Washington D.C. buses are the front lines in a new kind of religious conflict: ad wars.
The American Humanist Association threw the first punch by running an ad on 200 city buses reading: “Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” On Faith‘s Under Godblog reports. The ad is part of the group’s “godless holiday campaign,” aimed at raising humanism’s profile and connecting non-believers through whybelieveinagod.org.
“Humanists have always understood that you don’t need a god to be good,” said AHA executive director Roy Speckhardt in a statement posted on the association’s website. “Morality doesn’t come from religion.”
The D.C. Examiner reports that one woman is leading a grassroots effort to counter the AHA with an ad saying, “Why believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness’ sake. -God.”
While Under God calls the back-and-forth, “a light-hearted joust,” some are taking the campaign quite seriously. The Dakota Voice reports that Christian groups calling the ads “another attempt by those waging a war on Christmas to ban God from the public square.” In a more aggressive response, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, David Hankins, attacks humanism in the Baptist Press:
We do have some recent examples of societies that do not believe in God nor recognize a mandated divine value on human beings. They are associated with names like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Idi Amin, and Saddam Hussein. Devoid of any sense of God or godliness, they created a social order of mayhem and evil that destroyed millions of lives. So much for the morality of godlessness.