"Atheists in Australia wishing to follow the lead of their British counterparts have been refused permission to launch advertising slogans on local buses. British atheists campaigners launched their campaign - proclaiming, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" - on 800 buses this week. But a similar campaign by the Atheist Foundation of Australia has been rejected by the largest outdoor advertising company in the country, APN Outdoor. APN Outdoor gave no reason for barring the $16,000 Tasmanian campaign, which was set to feature slogans such as "Sleep in on Sunday mornings" and "Celebrate reason".
David Nicholls, president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald the rejection amounted to a breach of freedom of speech. "Australia is in desperate need of a human rights and equal opportunities act," Mr Nicholls said. "It's clear that western Europe, the US and Britain have better laws than we do when it comes to respecting freedom of speech. "The intention was to demonstrate to the public that there is an alternative to religion that is rational, reasonable and worthy of thought.
"It took three weeks for APN Outdoor to come to a decision, after they initially told me there'd be no problem. The final discussion by phone to an executive ended with an abrupt message that they were not going to take our business." Mr Nicholls said the Foundation would take the case to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Board.
This should be a private matter between the parties concerned but once "Anti-Discrimination" laws get involved, any outcome is possible.
British atheist adverts reported to industry watchdog
"An atheist advertising campaign with the slogan "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority. The advert is to be carried on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, and on the London Underground, in a four-week campaign costing 140,000 pounds that has been supported by the British Humanist Association and the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins.
Stephen Green, the national director of Christian Voice, said that the advertisements broke the ASA's codes on substantiation and truthfulness. "It is given as a statement of fact and that means it must be capable of substantiation if it is not to break the rules. There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world."
The authority's code states that "marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation".
It seems that the atheists are being asked to prove a negative, which you can't do. I doubt that the ASA will require that.
Rather sad that both Christians (in Britain) and atheists (in Australia) go to various tribunals to force their viewpoints on others.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here