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Archive for July 2009

Open Letter to Fox News


Dear Fox News,

This morning I appeared as a guest on your morning show, Fox & Friends, to discuss the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign. The other guest on the segment, Pastor Tony Taylor, mistakenly (or perhaps intentionally) claimed that the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution contained the oft-quoted clause, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…’

He then went on to argue that the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign was making a ‘mockery’ of the right to free speech granted to us by God. Apart from the inherent irony in this argument, I take issue with Pastor Taylor’s argument in two ways:

Pastor Taylor first neglected to specify what those unalienable rights we were granted actually were: they are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; freedom of speech/expression is not specifically mentioned. Therefore it is impossible that the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign could be making a ‘mockery’ of such a right that is not even in the clause to which Mr Taylor referred.

Secondly (and more importantly), Pastor Taylor was incorrect in stating that this clause was in the Bill of Rights. It is not. It is in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which–unlike the Constitution–has no legal standing whatsoever.

The Constitution, and therefore the Bill of Rights, does have legal standing, but God is not mentioned in it. Therefore, the entire premise of Mr Taylor’s argument is false. Given that our campaign surely has many detractors as it does supporters, I was disappointed that Fox News was unable to find a guest who was capable of delivering any kind of remotely sensible argument against our campaign, but then again, I suppose I could have been expecting too much anyhow.

All the same, thank you for having me on your show.


46 comments July 30th, 2009

Fox News Covers The Campaign

Our recent victory in our fight to get our ads up on Bloomington buses caught the attention of Fox News, which covered the campaign this morning on Fox & Friends.  Watch the clip here:

We certainly applaud Fox for actually inviting us on to the show to hear our side of the story rather than just getting some pundits who are all on the same side, although we do regret that complex issues like this are compressed into five-minute ‘discussions.’

20 comments July 30th, 2009

Campaign Prevails Against BT In Free Speech Lawsuit

PRESS RELEASE: 2009-7-27-PR (RTF, 4.6 KB)

The members of the campaign are pleased to announce that we have reached a settlement with Bloomington Transit regarding our lawsuit.  A preliminary injunction hearing was scheduled in the United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, but Bloomington Transit capitulated in the days leading up to the injunction hearing.

The terms of the settlement are that BT will accept our ad, which features the slogan ‘You Can Be Good Without God’ for posting on as many buses and for as long of a time as we like, for the standard ad rate.  They will also be reimbursing the ACLU of Indiana for a significant portion of their legal expenses.

Let’s be straight here: this is a victory not just for atheism and secularism, but for free speech all around.  It’s not the end of our campaign, either.  We intend to make the most of this victory: look for our message on Bloomington Transit buses in the coming weeks.  We also hope the outcome of this suit provides a suitable precedent for the many other atheist bus campaigns around the country trying to get their own ads up.

Finally, we would like to thank our many supporters, who have given us both money and precious words of encouragement.  Speaking of money…

We still need your donations. Bloomington’s not the last stop for the atheist bus, but only if we have the necessary cash.  Please take a moment to donate using the button over in the sidebar; we are currently surveying new locations for bus ads, and you could be next.  Most importantly, putting up new ads generates another round of interest from the press and public about atheism and starts vital conversations about religion and its role in society.  If you’re interested in furthering that conversation, please support us.

24 comments July 27th, 2009

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