"At first, we almost felt sorry for the campaign, as its difficulties showed that there were not many atheists in Britain, and certainly not many who were willing to put their hands in their pocket. But when we saw the message, we couldn't believe it.(My emphasis). But without telling anyone, and with the benefit of hindsight, he later changed his statement to a rather more upbeat:
"Stunts like this demonstrate how militant atheists are often great adverts for Christianity."
"We've donated the money because we think the campaign is a brilliant way to get people thinking about God.(Again my emphasis). Furthermore, Theos have dropped their overall view that the campaign "is so bad" in the light of the ££££s raised so far because they have amended from:
"Campaigns like this demonstrate how active atheists are often great adverts for Christianity."
The campaign is clearly anti-religious, but its message 'There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life' is so bad that Theos believes that, like the Alpha posters it attacks, it will benefit the cause of religion.to:
The campaign is clearly intended to be anti-religious, but its message ('There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life') will, claims Theos, encourage people to think, like the Alpha posters it seeks to attack.As an aside, Theos have clearly demonstrated they have a role to play in developing campaign techniques. Thanks for your help in sending the atheist bus message all round the world. Atheist bus supporters have been quick to adopt Theos' ethical lead of donating to a rival campaign with a pithy message. Unfortunately the atheist comments sometimes lack the sophisticated qualities of Theos' well-funded PR campaign. (Example from JustGiving Alphaposters: Sir Cliff - 24/10/2008 - £2.00 - C'mon all you Christians! Let's be 'avin' you! What you've contributed so far wouldn't fill a colostomy bag!).
The ethics of changing your press releases is of course quite shady, so who better to ask about this than morality "experts" Theos. I'll drop them an e-mail and I should get a reply before the weekend is out because they are known to work on Sundays. At the time of writing it is not known whether one of the benefits of religion is that you are allowed to re-write history, or whether this is a case of the omnipresent Google catching out the God squad.