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Atheists sue over not being allowed "God free" stickers on buses.

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posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:19 AM
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark (Reuters) – A coalition of atheists is accusing Little Rock's city bus line of violating their rights to free speech in a fight to place ads on public buses praising a God-free lifestyle.

The Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason alleged in a lawsuit that the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and its advertising agency are discriminating against the group because they're being required to pay tens of thousands of dollars to put $5,000 worth of ads on 18 buses.

The ads would read: "Are you good without God? Millions are."

Other groups, including churches, have not been required to pay the fee, which amounts to $36,000 in insurance in case of an attack on the buses by angry Christians, according to the lawsuit


LINK to full article




Arkansas is slap bang in the middle of the bible belt, so this type of behaviour is not really surprising at all.
Imho though, i think they should be allowed to put the stickers up, with the same requirements that the other people get, and the same treatment.
Why should they be treated differently, and have to pay more for them to spread their message? I do not necessarily agree with their message, but still, they have as much right as the next guy to do it.
And i find it ironic, that money should be used by the "christians" no doubt stopping the atheists to protect their own messages.

VVV



edit on 14-6-2011 by VreemdeVlieendeVoorwep because: link




posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:24 AM
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why should they even care, I am an atheist and i couldnt care less if a random bus passenger sees a sign saying that you can get by without god, I mean what kind of ninkompoop would let a sign on a bus tell them what to believe anyway. Its just a load of busy body's with nothing else left to do after they have gotten bored of spying on their neighbours and shouting at people wearing fur.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:26 AM
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Originally posted by VreemdeVlieendeVoorwep

LITTLE ROCK, Ark (Reuters) – A coalition of atheists is accusing Little Rock's city bus line of violating their rights to free speech in a fight to place ads on public buses praising a God-free lifestyle.

The Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason alleged in a lawsuit that the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and its advertising agency are discriminating against the group because they're being required to pay tens of thousands of dollars to put $5,000 worth of ads on 18 buses.

The ads would read: "Are you good without God? Millions are."

Other groups, including churches, have not been required to pay the fee, which amounts to $36,000 in insurance in case of an attack on the buses by angry Christians, according to the lawsuit


LINK to full article




Arkansas is slap bang in the middle of the bible belt, so this type of behaviour is not really surprising at all.
Imho though, i think they should be allowed to put the stickers up, with the same requirements that the other people get, and the same treatment.
Why should they be treated differently, and have to pay more for them to spread their message? I do not necessarily agree with their message, but still, they have as much right as the next guy to do it.
And i find it ironic, that money should be used by the "christians" no doubt stopping the atheists to protect their own messages.

VVV



edit on 14-6-2011 by VreemdeVlieendeVoorwep because: link


If it was a government bus-line you might have a point. But a private company has the right to say NO!
Why should 2-5% of the population be given the right to harass the rest? Because that is what these atheist's are doing.
Imagine a TV add campaign showing the pits of hell, then followed with a "If you don't want to go to hell don't be an atheist"? That is the incendiary equivalent and reinforces the notion that most atheists are just sick sociopaths.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:27 AM
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That's ridiculous, why don't Christians pay the insurance incase a mob of angry atheists might attack the bus with religious advertism? It's highly unlikely that there would be vandilism if either side made an advertism.

This just feels like a spiteful member of the Central Arkansas Transit Authority is making this difficult on them just because of their beliefs.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:31 AM
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If it was a government bus-line you might have a point. But a private company has the right to say NO! Why should 2-5% of the population be given the right to harass the rest? Because that is what these atheist's are doing.
reply to post by korathin
 


I would hardly call a sticker on a bus harassment mate.

The same question could be ask though, "Why have all these cars and busses with John 3:16 on them?" Would you call that harrasment too?

I don't care that this matter is religious, i care that there are some people that are descriminated against because of their religious believes, or, indeed their lack thereoff.

vvv



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by korathin
That is the incendiary equivalent and reinforces the notion that most atheists are just sick sociopaths.


Bigotry at it's finest.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 05:01 AM
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Yep, I see both sides here.

I'm for equality - neither side should be harassed or get special treatment.

BUT...

A private company can do what it likes. To force a privately owned company to defer to any religious stance would be wrong.
edit on 14-6-2011 by Schkeptick because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 06:20 AM
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They would have a point if it were not a private company.



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 07:02 AM
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All this talk about it being a Private company... Something to note: a private company could not discriminate against a muslim or jew or christian not because of their membership-but because that would be called religious discrimination. Religious discrimination is to discriminate due to belief or lack there of.

Religious Discrimination is part of the civil rights law suite that was kind of passed in the country. You see: This protects minorities from bigots. A private company cannot do things like this without being sued-you see when a company accepts a contract from the public interest-they are required to adhere to the same rules and regulations and requirements that the public interest upholds. While performing that service they are not in fact a private company in function.

But then-this bus company is NOT a private company anyway. Where did that idea come from?



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by FermiFlux
That's ridiculous, why don't Christians pay the insurance incase a mob of angry atheists might attack the bus with religious advertism? It's highly unlikely that there would be vandilism if either side made an advertism.

