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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  • Barb

    The Christian crazies should think ahead and fill the Atheist's busses with Korans before they torch them. Just because you are bat shit crazy doesn't mean that you can't multi-task.

    • the_problem_child

      If they were thinking ahead, they wouldn't be torching buses at all. Insurance doesn't cover their criminal defense.

    • nounverb911

      Hey Barb, welcome home, how was Vegas?

      • Barb

        Thank you! I missed you. Vegas was wonderful. We were sitting at the concert and waiting for Paul to come out when Yoko walked by with Sean and took a seat in the audience. Paul played "All We are Saying" (Is Give Peace a Chance) and the camera pans to Yoko and she is rocking it, smiling and waving. It made my heart smile. Paul introduced her and George's widow, Olivia and the rest of the good people in the group.

        • Nothingisamiss


        • V572 [SSAN]

          Yet some say Las Vegas is a trashy, semen-stained collection of architectural simulacra of things people wish they could really see (Paris, NY, Venice, etc). Who's to say?

    • comrad_darkness

      By the way, I continue to (heart) your comments. Just thought you should know.

      • Barb

        That is very sweet of you to say Comrad, thanks!

  • JoshuaNorton

    zealots or upstanding citizens with a strong faith acting out

    And the difference between the two would be what exactly? Much like the difference between Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, I would imagine.

    • arihaya

      uh oh there are BIG difference between Taliban and al Qaeda,,

      Taliban is a predominantly Pasthun militant who interested in reestablishing hardliner state in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while Al Qaeda is predominantly Arab with more globalist agenda

      • JoshuaNorton

        Yes. Much like zealots are more globalist and "upstanding citizens" are localized. My point exactly.

        But they're all terrorist groups of extremists who misinterpret the tenets of their religion to further a violent agenda, which is what my comment was really addressing.

    • PubOption

      I think the Zealots wanted the Romans out of Judea. I don't know what they would want in Arkansas.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Zip code 72655 — any Romans there?

  • Guppy06

    "upstanding citizens with a strong faith acting out"

    Then how are they still "upstanding?"

    Remember: felonies in the name of Jesus are forgiven.

    • snicker snack

      Pretty sure a lot of them aren't up standing, but sitting on their personal mobility scooters.

  • i'm just impressed they think they can buckle that Belt.

    • C_R_Eature

      That's why they wear the Bible Suspenders. Also.

      • flamingpdog

        aka Disbelief Suspenders.

        • C_R_Eature

          WINA Gold Star & Cookie for you!

        • Very, very good.

    • HempDogbane

      Arkansas is the velcro of the Bible Belt. It's 2011, people !

    • Negropolis

      Forget the Bible Belt. These folks are way past the point of wearing pants. Who the hell do they think they're fooling? These fuckers need a Bible Muumuu.

    • They's got thier Truss so they can still "fit" in those jeans they wore in Highschool. Yep the Lord does work in misteryius ways.

  • pukebot

    so let me do the math. the additional dip shit rider costs $35,900.

    • I'm just still confused as to how the bus system has gone so long without having its own crazy Christian insurance? You know, just for your average, everyday sort of fundamentalist freakout wherein, say, some crazy lady slashes up the side of the bus with a bowie knife because the J.C. Penney breezy summer cotton blouses in the ad are too low-cut?

      Or is this EXTRA crazy Christian freakout insurance? Because, like, isn't that religious discrimination or something?

  • glamourdammerung

    So-called Americans in the conservative movement are just jealous that Hitler banned atheists.

  • ThundercatHo

    Bomb a Bus for Jeezus!

  • Barb

    What if God was one of us
    Just a slob like one of us
    Just a stranger on the bus
    burning it so no one gets home

    • Yeah, yeah, God is great.

      • Barb

        God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.

        • flamingpdog

          And Downfisty is just three minutes ahead of me tonight. Guess he/she/both doesn't like God.

    • C_R_Eature

      The Bus don't work

      'cause the Vandals took the Handles.

  • Freedom costs a buck-o-five, but apparently atheism costs $36,000.
    What a country.

  • AJWjr.

    I'm in the wrong line of work…

  • Negropolis

    Wait, hold on a minute. "Arkansas atheists"? The mind; she is boggled. What, all two of them? My paternal grandparents are/were Arkansans, and they are/were Catholic, which might as well be atheists to most of the population, down there. I can't even imagine what it's like to be an atheist in Arkansas.

