Dangling from the sides of Chicago public buses in recent days: large signs bearing the slogan, "In the beginning, man created God."
Lo and behold, the atheist bus war that raged through London earlier this year has led to the opening of another front in America. The Chicago ads were purchased this month (for a total of $5,000) by the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign.
Despite Chicago's abundance of trains, the Indiana group preferred to buy ads to appear on the outside of buses. "That way, cars can see them. People on the sidewalks can see them, as the buses go zipping by," says Charlie Sitzes, 73, the group's spokesman. Apart from the predictable blogosphere chatter, Chicago has largely greeted the ads with a quick, curious look and then a shrug. While the media attention has drawn donations to the group from across the country, there are no plans to extend the ads' run beyond mid-June. "You don't have to shake the believer tree too hard to get a discussion going," Sitzes says, adding, "We've already won."