The message from Fort Worth, Texas: no more religious advertisements allowed, at least on its transit system.The pro and anti-religious ad battle has been front and center this holiday season. Atheist groups and the Catholic League had a billboard brawl in New York late last month,Ugg à la mode and now the fight has reached Texas.The Board of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) voted unanimously last week to formally adopt an advertising policy for all T property which includes a ban on faith-based ads.The vote was prompted after a recent ad purchased by The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason which caused a lot of commotion in town. The ad posted on four buses reads « Millions of Americans are good without God. »
Joan Hunter, communications manager for The T, said the decision for the ban was not based on the content of the Coalition’s ad, but rather the amount of resources the department had to spare to field concerns in reaction to it. »The demands on our time to respond and trying to engage us as a public forum was pulling us from focus on the operation of a transit agency and that is our business, » Hunter said in an e-mail message to CNN.Ugg à la mode The T already had guidelines in place against tobacco and alcohol ads, some local political ads, and those deemed obscene. In a news release, The T says the new policy will « exclude any ads with religious, non-theistic, or faith-based content and all political ads. »
« Our policy regarding belief ads that we had was impartial and had worked without interruptions to our time and resources in the past, » Hunter said. She also noted there are several other ads posted on their bus fleet right now, including one that says « Jesus is the reason for the season » and another paid for by a Catholic organization.Terry McDonald, coordinator of the Coalition, said the group’s campaign was not scheduled to come out during December.Ugg à la mode It was being worked on last summer to coincide with a book signing by Harvard humanist chaplain Greg Epstein. When the event fell through, the Coalition thought the title of Epstein’s book, « Good Without God, » still held an important message. »The reason for our campaign is to let people who are nonbelievers know about the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason and that has succeeded very, very well, » McDonald said.