Sunday, 18 January 2009

Holier than thou

Religious believers who attack atheists only prove the shakiness of their own belief in God. Otherwise, why would they bother about atheists at all?

Some prominent Christians in Northern Ireland have warned the national bus company Translink not to place pro-atheist adverts* on their buses. Or rather, to "think very carefully" about it.

Apart from the fact that they're trying to interfere in the running of a public business, their view seems to be that everyone should believe in God, and if they say they don't, they should be silenced. And maybe jailed, who knows?

So who are these zealous guardians of the truth? Free Presbyterian Minister the Rev David McIlveen (above), the not so moderate Free Presbyterian Moderator the Rev Ron Johnstone and MP David Simpson .

Have they nothing better to do than to hound those questioning souls who've no doubt carefully considered all the arguments for a supreme being, then looked at a planet rife with violence, poverty, suffering and sickness, and concluded that the idea seems rather implausible?

Wouldn't these self-righteous individuals be better employed ministering to their respective flocks and giving the benefit of their wisdom to those people desperate for help rather than persecuting non-believers?

Shouldn't their first priority be the hundreds of mortgage-defaulters, debtors, jobless and pensioners trying to cope with the economic meltdown? Or is their miserable plight not quite high enough on God's "To Do" list?

Believers get endless opportunities to convince us of the existence of God. Atheists are equally entitled to argue otherwise. What's the problem?

* The adverts from the British Humanist Association are already on buses in England, Wales and Scotland. The text reads: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

21 comments:

Grannymar said...

They would probably complain all the louder if the postersn said that God was a woman!

d@\/ e said...

Watch out Nick the Free P's might start reading your blog. I'd one reading and commenting on mine I'd mentioned a demonstration they had againsyt a heavy metal gig. Sadly he stopped commenting just as I was about to arrange for him to go to a heavy metal gig with a heavy metaller.Better luck next time, I'm hoping.

Wisewebwoman said...

Amen, brother.
XO
WWW

nick said...

Grannymar - Goodness, yes, that would probably cause total apoplexy.

Dave - Heavy metal? The work of the Devil, without a doubt. The evil outpourings of Satan. Keep away from it at all costs.

www - Bless you, sista.

Thriftcriminal said...

self righteous zealots are very irritating. I include the atheist flavour in there too BTW.

Quickroute said...

I read about this - what hypocrisy! - Freedom of speech except if you want to say something contreversial

Mudflapgypsy said...

I'm all for these adverts. I think it would be even more funny if Satanists were to advertise on buses.
Religious - and I use this term with trepidation-"leaders" trying to influence a large private company should be viewed as a terrorist threat since the said company runs ALL the public transport in this country. Scoop'em and question them in the holding centre, I say!!
Intolerable behaviour indeed as this is the infringement of free speech and free thinking.

Suburbia said...

Well that's the problem with SOME who say they are Christians, they are to busy meddling to do any real good!

Haven't noticed the ads yet but will look out for them now .

nick said...

Thrifty - What, atheists are also self-righteous bigots? Well, some maybe - Richard Dawkins? But I think the rest of us are fairly modest, we just get on with our lives.

Quicky - Indeed, whatever happened to free speech? Well, obviously we can't allow it to those who are following the Wrong Path.

Muddy - Terrorism? I wouldn't go quite that far. But isn't there a criminal offence of threatening behaviour?

Suburbia - Only some of them, as you point out. Unfortunately their crass behaviour discredits those with more sense who pursue their religious beliefs with a bit more sensitivity.

Fate's Granddaughter said...

Nick, your penultimate paragraph says it all. I couldn't agree with you more. The public faces of the Free Prebs never cease to incense me.

nick said...

FG - Their constant raging against blasphemy and irreligious behaviour must be sending their blood pressure through the roof. Chill out, lads, God's got it all under control.

Baino said...

Trouble with 'organised' athiesm is it's become a 'religion' in it's own right. I really don't see the point of the bus ads other than to piss off the religious. Seems just as zealous to me. Still, not an issue for the pollies . . separation of Church and State and all that

nick said...

Baino - Doesn't seem zealous to me, rather laid-back in fact. Perhaps as you say rather pointless since it contains no practical advice of any kind (unless Stop Worrying counts as advice).

Gayle's Joy In Life said...

Couldn't agree more. What is there to fear from a person who doesn't believe as you do? As long as they are not actively attempting to harm you, why not live and let live?

We get sold all sorts of things from cars to artificial flavoring to sex to religion or the lack thereof. As with all things, let the buyer beware!

Gayle

nick said...

Gayle - Exactly, if they aren't doing you any harm, what's all the fuss about? Of course, in David Simpson's case, it's partly a case of wooing his electorate.

conortje said...

I love those ads! The biggest fault with religion is the inability to recognise that other people are allowed to think differently. Live and let live etc

nick said...

Conor - Too true. Their way is the Right Way and everyone else has gone down the wrong path into the wilderness.

Babycakes said...

As usual, these religious crusaders forget to notice that if you complain/boycott/demonstrate about something, it brings it even more attention! The only reason I had heard of these adverts was through the media coverage of the outcry! One day they will learn . . . .or maybe not.

nick said...

Babycakes - Absolutely, how many people have they alerted to the atheist ads? And how many people concluded that the Free Prebs should be doing something useful rather than trashing the Godless?

John Self said...

This all came into the local news because a bus driver in England objected to driving a bus with the ad on the side. Yet what might the response have been if an atheist bus driver had refused to drive a bus which advertised the Alpha Course on the back?

I was particularly amused by the complaints made about the ad to the Advertising Standards Authority. Some complained that it was not lawful because the advertisers could not prove that what they said was true! Aside from the logical impossibility of proving a negative, I'd have thought a basic examination of the evidence since the dawn of time would have established pretty clearly that what the ad says is true.

Nick said...

John - Indeed, if an atheist had objected to a religious advert, they'd probably have been laughed at. Perhaps we should try it and see what happens?

As for proving the existence or not of a supreme being, of course people HAVE been studying the evidence since the dawn of time - and we're still none the wiser.

If only God would agree to be interviewed by Jonathan Ross, then it could all be resolved at a stroke....