The fool hath said in her heart, oh do shut up

And believers keep wondering why non-believers get irritated with assertive religion. It’s because of the assertiveness. It’s because of the assertiveness combined with the lack of plausibility. The two together make an unpleasant combination. Having people always rushing around trying to compel us to believe nonsensical things that there is no reason to believe…gets to be wearing, and annoying, and something bordering on a grievance. If they kept it to themselves, that would be one thing, but since they refuse – we get sick of the sight and sound of them.

Three separate pro-God advert campaigns on the sides of London buses are set to hit city streets. Buses adorned with the slogan “There definitely is a God” are from the Christian Party…The adverts, which are unrelated, come a month after the British Humanist Association placed “no God” slogans on buses across England. Those adverts, which read: “There’s probably no God: now stop worrying and enjoy your life” prompted complaints from the group Christian Voice and from individuals…The Trinitarian Bible Society…has chosen the message from Psalm 53.1, which reads: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”…The Russian Orthodox Church plans ads on 25 buses that read: “There IS a God, BELIEVE.”

Now…the atheist bus campaign was inspired by existing Christian ads on buses that asked “When the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) and gave the url of a website that offers this pleasant warning

for anyone who doesn’t “accept the word of Jesus on the cross”: “You will be condemned to everlasting separation from God and then you spend all eternity in torment in hell. Jesus spoke about this as a lake of fire which was prepared for the devil and all his angels (demonic spirits)” (Matthew 25:41).

In other words the atheist bus campaign was in response to a theist bus campaign that was at once dogmatic and vindictive, in other words it was in response to a combination of assertive falsehoods and vicious threats. The bus campaign was mildness itself, and it included no threats at all, yet believers greet it with outrage and ‘offense’ and all the rest of the panoply of truculent religious self-pity, and then they get busy supplying more assertive dogmatic falsehoods. There definitely is a God, it’s only fools who think there is no god, there IS a god, BELIEVE (implied: or else).

We hear a lot about what is ‘offensive’; well as far as I’m concerned this is offensive. It’s offensive in its aggression, its dogmatism, its willful blindness to the need for good reasons to believe things, its determination to force its unreasonable and punitve beliefs on everyone else. I’m getting more and more and more and more sick of believers forcing themselves on us at every turn; I’m getting more and more sick of this assumption that we have no right to be free of anti-rational truth claims anywhere we go. Next thing you know they’ll be at the door with arrest warrants.

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