However, the campaign hit a roadblock and a speed bump with its attempted launch in Genoa, Italy. Protests by Catholics and Muslims caused the first ad proposal by the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists (UAAR) to be rejected. Similar to the messages in the other cities, it said in Italian: “The Bad News Is God Doesn't Exist, The Good News Is You Don't Need Him.”
The atheists went back to the drawing board and came up with a “softer” infidel message that was acceptable to officials, though still the object of protests: “The Good News Is There Are Millions of Atheists In Italy; The Excellent News Is They Believe In Freedom Of Expression.”
But Providence was not smiling on this endeavor. Launched amidst great fanfare on February 16, the first bus, apparently, didn’t have a prayer. It barely made it out of the terminal before developing problems that forced it back to the depot for repairs. ''By pure chance,'' a member of the Italian atheists association told ANSA news service, ''the vehicle left the depot bright and early but had to go straight back because of a 'curious' problem with the batteries.''
Photo: AP Images