This just feels like a spiteful member of the Central Arkansas Transit Authority is making this difficult on them just because of their beliefs.


Thats exactly what it is-abuse of office and authority in an attempt to censure free speech and expression of attitude towards religion. This is an "activist politician" if you will



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by korathin
If it was a government bus-line you might have a point. But a private company has the right to say NO!


I do believe the Central Arkansas Transit Authority is a government contractor. Correct me if I'm wrong.

About CAT



CAT Overview
Governing Body:
Board of Directors: 12 members appointed by the local governments of Little Rock, Maumelle, North Little Rock, Pulaski County and Sherwood.


CAT Comprehensive Operational Analysis

FTA is the Federal Transit Authority:



3.11 Federal Changes:
The Contractor shall at all times comply with all applicable FTA regulations, policies,
procedures and directives, including without limitation those listed directly or by
reference in the Agreement (Form FTA MA (2) dated October, 1995) between the
Authority and FTA, as they may be amended or promulgated from time to time.
...
3.38 Non-Discrimination:
Nondiscrimination: The Contractor, with regard to the work performed by
it during the contract, shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, color, sex, age, or national origin in the selection and retention of subcontractors, including
procurements of materials and leases of equipment. The Contractor shall not
Participate either directly or indirectly in the discrimination prohibited by Section 21.5 of
the Regulations, including employment practices when the contract covers a program
set forth in Appendix B of the Regulations.



It seems to me that they have to follow Federal Transit Authority regulations, including discrimination policies.



Why should 2-5% of the population be given the right to harass the rest?


Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of the size of the group being discriminated against. Everyone uses buses to advertise. Not just products, but ideas and beliefs. An ad for something YOU disagree with is not harassment.


This is just more political correctness. "Be careful what you make the Christians look at! They can't take it! They are harassed by words. So, everyone just appease the Christians so their feelings aren't hurt and they turn into a raging mob who destroys public property. It's not their fault! It's the big, bad atheists who MADE them go freaking crazy... It's not their fault"!







Imagine a TV add campaign showing the pits of hell, then followed with a "If you don't want to go to hell don't be an atheist"? That is the incendiary equivalent


Showing the pits of hell and calling out a specific group is hardly equivalent to saying "Are you good without God? Millions are." as the original original article states.

.
edit on 6/14/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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Well, it's the advertisement company which provides the adverts for this city's buses that is requesting this extra insurance payment - not the actual bus company.

As far as I know, Arkansas is in Southern Baptist territory, so I'm guessing that most of the residents of Little Rock are Christians. Potentially, many of these Christians mightn't take kindly to seeing an openly atheist advert on a bus.

Let's just suppose, for the sake of argument, that 90% of people in this city are Christians, and that 10% of the citizens are atheists or other religious folk of a non-Christian persuasion. Now, wouldn't it make economic sense for an insurance company to up the premiums for an advert which might antagonise the predominant, majority population ?

Why is there such consternation at this news story ? If I transported my home, brick by brick, to a less salubrious area of my city, then I would certainly be paying a couple of £100 extra per year in insurance premiums. Why aren't there any reports of this insurance ''anomaly'' ?


Get a grip, people...

No matter how much you'd like to turn this into a Christian v atheist battle, the facts speak for themselves.

The picture is abundantly clear: the insurance company asks for extra money when someone requests an advertisement which may seriously antagonise 80-90% of the city that the advert is placed in.

It's prudent financial sense.

Dress it up as you want, but remember: the truth of the matter is inevitably more banal and mundane than you wished for...



edit on 14-6-2011 by Sherlock Holmes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
Well, it's the advertisement company which provides the adverts for this city's buses which is requesting this extra insurance payment - not the actual bus company.


Where did you read that?



As far as I know, Arkansas is in Southern Baptist territory, so I'm guessing that most of the residents of Little Rock are Christians. Potentially, many of these Christians mightn't take kindly to seeing an openly atheist advert on a bus.


Well, some atheists don't like seeing Christian advertisements either, but they have to buck up. It's a free country... right?



Let's just suppose, for the sake of argument, that 90% of people in this city are Christians, and that 10% of the citizens are atheists or other religious folk of a non-Christian persuasion. Now, wouldn't it make economic sense for an insurance company to up the premiums for an advert which might antagonise the predominant, majority population ?


Economic sense? Yes. It makes economic sense. But so does killing all the homeless people. But that doesn't make it right. Cash isn't really the issue here, see. It's equality. People shouldn't have to pay more to be treated equally.

It makes economic sense not to publish pictures of Mohammad cartoons because some Muslims might get upset and cause expensive damage. Do we silence the cartoonist or deal with the reactors who break the law?



posted on Jun, 14 2011 @ 06:26 PM
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To people asking why atheists need to do things like this, read my signature. We are a movement called new atheism (which isn't really new, our idea has been around for a long time, just now we can't be killed for it like when Christian law ran governments). New atheism is the idea that religion has been a mostly harmful force in the history of society and at every opportunity we, as rational people, must combat the ignorance that religion propagates and speak the cold hard truth that there is no god and there is no afterlife and that what the Bible tells you was not meant to be taken literally, at all, and many of its morals are outdated and outright dangerous.



posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Where did you read that?



