Priest welcomes atheist advertising campaign

 A London priest has welcomed an atheist advertising campaign on public transport which was launched last week.

Fr Stephen Wang, from Allen Hall Seminary said: "I think it is great to get people thinking. I love the idea of this bus winding its way through the streets of London, and someone stopping to think, 'Mmm...Maybe there is no God...But maybe there is.

"Many people simply never think about God or religion as a serious question, and if this prods them a little bit, then that's great"

Fr Stephen said: "My only sadness is that these posters betray such a negative view of religion - as if religious believers are walking around oppressed by worry all the time. Religion is meant to free us from unnecessary anxiety; it's about living life to the full, living as it is meant to be lived; and knowing that life has a meaning beyond death too"

He added that the campaign's slogan: 'There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.' was "pretty weak", and full of its own doubts. |It's almost saying" 'There probably isn't a God, but maybe there is; think about it more; and think what a difference it would make to your life if there is, " he added.

"Hard-line atheism doesn't make sense. It's simply not rational to say, for example, that there is no ultimate cause behind the whole universe, or that there is no deeper meaning to our lives. I like this advert because it is so hesitant, and in its own casual way it opens you up to very serious religious questions."

A total of 200 bendy buses in London and 600 buses across England, Scotland and Wales will carry the ads. The campaign was set up following a fundraising drive prompted by a suggestion from comedy writer Ariane Sherine, who received support from the British Humanist Association and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins.

Ms Sherine had objected to a set of Christian advertisements running on London buses in a piece she wrote for the Guardian in June.

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