Monday, February 16, 2009

Public conveyances. Public is the key word.

Personally, I never believed that an advertisement was necessary. I'm happy to let people believe in whatever they wish as long as they don't try to foist that belief on me without my seeking it out.

And that would be the problem. There isn't a month goes by where there isn't some outfit employing whatever means available to persuade me to give up my life (And money. Don't forget the money. Salvation ain't free, y'know) to whatever religious ponzi scheme they happen to be promoting.

And I suppose if the ad on the side of a bus was offensive... like if it was calling everyone who subscribed to religion or superstition a bunch of weak minded dorks, there would be cause for concern.

But it doesn't attack anyone nor does it single out any one group. It simply states a view and it states it quite weakly to boot.

So, when some city mandarin does this:
The ad, which says “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life,” was rejected based on a clause in OC Transpo’s advertising policy that states, “Religious advertising which promotes a specific ethic, point of view or action that might be offensive to users of the transit system is not permitted,” said John Donaldson, the city’s program manager of transit, marketing and customer service.
You can expect the paper to start moving and the courts to get involved.

What makes it easy for a plaintiff is when the mandarin exposes the defence of his actions by adding this:
“Just because of the advanced publicity on this campaign, we already know that people will be offended,” Donaldson said.
That's prejudicial, pure and simple. And if he can get away with that, well, do we have news for you bus ad managers.

By the way: This is good reading and this is even better.

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