For some reason, Mayor Moncrief decided to turn a manufactured controversy (the atheist T bus ads) into a legitimate one by issuing a statement today. It reads, in part: “I totally disagree with (the Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s) decision to allow these divisive ads on the T buses and will express my concerns to the appropriate individuals.” In the same statement, he admits that the city doesn’t fund the T and that it’s an independent agency responsible for its own policies.
Here’s why this is troubling: People fling the word “censorship” around a lot. But it’s really only appropriate to apply the “c” word when government steps in and suppresses speech. Moncrief has just publicly announced he will walk across governmental and agency lines and attempt to quash a group’s access to public expression. Not exactly the Chinese government filtering information, I grant you, but too obnoxiously close for my comfort.
And the ads themselves simply state that some people don’t believe in God – they don’t criticize people who do believe. This whole thing mystifies me.