The insurance was requested by the transit agency's advertising firm, On The Move Advertising, officials said.


They will lose the case it they are claiming their free speech rights are being violated. The ad agency is asking for extra fees. If the atheist group pays the fees, the ads will go up. They should argue that the agency and transit authority are in violation of the Civil Rights Act. They still may not win, but they would have a better chance.

/TOA



posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 06:43 AM
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reply to post by The Old American
 


Thank you. I don't know if they're actually suing over Free Speech or discrimination. Both are mentioned. I'd like to see the actual suit. You may be right. It may be legal for an insurance company to charge more because of the risk.

Surely the Arkansas Atheists have a good lawyer looking into the best way to get a settlement. We'll see where this goes.



posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by korathin
If it was a government bus-line you might have a point. But a private company has the right to say NO!
Why should 2-5% of the population be given the right to harass the rest? Because that is what these atheist's are doing.
Imagine a TV add campaign showing the pits of hell, then followed with a "If you don't want to go to hell don't be an atheist"? That is the incendiary equivalent and reinforces the notion that most atheists are just sick sociopaths.


Atheists are right to advertise as long as there is hope of turning just one person like you into a more reasonable human being. Bigots like you are more of a problem than you can even recognize...



posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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The idea that Christians would vandalize a bus advertisement because it wasn't in line with their narrow religious beliefs (I say narrow because there are many types in the religious spectrum) sounds really pathetic to me. You'd really have to be terribly insecure (like a fair amount of Muslims) to bother with such a petty thing as that.

As for the ad, there really isn't a history of abuse towards this type of ad. A relatively small amount in other markets but nothing that would require 36,000 bucks for a relatively small amount of advertising. It's hard for a reasonable person to expect someone to be willing to pay more than 100% of the advertising expense on insurance, and I'm being very generous there.

As for rights, this ad is not overtly abusive or offensive to the reasonable person, which is how things should be judged. We really need to get past this whole religious and nonreligious thing already. We are a terribly weak, intolerant, sexually repressed yet over-exposed (at the same time) society that has entirely too much emotion and not enough reason. I can't wait for humanity (especially in America) to grow the hell up.

Peace
KJ



posted on Jun, 15 2011 @ 08:22 AM
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How stupid.

The advert, I mean. What's the point in advertising atheism? It's as if atheism in itself is becoming some form of religious practice to subscribe to.

If I was walking down the road and a bus passed by with an advert like that I'd be annoyed, not because of any beliefs of mine, but because this group is descending to the same level as the religion they fight against.

Next thing you know, there will be people knocking on doors trying to sell you a God-free life!


Of course, this whole thing is wrong. They have every right to place these messages on the sides of buses, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Where did you read that?


Actually, I may have misinterpreted the wording of the article.

It says that ''the insurance was requested by the transit agency's advertising firm, On The Move Advertising''. I read that to mean an independent advertising agency which the transit authority used, but, on further reflection, I think it means that it's just the advertising arm of the transit authority.

My apologies if I was mistaken.



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Well, some atheists don't like seeing Christian advertisements either, but they have to buck up. It's a free country... right?


If these Christian advertisements were placed in staunch atheist areas, then I would think that they would also have to pay extra insurance, as the potential risk of vandalism could be deemed to exceed the normal operational level of hosting advertisements.

The problem is that, once again, the US Constitution gets in the way of common sense. The argument being used against this bus company, based upon the First Amendment, would mean that a group like the Westboro Baptist Church wouldn't have to pay any extra in insurance costs, despite the inevitable defacement of adverts and damage to buses which would ensue from a WBC ad campaign.

To answer your question: no, the USA isn't a free country.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Economic sense? Yes. It makes economic sense. But so does killing all the homeless people. But that doesn't make it right. Cash isn't really the issue here, see. It's equality. People shouldn't have to pay more to be treated equally.


A very bizarre analogy. It wouldn't actually make much financial sense to kill homeless people. But I digress.

The equality angle doesn't really work, either. Considering the fact that they would have to pay $5,260 to advertise in the normal course of events. Pretty unequal towards the free speech and expression of those who find the costs financially prohibitive.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It makes economic sense not to publish pictures of Mohammad cartoons because some Muslims might get upset and cause expensive damage. Do we silence the cartoonist or deal with the reactors who break the law?


That's not the same thing, as these cartoons are published privately, so it's up to the discretion of the publisher to decide whether it's a wise thing to do.

I don't think that depictions of Mohammad should be allowed on the sides of a public bus company. If, by some act of insanity, they were allowed, then I think that whoever commissioned the advertisements should have to pay a hefty insurance premium to cover the certain damage which would follow.

It's just crazy to think that insurance premiums can't be raised in situations like this, despite the fact that the potential extra cost to the state/country could hugely outweigh the revenue gained from hosting the said adverts.

If this is the general rationale of your country, then no wonder you are $16 trillion in debt. ( Sorry, that was a bit of a low blow. )




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