    BTW, there is a mini real-estate investment boom in Detroit. The properties are so dirt cheap they are attracting Canadians, Australians (a lot of them, oddly), and some Europeans speculators. They come in and buy up entire blocks of foreclosed homes, and as soon as the fools realize it's going to be years before prices will rise there, they leave them to rot just like all the domestic speculators has before them.

    • Steverino247

      It's not easy to be an atheist anywhere when you speak up about being fucked over by the religious.

      • Negropolis

        Oh, there are plenty of places in this nation where it's pretty easy. Arkansas isn't one of them. Maybe in downtown Hot Springs, but that's about it.

      • emmelemm

        Believe me, it wasn't easy for an atheist group in SEATTLE (FFS) to put a sign up next to a Christmas sign. If it ain't easy in Washington (state), it ain't easy anywhere.

    • Terry

      When I moved to Texas in the mid 80's, I was amazed to learn that I couldn't really be Catholic because white people aren't Catholic. Oh, and I was told I worship the Pope. I didn't realize that either, but so many kind, well mannered people went out of their way to enlighten me.

      • HistoriCat

        Bless your heart …

      • Nothingisamiss

        I remember my first year in Georgia when I learned that Catholics were debbil worshippers.

        "You've actually BEEN IN a Catholic church?!"

      • I, for one, worship all the Christian gods.

        • Native_of_SL_UT

          I worship all the Gods. Jesus, Allah, Thor, Tommy the Pinball Wizard….
          Why take chances?

      • Negropolis

        Speaking of the Catholic church…a schism of sorts is forming in Detroit

        • Doktor Zoom

          "Rev. Bob Wurm, 78, a retired Catholic priest, presided over the Mass…despite a strict order from Archbiship Allen Vigneron for priests and deacons to not take part in today's Mass because it was led by groups considered heretical by the Catholic Church"

          Gotta love hearing the word "heresy" in 2011. Next, the Comfy Chair!

          • mumbly_joe

            honestly, the part that gets me is that the groups saying that maybe clergy who rape children should be punished is the "heretical" one, while the one that is saying that yoga (!) is evil because it is kinda-sorta-vaguely related to other, browner, belief systems is the one that's totally cool with the Vatican and has all these things straight.

            I dunno, maybe this means your religious institution has misplaced priorities, is all!

      • Every time the Pope rolls around the world with his posse, it sure looks like worship to me.

        • Terry

          The Rolling Stones, the British Royal Family, Sarah Palin, Paris Hilton, etc all draw an adoring crowd or used to do so.

          • It's called Idolatry, no matter if it's a slut, a grifter or an old Nazi wearing the dress.

      • Comeback: "What do you fuckers call what you do in Texas Stadium on a Sunday morning, then?!"

      • ChessieNefercat

        What, no Mary worship? It has always been a treat to explain to some well-meaning person that no actually I don't worship the Pope or Mary and in fact was always taught that it would be very wrong to do so. Only to be told very kindly that I was mistaken and did worship them as I was taught to; "they" just made sure I didn't realize it.

    • caitifty

      I moved here from Australia about 10 years ago; according to my parents the real-estate pages in Australian newspapers keep pushing pieces about the fortunes people have made scooping up foreclosed properties in the US. I suspect there's someone out there who is actually managing to make money off a group of people who have absolutely no idea what parts of cities like Detroit are likely to recover within the next decade or so and what parts are more likely to be abandoned completely, and distant and avaricious Australians make a good target audience for their schemes..

      • comrad_darkness

        Also, they and Canadians still have access to excessive levels of credit and, unlike Americans, haven't yet learned the very hard way that debt!=wealth.

        They will learn very soon, however.

    • Boojum_Reborn

      Probably about like being an atheist in rural East Tennessee, in third grade, in 1971. As in, debate was about whether men have one rib fewer than women, because that's the one used to make Eve.

      • comrad_darkness

        I was taught that they did in Catholic school in the midwest. It's bad everywhere.

        I honestly only figured out this was bogus because on some cop show they were not figuring out the sex of the skeleton by counting the ribs. No joke.

    • vodkamuppet

      There's definately money to be made by anyone owning the abandoned warehouse space on the riverfront right now. I barely even recognize my own neighborhood anymore, what with the working streetlights, nice jogging paths and all the new, non-rapey bars. I don't like it, once it gets gentrified my rents going up.

