US bus company’s rejection of an atheist ad sparks a lawsuit

By Barry Duke

Residents of Scranton, Pennsylvania, are a godly bunch. So devout, in fact, that a local bus company rejected the ad pictured above because it feared the word ‘atheists’ it might spark violence.

The rejection of the ad by the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) occurred in 2015, and shortly after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against COLTS – but the case has only just come to federal court.

Yesterday, according to this report, lawyers representing the ACLU and Justin Vacula, above, of the NEPA FreeThought Society, alleged that the rejection was a violation of the the atheist group’s right to free speech.

Vacula said:

In this area religion is particularly popular and the viewpoint of atheists or secularists is very unpopular. As an organization we’re seeking to provide a community of supports and have our face in the public.

COLTS argued the advertisement violated a policy set-up in 2013 which prohibited ads that specifically mention politics or religion among other things.

The bus company argues its policy is reasonable because it worries about heated debates or even fights breaking out.

The ad was shown to several bus riders in Scranton on Monday who weighed in on the issue.

Raymond Ward of …read more

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