The Freedom From Religion Foundation plastered more signs on 75 Chicago buses this week encouraging Chicagoans to skip church and sleep in on Sundays. But that's just the beginning.I saw this at The Deacon's Bench where the first thing I thought was, "Really? That's the best they could do? Promise more sleep?"
Riders also will see 200 interior bus signs with quotations from five famous freethinkers or skeptics, including author Mark Twain, attorney Clarence Darrow, poets Carl Sandburg and Emily Dickinson; and actresses Butterfly McQueen and Katharine Hepburn.The interior ads also will feature a provocative quote from Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion: "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction."
"Obviously, there are many reasons to reject religion, most of them intellectual," said Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. "But face it -- one of the immediate benefits of quitting church, besides getting a 10 percent raise because you can stop tithing, is getting to sleep in on Sundays! What the world really needs is a good night's sleep."
Upon reading the excerpt it turns out that even so-called atheists are not immune to pressure from outside. Of course, that is only possible if they are treating their disbelief as a religion and trying to coax others into seeing what it's all about. Which is sad. Seriously. Give me a good, solid atheist like my Mom used to be. She cared not about what anyone believed as long as they treated others decently because to her all religion was hoo-haw.
Anyway, back to the business at hand. Let's get real. These bus signs are actually more of an acknowledgment of the way things really work. People profess faith but don't examine their profession and all too often do not live it.
Those bus ads are a talking point, a conversation starter for us to be able to talk about what we know and love about our faith. To talk about why we would rather go worship than sleep late on Sunday. We can use this to express our joy and peace in having a person-to-person relationship with God.
If we can't have that discussion honestly, then the ads are a good jump start for self examination of what we do believe, why we do not have the relationship we'd like, and what we might be missing by sleeping late on Sunday.