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← Man refuses to drive 'No God' bus

Man refuses to drive 'No God' bus - Comments

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 1 by prettygoodformonkeys

(gathers popcorn, opens beer....)

"Let the games begin!"

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:30:00 UTC | #306857

rustylix's Avatar Comment 2 by rustylix

"Delusional man refuses to stop worrying and enjoy his life."

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:32:00 UTC | #306858

skyhook's Avatar Comment 3 by skyhook

I'm sure that this bus driver has endorsed every other advertisement on the buses he has driven....

First Bus "understand [his] views". Pathetic.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:33:00 UTC | #306859

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 4 by Quetzalcoatl

I've already said my piece about this:

I Won't Drive "No God" Bus

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:33:00 UTC | #306860

Mayhemm's Avatar Comment 5 by Mayhemm

What a whiner! He's like a child throwing a tantrum. All we need is video of him stamping his foot.

Can anybody predict what the reaction would be if an atheist refused to drive a bus with a religious message? He'd be told to "suck it up" if he wanted to keep his job.

Doesn't the bus company realize that they're opening themselves up for any of their drivers to refuse to drive based on a bus' ads? Or is this case a special exception because it's on religious grounds?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:34:00 UTC | #306861

skyhook's Avatar Comment 6 by skyhook

Off-topic, hope you all understand the need to advertise at short notice as I only just found out.

Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto is giving a talk at the University of South Florida, Tampa, tomorrow (Saturday 17th) at 10am in the Marshall Center.

Admin - can you move this to the upcoming events?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:40:00 UTC | #306863

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 8 by mordacious1

" first reaction was shock horror."

C'mon, it's not like it was a severed head or anything.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:40:00 UTC | #306866

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 7 by Matt H.

If he refuses to do his job, he should be sacked.

People shouldn't get special treatment just because they happen to be religious.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:40:00 UTC | #306865

Beachbum's Avatar Comment 10 by Beachbum

Can an Atheist (or anyone else) refuse to ride on a bus driven by someone deluded to the point of, skyfaries, metaphysical manipulation through prayer, or believes their endorsement of a particular advert matters to anyone else.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:41:00 UTC | #306868

a non e-moose's Avatar Comment 9 by a non e-moose

Although I personally think he's being silly, I can respect that he refuses to drive the bus. If I were a bus driver, I would want to have the right to refuse to drive busses with messages I strongly oppose. It may cause trouble for future bus campaigns though.

One I might have refused was the "Islam is a religion of peace" campain a few years ago, because I think that, unfortunately, it is a message that is blatantly false. Some parts of its texts speak of the virtue of peace and some of the followers may chose to emphasise those parts, but as a general statement "Islam is a religion of peace" is very false.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:41:00 UTC | #306867's Avatar Comment 11 by

does this mean that every First Bus driver now has a precedent to rely upon if the adverts for a Faith do not correspond to his/her own fiath...i.e: A muslim bus driver may refuse to drive a bus becasue the female models for L'Oreal are not appropriately dressed? A Christian may refuse to drive a bus advertising Harry Potter because it 'glamourises and trivialises' black magic and wizardry? It would be an interesting position for First Bus to try to defend; let's see how they deal with an atheist bus driver who objects to adverts for Christian Charities.

BUGGER: mayhemm beat me to it ...sorry

More sinisterly: Does it measn First BUs would 'understand' if the same bus driver refused to work with a Muslim or Seikh colleague because their beleifs 'implied' that a)his God doesn't exist or b)there is more than one god. Ins't the bus drievr, anyway, guilty of religous discrimination?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:44:00 UTC | #306869

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 12 by scottishgeologist

What was that that Richard Dawkins said in the interview' "taking offence, its the only weapon they have'"


Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:46:00 UTC | #306870

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 13 by Ivan The Not So Bad

This is the link to the story in the Southampton Echo. It takes comments which, no doubt, this man and, more to the point, his cringing employers will read.

