City rejects atheist bus ad as "too controversial"
stevesan at umich.edu
Fri May 15 10:11:56 PDT 2009
The Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign is seeking to buy advertising on municipal
buses with the slogans "In the beginning, man created God" and "You can be
good without God." The group explains on its web site (
<http://inatheistbus.org/> http://inatheistbus.org/), "We want to let
everyone know that it's all right not to believe in a deity, that you do not
need to be 'saved,' and that you can be a good person without religion. We
hope that everyone will look at the facts and evidence before making life
decisions, including religion."
The bus operator in Bloomington, IN (my old stomping grounds) refused to
accept the "You can be good without God" ads because they were "too
controversial." The Indiana Civil Liberties Union has sued on behalf of the
ut-god-lawsuit-underway/ for links to the complaint and press release.
Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan (disclosure: one of my undergrad classmates
and old friends) says the city legal department won't represent Bloomington
Transit, which is a separate municipal corporation which contracts with the
city legal department. According to the Bloomington Herald-Times, "Kruzan
said having city legal defend BT in court would amount to 'promoting
government sanctioned censorship' because the bus service gets city legal's
services at an hourly rate less than that of a private law firm, which is in
essence a partial taxpayer subsidy."
Attorney, Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice group, Mayer Brown
Co-editor, <http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/lgbtlaw/> Sexual Orientation
and the Law Blog
Adjunct faculty, University of Michigan Law School (Winter term 2010)
Email: <mailto:stevesan at umich.edu> stevesan at umich.edu
Personal home page: <http://www.stevesanders.net/> www.stevesanders.net
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