The Atheist Bus Campaign is superb; a great triumph for the secular cause.
However, I am concerned about some of the attitudes expressed about Ron Heather, the bus driver who does not want to drive such a bus. See story here.
I always flinch when I think a mob is forming, even if it is a mere cyber mob. This is especially the case where I share some of the views being expressed.
I guess this is usually an over-reaction, but it is an instinctive response which I am glad to have.
The bus driver is not a wedding registrar refusing to do a civil ceremony, nor is he a chemist refusing to dispense a morning-after pill. In those cases, the individual is refusing to the job they are actually paid for.
The bus driver does not wear a sandwich board. He does not post adverts on bill boards. He is not an advertising executive with an account. In fact, he is paid nothing for the adverts and I expect it does not feature in either his employment contract or job description.
He is simply paid to drive a bus. This is what he seems willing to do. The bus company and their employee seem to have reached a compromise where he can drive other buses. This is what I hope would happen with an atheist bus driver complaining of a Christian advert.
The advert is incidental to his job, not a central feature. Carrying the advert is not a job requirement.
The Atheist Bus Campaign should be a celebration, a positive signal. We should not be horrid to those who do not share our views.
This is simply not a case where such a person should be forced to be offended.
(Declaration of interest, I come from a family of professional drivers, including bus and taxi drivers!)