All aboard the atheist bus
An atheist bus campaign is doing something its backers probably didn't expect - gaining Christian support.
Around 300 London buses will sport the message: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," staring from January and the 5,000 ads are likely to run for a month. After one of the most prominent atheists in Britain, Professor Richard Dawkins, threw his weight behind the campaign spearheaded by journalist, Ariane Sherine, The British Humanist Association raised more than £30,000 on its first day of fundraising.
Except it isn't really an atheist message; it's agnostic. The insertion of the word "probably" into the first sentence has left room for a debate about God's existence.
"You can't prove a negative," explained Ariane. "By using our intelligence, reasoning and judgement, using scientific evidence - there is absolutely none for the existence of God."
But news to Professor Dawkins, who believes that "thinking is anathema to religion", is that many enlightened Christians become aware God's existence not only through their reasoning and intelligence, but also through their experience.
And that experience is not through recognising a God of Wrath and an awaiting hell fire, but an experience of love.
The God that many atheists recognise is not the God Christians recognise. Nor do they recognise themselves as a worrying bunch of people incapable of enjoying life, which is the implication behind the second statement in the atheist ad.
What should be exciting Christians about this campaign is that it is opening up a debate between secularists and people with faith, which will challenge prejudices, stereotypes and assumptions and enable those engaged to grow.
Or should we be outraged about the 'atheist bus'? Is it giving out the completely wrong message?
What do you think?