Atheists are continuing their aggressive campaign against religion in the United Kingdom with the launch of an atheist student federation dubbed by members as the “anti-God squad.”
The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies is the name of the new organization for non-religionist students in the United Kingdom. The federation says it aims to be the voice for atheist students and promote understanding of science, according to U.K.-based The Guardian newspaper.
It is also planning campaigns to protest across the country against what it calls privileges enjoyed by religious people. The “privileges” cited by atheists in the United Kingdom include public funds for faith schools and seats in the House of Lords for faith leaders.
Some of the world’s most prominent atheists are supporters of the new anti-God student federation, including British biologist Richard Dawkins.
Chloe Clifford-Frith, 22, a recent Oxford University graduate who is in charge of the federation’s public affairs, says, “We live in a world where religious governments execute adulterers and homosexuals, deny women and minority groups basic freedoms, and circulate fraudulent claims about contraception and scientific research,” according to The Guardian.
"We are privileged, in such a world, to live in a country where we can even have this debate and, as such, we have a duty to bring it into our universities and beyond,” she said.
The announcement for the formation of a student atheist organization was made Thursday, just a month after the British Humanist Association (BHA) launched an atheist ad campaign on 200 bendy buses in London and 600 other vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales, according to BBC. The bus ad reads: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies is affiliated with BHA.
Other European atheist societies had taken a cue from their British counterpart and also began pursuing ad campaigns on public buses. Buses in Spain began running the same slogan as the BHA but translated into Catalan in late January.
In Italy, atheists had secured the bus ad campaign to run in the northern city of Genoa, but were blocked by conservative forces in the heavily Catholic country. Due to strong opposition from conservative political parties, the agency in charge of placing bus ads decided to pull out of the agreement.
Christians in the United Kingdom have also made efforts to respond to the bus ads. The Christian Party recently launched ads on London buses declaring, “There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life.” Also, members of Christian Unions in universities across the country are giving away 400,000 copies of a special student edition of St. Mark’s Gospel to get students thinking about God.