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Monday, 26 January 2009

The man who put the “no” in “Genoa”

The National Secular Society reports that, after protests from the Catholic Church, the atheist bus campaign that was planned for the Italian city of Genoa has been cancelled.

The city was chosen because it is the home of the reactionary head of the Italian Catholic Bishops Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco. He is an implacable opponent of all progressive legislation, including that related to artificial insemination and gay marriage.

When the archbishop discovered that the Italian Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics had arranged to plaster the city's buses with the slogan “The bad news is that God doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need him”, he furiously protested to the bus company and the advertising agency that was dealing with it. Like little sheep they immediately cancelled the campaign.

The archbishop was “delighted” with this result, which illustrates just how frightened the Catholic Church is of competition, albeit on such a small scale, and how repressive and bullying it is when anyone dares question its corrupt hegemony.

Today, a Catholic group called the Christian Reformists has launched its own ad campaign, putting up more than 5,000 posters around the capital that state, “God exists, and even atheists know it.” Nobody called for it to be banned.

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