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Atheists sue over bus ads on God-free lifestyle

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  • Petros Evdokas
    This news item below is about a very interesting legal battle. My feelings about it are that there can be no real Freedom of Religion until there is true
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 11, 2011
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      This news item below is about a very interesting legal battle. My
      feelings about it are that there can be no real Freedom of Religion
      until there is true Freedom FROM Religion.

      Petros
      ________



      Atheists sue over bus ads on God-free lifestyle
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110610/od_nm/us_atheist_ads

      By Suzi Parker Suzi Parker – Fri Jun 10, 2011

      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.

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

      Because a handful of similar ads had been vandalized in other states,
      the ad agency required the payment for insurance reasons, said Jess
      Sweere, an attorney representing the transit authority.

      "To my knowledge, OTMA has not requested this in the past because no
      other advertiser told them their ads were vandalized in other markets,"
      Sweere told Reuters.

      Sweere said the transit authority was all set to accept the ads, but
      that the advertising firm raised the concerns that lead to the insurance
      requirement. Negotiations were still going on when the lawsuit was filed
      last week against the transit agency and the ad firm.

      "We were planning to run the ads as soon as the contract was worked
      out," Sweere told Reuters.

      An attorney for the ad agency did not return calls seeking comment.

      LeeWood Thomas, a spokesman for the atheist group, quoted an email from
      the advertising agency obtained by the coalition that read: "Arkansas is
      the buckle of the Bible Belt and I can easily envision zealots or
      upstanding citizens with a strong faith acting out."

      Thomas said it's clear his group is being punished for the actions of
      others.

      "The insurance money needed from us basically says CATA and On The Move
      trust the atheists in this community more so than the religious,
      otherwise the churches that advertise would have that extra insurance
      premium added to their total cost," Thomas said.

      The coalition is asking a judge to issue a preliminary injunction
      forcing the bus company to accept the ads while the suit moves forward.

      The transit authority and its advertising agency were served with the
      lawsuit on Monday. They have 21 days to respond.

      The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Arkansas group by UnitedCoR, a
      Washington-based national organization that focuses on organizing local
      atheist and agnostic groups into coalitions and funding their bus and
      billboard ad campaigns.

      UnitedCoR has placed such ads throughout the United States since 2008.

      Out of 36 markets where ad campaigns have run, four have been
      vandalized, including bus ads in Detroit last year, according to
      UnitedCoR's website.

      Last year, UnitedCoR placed ads on outdoor billboards and buses in
      Fayetteville, Arkansas, without incident.

      In 2009, the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, a group of atheists who
      are also involved in the bus ad campaign, successfully sued the state of
      Arkansas to erect a 'Winter Solstice' display on the grounds of the
      Arkansas State Capitol near a nativity scene.

      (Editing by Karen Brooks and Jerry Norton)

