The NZ Atheist Bus Campaign is one step closer to placing atheist ads on buses, with their fund raising target of $20,000 having been easily reached in less than a week.
Launched just last week, hundreds of Kiwis have supported the campaign by donating to promote the idea that it’s OK to not believe in a god, and that one can certainly be good without god through advertisements on buses reading: “There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
The original target of $10,000 was met in less than 36 hours, and so the decision was made to double this to the revised target of $20,000.
“The tremendous support in donations and positive messages has really reinforced the worth and importance of a positive atheist campaign like this” said campaign spokesperson Simon Fisher.
The Campaign was launched in part to reach out to the significant number of New Zealanders who are unsure about the idea of god. For example, those who grew up in religious homes and feel anxiety, or even fear about threats such as hell, or choosing the wrong religious path.
The campaign organisers have been inundated with hundreds of personal stories about the effect religion has upon New Zealanders, from being labeled “sinners” to family pressures of conformity. One message read “It got me thinking that I might not be as crazy as I first believed.”
“I am pleased with the majority of the responses from religious groups, even if I disagree with their arguments against the message and intent of the campaign. They have mostly been positive and supportive of the campaign due to its ability to raise discussion of the issues of belief in god and religion’s role in society” continued Fisher.
The campaign has started a healthy debate about the topics of god and religion and what role they play in our lives as individuals and as a society. This debate will no doubt continue once the advertisements go live, and people will be encourage to think deeply about these topics.
Organisers of the campaign are currently planning when and how the ads will be rolled out onto buses across the country. Donations beyond the $20,000 target will still be accepted and will be put towards future atheist advertising campaigns.
“We have plans for future phases – possibly different slogans, and different mediums. We thought this a better option than just closing donations, allowing those who might have missed out the first time to still have the chance to donate” explained Mr Fisher.