Friday, October 24, 2008

The wheels on the bus go round and round and round and round!

The wheels on the bus go round and round and round and round!
The Atheist Bus Campaign is driving along at full tilt. Donations are pouring in, as are the phone calls from newspapers, sales pitches from ad agencies, and emails from everyone who's ever had a worldview!
As always, we want and expect feedback especially from our members and supporters. Every policy decision and campaign announcement receives some praise and some criticism. There are two things that are special about the feedback on this campaign (both from the public and from our members and supporters). First is how much of it there is! Second is that it is overwhelmingly positive.
Some comments from members and supporters in response to the e-bulletin on Tuesday:
" "Fantastic!! Cheque in the post!!"
" "Congratulations ! I'm distressed to see the puerile ads going out in the name of religion. Whatever it means to any of us,it is great to have an alternative getting publicity."
" "Please can we have this message on our buses in Sheffield too! It's not just about money, it's about visibility and standing up against all this religious crap which seems to be everywhere you turn these days!"
" "Wanna spread a message of comfort and joy to your fellow man? Then join this incredible campaign that grows and grows every time you press the refresh button."
" "Brilliant. Well done." - one of our Distinguished Supporters
" "Thank you for the report on the Atheist Bus. Well done to everyone."
" "People who didn't know about this … have been amazed at how fast the money's pouring in. A couple of the comments I've had are, "Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Bloody marvellous :-)", and "Brilliant!"" - one of our Local Group leaders.
" "This is an excellent campaign idea and I'm glad it's received so much publicity."
" "What a brilliant response! Excellent publicity for BHA. Will it be on News? Can we have regular updates on BHA website please about nationwide/worldwide response?"
" "It is wonderful that you are supporting the bendy bus campaign which will help bring more people to belief."
" "What a brilliant idea---and one for which the world was undoubtedly waiting .Here's to the humanist elbow getting their bus borne message to Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham and Tipperary too." - Another of our Distinguished Supporters
" "Worthwhile so I jumped on board"
We could go on!
Of course there are always some critical comments. There have been numerous suggestions for changes to the wording, major and minor. We appreciate all this feedback, but there would never, ever be a slogan which everyone would be entirely happy with, and everyone who has their own ideas seems to feel that their modification is the only one that would need to be made! One person offers an idea because they think we should be less "presumptious", another suggests that the slogan is already too "soft"! One person says they're agnostic and it's too atheistic, another says that "probably" isn't sure enough of itself! So, in reality, we have hopefully found a balance between the possible "routes" that this bus could have taken, and it's reassuring that despite a handful of criticisms of the negative beginning to the statement ("There's probably no God") the overall message is laidback, positive, and refreshing.
More than half the number of members who join the BHA in a usual month, joined in a single day between Tuesday and Wednesday! It seems that, quibbles aside, Ariane's advert has tapped into an undercurrent of thought which wants to shrug in the face of religious slogans.
Thank you for all your support.

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