Why atheists advertise on buses

By Tom Quiner

A typical bus ad for evangelical atheists

Does God exist?

This question is in the news more than ever.  We live in strange times.  Atheists have become evangelical.  Here in Des Moines and around the world, they advertised on buses last year in an effort to recruit acolytes.  Nationally, their books are best sellers.  Christianity is now under attack more than ever. Why?

After all, Christianity offers a message of hope to believers, namely eternal salvation.  Their belief system makes the case that there is more to life than the pain and superficiality of this world.  On the other hand, atheism offers no hope. An atheist denies the possibility of God’s existence.  So why are atheists working so hard to make converts?  And why in the world would anyone be attracted to such a nihilistic philosophy?

Atheism appeals to some for political reasons and to others for moral reasons.  Let’s start with the political.

The Judeo-Christian religions claim man was made in God’s image.  The great psalmist, King David, said God knew us “before we were born.”  If you accept that premise, it is very difficult to sanction abortion.  You’ll note that the political Left in this country has something in common:  they embrace abortion on demand at any point in a woman’s pregnancy.  In addition, they are disproportionately atheistic when compared to the rest of America.

You may ask if I have any proof of that claim.  Yes.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life surveyed 35,000 Americans on how religious attitudes influence values.  The differences between atheists and evangelical Christians, for example, are profound.  Only 13 percent of atheists believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, compared with 61 percent for evangelical Christians.  This is not to say that all atheists are liberal.  They’re not.  Statistically, though, more are concentrated in the political Left.  They are motivated to attract adherents to their own “religion” in order to advance their political agenda.

Do people really become atheists because of politics?

I’m suggesting that people without faith tend to view the world through a different political prism than people with faith.  The atheist ads on Des Moines buses let the faithless know that “they’re not alone.”  In other words, join our club.  Let’s change the world … in our image, not a phony god’s.

What’s the other reason for evangelical atheism?

In the eyes of some, religion has caused more harm than good in this world.

Think about the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.  Think about the Spanish Inquisition, about the Salem Witch Trials.  Think about all the people who have been killed in the name of God or Allah down through history.  As best selling atheistic author Christopher Hitchens puts it, “God isn’t so great.”  A lot of non-believers are sick of what they view as self-righteous pontificators who try to cram their religion down others’ throats, when they themselves lead less than exemplary lives.  They view Christianity in particular as being hypocritical.

I would respond by saying that although many bad things have been done in the name of God, those actions are in direct contradiction to the Christian beliefs they represent.  On the other hand, the 20th century witnessed cold-blooded carnage in the name of atheism like history has never seen.

Without God, there is no such thing as good and evil.

Without God, we are merely automatons whose actions are subject to the whims of our genes and environment.

Without God, art itself becomes ugly.

So why are atheists organizing to spread their gospel of non-belief?

Because without God, they are liberated to make society’s rules subject to the whims of the day.  Do you trust unrestrained human nature?  I don’t.

I choose God.