Italy’s atheists to launch their own “no God” bus ads
The members of Italy’s atheist association probably would not fill one of the side chapels of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. But that’s not stopping the group from launching an unprecedented ad campaign on buses in Italian cities, much like the one recently started in Britain.
(Photo: Planned Italian bus ads/UAAR)
The Italian Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics (UAAR) will run the ads on four buses in the northern city of Genoa next month. The ads, which will cover the entire bus painted a soothing sky blue, read: “The bad news is that God doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need him.”
The Padua-based group is launching the campaign in Genoa because advertising is much more expensive in other large cities such as Milan and Rome. But Genoa is also home to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian Bishops Conference. According to some Italian reports, one of the buses will pass near his residence.
The group claims to have some 3,000 members and says it has received many more contributions since news of the bus campaign. UAAR, which has chapters in 40 Italian cities, says if more funds come in, it will take the campaign to Pope Benedict’s backyard in Rome. It says it decided to run the ads because the Italian media pays no attention to atheists. It added that Italian politicians “don’t always have to say ‘yes’ to the Church.”
The UAAR says it got the ad idea from the British Humanist Association, but it didn’t follow the London example completely. The British ads say “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” One would have thought the British atheists would be more decisive than Italian ones in denying the deity.
(Photo: British atheist Richard Dawkins in a London bus, 6 Jan 2009/Andrew Winning)
Atheists in Barcelona, London and Washington have already run ads like this and more are bound to come elsewhere. Do you find these offensive? Humourous? A waste of valuable ad space? Do you think atheists get ignored by the mainstream media?