk are already screaming “War on Christmas!” Said American Family Association Tom Wildmon:
It’s a stupid ad,” he said. “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.
Said Matthew Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel:
It’s the ultimate grinch to say there is no God at a time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Christ. Certainly, they have the right to believe what they want but this is insulting.
(Both quotes from this Fox News article.)
So, we have the tired “how can you be good without God?” crap, and the notion that suggesting that there might be no god is insulting. OK.
If this ad should be insulting to Christians, then what am I to make of Gideon bibles in hotel rooms? Are they insulting to us non-believers? What about church billboards? What about people standing on the street preaching for Jesus, or handing out tracts? Are they offensive enough to warrant being shut down?
To my mind, the response to the DC Metro ad demonstrates why these campaigns are necessary. As long as some people are comfortable in declaring that atheists have no grounds for morals, that their very attempts to express themselves are offensive, that their very existence is offensive, than forms of expression like these ads will be needed to show them why they’re wrong.
No one needs God to be good. God is more than sufficient to make some people bad. Can’t we just leave Him (or Her, or as I prefer, It) aside, and be good for goodness’ sake?