Someone was hunting for information about “new humanist advertising” recently. I see New Humanist had an article in November about an ad campaign in the States but I’d rather see how the Centre for Inquiry-Canada’s ad campaign is doing.
Justin Trottier, the executive director of CFI-Canada, had a radio face-off with anti-gay activist Charles McVety in December. Here’s what Trottier wrote about that experience:
perhaps I shouldn’t lose too much sleep over McVety’s opinions. He also stated that Richard Dawkins sparked the Extraordinary Claims Campaign (totally wrong), that the “Origin of Species” explicitly advocates atheism (Darwin couldn’t have been more careful to maintain strict agnosticism in his magnum opus) and that CFI wants to ban bibles in schools, despite the fact that only last week I debated him on the news and stated explicitly – and repeatedly – that while we didn’t want bibles distributed by Gideon in classrooms we believe bibles did belong in school libraries (unlike the Catholic and equally tax-payer funded schools that have banned atheistic literature outright). Actually, McVety acknowledged that point, only to return fire by retorting that relegating bibles just to the library was equivalent to banning them!
Right, because kids aren’t allowed to use libraries. They might learn something not included in the bible…
McVety also claimed the campaign was hate speech but he’s the guy who, according to Justin, called transsexuals “perverts.” This campaign, on the other hand, is merely encouraging people to question long-held ideas and determine logically if they are still worth hanging onto.
And this was interesting:
It’s ironic that we keep hearing from Christians that they’re not offended, but rather are worried that we’re offending muslims. Yet the muslim community has been quiet, at least thus far, on this new Campaign. I think such remarks betray their own insecurity which they choose to externalize upon some other faith group rather than come out and admit it.
When Justin was in Saskatoon for a New Age and Science talk, that was one of the concerns that came up, considering how nuts some Muslims would go over cartoons and stuffed toys named Mohammad and the like. To actually suggest on a billboard that belief Allah was on par with belief in unicorns.. it’s good to see they aren’t treating this as a threat big enough to kill people over.
And, now that Saskatoon Freethinkers is officially a branch of CFI-Canada (as CFI-Saskatoon), we’ll probably be looking into running some of these Extraordinary Claims bus ads here in the city at some point. I expect details are still being ironed out about that but we might learn more at our main meeting at the end of the month. Wait and see, I guess.