Brett Hetherington

Banner photos: Cornelia Kraft

The Barcelona buses that confront god [1/9/2009]

The most surprising thing about Barcelona’s buses with their new atheist campaign slogan is that here in the 21st century their message is still needed.

In Catalán the ads read: “PROBABLEMENT DÉU NO EXISTEIX. DEIXA DE PREOCUPAR-TE I GAUDEIX LA VIDA.” ["There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life."]

Of course the local Catholic church has objected to these words as an insult to all religions. Suddenly they are claiming to have found a concern for all religions.

Now we will also see buses with the words: DIOS SI EXISTE. DISFUTA DE LA VIDA EN CHRISTO. [“God exists. Enjoy life in Christ”] as the church’s response.

There is currently some doubt whether the atheist message will be accepted by the authorities in more-conservative Madrid and Valencia. 

But the Catalan Atheists group says “It is time for non-believers to make themselves seen and display their pride in their own convictions.” 

We can be happy that we live in a part of the world where this kind of exchange of ideas can take place in the realm of public transport. In the land of my birth, one of Australia’s biggest advertising companies recently refused to run similar ads on buses there.

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