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Nuts kick BHA up the ASA

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I'm of the opinion that we humans are tiny cogs in a big machine. We're born, we die and somewhere in between we make our contribution however big or small that may be.

I'm not going to pretend to know why we are here or if there is some higher power directing us. I don't have the answer and neither does any other mortal human being so when I say I don't do religion it's not that I *don't* believe in there being some kind of supreme being, I just don't believe in taking anyone else's word for it. After all, there are so many people with differing opinions who claim to have the full facts and yet none of them can prove anything so they forever fight ferociously amongst themselves about who is right.

It annoys me that a lot of these people think they have some kind of personal relationship with an 'almighty' when actually they're no more special than anyone else and are just as likely to be struck by lightning as me.

Now I don't deny the possibility of a 'creator' but I don't see why you have to fall into a camp of Creation vs. Evolution. While there is no direct evidence of the former, evolution can be seen in action throughout the natural world and pretending it's not happening is simply ignorant, but whose to say we weren't created by something in the beginning? Maybe my view is simplistic, but then so is taking the word of an ancient book literally. Use it as a moral compass and a guide to living if you wish, but not as a weapon of hatred against those who have different opinions.

Personally I think the Humanists may have the right idea. The British Humanist Association has launched an advertising campaign on London buses to try to get people to focus on their actual lifetime rather than some fabled afterlife. The BHA's slogan is:

"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life".


In an article on the BBC News website in October 2007, Rev Jenny Ellis from the Methodist Church gave the civilised response of "This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life."


The same article quoted Stephen Green of Christian Voice who, unlike Rev Ellis, sounded childish as he spat "Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large." and "I should be surprised if a quasi-religious advertising campaign like this did not attract graffiti."

Graffiti? By who? Outraged Christians? Is this a thinly veiled call to arms for Christians to commit acts of vandalism? Is it acceptable for Christians to break the law when they don't agree with the beliefs of others? Seriously, what is Christian Voice afraid of?

Continuing his outburst, Mr Green also said "People don't like being preached at. Sometimes it does them good, but they still don't like it."

Duh?? Hang on, last time I looked Christianity was full of frikkin' preachers trying to pass off their beliefs as statements of fact. In this campaign The BHA aren't stating any facts, their message is that there probably isn't a God. If they had said there definitely isn't a God then that would have made them as bad as any organised religion as they would be attempting to affirm something they can't prove as true.

With the BHA ad campaign now underway, the tiny-minded book burners at Christian Voice have become so outraged at others publicly expressing beliefs which don't match theirs, they have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the campaign breaks rules on substantiation and truthfulness.

Crying over his cornflakes, Stephen Green says "There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world but there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it."

Once she had (presumably) finished laughing at Mr Green's straw-clutching, Hanne Stinson of the BHA made the point that "I am sure that Stephen Green really does think there is a great deal of evidence for a God (though presumably only the one that he believes in), but I pity the ASA if they are going to be expected to rule on the probability of God's existence."

I suppose the BHA do have a lot to thank Christian Voice for. After all, if Stephen Green had just kept his gob shut this would have remained a small poster campaign on public transport. By complaining he has drawn national attention to the BHA's message while making a laughing stock out of himself and Christian Voice.

Needless to say, I'm with the BHA on this one and I'm going to follow their advice rather than listen to the likes of Stephen Green shouting his version of the ‘facts' at me. I shall continue to believe that when I finally pop off I won't find myself sprouting wings and becoming reunited with my dead cat on top of a cloud somewhere. Neither will I find a red hot pitchfork singeing my hemorrhoids no matter how much Mr Green would like to see one shoved up my arse for my differing views. After all Mr Green, you may not like it but in your religion your God (apparently) created us with the ability to form our own opinions and like the BHA, I choose the right to exercise and advertise mine.

I don't know what will happen to Stephen Green when he kicks the bucket but his head already appears to be up in the clouds. Besides, even if there is a set of Pearly gates somewhere, if it's only the closed-minded likes of Mr Green getting through them, I'm happy to be turned away by the bouncers.

As the wise Stephen Fry once said, "Religon.... Shit it."


BBC News, 21 October 2008:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7681914.stm

BBC News, 8 January 2009:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7818980.stm

British Humanist Association:
http://www.humanism.org.uk

I'm not going to link to the sandal-clad fruitcakes at Christian Voice - if they deny evolution they shouldn't be using technology.


UPDATE:
Predictably the ASA rejected the timewasters at Christian Voice. It seems the Humanists have as much right to advertise their opinion on religion as Christians. Quite right too.