Tuesday, February 19, 2008

God Rides BART

Ah the Bay Area!

As of December, BART trains have featured advertisements which pose theological questions such as "Can the finite know the infinite?" or "Does God get involved in American politics?" followed by the statement, "God Rides Bart."
According to Godrides.org these somewhat cryptic posters "exists to encourage and facilitate a discussion about God and Life." If you're not comfortable talking to the BART rider next to you, or even your friends and family, the website offers a forum where wired individuals can engage in theological conversation anonymously.
There are currently five topics on the website, each with an initial essay written by the site's authors, one a Southern-Baptist-turned-atheist, and one a "dedicated follower of Jesus Christ" who believes "in the inerrancy of the Bible as the inspired word of god." Visitors can then post comments on the two essays.
While the site's mission statement claims to be an open environment for "Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, Agnostic or [those who] have never thought about it," the conversations are framed by the two authors whose views on religion are clearly influenced (positively or negatively) by conservative evangelical (in the non-Lutheran sense) Christianity.
Still, the occasional Buddhist and Rabbi does comment, and, as opposed to the majority of online discussions about religion, the conversations are actually relevant and considerate.
The only major shortcoming of the site is that not very many people are using it. So the next time you're riding BART with your Blackberry and are bored, check out www.godrides.org.


Anonymous said...

Ben, The project is a step in the right direction - toward more significant dialogue. Even better would be asking the person sitting next to you on Bart about her or his views on the idea in the poster. Clark

Ben Colahan said...

New God Rides BART advertisements are up in BART trains near you. Topics includes, "Why should we care about the environment?" and "Is truth relative?"

Ben Colahan said...

Some of the links on this post were incorrect; I have fixed them.