NYC Atheists group launches series of ads on buses in Manhattan

NYC Atheists group launches series of ads on buses in Manhattan
BY JAMIE LOCHER 
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Sunday, June 28th 2009
 
They may be godless, but they aren't speechless.
 
NYC Atheists are rolling out their mantra on MTA buses all over Manhattan.
 
Their message: "You don't have to believe in God to be a moral or ethical person."
The ad is featured on a 12-foot-long advertisement plastered on two dozen buses around the borough.
 
"We chose a statement that we thought was positive," said Ken Bronstein, president of NYC Atheists. "It's important to get the message out that there's some place for atheists."
 
The ads will run for a month, but the organization plans to expand the campaign to other boroughs if it's successful.
 
The $10,000 campaign is paid for by member donations, and has turned some heads.
 
Judith Elkin, 68, a resident of Miami, was taken aback by the public display.
"Everybody should do whatever they want in their home or church or synagogue, but not on buses," she said.
 
NYC Atheists is a nonprofit organization that lobbies for the separation of church and state.
Inspired by a similar advertisement that recently ran in London, this is the group's first ad campaign and what members consider to be their "coming out."
 
"We want to get atheists to come join us, to get out of the closet," said Bronstein.
 
The MTA said there haven't been any problems with the ad, and that the agency reviewed it like it would any other.
"If there's a problem, we address it with the advertiser and the MTA board," said Jeremy Soffin, an MTA spokesman.
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