      • Negropolis

        Really? Seems like all kinds of development after 2006 stalled in Detroit. The riverwalk is nice, but not much else is going on. None of the condo projects, for instance, ever made it off the ground. Seems like Midtown was the only district to continue the revitalization that started earlier last decade. Even downtown slowed down a helluva lot.

  • OzoneTom

    I'd love to buy some “Insane Christian” insurance if only it weren't so darned expensive.

    • the_problem_child

      It's a shitty deal if it only pays out for fire-related incidents. It should protect one from the full gamut of batshit crazy.

      • How much for the election-outcome liability rider?

    • DahBoner

      That there Jesus seemed like such a nice feller.

      But most of his followers are real assholes…

    • Insurance against my extended family would be nice– but at that price? Nobody's buying… *cue infomercial voice over*

    • lumpenprole

      Just imagine what such a policy would owe Michael Schaivo.

    • easybaked

      Geico. 15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on all your religious insurance needs. Call now, operators are standing by.

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Well, there goes Christine O'Donnell's plans to move to Arkansas to run for Senate.

    • C_R_Eature

      Why the hell not?

      Christine O'Donnell. Her motto's: "Shave the Rubes, Save the Pubes."

      Arkansas would be perfect.

  • RadioJr.

    You know who else was an atheist?

    • nounverb911

      Ayn Rand?

    • LowProfileinGA

      Peter, who denied the godhood of Jesus 3 times?

    • Fare la Volpe

      Thomas Jefferson.

    • C_R_Eature

      Bertrand Russell?

    • Hu Jintao?

      • LesBontemps

        Yeah, but Hu's sorry now?

        • zhubajie

          I'm sure he burns money for his ancestors, then claims it's not religious.

        • easybaked

          Dubya used to think that Hu's on first.

    • SpongeBob?

    • SexySmurf

      Barack Obama Sr. Really. I'm surprised the wingnuts don't mention that fact more often.

      • Negropolis

        Atheists aren't seen as quite the threat Muslins are painted to be in this country by the wingnuts, so if and when they do mention it, it's secondary to every other smear, and then only by the semi-intellectuals.

        • RadioJr.

          That would be an interesting poll. What is more despicable? Atheist or Muslin?

          • Negropolis

            Already done. I'll try and find it, but people polled said they'd vote for Muslim, Mormon, and gay presidents before they'd vote for an atheist. It was literally at the bottom of the heap.

    • Paul the Apostle (in his previous job)?

      • mog253

        When he was Saul?

    • flamingpdog


      "God is dead." – Nietzche.
      "Neitzsche is dead." -God.

    • Mumbletypeg

      Jesus Christ?

      … oh I thought the question was "who else was a theist"

    • emmelemm


      • poncho_pilot

        i'm in good company then. cheers!

      • Fukui_sanYesOta

        Beat me to it.

      • mourningnmerica


    • The internet answer is Hitler.. it's always Hitler.. Still Hitler. (even though he was a Catholic and said as much numerous times).

    • easybaked

      Christopher Hitchens?

  • nounverb911

    "because Jesus did not believe in free speech, and the Bible teaches followers to belligerently attack anyone who says something you don’t like"
    Jeebus talked about this during his Bar Mitzvah speech, just after he thanked everyone for the fountain pens.

  • Negropolis

    Please tell me, for the love of everything good and holy, that you missed the space bar in name "LeeWood Thomas."

  • If Arkansas is the "belt buckle" of the Bible/Obesity/Diabeeuts2/Uneducated/Reactionary Belt then I'm surprised the place hasn't broken apart.

  • Sparky_McGruff

    Now I just need to buy some insurance against those damn "Angry Birds".

  • DemmeFatale

    Arkansas atheists?! WTF?!
    These people have some big, brass, truck-nutz!!!!!

    • YasserArraFeck

      I spent 6 years in Little Rock, which is a little oasis of (relative) sanity in a desert of "IGottaFriendInJeebus" craziness. There are some smart, funny, irreverent atheists there (you can spot them by their secret handshakes and asbestos overcoats).

  • Fare la Volpe

    That guy holds a different opinion from us.

    Let's git 'im!!

    • ChessieNefercat

      I think you just summed up the entire thought processes of ever so many people.

  • KeepFnThatChicken

    See kids? A poor education leads to higher insurance premiums.

  • C_R_Eature

    Hold on a second while I consult the Book of Armaments…

  • Guppy06

    But really, isn't hating on Catholics something that the atheists and the Talibangelicals can both get behind?

