In late 2008, London buses began carrying banner advertisements declaring, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”1 Sponsored by the British Humanist Association and endorsed by such prominent atheists as Richard Dawkins, the ads were originally slated to run until the end of the year, but additional donations have extended the anti-God campaign into 2009.
The ads, now set to run until February, have received mixed responses from churches and other religious organizations. Some welcomed the discourse about God that was initiated by the ads. Others have voiced criticism. Pro-God ads countered similar anti-God messages appearing in the U.S.2
One Christian bus driver decided to take a stand and walked out of his shift rather than drive one of the banner-bedecked buses. Ron Heather of Southampton, Hampshire, told BBC Radio Solent, “I was just about to board and there it was staring me in the face, my first reaction was shock horror.”3
“I felt that I could not drive that bus, I told my managers and they said they haven’t got another one and I thought I better go home, so I did,” Heather said.
While First Bus, the line that employs Heather, doesn’t endorse the ads, it said in a statement, “The content of this advert has been approved by the Advertising Standards Agency and therefore it is capable of being posted on static sites or anywhere else.”3
The Guardian reported that First Bus acknowledged Heather’s feelings and was “doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the buses concerned.”4
While the atheists are freely flaunting their rights to deny the God who created them, Heather’s simple but loud act of devotion reminds Christians that they have rights to exercise as well, on both sides of the pond. After all, Christ didn’t back down when our salvation was on the line.5 What will we do in His defense?
- Dao, C. Dawkins Supports ‘No God’ Ads. ICR News. Posted on icr.org October 23, 2008, accessed January 20, 2009.
- Good News: Ad Campaigns Come to God’s Defense. CitizenLink Daily Update. Posted on citizenlink.com on December 16, 2008, accessed January 20, 2009.
- Man refuses to drive ‘No God’ bus. BBC News. Posted on news.bbc.co.uk on January 16, 2009, accessed January 20, 2009.
- Walker, P. Christian refuses to drive bus with atheist advertisement. The Guardian. Posted on guardian.co.uk on January 16, 2009, accessed January 20, 2009.
- Matthew 26:39.
Image Credit: Jon Worth
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor.
Article posted on January 23, 2009.