December 11, 2009

Atheist bus adverts invade New Zealand

by Sara Levy

Atheist funded adverts claiming “There’s Probably No God” are set to adorn buses in New Zealand, following a similar campaign on the London Underground and British buses.

The New Zealand Atheist Bus Campaign launched this week and has already raised NZ$10,000 to fund the bus adverts.

Following the British campaign, similar adverts were displayed in the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Australia, Finland and Germany.

The adverts will run in New Zealand in February in three cities: Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

However, the Catholic Church in New Zealand said the campaign will have little effect on the religious faithful.

Church spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer said the adverts will “amaze” Christian, Jewish and Islamic people.

“It’s actually saying that all of these three great traditions of billions of people worldwide are all mistaken,” Freer said.

“The majority of people of faith [will] regard it as an outrageous statement, but it’s not going to make any difference and really I would just consider it to be a waste of money,” she added.

Simon Fisher, spokesperson for the atheist campaign, said he expects the adverts will cause controversy, adding that he has already received some angry emails.

“While New Zealand is by and large a very tolerant and inclusive society, there is still stigma associated with an atheistic position,” Fisher said.

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