    • tessiee

      "The Catholics hate the Protestants,
      The Protestants hate the Catholics,
      The Muslims hate the Hindus,
      Everybody hates the Jews."
      — Tom Lehrer

    • zhubajie

      Well, modern atheists DO seem to imitate the born-again style….

  • AJWjr.

    Go to Home Depot. The tool belts are ever expandable, and the nail pouches hold guns and ammo. Or bibles.

  • rocktonsam

    atheists hate merkia, wall st. knows about this ?

  • tessiee

    Nice bus ya got there.
    Be a shame if anything… *happened* to it.

    • DahBoner

      Watch out for Pringles cans and bags of pork rinds on bus…

    • Your bus sleeps with the symbolic Jesus fishes.

      • poncho_pilot

        i'm gonna make you an offer you can't refudiate.

        • ChessieNefercat

          Are you lookin' for a squirmish?

  • fuflans

    arkansas atheists should just move to NY or miami or LA or whatever.

    the great bifurcation of america needs to be complete before the secular rapture.

  • Callyson

    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."
    OK, let's follow the logic where it takes us…
    Advertisers who use images of scantily – clad women need to take out more insurance. You never know what crazed out – of – control pervert might act out after seeing such an image and assault another bus rider.
    Advertisers who promote beer and wine need to take out more insurance. You never know if an alcoholic might act out after seeing such an image, reach for his or her flask, and in so doing fall over and sustain an injury.
    Oh, and for sure, advertisers who promote banks need to take out more insurance. You never know what wrongfully foreclosed – upon homeowner might act out and throw projectiles at the ad, which might bounce off and hit someone on the head.

    • the_problem_child

      Political advertising should require special premiums, too. You never know when an out-of-control Michele Bachmann supporter might decide to shoot up an entire bus-load of human cargo.

    • tessiee

      What about people who play tiddley winks?
      A tiddley could ricochet and put an eye out.

    • mourningnmerica

      Besides, they only get violent over negroes and queers.

      • ChessieNefercat

        Look out if you are a gay, Negro, atheist.

  • Nothingisamiss

    Well, I know for me that the best way for me to believe in Jesus' love, compassion and regard for the poor is to torch the bus I'm riding.

  • __kth__

    Downfist troll is downfisting for Jesus and His vandals.

    • ganmerlad

      Upfist counter-troll reporting for duty.

  • Callyson

    Also, downfist troll might want to get extra insurance on his/her/its computer. You never know when some hacker might act out…just sayin'…

  • I think they should call themselves the Arkansas Atheists Association–better known as 'The AAA'.

    • Negropolis

      I wish they'd offer roadside assistance. Some of us would need it on our travel through Real America.

    • DahBoner

      Do they still offer maps?

      I'm looking for a good vegetarian restaurant in the Ozarks…

      • LesBontemps

        "Good vegetarian restaurant in the Ozarks" is one of those "thought experiments", right?

        • The UrbanSpoon app would go crazy– the only results being 'possum' 'squirrel' 'rodent' and then your phone would promptly take a shit in your lap.

  • flamingpdog

    "The insurance money needed from us basically says CATA and On The Move trust the atheists in this community more so than the religious …" Thomas said.

    Well, duh, wouldn't YOU?

  • RadioJr.

    Where is our favorite Arkansas Atheist, the one who, hoot, who favors owls?

  • gullywompr

    What if Rosa Parks had a car?

    • poncho_pilot

      what if god was one of us.
      a christian arsonist.

    • mourningnmerica

      It would have been a bitch, trying to drive it from the back seat.

  • flamingpdog

    "because Jesus did not believe in free speech."

    Slightly OT, but I seem to remember from my Sunday School days that historical Jesus befriended a gubmint TAX COLLECTOR. What would Republican Jesus have to say about that? Mebbe these two guys need to sit down and have a talk.

  • tessiee

    Step 1: Set bus on fire
    Step 2: ?????
    Step 3: Profit!

    • Warpde

      Step2: Run the fuck away.

  • Mumbletypeg

    "Get onto the bus
    That's gonna take
    you back
    to Be-el-ze-bub…"

  • Warpde

    Damn good thing I'm agnostic.
    Gotta keep them guessing.

    • I'm a militant agnostic myself. I don't know, and you don't either!

  • alaninthecastro

    There are no atheists in buses.

    • Naked_Bunny

      But buses are communist!

      It's so confusing.

    • flamingpdog

      There are no atheists in FoxNewsholes.

