The good burghers of Bloomington--a relatively liberal place in the middle of central/south Indiana/midwestern fundie-fucknozzledom (due to the presence there of a large, prestigious university: the State's flagship, indeed)--refused the buy because the sentiment expressed was, to their tiny little parochial minds, "too controversial."
ReligionClause today reports (in brief) on the situation:
The Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign (IABC) was organized to eliminate the stigma of atheism. Building on campaigns in Canada and the UK, its goal was to place ads promoting its views on city busses. However the Bloomington (IN) public transit system rejected IABC's ad, which read "You Can Be Good Without God." The company based its refusal on the transit system's policy that excludes controversial public service announcements or ads on controversial public issues. (Atheist Bus Campaign press release.)Those who have paying attention to the latest news in God will remark, perhaps, on the apparent irony of the latter fact: South Bend, home of uber-Catholic Notre Dame University--where there has developed a brouhaha over an invitation to "thePrez" to address the commencement there--apparently will permit the ads to be mounted on their busses, while the more (comparatively; this is Indiana, home of the modern KKK) secular town 200 miles south proves to be the bigger and worse, bunch of wankers.
On May 5, the ACLU, on behalf of IABC, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the transit company's ad policy as unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The complaint (full text-pdf)) in Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign v. Bloomington Public Transportation Corp., (SD IN, filed 5/5/09) seeks a declaratory judgment and an injunction. An ACLU May 7 press release (Word.doc) as well as IndyChannel on Friday reported on the lawsuit. IABC announced today that, in contrast to Bloomington, the Transpo bus system in South Bend (IN) will run their ad.