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Campaign Prevails Against BT In Free Speech Lawsuit

July 27th, 2009

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.

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifurret  |  July 27th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Great work, you guys! I’m crossing my fingers that the next place is West Lafayette…

  • 2. Brian Westley  |  July 27th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Keep fighting the good fight; there are still plenty of ignorant people out there, some of them among the “world’s leading living philosophers”:

  • 3. Emily  |  July 27th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Oh yes. What a fantastic victory– spreading the message of nothingness and a meaningless life.

    I truly feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t know God is real.

  • 4. Brian Westley  |  July 27th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I feel sorry for people who make up an omnipotent imaginary pal because they think their life would somehow be “meaningless” if the creator of the universe wasn’t their personal friend. Hubris much?

  • 5. Tommy  |  July 28th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Great job.
    Let’s show the fundies how we live a good life without a make believe sky daddy.
    Science flies us to the moon, Religion flies us into buildings.

  • 6. Scott  |  July 28th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    I love that quote. I have another one. There was a time when everyone believed in god it was called the “dark ages”. :-)

    Way to go Bloomington!

  • 7. Barry Duke  |  July 28th, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Hearty congratulations from the UK, where the Atheist Bus Campaign was first successfully launched. It’s amazing to see how this campaign has caught on across the globe, and I wish you well in your efforts to bring some sanity to a world made mad by religion! I will be blogging this good news later today.

  • 8. ron  |  July 28th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    As someone who is a member of Americans United, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, contributed to this campaign and a resident of Bloomington, it would have been nice to have been notified by this organization of the transit board meeting. While I appreciate the good work done by this group of people, something is obviously lacking in the grass roots area when there is no follow up for those who support and contribute to the initiative.

    Having said that, I’m glad the transit board came to the decision they did, although I am still waiting for a journalist to find out how much they spent on legal fees fighting this stupid battle.

  • 9. Sunny One  |  July 29th, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Yea! Couldn’t be more heartened by this victory and the brave folks who go up against the angry bible thumpers.

  • 10. Meranda  |  July 29th, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Just want to see if you guys will take my comment down, so here it is.

    I think who ever came up with this stupid idea is a flippin idiot. I think you our all idiots and if you people can have free speech than I think people who believe in God can too. No body likes you, go away.

  • 11. Greg  |  July 29th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Atheist aren’t thinking extra dimensionally.

  • 12. Greg  |  July 29th, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Meranda – do you claim to be a follower of Christ?

  • 13. Greg  |  July 29th, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Scott – Human have always had a reverence for “higher”‘ intelligence – regardless of time or culture.

  • 14. Thomas  |  July 29th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Why would your comment be taken down when it only serves to illustrate the social and grammatical short-comings of you and those like you?

  • 15. Christine  |  July 29th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    whoever is one word

    ‘our’ is the word you use when you want to state that something belongs to a group of people: “our beliefs”, or “our car”. ‘are’ is the plural form of ‘to be’ that you’re looking for: “we are happy”, “they are going to the store”.

    ‘than’ is a word you use to compare two things: “this is better than that”, “she is taller than him”. ‘then’ is a word you use to indicate cause and effect or order: “if you do this, then I will be made”, or “first I boil the water, then I put in the pasta”.

    When you use ‘and’ to join two complete sentences, technically you should also use a comma: “I like this and that” doesn’t need a comma, but “I’m going to the store, and I’d like you to come” does.

    Nobody is one word.

    I hope that a lot of people on here would agree that both sides of this argument should have full access to free speech. On the other hand, when you go to use your free speech, you may have more impact if you pay a bit more attention to how you express yourself. I’m not sure how old you are, or what your educational background is, but this might be something you should consider in the future.

  • 16. Marsha  |  July 29th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I think you’re ALL going to be praying to God on your deathbeds, you nincompoops!

  • 17. Brian Westley  |  July 29th, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I think it’s a mistake to get into a deathbed in the first place.

    But I’d be seeking medical attention, it works much, much better than prayer.

  • 18. quintin raymond  |  July 30th, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I believe that a person should be allowed to follow whatever path in life they choose. Whether or not you choose to include God is your choice. It is clear that you so called atheist believe in god, otherwise you would not have acknowledged him in your bus ads. What a bunch of losers.

  • 19. Joyce  |  July 30th, 2009 at 7:52 am

    You can be good without God. hmmmmm

    Brilliant(sarcasm) FAIL. Atheists confirming God’s existence(consult Webster’s or Roget’s for word: without). globally.,without


  • 20. Charlie  |  July 30th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    What a lovely, lovely comment>
    Thank you

  • 21. Tommy  |  July 30th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Silly Christians myths are for kids.

  • 22. Tommy  |  July 30th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    prayer is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but takes you nowhere

  • 23. Mike  |  July 30th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    It’s interesting how strongly we cling onto our own biases. The funny thing is that this principle is seen in the both “religious” and not so religious. And if you didn’t know it takes equal mental conviction to say God exists or doesn’t.

    Typically strong oppositions of God (particularly the Christian God) arise from a personal encounter of someone who claimed their faith and disappointed the observer. Another reason, I’ve often heard, that people oppose the notion of God is the violent history of Christianity. The irony is that the anger generated towards the Judeo-Christian God was generated from observing flawed people (And yes, Christians do abuse the name of God, they just acknowledge perfection is found in the life of Christ). Sadly “logic” twists our thoughts to blame a blameless God, rather than the flaw found in any/every person.

    You have the right to have your own opinion, however If I’m wrong, I have nothing to lose… If you’re wrong, Your life of Human “goodness” will be judged, unfortunately it would be considered rags in front of a infinitely Holy God. Because our motivation to bring goodness, is to please… ourselves. That’s why Christ is important in Christianity, he lived a perfect life, in accordance to God the Father. And because of his death and resurrection whoever believes (however flawed they may be) are judged based on the life of Christ.

    I finished what I wanted to say… I’m sure some of you will bash away to make yourselves feel better.

  • 24. john doe  |  July 31st, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    The first amendment is considered to be the most important amendment of the Constitution by liberals and conservatives alike. I’m sure that both liberals and conservatives are also pleased that the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign (IABC) was able to preserve the essential first amendment rights of free speech here in Bloomington. We all cherish our right to express ourselves for without it, where would we be? Thanks IABC for preserving our Consitutional freedom.

    Incidently, Madison came up with our U.S. Constitution after years of studying other governments. He concluded that a government completely separate from religion was essential for success. Although it’s only been a few hundred years or so, we seemed to be pretty successful until the Bush administration started reversing the intentions of Madison and most of his colleagues.

    So let’s keep religion out of government and continue the open discussion about religion and the absence or presence of the God(s) within us.

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