Free speech thrown under the bus
You could, after the asinine spectacle of the transit strike, be forgiven for lowering your expectations of intellectual honesty or even coherence from OC Transpo or Ottawa city council.
You could, after the asinine spectacle of the transit strike, be forgiven for lowering your expectations of intellectual honesty or even coherence from OC Transpo or Ottawa city council. Still, if the prissy, parochial flap over the atheist bus campaign has you cringing with fresh civic embarrassment, you’re not alone.
Bus ads from the Free Thought Association of Canada declaring, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” which have run on buses in Toronto and Calgary, were deemed too hot for Ottawa by OC Transpo.
Sure, there’s issue to be taken, like the use of the word “probably.” I mean, are these people atheists or aren’t they? And, failing certainty, by what calculation did they decide that there was probably, as opposed to maybe, no God? Furthermore, how should the existence or non-existence of God affect one’s levels of worry or enjoyment?
So many questions, but that’s the point. The ads make you think, and OC Transpo, it turns out, has a policy against that. It’s curious that public spaces like the sides of our buses can be rented out to shill any product, but once the ads start offering up ideas, the authorities must be alerted.
David Harrison of Bus Stop Bible Study, who got approval from OC Transpo to place ads with Bible quotes on buses, questioned why the non-believers shouldn’t have the same access, and this week the sign outside downtown Dominion-Chalmers United Church read, “There is a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”