"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," proclaims a new holiday ad from the American Humanist Association. Already appearing today in the New York Times and Washington Post, the message will soon be blazoned on the sides, taillights, and interiors of over 200 Washington DC Metro buses.
It's the first ad campaign of its kind in the United States, and the American Humanist Association predicts it will raise controversy over humanist ideas.
The exterior posters will appear on buses in Northwest Washington starting Tuesday, November 18. The interior posters will begin December 1 in Northwest and Southeast.
"We expect these bus signs to generate a lot of public interest," said Fred Edwords, director of communications for the American Humanist Association.
Such high-profile promotion isn't new to the American Humanist Association. Throughout 2008, humanist advertising has become more visible across the nation. In particular, highway billboards have been erected just outside of New York City, Philadelphia, and other major cities. They read: "Don't believe in God? You are not alone."
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, responded:
“Codes of morality, of course, have always been grounded in religion. For those of us in Western civilization, its tenets emanate from the Judeo-Christian ethos. By casting this heritage aside, and replacing it with nothing more than the conscience of lone individuals, we lay the groundwork for moral anarchy. And that is because there is nothing that cannot be justified if the only moral benchmark is what men and women posit to be right and wrong. Indeed, every monster in history has followed his conscience."
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said ads are accepted as long as they aren't obscene or pornographic. Personally, I find it obscene for an organization to promote the emptiness of non-belief.
Let's hope (and pray) that people use this $40,000 campaign as a reminder to pray for the unbelieving to be given the gift of faith. If each time one of the ads is seen such a prayer is said, this could have some very positive results.