If you remember a while ago I was having a laugh about the atheist bus campaign, where ads on buses read THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE. Then there was the inevitable complaint flurry and the ASA threw the complaints out.
Well, now there’s been a bit of a Christian backlash, which was also inevitable really.
The Reverend George Hargreaves, leader of the right-wing Christian Party, created a bus ad that proclaims “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.”
I think it would be easier to challenge this one with the ASA. After all, calling an ad that says “There’s probably no god” false advertising is shaky ground. An ad claiming something with the word “definitely”, however, is rather more open to a complaint requiring proof.
The Russian Orthodox Church is going with a more authoritarian line, invoking the old “We command” approach with “There IS a God, BELIEVE. Don’t worry and enjoy your life.”
The Trinitarian Bible Society makes the mistake of using a line from the Bible to put down non-believers with “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” taken from Psalm 53, verse 1. Of course, if you are an atheist, you don’t give a toss what it says in the Bible, so that one is a bit of a toothless tiger.
These ads will run on 175 buses for two weeks from Monday. Who says debate in public life is dead?