Would they accommodate a non-religious employee in this way?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:47:00 UTC | #306871

Frankus1122's Avatar Comment 16 by Frankus1122

First Bus said in a statement: "As a company we understand Mr Heather's views regarding the atheist bus advert and we are doing what we can to accommodate his request not to drive the buses concerned."

If I owned the bus company I wold tell him to do his job or be fired.

(When did we come back?)

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #306874

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 15 by Oystein Elgaroy

Surely the company could have fired the man if they wanted to?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #306873

Pony's Avatar Comment 14 by Pony

"First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Mr Heather does not have to drive the buses. "

Seems like firing him is the most efficient solution.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #306872

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 17 by PrimeNumbers

What a blinkin fool.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #306875

Kit Finn's Avatar Comment 18 by Kit Finn

It's heartening that this is literally a one-off incident. Am I being naive to think that this means that all the other bus drivers didn't care sufficiently to protest?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:55:00 UTC | #306879

Eventhorizon's Avatar Comment 19 by Eventhorizon

Yey! More publicity. Thank you Mr Heather

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:00:00 UTC | #306881

ZT's Avatar Comment 20 by ZT

Surely the driver is being prejudiced and should be disciplined for his bigoted viewpoint?

If I did something like that in my place of work regarding a muslim, christian or ethnic worldview I would be pulled up infront of my managers, completely bollocked and probably fired. And then be promptly sued for hurting the feelings of some poor sap who overheard my hypothetical mutter.

Why do these religous nutters get away with these actions and comments? Isn't this an example of religous hatred that the government is dead against?

Maybe a bit harsh but I'm so fed up with this preferential treatment these peple of 'faith' receive. Can you imagine the whining in the papers and the news if an atheist did this to a muslim or a catholic advert? No doubt chirstian voice would be groveling for an example to be made and maybe eventually a politician would have to eventually step in and comment on our disgusting morals at picking on a harmless sticker on a bus promoting honest family values!

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:01:00 UTC | #306882

AllanW's Avatar Comment 21 by AllanW

Oystein/Frankus and a few others;

the bus company is obliged to tread carefully in this kind of dispute to cover its arse in the event of an Industrial Tribunal. I won't go into much detail but one of the first things that will/would be asked if before a tribunal is 'what did the company do to accommodate the persons views without impeding the companies competitive position@' paraphrasing.

You have to demonstrate that as a first response you attempted to juggle work assignments etc so that the disputed issue was never a problem. Only then would you go on to other aspects of the case to show that you adhered to the company and industry codes of practice (if applicable), the employment at work acts (where applicable) and any other aspects of the law.

Only if you satisfy the tribunal on all of these points would a claim by the employee for unfair or wrongful dismissal fail. Of course this condensed version lacks much detail but you get the gist.

Operationally what the management can do is SAY they've looked at re-organising bus schedules and driver assignments but it wasn't possible. Then, as long as they adhere to the policies in place and don't bungle them, if the employee made a claim it would be defended.

See the tribunal results from the case in Bristol of the counsellor for, I think, the Samaritans who refused to counsel gay couples. The tribunal rules that the claim for unfair dismissal was not upheld because the organisation did all the things above.

As long as the company/organisation plays reasonably fairly with the employee and, most importantly, adheres to written policies, refusals to perform contracted work like this prat engage in should lead to disciplinary action.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:02:00 UTC | #306883

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 22 by kaiserkriss

What a dweeb...however First bus are even stupider. They have set themselves up for real trouble in the future.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen err in this case,resign. jcw

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:03:00 UTC | #306885

boogerjames's Avatar Comment 23 by boogerjames

A Christian bus driver has refused to drive a bus with an atheist slogan proclaiming "There's probably no God"

Where does this guy get the right to be offended as a "Christian?" I don't see any mention of Jesus or "the god of the Christian Bible".

