Monday, January 12, 2009

agnostic bus

I donated five pounds to the Atheist Bus campaign on the grounds that I am irritated by all the evangelical Christian propaganda on public transport. A Christian friend of mine also donated on the grounds that the advert would promote discussion. Well, it certainly has, but perhaps not quite the sort of thing he had in mind.

Here's my suggestion: "There may or may not be a Divine Being or Beings, and they're probably just the anthropomorphic interfaces of vast cosmic processes, but anyway, they're on their own spiritual journey and their goals may or may not coincide with yours. They certainly can't be bothered to arrange for you to fry for all eternity on a hot griddle, so you can stop all that worrying."

But perhaps the above is not as snappy as the Atheist Bus.

Liz Williams suggests:
GOD: SHE'S NOT JUST AN OLD BLOKE WITH A BEARD, YOU KNOW!
Another suggestion from KH:
"Zeus is going to kick your pussy God's ass and then shag your women!"
Maybe we could just have a poster on the side of buses that reads: "Paganism: the religion where enjoying yourself is SACRED." Except that we don't believe in evangelising.

(Also available in Judaism, where it's a sin to refuse a pleasure, apparently, and it's requirement to make love on the Sabbath eve; and Unitarianism, which celebrates being alive.)

All this talk of buses reminds me of the short story by E M Forster, The Celestial Omnibus, which you can hear read aloud at the Library of Babel.
The title-story is a whimsical piece of fantasy which again uses a child as the means to unmask unimaginative adult pragmatism. “The Celestial Omnibus” starts with a young boy who is perplexed by the sign-post in his Surbiton street that says “To Heaven” and points to a cul-de-sac. Running up the blank alley one evening he encounters an omnibus which takes him up to a paradise where he meets all the characters from fiction and mythology that his parents and their friends talk about but do not really believe in.

6 comments:

Karl Beech said...

As God is self-subsisting and does not need our worship (or public transport for that matter) what is written in a bus seems of little consequence in cosmic terms...Having said this I don’t know why the backers of this ad equate belief in God with lack of enjoyment -personally the absence of God sounds a far more depressing prospect...

Yewtree said...

I don’t know why the backers of this ad equate belief in God with lack of enjoyment

Because according to fundamentalist Christians, he's going to send everyone who doesn't sign up to their narrow and boring creed to hell. For eternity. Which is pretty sick, warped and depressing.

Karl Beech said...

...in which case perhaps the advertisement should be a little more specific about which particular view of God it is referring to :-)

Yewtree said...

Yes, probably.

So what would you put on a bus advert?

Karl Beech said...

"Don't drive- go by bus" :-)

Evn said...

"Zeus is going to kick your pussy God's ass and then shag your women!"

And some of your men.

Oh, did we forget to tell you? Homosexuality... yeah, not so much a sin.

Just lie back and think of England.