Atheist Advertising too Controversial in Australia

In previous posts I’ve discussed how the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) are trying in vain to place adverts on buses around Australia. Well now they have lodged a complaint with the Tasmanian Anti-discrimination Commissioner.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc is to complain to the Tasmanian Anti-discrimination Commissioner following the refusal of Metro Tasmania, a State owned bus company, to display its advertisements.

President of the Foundation, David Nicholls said: “Following legal advice we have decided to lodge the complaint. It is unfortunate the AFA has to go down this path to achieve justice. However, there is no grudge involved here, just a simple matter of what is right.”

David Nicholls said atheists worldwide have an important message for humanity and one that is quite urgent. He said the denial of an opportunity to express that message on Public Transport had possibly resulted from unfounded concerns in executive decision making. Mr Nicholls said he expected a good outcome to the complaint and envisaged the slogan, “Atheism – Celebrate reason! Sleep in on Sunday mornings” to soon be on a bus near you.

Hobart lawyer James Crotty has been retained to advise on the complaint.

hat tip to Sean

In more news of discrimination against atheists and free speech comes this piece of news from Albury-Wodonga. Kieran saw a good deal for classified adverts in his local newspaper so decided he’d post an atheist message:

The Border Mail has a classifieds deal on, $1.10 a line for a Christmas greeting. I rang up, and requested the following:

Christians, There probably is no god, so stop worrying and enjoy life – Kieran.

The lady at the other end said “No”.

Surprise, surprise, they wouldn’t accept it.  If the Border Mail is anything like my local rag, The Star, it will be filled with religious adverts, so why not one tiny atheist one?

In fact page 18 of The Star, dated 17 December, is a whole page advertising feature for Christmas church services. There are two letters, one from the Catholic Bishop and one from the Anglican Bishop, and eleven (11) pictorial adverts for various churches and their Christmas services. I don’t’ have a problem with that, if they’ve paid, they are fully entitled to, I’ll just ignore that page. However if the same newspaper refuses to place an atheist (or even a hindu, muslim or other religion) advert then that is discrimination, censorship and denial of free speech.

Kieran has asked for others to try and place an atheist message in his local paper and has even offered to pay for it:

If anyone manages to sneak a good atheist message into the Border Mail’s Christmas greetings, I’ll pay for it.

Intersting idea, and hat tip to The Atheist Blogger.

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3 Comments

Filed under activism, atheism, atheist, censorship, freedom of speech

3 responses to “Atheist Advertising too Controversial in Australia

  1. “If the Border Mail is anything like my local rag, The Star, it will be filled with religious adverts, so why not one tiny atheist one?”

    Because that would be unbiased and fair. Not exactly something religious groups are famous for, eh?

  2. novparl

    Why not try inserting a reference to the pagan origins of Xmas (or Boremas)? Something like : happy (European) Winter Solstice – don’t worry, the sun won’t die?

    After all, Chrishchuns freely admit the heathen origins of this celevration of materialism.

  3. seantheblogonaut

    @Nov,

    or maybe both to show how rediculous the whole thing is

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