“In the beginning, man created God,” according to recent advertisements posted on 25 Chicago buses. The Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign targeted the country’s third largest city to espouse “the idea that man created God as well as all religions.”1
The ads were inspired by similar campaigns elsewhere, including one sponsored by the British Humanist Association last year that was supported by The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins.2 “A few individuals in Bloomington, IN heard about the wild success of the UK and Canada campaigns, and wondered if a similar campaign had started in the Midwest. Nothing turned up, so a group of about a dozen people got together, set up the [inatheistbus.org] website, and began collecting donations,” according to the FAQ section of the organization’s website.1
The ads are a twist on selected lines from Genesis 1—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), and “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
Other ads by the Indiana organization were slated to coincide with President Barak Obama’s visit to Notre Dame for the school’s commencement ceremony. Those ads—which state, “You can be good without God”—were delayed when the bus company’s committee debated its approval on whether the ad could be featured on city buses.
The current ads are scheduled to be posted for “several weeks.” The organization has recently partnered with the American Humanist Association to raise an additional $50,000 to keep the ads going. As of June 2, 2009, they had raised about $10,000.
The Christian Post recently commented about the Indiana Atheist campaign:
In recent years, more atheists have come into the spotlight, loudly proclaiming their beliefs—or unbelief—and challenging Christianity. Although atheists make up a small percentage of America’s population, the public nature of their efforts has not left them unnoticed, especially among Christians.3
That seems spot on. According to Gallup, 78 percent of Americans believe in God and only about 6 percent do not believe in God or a higher power.4 And in poll results released in February to coincide with the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, about 61 percent of Americans indicated they do not believe that humans evolved.5 Atheists represent only a small fraction of America’s population. But with their increased activism, Americans would be wise to remember that “the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
- The Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign website is located at inatheistbus.org.
- Dao, C. Dawkins Supports ‘No God’ Ads. ICR News. Posted on icr.org October 23, 2008, accessed June 2, 2009.
- Black, N. Atheists Advertise ‘Man Created God’ on Chicago Buses. The Christian Post. Posted on christianpost.com May 25, 2009.
- Majority of Americans Believe in God. Gallup Poll Video report. Posted on gallup.com July 28, 2008. [link: ]
- Newport, F. On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution. Gallup News. Posted on gallup.com February 11, 2009, accessed June 2, 2009. See also ICR’s analysis of this poll report in Dao, C. Poll: Majority of Americans Don’t Believe in Evolution. ICR News. Posted on icr.org February 24, 2009, accessed June 2, 2009.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on June 4, 2009.