The Atheist Bus Campaign adverts are coming down in the next few days, after an amazingly successful month. They’ve been a remarkable talking-point1, similar adverts are going up all around the world, and they annoyed, then embarrassed, Christian Voice. All great results, but they’re also apparently the vanguard for a wave of god-related banners:
A trinity of Christian groups have created their own series of advertisements to run across London buses
Fair enough, let’s see what they’ve got. Here’s the first, from the Christian Party:
There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.
Quite the non-sequitur. A double helping, in fact. Why would the existence of god mean I should join the Christian party? And are the last two clauses linked? Will joining the Christian Party2 help me enjoy my life? How? It’s easy to see why ‘stop worrying and enjoy your life’ would make sense, but this? It’s a little cultish. And pretty tacky: using ‘god exists’ to advertise your political party is just cheap. Next?
There IS a God, BELIEVE. Don’t worry and enjoy your life.
Reports differ on the wording and formatting: the Telegraph says it’s “There is God, believe! Don’t Worry. Enjoy your life!”. Whatever. As a comeback, it’s (ahem) godawful.
Really, that’s the best you could do? No kind of logical rebuttal? Admittedly this is only a bus poster, but the atheist campaign said a lot in the word ‘probably’ – that was really something to get your teeth into, as it led into the philosophical arguments and the nature of reasonable belief. This banner just says ‘no no no. we win’. And if the Guardian is to be believed, resorts to shouting like a street-corner evangelist. Weak. And the last one?
The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.
My irony meter. You has broken it.
Seriously? After all that complaining over the horrendously insulting “now stop worrying and enjoy your life” you’re calling atheists ‘fools’? And with a quote from your magical book, no less? That’s certainly authoritative. Well done. Maybe your follow-up campaign can be ‘I AM A REAL BOY’. That’ll do it.
Overall, not impressive. And these are all marketing criticisms – don’t even start me on the philosophical objections. Elsewhere, the BHA’s response has a lovely air of amused we-have-better-things-to-do, and Nullifidian.net ponders whether the new banners will – hide your irony meters – break advertising rules. I think the best response is to point and laugh.
- sometimes a bit disappointing: did anyone see Adrian Childs on The One Show saying they promote amorality? wtf? [↩]
- incidentally, their website weirdly says: “Christianity is not a religion as such, it is a dynamic relationship with God in Christ Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit.” Right then. [↩]