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Iowa bus driver suspended over atheist ad. What's your opinion?

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Des Moines Regional Transit Authority has suspended a driver who refused to drive a bus bearing an ad for an atheist group.

Angela Shiel was suspended on Monday after she refused to drive a bus with an Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers ad on its side. The ad reads "Don't believe in God? You are not alone."

Shiel says the message is against her Christian faith.

The transit authority removed the ads earlier this month after complaints from riders, then reversed course after meeting with the atheist group.

DART general manager Brad Miller says policy states that drivers can't choose which buses they drive.,0,6880378.story




Asked by IhartU at 9:13 AM on Aug. 19, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • First, I don't think religious ads of any kind should be placed on public transportation. This woman (and many riders, apparently) were uneasy about riding on a bus that advertised a contradiction to their beliefs.... non-believers would feel the same had it been a Christian or Islamic or "fill in the blank" ad --- so it's a no-win situation.

    However, IF ads are allowed for one belief (or lack thereof), then equal space needs to be provided for ALL beliefs (or lack thereof)

    As for the suspension of the driver --- yes, I believe her employer was in the right. What are they to do? Poll their drivers to see how many of each - atheist, christian, hindu, wiccan - ad they need so that all the busses are on the road? She may not agree with the amount of exhaust is polluting the air from that bus - but that doesnt mean she gets dibs on the "green" bus.

    Answer by Laura1229 at 10:55 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Unless the bus is privately owned, it shouldn't have religious (or in this case) Atheist messages on them and no, she shouldn't have been suspended, why couldn't they just give her another bus to drive?

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 9:21 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • No, I don't think they should and that is coming from a Christian. If the Ten Commandments have to be taken out of public places then other religions and beliefs should also not be allowed. But I don't understand why Atheists only target Christians. But like I always say... the devil doesn't care what you believe as long as it's not Jesus.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:23 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • What is their job? To drive a bus.

    The driver refused to do their job? Yes.

    What happens when people refuse to do their job? They get fired.

    Really, its that simple. I don't refuse to go to work if they have a billboard up with a church verse on it. Do your job. That advertisement is helping to pay your salary. Personally, if they really had conviction, they would have quit rather than take that "tainted" money.

    As for taking down the ads, then take down every single religious ad from every single church, temple, hospital owned by a church, thing that mentions god, etc...otherwise, get over it.


    Answer by thalassa at 9:26 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Anon, This nation being filled with real Christians and fake ones, of course the Atheists would target the majority. If it was a predominatelya Muslim country, the Ad would say Allah...

    It says GOD, so in essence it can mean ANY God actually.

    Answer by IhartU at 9:28 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Its not just the atheists that have ads... if the atheist ads offend you that much, you can buy your own.

    Thats what happens when a free market meets freedom of religion. Paid advertisement is not the same as the 10 commandments on a courthouse and prayer in schools.

    Answer by thalassa at 9:34 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • I actually don't think religious ads should be on public property....BUT as long as Christianity gets to have billboards, bus ads, TV ads, etc., then others should be allowed too. Christians in this country generally assume that the "word of God" is something that is mainstream, acceptable, and agreeable to everyone...and that other religions should stay private, but not them. Until this superiority complex ceases, other religions should be speaking up too.

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 9:35 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • IA with metalcowgirl^

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:53 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • I agree with metalcowgirl too.

    Answer by deadheadjen at 10:03 AM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • if she wasn't doing her job, then suspension was in order, by policy (assuming) of her employer.
    do i think religious/atheist ads should be on public, that's a catch22 situation. sort of. what's good for the goose, is good for the gander. if they allow other religious ads to be on buses, then cool. i think for the company to reverse their decision shows poor management, though. it only brings about the idea that if you yell loud enough, you'll get your a spoiled child.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 10:13 AM on Aug. 19, 2009