Thursday, November 13, 2008
You’d better watch out. You’d better not pout. I’m telling you why. Jesus isn’t coming to town! At least not to one American city.
In Washington, D.C., there’s a new Christmas war battling. No, it has nothing to do with the Obama’s arriving in town.
Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December.
The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday. In lifting lyrics from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” the Washington-based group is wading into what has become a perennial debate over commercialism, religion in the public square, and the meaning of Christmas.
“We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you,” said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists, and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”
Edwords said the purpose isn’t to argue that God doesn’t exist or change minds about a deity, although “we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people’s minds.”
There was no debate at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority over whether to take the ad. Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the agency accepts ads that aren’t obscene or pornographic.
What do you think? Should the transit authority have allowed this? Why? Why not?