There Probably Is No Bus, Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Ride

I was gleeful at the news yesterday that the TTC had approved the atheist bus ads that have been running in the UK. And then less impressed by the response from both the media and the public.

How is it that when a Christian organization runs an ad on a bus, we’re all supposed to accept it as their right to free speech, yet when an ad runs supporting another belief system, it’s “disgusting”? The TTC has stated that it would be illegal for them to refuse the ads but added a caveat that they would consider removing them “if there are complaints”. And how long will it take before complaints are filed?

The group behind the ads, the Freethought Association of Canada, simply wants to open a dialogue, yet so many people have already come out with small-minded comments that preclude any kind of conversation.

Which, from a personal standpoint, is part of why I became an atheist in the first place. Because most organized religions seem unable to accept differing points of view, and have been brainwashed taught into thinking that only their version is the right one, that only the people who follow their doctrine will make it to the afterlife – without even knowing if an afterlife exists. They can’t all be right, can they? The logical conclusion then (and note I’m stressing the word logical here) is that the probably isn’t a God. And yet – the world hasn’t stopped spinning. Imagine that.

The Gold Ribbon

While I love the concept of public transportation, and use it regularly, there are times when it’s not all its cracked up to be – like rush hour.

Working from home, I seldom experience the crush of people jammed onto a bus or subway car, and given that I’m subject to the occasional panic attack when I find myself in a crowded place and unable to easily get out, that’s probably a good thing.

Last Monday, I had to go uptown at evening rush hour. The streetcar ride was fine, and I managed a seat on the subway, but within a few stopped people were crammed in with no room to move. Directly in front of me were a pair of girls and a guy, talking about music and friends and school as young people do.

The one girl closest to me was a wearing a hounds tooth wool coat. Near the hem were a couple of threads and some lint, which I thought was odd, but not unusual. However when she shifted position, her left elbow ended up very close to my face and I was confronted with a piece of gold ribbon that was stuck to her sleeve.

Continue reading “The Gold Ribbon”