Now, a Des Moines bus driver is getting suspended for refusing to drive a bus with an atheist ad on it. The ad is a sign that says "Don't Believe in God? You Are Not Alone" - which seems pretty innocuous to me.
People don't seem to get the whole point of these ads. The sign is just saying - "Hey, you, that guy over there that doesn't believe in God - you are not the only atheist in existence and not everyone wants you dead!" as far as I'm concerned. It's a message that needs to be put out there.
Atheists in America have been made to feel unwanted and despised for quite some time now. We've been hiding in closets to protect our jobs and families. We've been hiding to be safe from bigots. But that is ridiculous! It's wrong to just hide and take that crap in a country where we are supposedly guaranteed free speech! Not only that, the majority of Americans are smart enough and compassionate enough to see where religiously motivated bigotry is wrong if they just participate in some discussion and learn to see atheists as regular people.
Many Americans don't need to be informed that bigotry of any kind is wrong, they simply haven't noticed it because it isn't directed anywhere that they would logically see it. My religious friends were shocked by many of the stories and news items I've shown them. These atheist ads bring the discussion out. Plenty of religious people aren't willing to let the bigotry go on either once they know about it.
I think these ads will also embolden people to challenge other religiously motivated bigotry.
So my response to the atheist bus ads is this: Freedom of Speech: Not Just for Christians Any More
So I put that message on some items including t-shirts and buttons over at Zazzle along with a colored pencil drawing of a city bus, some in color, some in black and white.