I think anyone who believes in any sky fairy should get to be offended. "What, the Flying Spaghetti Monster probably doesn't exist? Well, up yours I'm not driving the bus!"

Give this guy a little cheese to go with his whine and tell him to drive the damn bus.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:03:00 UTC | #306886

brian thomson's Avatar Comment 26 by brian thomson

I guess that means you should avoid driving any bus with "probably" on it - as in the report here, eh?

A lager loving bus driver from Southampton has refused to drive a bus carrying the advertisement: "Carlsberg, the best beer in the world. Probably."

"Everyone knows that Czech Budweiser is probably the best beer in the world," said the bus driver. "I was shocked that anyone could ask me to drive a bus stating any other opinion.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:07:00 UTC | #306889

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 24 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #322023 by AllanW

Thanks, Allan.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:07:00 UTC | #306887

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 25 by kaiserkriss


yes, I suppose one has to pander to these whack jobs, however where does one draw the line. This type of policy can lead to abuse very quickly by the co workers who refuse to work because of personal prejudices. jcw

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:07:00 UTC | #306888

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 27 by Bonzai

9. Comment #322007 by a non e-moose on January 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

You made a reasonable point.

The job description of a bus driver is that he has to drive the bus to carry passengers around, but it seems that there is no reason to take for granted that a bus would be used as a venue to advertise for a cause, this is not intrinsic to the job. It is not like a supermarket check out clerk would be expected to check out any item sold in the store including items that may offend the clerk's personal or religious sensibility,--say alcohol. That is part of the job.

So, while I think the bus driver is a bit silly, it is probably within his right to refuse driving the atheist bus. One can probably argue that it is not part of his job to drive around town promoting a cause.


Can an Atheist (or anyone else) refuse to ride on a bus driven by someone deluded to the point of, skyfaries, metaphysical manipulation through prayer, or believes their endorsement of a particular advert matters to anyone else.

Of course he can. I fail to see your point.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:09:00 UTC | #306891

skyhook's Avatar Comment 28 by skyhook

On reflection I would be so offended by Carlsberg "probably" ads on my bus I would refuse to drive it.
It just seems so upsetting.
Everyone knows Staropramen is the best lager in the world....

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:12:00 UTC | #306893

AllanW's Avatar Comment 29 by AllanW

Comment #322028 by kaiserkriss on January 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm


yes, I suppose one has to pander to these whack jobs, however where does one draw the line.

With the management. Both top management setting the tone and policies and the immediate management making the calls on the ground. If they have any sense at all they will already have guidelines in place for front-line managers and have performed training in depth in how to deal with these issues.

However it has been my experience that the calibre of British management (having been in it for more than twenty five years myself) is poor. And not just in this regard.

I'm trying hard to be sympathetic to the business here but what ideally they should be doing is making it clear to the employee, any union he may or may not be a part of in the business, the department, the managers and anyone connected with this rumpus just how clearly they are

a) attempting to be reasonable and taking into account sensitivities
b) running a bus company and anything like this that disrupts profitable operations jeopardises jobs for all in the current climate
c) willing to listen but will take a firm stance on further disruption of this kind

Then let it run it's course through the established disciplinary procedures in place. Making damn sure that all buttons are done up as I wrote before.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:18:00 UTC | #306896

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 30 by rod-the-farmer

I think they should tell him

"Look, when you walk up to the bus at the start of your work day, just don't look at the signage area. And of course, WHILE you are driving, you can't see the signage anyway. Your attention is supposed to be on the road and the safety of your passengers. When you get off the bus at the end of the day, don't look back. There. That's a good lad. Now, do this, or we will have to issue a written warning that you are refusing to do your job, and we will have grounds to dismiss you."

Of course, there is always the secret plan to have a bunch of atheists having a roaring good party on the upper deck, or in the back half, planned especially for when he is driving. Ooops, sorry, I was not supposed to tell anyone. Well, it is OK if I just tell it once....I promised not to repeat it.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:19:00 UTC | #306898