This Bus is an Athiest, Because It’s Angry at God

[Note: Postings have been light lately, because I’m putting in long hours at work. I hope things calm down later this week. In the meantime, here’s a quickie about a bus that worships Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins.]

Is this one of those 'New Athiest' buses?

Ron Heather and the bus that thinks the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

I found an amusing title while browsing the blogs at OneNewsNow. It’s “Bus Driver Refuses to Drive Atheist Bus”. I knew that this provocative title could only mean one of two things: (1) That a bus had achieved sentience and was already more intellectually sophisticated than the average fundie (can cylons be far behind?), or (2) that some fundie hack writer doesn’t know how to construct a sentence that doesn’t give the wrong impression.

I’m going with number two here. The article appears to be by somebody named Tasha Easterling, who writes:

A couple of months ago I blogged about the controversial atheistic ad campaign in Britain which state ‘There’s probably no God – Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Now a bus driver in Southampton who is a committed Christian is refusing to drive buses which contain these ads. Ron Heather’s bus company, First Buses, have put the ads on 20 of their buses, and Heather went on strike for three days to protest the ad campaign.

I don’t know what the level of atheism is over in Britain, but I’m sure it is way higher than our five or ten percent. Let’s just say it’s 20%. That means there is a fair number of atheists employed as bus drivers. Buses carry religious advertising all the time. Have any atheists ever refused to drive such a bus? I’ve certainly never heard of one.

So what we have here is yet another example of Christians professing to be tolerant, yet being far more intolerant than non-believers.

Heather says:

“I felt that I could not drive that bus, I told my managers and when they said they had not got another one I thought I better go home, so I did.

“I think it was the starkness of the advert that implied there was no God.”

It does more than imply. It stops just short of saying it’s a certainty.

Heather was called into a meeting with the managers of his company, and he agreed to work provided they would ensure that he would only have to drive a bus containing the atheist ad if no other buses were available.

A First spokeswoman said: “As a company we understand Mr Heather’s views regarding this atheist bus advert and we are doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the bus concerned. Mr Heather accepts though that he may need to drive one of these buses if no other vehicle is available for him.”

It sounds like it’s working out the best it can for all concerned. Heather keeps his job, and the bus company keeps the ads and doesn’t have to hire a new driver. I have no problem with a company trying to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s beliefs, but what if those beliefs are unreasonable?

The other way to look at it, though, is what would the fundies think if it were a Muslim driver who refused to drive a bus with Christianity, pork, or alcohol ads? Fundies and other conservatives got into a hissy when Tyson Foods let their employees trade Labor Day for a Muslim holiday.

20 Responses to “This Bus is an Athiest, Because It’s Angry at God”

  1. Dave2 Says:

    You should look up the word “sentience”.

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception and thought

    What? The bus isn’t allowed to feel emotions? That’s why it’s an atheist. It’s angry!

    Another word might have been better, but that one still works.

  3. kevin Says:

    oh, darn. the bus uprising already? that wasn’t supposed to happen for a few more years!
    really, this doesn’t surprise me. it does surprise me that this is the biggest opposition. although with about 40% (from what i saw) atheist/agnostic in Britain, i guess there isn’t as much competition. not like here with 10% nonbeliever and 90% insane Christian.
    *begins looking for a house in Sweden*

  4. Henry in Melbourne, Australia Says:

    It’s all so terribly terribly important. HAH! Thank you my dear Parents for not ramming down my throat this awful indoctrination.

  5. Henry in Melbourne, Australia Says:

    … I forgot to add:- Ron Heather looks just like the sort of chap needed in an emergency such as slipping an Airbus 320 into the Hudson.

  6. ben Says:

    childishness and religiosity obviously go hand in hand.

  7. Imroy Says:

    This is really quite childish. Has any other bus driver ever had a problem with any of the other adverts carried on buses? Ads for crap movies, alcohol, or anything with a scantily-clad lady or otherwise too sexually suggestive?

