Prof. John Stackhouse’s post (here) on the recent “bus campaigns” is quite good and balanced I think.
Apparently, the board of a Vancouver bus company has the following regulation on bus ads:
“No advertisement will be accepted which promotes or opposes a specific theology or religious ethic, point of view, policy or action.”
Stackhouse makes a great point, however, that it’s not only atheists, churches or other groups which are sending a ‘relgious’ message… Actually, many groups might advertise in such a way as to be religiously and morally instructive. In this sense, many groups have their own kind of ‘orthodoxy’ (right belief) and ‘orthopraxis’ (right action), whether they are preaching to us that (a positive example) “it’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking”, or whether they are evangelising to us (a not-so-positive example) that we can borrow x amount of money to splurge on that ‘must have’ this or that.
((Dale resists the urge to write 17 paragraphs about the compelling analogy made by many between ancient empires and modern capitalist global structures/processes; and the common assessment that ancient devotion to various ‘gods’ has been replaced in our culture in quite sneaky-yet-remarkably parallel ways by a fervent and ‘religious’ devotion to identity-based consumption, which is spurred on by the evangelism of advertisements, hailing their various products/services as saviours, etc….))
Quite apart from the issue of what kind of censorship policy bus companys should have or not, this is just another example of how forever joined beliefs and actions are.