The Atheist Bus Campaign began thanks to readers of The Guardians Comment Is Free blog. Comedy writer Ariane Sherine wrote an article in June about the Christian adverts running on London buses, which linked to a website saying non-believers would burn in hell for all eternity.
Sherine joked that perhaps atheists reading her blog could each donate 5 to fund a reassuring counter-advert saying:
Theres probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.
She explained that the word probably was included so that the advert would be allowed to run.
Hundreds of Cif readers then offered to contribute to the theoretical ad, including political blogger Jon Worth, who set up a Pledgebank page so readers could register their support. After just six weeks, 877 people had signed up, and another 262 pledged in response to Sherine's follow-up piece on The Guardian site.
The British Humanist Association has kindly offered to lend its official support to the proposed advert should the campaign launch officially. The BHA will also be administering all donations.
CBS Outdoor, the bus advertising company, have now said that they will run the atheist advert on 30 buses for 4 weeks across London if we raise just 5,500, which means we need 1,100 people to donate 5 each.
This will be the first ever atheist advertising campaign in the UK, and will launch on October 21 2008. Donations will be collected via a JustGiving page, details of which will be posted here soon.
Please join this group to show your support for the campaign. You can also email Ariane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with
Atheist Bus in the subject line to register for updates.
Personally, I feel that this cause is well worth a fiver. Who's with me?