Atheists plan to take Seattle for a ride

Atheists plan to take Seattle for a ride »Play Video
SEATTLE - Atheists are about to take the city for a ride.

The bus is the pulpit and the bus riders are the congregation. A group called Seattle Atheists is planning to display ads inside 40 different city buses. Its message: there's a community for atheists, too.

"There is a group out there that get together and we talk. There is a sense of community for those who are atheists," said member Paul Case.

Seattle Atheists are working to rally those who share their thoughts. A Christian organizer suggested April Fool's Day as the launch date for the ads.

"He said, 'What these atheists need is their own holiday. How about April 1st? Yeah, April 1st sounds about right," Case said.

The words on the ads are intended to stir thought, not controversy.

One carries the words of Susan B. Anthony: "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

Another features an Albert Einstein quote: "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

"In fact, we do like to build bridges with people who are religious," Case said.

Pastor Bill Berger of All Saints Church agrees the ads will trigger conversations.

"I think it's very honest, and it's an open dialogue," he said.

Berger believes the bus ads will likely preach to the choir.

"Much more nuanced than just saying, 'Here's what we believe.' We're going to do it in a nice way. Christians around the world are trying to be nice about what they believe in as well. It's strategy," said Berger.

Believers send missionaries. Atheists send messages.

"It's a faith talk. They have faith to believe that there isn't a God," said Berger. "What would people think if Christians put up, 'This is what we believe in' on the city bus, how would we be received? I think that would be an interesting take on this whole thing as well."