Two Christian-based groups have purchased advertisements with Washington D.C. Metro buses to counter the atheist "Why Believe in a God?" bus campaign with their own pro-God Christmas ads.
The Center for Family Development, a Catholic-based non-profit in Bethesda, Md., plans to raise $14,000 to run a campaign called "I Believe Too," which consists for 10 buses with side posters, 10 buses with tail posters and 200 interior bus posters.
The pro-God ads will read: "Why Believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness' sake - GOD."
"Our goal is to counteract the AHA with a positive, upbeat ad of our own that identifies God as our true and loving creator," said JoEllen Murphey, a mother of four from McLean, Va., who was among those outraged over an atheist bus campaign run by the American Humanist Association.
Murphey is partnering with the Center for Family Development in the grassroots effort.
The American Humanist Association began running a $40,000 holiday ad campaign last month in an attempt to reach out to those who might be interested in humanism, which rejects a belief in God and an afterlife. The ads declaring, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake," are currently displayed on the outside and inside of 200 Metro DC buses and will run throughout the Christmas season.
The ads by the atheist group have sparked a public outcry, resulting in hundreds of complaints sent to the transit agency over the ads.
"After a friend forwarded me an article about the AHA ad campaign, I thought, 'Enough!' I am so tired of God and religion being attacked that I decided to start a counter ad campaign," said Murphey.
The "I Believe Too" campaign will begin running next week. As of Dec. 5, over 165 donors have contributed $6,700 toward the campaign, which is enough to cover the 200 interior bus posters and 10 tail bus posters. On Facebook, the campaign has the support of 740 friends.
Donations, which are tax deductible, can be made online via PayPal or sent by check to The Center for Family Development.
Another Christian group, called Pennsylvania Friends of Christ, has also planned a bus ad campaign to counter the atheist bus ads. The group will run ads reading "Believe in God. Christ is Christmas for goodness' sake" on 10 Metro buses for four weeks.
Meanwhile, AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said the "godless holiday campaign" has been an overwhelming success, according to ABC 7 News.
Many Christian groups nationwide said they found the ads offensive, saying it was another attempt by those waging a war on Christmas to ban God from the public square.
The U.S. atheist bus campaign came one month after the British Humanist Association said it will run ads stating “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" on London buses in January.
Unlike Britain, where six in ten people admit they have no religious affiliation, according to a report by the United Nations, the United States is a nation that still overwhelmingly professes a belief in God. Earlier this year, a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 92 percent of Americans believe in God.