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • grandpasmurf952
      ... It appears that the hate based religions are aware of the laws concerning free speech and are busy subverting them, thinking that their particular fear
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 20, 2011
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        --- In Universal_Life_Church@yahoogroups.com, Petros Evdokas <petros@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > This news item below is about a very interesting legal battle. My
        > feelings about it are that there can be no real Freedom of Religion
        > until there is true Freedom FROM Religion.
        >
        > Petros
        > ________
        >
        >
        >
        > Atheists sue over bus ads on God-free lifestyle
        > http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110610/od_nm/us_atheist_ads
        >
        > By Suzi Parker Suzi Parker â€" Fri Jun 10, 2011
        >
        > LITTLE ROCK, Ark (Reuters) â€" 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.
        >
        > The insurance was requested by the transit agency's advertising firm, On
        > The Move Advertising, officials said.
        >
        > Because a handful of similar ads had been vandalized in other states,
        > the ad agency required the payment for insurance reasons, said Jess
        > Sweere, an attorney representing the transit authority.
        >
        > "To my knowledge, OTMA has not requested this in the past because no
        > other advertiser told them their ads were vandalized in other markets,"
        > Sweere told Reuters.
        >
        > Sweere said the transit authority was all set to accept the ads, but
        > that the advertising firm raised the concerns that lead to the insurance
        > requirement. Negotiations were still going on when the lawsuit was filed
        > last week against the transit agency and the ad firm.
        >
        > "We were planning to run the ads as soon as the contract was worked
        > out," Sweere told Reuters.
        >
        > An attorney for the ad agency did not return calls seeking comment.
        >
        > LeeWood Thomas, a spokesman for the atheist group, quoted an email from
        > the advertising agency obtained by the coalition that read: "Arkansas is
        > the buckle of the Bible Belt and I can easily envision zealots or
        > upstanding citizens with a strong faith acting out."
        >
        > Thomas said it's clear his group is being punished for the actions of
        > others.
        >
        > "The insurance money needed from us basically says CATA and On The Move
        > trust the atheists in this community more so than the religious,
        > otherwise the churches that advertise would have that extra insurance
        > premium added to their total cost," Thomas said.
        >
        > The coalition is asking a judge to issue a preliminary injunction
        > forcing the bus company to accept the ads while the suit moves forward.
        >
        > The transit authority and its advertising agency were served with the
        > lawsuit on Monday. They have 21 days to respond.
        >
        > The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Arkansas group by UnitedCoR, a
        > Washington-based national organization that focuses on organizing local
        > atheist and agnostic groups into coalitions and funding their bus and
        > billboard ad campaigns.
        >
        > UnitedCoR has placed such ads throughout the United States since 2008.
        >
        > Out of 36 markets where ad campaigns have run, four have been
        > vandalized, including bus ads in Detroit last year, according to
        > UnitedCoR's website.
        >
        > Last year, UnitedCoR placed ads on outdoor billboards and buses in
        > Fayetteville, Arkansas, without incident.
        >
        > In 2009, the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, a group of atheists who
        > are also involved in the bus ad campaign, successfully sued the state of
        > Arkansas to erect a 'Winter Solstice' display on the grounds of the
        > Arkansas State Capitol near a nativity scene.
        >
        > (Editing by Karen Brooks and Jerry Norton)
        >
        > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        >


        It appears that the hate based religions are aware of the laws concerning free speech and are busy subverting them, thinking that their particular fear based religion trumps free speech.

        The insurance condition is just a ploy to avoid confronting the injustice of suppressing the free speech that would be involved in an outright ban and is what is called "Theocratic warfare" and is based on the premise that is ok to use whatever dishonest tactics necessary to protect the faith.

        Other examples can be found in the various horror stories of other religions that have protected the faith in various dishonest ways such as the inquisition, the Crusades, and other horrors of man made religions. At least today we have some protection from such insanities but we are still evolving in our consciousness and this residue of oppression will linger until all of us recognise the insanity of hate based religions.
      • Petros Evdokas
        ... Hi, What you wrote is very true. Thanks for your comments and your thoughts! Waking up from the insanity of hate based religions is a hard, hard process.
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 23, 2011
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          On 6/20/2011 8:11 PM, grandpasmurf952 wrote:


          > It appears that the hate based religions are aware of the laws
          > concerning free speech and are busy subverting them, thinking that
          > their particular fear based religion trumps free speech.
          >
          > The insurance condition is just a ploy to avoid confronting the
          > injustice of suppressing the free speech that would be involved in an
          > outright ban and is what is called "Theocratic warfare" and is based
          > on the premise that is ok to use whatever dishonest tactics necessary
          > to protect the faith.
          >
          > Other examples can be found in the various horror stories of other
          > religions that have protected the faith in various dishonest ways
          > such as the inquisition, the Crusades, and other horrors of man made
          > religions. At least today we have some protection from such
          > insanities but we are still evolving in our consciousness and this
          > residue of oppression will linger until all of us recognise the
          > insanity of hate based religions.


          Hi,

          What you wrote is very true. Thanks for your comments and your thoughts!

          Waking up from the insanity of hate based religions is a hard, hard process.

          Thanks,
          Petros
          ______
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