‘God Is an Imaginary Friend’: Atheist Billboard Ignites Controversy in Colorado
Atheists have a way with billboards. In fact, it’s one of the primary methods many non-believers use to communicate with the public at large. This is exactly the method a Denver, Colorado-based group, called Boulder Atheists, is using to spread its message. Reaction to the group’s newest billboard, which targets those who hold a belief in God, has ranged from giggles to anger.
Boulder Atheists has erected three billboards that each read, “God is an imaginary friend. Choose reality, it will be better for all of us.” This statement, which will clearly offend the religious, is not intended to start problems, the group says.
“We are more interested in opening a dialogue than upsetting you,” the group proclaims on its web site. “We don’t ask you to stop believing in your version of a super-natural being. We do ask that you consider not forcing your religious views on others.”
But another portion of the explanation may only add to the frustration the religious feel as a result of the billboard’s presence:
One of the reasons we put the billboard up is that we are concerned when religious people feel they have not only the right, but the obligation, to force their religious views on others. Examples are proselytizing in the military, educational systems, and government. Another example is the attacks by religious people on gays, lesbians, and abortion providers.
Abraham Aryan, a local businessman, isn’t happy about the billboards’ presence.
“Anything with a derogatory message I don’t think should spread around. But they’re welcome to do it,” Aryan said. “Welcome to America, that’s one of the beautiful things about living here is you can do that.”
KUSA-TV has more:
This isn’t the first time the group has publicly railed against religion. ABC-7 reports:
In 2008, the group paid for 11 billboards around Denver and Colorado Springs that questioned the existence of God. A billboard at East Colfax Avenue and Quebec Street in Denver said, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.
The group also erected a sign at then-Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden’s Christmas decorations in 2009.
A year later, the group paid for three billboards protesting the nativity scene at Denver’s City and County Building. The signs said, “Stop government support of religion, move this Denver nativity scene to a church.”
Considering Boulder Atheists’ track record, the alliance of non-believers is certainly not likely to apologize or rescind. In the end, the group’s leaders have the free speech and freedom to post such messages, but they may not spark the discussion they’re hoping for by taking such a confrontational route.
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