      • gullywompr

        By Jove, you've done it. "Foxholes" – a new meme is born…

        As in: "Bill O'Reilly is a major-league Foxhole".

    • mourningnmerica

      Not when they're plunging, anyway.

  • emmelemm

    So, $36,000 insurance on $5,000 of ads. Yeah, that sounds fair.

  • mavenmaven

    They've murdered millions thus far in his "honor", so why stop with bus burnings?

  • flamingpdog

    Hop on the bus, Gus
    You don't need to discuss much
    Just drop off the bomb, Tom
    And get yourself the hell outta there.

  • GhostBuggy

    An Arkansonian named LeeWood is an atheist? I don't believe it.

  • tribbzthesquidz

    The general populace takes in stride being told of eternal anal punishment but the thought of things being just like before one is born is more terrifying somehow. Not to me. I'll take my big sleep over the Xian's fire-rape fantasy and streets paved with gold any day.

    • Plus if you did manage to get into heaven look at the company you'd have to keep…. for eternity.

  • poncho_pilot

    more like the elastic waistband of the bible belt, amirite?

  • i wonder how much insurance is needed to protect the x-mas decorations put up at taxpayer expense, you know, to protect their religious symbols from the dreaded atheists that keep waging war on christma$.

  • VinnyThePooh

    Can we finally put warning labels/disclaimers on religion?

    • "Objects in the Mirror are closer than you think".

  • There are no atheists in foxholes and now there aren't any on buses in Arkansas.

  • BZ1

    Little Rock, Arkansas, the home of freedom and enlightenment, that one, right??

  • MrFizzy

    Not much different than that nutty Mexican reporter in the coochie-mamma dress walking around in a mens' locker room, then wondering why she got harassed.

  • carlgt1

    the terrorists won!

  • ttommyunger

    Texas, Alabama, Virginia, now Arkansas! This "Craziest State in the Union" Competition is getting way out of hand.

    • KeepFnThatChicken

      Do NOT forget Tennessee. I swear, some of the dumb shit our legislature has done in three months' time…

      • ttommyunger

        I had, at long last, forgotten Tennessee. Not very kind of you to remind me.

    • Uh, how the hell did you forget Arizona? They're probably the front-runner at this point. And I'd also like to nominate Kansas for the state rep who declared that getting impregnated in a violent rape is like getting a flat tire as well as the one who suggested shooting immigrants from a helicopter.

      • ttommyunger

        I haz olds. I forgets lots of stuff. Sorry.

    • user-of-owls

      Listen, I'm a fucking pure-bred Mass-hole, yankee to the DNA so that's my fucking cred.

      Been in Arkansas for twenty years now, as a friggin' political scientist, and guess what? THIS STATE DOES NOT EVEN COME CLOSE TO MOTHER-FUCKING CRAZY. We have ludicrous outbreaks, ludicrous characters for sure, but guess what: they nearly never gain traction. Last legislative session? Anti-immigrant, xenophobic, anti-labor, homophobic (etc, etc.) bills introduced? Scads. Said bills passed? ZERO.

      Is owls pissy? Oh, yes it would appear so. And why is that? Because the default mode for Arkansas politically is apparently an amalgamation of all the horrors unfolding in other states. Sorry, haters, this place is poor and ignorant and super paranoid about how outsiders see it, but the reality is that both politically and economically the only thing extremist about the state is its moderation.

      • ttommyunger

        OK. Chill, iss all good. I personally like “poor, ignorant super-paranoid” people. Hell, after an endorsement like yours, I'm considering taking up residence there. Sounds like I'd fit right in.

  • comrad_darkness

    Xtian==no self control.

    Duly noted.

  • snapfinger23

    You know, I kind of thought one of the advantages of atheism was that you wouldn't have to deal with crazy people trying to push their belief system on you. But apparently atheism is the new religion.

    Oh yawning void of internal darkness, save me from your followers and their stupid ads!

  • comrad_darkness

    Come on, this is the best message they can think to post?

    How about:
    Deaths in the bible caused by . . .
    Satan: 10 God: 2,476,633

  • TheRealJimbo

    Arkansas atheists are the worst.

  • notreelyhelping

    They had to destroy their souls in order to save them.

    • Negropolis

      Really, I want to see this upfisted so many times…

  • Redhead

    “Arkansas is the buckle of the Bible Belt"

    Does that make Louisiana the diaper or the cock?

    • ChessieNefercat

      Vitter? I'd have to go with diaper.

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