Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fort Worth T buses will feature ads with message refuting God

I contacted Terry McDonald (chairman of the Metroplex Atheists -photographed left) in 2007 and asked him if he wanted to be on The Way of the Master Radio to talk about atheism and Christianity. He gladly agreed. We met at the Southlake Town Square and He ended up on two segments of the program and heard a clear gospel presentation.

In fact, if you go to my website http://www.fishwithtrish.com/, Terry is the 3rd picture (from the left) on my header -he's the gentleman with the beard in the green shirt (the same shirt that he's wearing in this pic).

Well, he's back at it and has organized more campaign ads to go up on buses (see article below).

P.S. For all the atheists out there, we don't mind the least bit that you are posting these billboards/ads because they provide a wonderful springboard to talk about spiritual things, Heaven and Hell, death and the afterlife, and how one can be saved from God's wrath.

Oh and Terry, if by any chance you happen to be reading this, shoot me an email (email [at] fishwithtrish.com) my husband and I would love to meet with you again and take you out for a meal or for coffee.

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By Gordon Dickson

gdickson@star-telegram.com

Starting Wednesday, four buses operating in the Fort Worth area will be sporting large advertisements that tout an ungodly message.

The ads on the sides of the buses will proclaim: "Millions of Americans are Good Without God."

The words, which will run over an image of the American flag, aim to raise awareness that many people do not believe in God, according to Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, the group that bought the ads.

"We're not trying to convert anybody," coordinator Terry McDonald said in a phone interview. "There's so much religion in this area, and it's so visible, we're just trying to let people who are not believers know that there's a lot of people like them."

The campaign is taking place in several cities nationwide. However, the ads won't appear on Dallas Area Rapid Transit buses because that agency refuses to accept them. DART also doesn't advertise alcoholic beverages, and accepts some but not all movie ads, spokesman Morgan Lyons said.

"For us, the point is to stay true to what we do -- we're a transit provider -- and not create a public forum," Lyons said. "We rejected the ads because we don't accept ads from religious groups."

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, also known as the T, does accept religious ads.

"We try to be fair to all parties in accepting advertising, and we do not discriminate among faiths or beliefs," T spokeswoman Joan Hunter said. "They met the criteria. If we receive other requests from other faiths, we'll evaluate them as well."

She said the ads will appear on four buses for the next 30 days. The ads are called "king boards," and cover the sides of the buses, she said. The total cost of printing the ads and buying the space on the buses is about $2,480, she said.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason includes 15 agencies of various goals and beliefs, McDonald said. For example, one of the groups is Metroplex Atheists, which has several hundred members that actively campaign on issues such as separation of church and state. Metroplex Atheists recently protested a pre-meeting prayer traditionally held by the city council in North Richland Hills, McDonald said.

Other agencies involved in the coalition are based at colleges, or are primarily for social interaction, he said.

There is no political agenda behind the bus campaign, McDonald said, other than to let the public know the groups are out there.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796

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"The bus ads are straw men. No one denies atheists [or anyone] can be 'good'. They [just] have no basis for 'goodness' within their system (world view.)" - Junior (good point, Junior)

Hat Tip: Jason Delgado

12 comments:

Ginger said...

Oh how sad! We will be praying for his heart to be softened to the gospel. . . for God's glory!

Fish with Trish said...

Thank you so much, Ginger.

Nelson-Tyler, TX said...

Atheist say they can be good without God. What standard are they using to come to this conclusion? Without God we have no basis to say what is good or bad, it is subjective. I might think stealing is a good thing and who is to say I am wrong? The Atheist theory falls flat, because they do not have a moral base line.

A person cannot in reality be an Atheist. To be one would mean you would have to have perfect knowledge of everything to make the statement there is no god. The best they can be is an Agnostic.

The Seeking Disciple said...

I too will pray for the Holy Spirit to take the seeds of God's Word and draw this man to Jesus Christ.

Azou said...

It's not a strawman. First, they aren't claiming that's your position. In facy, they aren't claiming it's anyone's position. Lastly, that's all they said. Nothing about a basis for good or anything.

A strawman fallacy is a misrepresentation of the opposition's position. If the ad said, "Junior claims atheists can't be good without God." THEN it would be a strawman.

I find it odd that you agree with him, Trish. One of the cornerstones of your evangelism is a test saying that nobody is good, period. So even if this ad DID imply that you thought atheists could not be good, it'd still fail to be a strawman, because you assert that NOBODY is good.

Azou said...

Nelson, we have explained our "moral basis" numerous times on this very blog. In fact, I had to do it again on Steve Sanchez's blog yesterday.

In brief, it is more beneficial for us to encourage support of each other than it is to be incredibly selfish. I may be able to murder you and take your stuff, but that leaves me vulnerable to being murdered. If we all agree to not murder each other, we can focus on other problems instead of worrying about the neighbors killing us in our sleep.

Yes, things are subjective. You cannot make blanket judgments on a particular action: context matters.

If I told you a group of heavily armed men broke down a door and killed everyone inside, your initial reaction would likely be negative.

