New York City Coalition for Reason, an organization that works to increase awareness about the secular-minded, starts an atheist ad campaign in the NYC subways today. Uh oh. Hold on to your faith and your grandmomma's Good Book. The ad reads: A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You? That's certainly a catchy phrase and it will certainly agitate unwavering God-believers who believe life without God is worse than the Black Plague with the Devil On Top. Personally, I don't pay attention to most campaigns or commercials, pro-God or against Him. Shopping, in general, depletes me of electrolytes. Besides, if it's not available at the Farmer's Market I'm not buying.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield who blogs over at Belief.net feels the atheist campaign is intended to provoke, and not educate. I'm not sure I agree. Doesn't one need a sliver of provocation to stimulate a hunger for new ideas? I don't know. Call me tragically open-minded. Hirschfield also appears a bit peeved that the name New York City Coalition for Reason, the organization that's backing the campaign, is suggesting atheists and seculars are reasonable and God-believers are not.
"It suggests, in precisely the way that pro-God groups with names like "union for decency" and "coalition for American values" suggest that atheists are amoral, un-American, or indecent, that atheists are reasonable and theists are not."
Sounds like fighting words to me. Oh, I should mention the atheist campaign launches a few days before the release of Harvard's Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein's new book Good Without God.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.