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this will now cost a thousand dollarsA group of Arkansas atheists attempting to run ads on public buses promoting their beliefs are being asked to pay a $36,000 insurance premium because the bus company’s ad agency fears terrible Christian vandals will set fire to the buses, or something. The improbable-sounding group — “Arkansas atheist” is like hearing “Detroit real-estate investment boom” — had hoped to buy $5,000 worth of ads telling people things like, “many people enjoy a godless lifestyle just fine, like the Pope.” But probably wingnuts will be upset about this, because Jesus did not believe in free speech, and the Bible teaches followers to belligerently attack anyone who says something you don’t like about your Prophet Muhammed God. It’s okay, because public transportation is also socialist!

From Reuters:

LeeWood Thomas, a spokesman for the atheist group, quoted an email from the advertising agency obtained by the coalition that read: “Arkansas is the buckle of the Bible Belt and I can easily envision zealots or upstanding citizens with a strong faith acting out.”

Thomas said it’s clear his group is being punished for the actions of others.

“The insurance money needed from us basically says CATA and On The Move trust the atheists in this community more so than the religious, otherwise the churches that advertise would have that extra insurance premium added to their total cost,” Thomas said.

So that will be our new solution to religious intolerance: ask everyone who is not insane to pay a higher insurance premium. Free speech will no longer be completely free, because only socialists want things for free, and instead it will cost a few extra grand, like in capitalism. [Reuters]

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