    On the subject of Muslims, look up Hashim Amla. He’s a recent addition to the South African national cricket team and a devout Muslim. A major sponsor of the team is a brewery and he managed to have their name (i.e ad) removed from his team shirt. I’m not quite sure what kind of advertisment I’d find too offensive to wear as a sportsman, but would an Atheist get the same treatment? Would someone get the same treatment for objecting on a non-religious basis?

  8. OtherRob Says:

    I, for one, welcome our new bus overlords…

  9. Brian Says:

    This is just another example of how religious belief is a creaky, rickety charade that will collapse at the first whiff of criticism. Believers know this. They can’t abide negative views about their faith because they have nothing to back it up. Their only recourse is to take offense at pretty much everything they consider heretical or blasphemous and try to scare us into obedience with empty threats of eternal damnation. They themselves make the case against religion better than I ever could.

  10. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Meanwhile, did you see the last season of BSG? Apparently, the Cylons are theists, now.

    Thirty years ago, I didn’t see that coming.

  11. Lilyana Says:

    The latest numbers on atheism in the US are 16%! An all time high. As far as I know, in Britain, it is considerably higher, though I’m not sure to what extent. I do recall reading a survey study about what % of people considered religion important to their daily lives. It was 70-something percent in the US and only 30-something percent in Britain. That doesn’t directly correlate to atheism but it does give some general ideas.

  12. Ron Britton Says:


    Meanwhile, did you see the last season of BSG? Apparently, the Cylons are theists, now.

    The religion theme has been there from the beginning of the “re-imagining”, as they like to call it. The humans are polytheistic. The cylons are monotheistic. I’m not sure what the significance of that is.

    Thirty years ago, I didn’t see that coming.

    Not everybody gets wiser with age.

  13. Ron Britton Says:


    The latest numbers on atheism in the US are 16%! An all time high. As far as I know, in Britain, it is considerably higher, though I’m not sure to what extent.

    It’s lower over there, because they started out with a lower religious base to begin with. They shipped all their wackaloon fundie nutjobs over here 350 years ago.

  14. RevRight Says:

    Haven’t been by in a while, but I like the new look.

  15. freddies_dead Says:

    Check out Stephen ‘Birdshit’ Green (leader of Christian Voice) for more fun and games over the bus adverts – he’s actually reported them to the Advertising Standards Agency stating atheists have no evidence to support their claim . Nothing like some fundie double standards eh?

    Ron, we Brits obviously didn’t do a good enough job 350 years ago, we seem to still have a few loons left – any chance we can try again?

  16. Ron Britton Says:

    Ron, we Brits obviously didn’t do a good enough job 350 years ago, we seem to still have a few loons left – any chance we can try again?

    NO!! Absolutely not!!

    Keep them yourself!!

  17. freddies_dead Says:

    Surely there’s a town or two in Alaska they could go to?

    Oh well, it was worth a try…

  18. Lindsay Says:

    I think it depends on where you are in the UK. I asked my husband and he said in the northeast where he is from (Northumberland) it is probably higher than say, the southwest. I think it’s more historical than anything…up in the north there seems to be an aversion to any sort of “state” authority, including the monarchy and the Church of England.

  19. KDE Says:

    I lived in the UK for about a year and a half, and I have to say (thankfully) I never saw a religious message on a bus.

    Being from the deep south, it was kind of refreshing not to see billboards every 3 miles with hand-painted slogans that are more threatening than hopeful, like “The Wages of sin is DEATH” or my personal favorite, seen on the freeway in Arkansas: “ARE U READY TO DIE? GET RITE WITH GOD!”

  20. Parrotlover77 Says:

    My least favorite are not the fire and brimstone signs, but the signs that are like “we need to talk -god” and so on. There are many of that style where it’s like god quoted on the billboard. That’s a bit of a let down for an all power deity, don’t you think? He has to communicate through billboards on the highway? Really?