Two weeks ago we learned that the Gulf Coast United Coalition of Reason (CoR) had its Mobile billboards taken down by Lamar Advertising:
The CoR was told Lamar had received a large amount of complaints about the billboard and that he questioned the motivation to take the billboard down… “They just want to start a fight,” [Lamar VP Troy Tatum] said.
Today the good news is that the group won that fight, and successfully persuaded Lamar to put the signs back up. The news story at AL.com rather downplays the disagreement, noticeably omitting any mention of complaints about the billboard’s message:
“Don’t believe in a God? You’re not alone,” and “Good without God? So are we” read the billboards re-erected in Mobile, Pensacola and Pascagoula after a contract dispute. The original billboards went up in early Jan. but Mobile’s was yanked down two weeks later.
But the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), who provided the funding for the signs, explains what really happened:
Due to reported opposition voiced from several local conservative Christian organizations, all billboards were taken down prior to their contracted date. However, following lengthy discussions with the billboard vendors, an amicable and reasonable solution has been reached, and the billboards have been reinstated to honor the terms and conditions of the original contract…
And woo-hoo, SIXTEEN non-theist groups have joined to form the new Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, whose formation prompted the signs, across the Bible Belt in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi! Congrats! They have a fantastic public message for the in response to this kerfuffle:
“You just can’t keep a good godless billboard down! We want people to know that non-theistic folks like us are a regular part of communities all over the area,” said Amanda Scott, a co-coordinator for Gulf Coast CoR.
“Non-theists are everywhere: we’re your friends and neighbors, your coworkers and family members.” Buz Ryland, co-coordinator, added, “We know there are thousands of us along the Gulf Coast and we want them to know we are here, and that they have a community where they can also be a part of doing good for others.”
I can well believe Lamar got an earful from local Christians. Especially after seeing hundreds of them express outrage about the identical billboard at another location, upset that atheists should dare mention our existence… since that’s all the message says. I posted a number of their comments earlier, which included lovely and ironic sentiments like these:
- I sent a message to Lamar billboard company asking them to stop doing business with this group of atheist.
- They which commit such things are worthy of death.
- Those that mocked Noah weren’t alone either. We know how that ended.
- I just can’t handle it… I just want to weep.
- Cast into the lake of fire FOREVER! Pain without end!
- Only shows atheism is born from satan’s uterus.
- This design makes me think that Atheism is a mental disorder.
- STOP INTRUDING ON MY LIFE.
- In times of persecution… when the atheists come knocking on your door…
- Sent by the antichrist. People be prepared.
- They will have plenty of “company” from Satan & his demons for eternity.
- If they don’t believe in God, why do they bother to even put these billboards out? In order to attack God, then somehow you have to believe that He is God.
- Atheists never protest any other world religion other than Christianity.
- Why are they playing the victim?
- It amazes me how angry they get.
- Don’t disrespect me and my beliefs.
- Typical liberals, there can be no other way but what they believe.
Think Christians will ever figure out what bad press their intolerance brings?