The Coalition of Reason plans on running a month long ad campaign in the New York City subway system. The “Good Without God” Atheist Ads will begin running in the subways on Monday. The Coalition of Reason is being funded by an anonymous donor; the atheist ad campaign will cost $25,000 dollars.

800px NYC Subway Times Square





Why an atheist ad campaign in New York City subway stations? The ads are in conjunction with a book by Greg Epstein entitled “Good Without God”. Greg Epstein is (and this is a new one on me) the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University.

The atheist coalition says that the ad campaign that will run for a month, is not an anti-religion campaign. They say it’s simply a way for those who don’t believe in a god to be encouraged to join a likeminded social community. The group also hopes to enhance awareness to New York’s secular community, which they claim in the ad is 1 million strong.

The President of the Secular Humanist Society, John Rafferty says that the American Religious Identification Survey, which we wrote about here, concluded that “no religion” was the fastest growing “religion” in the country; this is how they came to the 1 million atheist conclusion. I myself don’t have a problem believing that there are 1 million atheists in New York City, which has a population of 8 million people.

This is what the Metro Transit Authority had to say to CNN about the atheist ad campaign:

In a statement to CNN, Metro Transit Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan said, “The MTA maintains basic advertising guidelines with prohibitions on nudity, four-letter words, and the like. Beyond that, to accord with the First Amendment, our advertising guidelines are written so as to not prohibit the free exercise of religion or abridge the freedom of speech.”

Although I disagree completely and whole heartedly with the message of atheism, I support The Coalition of Reason’s right to place ads and speak their mind on any issue. This is America after all. As long as they don’t infringe on anyone else’s rights, no harm no foul.

Tell us what you think about The Coalition of Reason’s atheist ads in New York City subways. I know some of you out there have a thing or two to say.