But let's add more information, and thus change the context. The heavily armed men are American soldiers and the victims are a group of known terrorists responsible for killing soldier and citizen alike. That certainly alters your judgments of the shooters. That's moral relativity in a nutshell.

Another oft-explained thing is that atheism is a simple lack of belief in gods. Technically, most atheists are agnostic atheists, in that they don't believe in a god but keep the possibility open. It's really a matter of semantics, however, so it's kinda weird you guys are so insistent upon it.

stranger.strange.land said...

Azou,

I, for one, am glad that you "keep the possibility open." : )

Craig

Jason & Vanessa said...

The last quote is in regards to "good" as in the atheist standard (which the "4 Horsemen" of New Atheism are always talking about) however they have no basis for goodness, right and wrong, etc...

The correct standard of good is God, and thus all "fall short", "there is none who do good/righteous, no not one".

The last quote was simply granting the atheist quote "good without God" and showing how (even though their definition is flawed) if granted it still does not work in an atheist worldview.

Jason & Vanessa said...

Azou,

Words have meaning... atheist and agnostic mean two different things. One denies, the other doubts. Just trying to use the words correctly :)

perdita said...

No one denies atheists [or anyone] can be 'good'.

Seriously?

If this was truly the case, then why would this sign be controversial?

"The atheist can't find God for the same reason that a thief can't find a police officer."

I'm sure you've seen that before. We're told, repeatedly and in many different ways, that atheists deny God because we like to be depraved.

But I do like how carefully you parse this. Atheists can be good, but they just don't have any reason to be good, therefore, don't trust any of them.

Very nice of you. Evidently we aren't human, like you. Evidently we have no empathy, like you. Evidently we can't feel love, like you.

==

"Words have meaning... atheist and agnostic mean two different things. One denies, the other doubts. Just trying to use the words correctly :)"

Well, then use your words correctly.

Someone who doubts God exits is someone who doubts God exits :). An agnostic is someone who believes the question of God or gods is ultimately unknowable. A person's doubting the existance of God or gods can lead them to a position of agnosticism, but doubt can also lead to a position of belief. Agnostic can also be used to describe someone unwilling to commit to a particular position. But unwilling to commit is also different than doubting.

Atheism is not denial of something that exits. An atheist believes there are no gods. It isn't like Jesus lives across the street and I'm denying that.

Jason & Vanessa said...

perdita,

You said:

"But I do like how carefully you parse this. Atheists can be good, but they just don't have any reason to be good, therefore, don't trust any of them."

The conclusion you come to is false based on what I said... let's read what I said again (or rather what I quoted):

"The bus ads are straw men. No one denies atheists [or anyone] can be 'good'. They [just] have no basis for 'goodness' within their system (world view.)"

I am not sure where you are getting "don't trust any of them" from or how you can even come to that conclusion. Thus making your closing statement nonsensical:

"Very nice of you. Evidently we aren't human, like you. Evidently we have no empathy, like you. Evidently we can't feel love, like you."

Wrong, wrong, wrong, simply wrong. "Evidently"??? What evidence do you have to show that is what any Christian believes?

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"Atheism is not denial of something that exits. An atheist believes there are no gods."

Thus you deny the Christian belief, you deny what the Bible presupposes, namely, that God exist... In believing there are no gods you deny all gods. 2 different sides of the same coin.

It isn't like Jesus lives across the street and I'm denying that.

God is omnipresent... God exist... and you are denying it.

You may disagree but that is what it is.

perdita said...

I get a little annoyed when people say atheists have no basis for morality – I apologize that my annoyance got the better of me.

My first point seems to have gone by the way-side: This sign wouldn’t be controversial if everyone thought that atheists can be good without God. And saying that we can be good, we just have no reason to be, isn’t much of an improvement.

The ‘don’t trust them’ is usually the second part to ‘they have no basis for goodness.’ Example:

I’m sure most of you realize that you often can’t trust what atheists say. After all, if there is no absolute authority, there is no basis for right or wrong (just one’s own opinion). Thus, atheists can say whatever they want—even if it is not the truth. Ken Ham, blog post, Jan 13, 2010

We aren’t told that atheists are generally good people, or that like all groups, you’ll find and good and bad in the mix. We’re told that atheists don’t believe in God because they love their sin. Example:

Could it be that the "atheist" can't find God, for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman? Could it be that your love for sin is clouding your good judgment? Ray Comfort, The Atheists Test

My second badly stated point was that our shared humanity, our empathy, is a reason for ‘goodness’ – not the whole thing mind, but a good starting point.
--
"Atheism is not denial of something that exists. An atheist believes there are no gods."

Thus you deny the Christian belief, you deny what the Bible presupposes, namely, that God exist... In believing there are no gods you deny all gods. 2 different sides of the same coin.


Can’t deny that Christians exist and have beliefs. But I did say exists. So, if I understand correctly, I don’t believe in your God, therefore I’m denying your God. I don’t believe in Ganesh, therefore I’m denying Ganesh. I just don’t think ‘deny’ is the best word here.

God is omnipresent... God exist... and you are denying it.

Well, that is your opinion. I have no reason to believe it true.