The campaign to promote atheism on New Zealand buses was launched yesterday. Organizers are hoping to raise $10,000 in order to run the advertisements from March next year. The campaign migrates from Britain, where 800 buses in that country have circulated slogans such as “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” and “Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness’ sake.” Spokesperson for the campaign, Simon Fisher, argues that while the group has no agenda to increase atheist numbers they hope the advertisements will reduce any stigma that might be attached to the atheism label. At the 2006 census 1.3 million New Zealanders professed to be without religion, although how many of these are actually atheists was not measured.
While some may be critical of the campaign, Christians should welcome the fact that one of the (intended or unintended) consequences of the advertisements is that it puts the question of God’s existence back into public debate. Contrary to the atheist message of the campaign, the debate about God matters and is worth worrying about.