Posted in Updates on Saturday 10th January 2009 at 2:33pm
I've just seen my first Atheist Bus and I confess to feeling childish excitement and, had it not been in the midst of Saturday crowds in Leeds City Centre, I might well have punched the air and done a little dance. Those who know me in real life will realise what an alarming and unlikely prospect this is - and thus just how important this first sighting was to me.
The bus ads were launched last Tuesday and have taken to the streets of London as originally planned. However, the overwhelming and heartfelt response to this refreshing campaign raised over 2000% more than originally planned - thus they can now been seen in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, York, Newcastle, Dundee, Sheffield, Coventry, Devon, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Swansea, Newport, Rhondda, Bristol, Southampton, Newcastle, Aberdeen and of course Leeds. The campaign has also been able to fund tube cards including quotes from notable freethinkers and large digital billboards in Central London. Unsurprisingly, Stephen Green of Christian Voice was irked enough by this national sigh of relief from the non-religious to complain to the Advertising Standards Agency that there was "not a shred of evidence" for the claim there is no god. Presumably Mr Green has his irrefutable sources all lined up for the inevitable theological showdown. It will be interesting to see if the recently highly political Drs. Sentamu and Williams will manage to keep quiet and dismiss this with a chortle as they have to date?
As pressure mounts on the BBC to review their refusal to let humanist and secular speakers participate in Thought for the Day and today's iPM show features ABC originator Ariane Sherine in a 'thought for the afternoon' segment, there has never been a more open debate about secularism in the UK. Typing this in a freezing Leeds station, I'm still grinning from my first sighting of the bus. It feels rebellious - I want to ask people what they think of it - but of course, discussing religion is impolite - isn't it?
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.