An atheist billboard set to display alongside a freeway in Lemon Grove, Calif., is already creating a stir. The message, which local non-believers hope will “shine a positive light on atheism,” will be posted today by the San Diego Coalition for Reason (SDCR). But the text on the billboard, clearly a swipe at people of faith, may do the opposite of what non-theists intend. It reads, “Atheism, a personal relationship with reality.”
While SDCR director Debbie Allen and other secularists may be hoping to help their image among the faithful, some locals are already less-than-content with the group’s choice of words. After all, the sign, which also features a picture of a pile of books, seems to indicate that those who embrace God’s existence aren’t living in reality.
Elmer Lewis, a longtime Lemon Grove resident, said that he isn’t in favor of the message.
“I’d rather that they didn’t do it, but I love this country and freedom of speech is something that’s protected to all of us,” said Lewis.
And Pastor Will Warren, a local faith leader, echoed this sentiment, saying that he’s not sure how the group’s billboard will be received. Another local woman said that she plans to pray for the non-believers.
But Allen seems determined to change the way that non-believers are viewed. But even if she can’t, she’s hopeful that the billboard will attract other non-believers to join groups like the SDCR that cater to their secular needs.
“When people hear the word ‘atheism’ or ‘atheist,’ they usually think of a corrupt, bad person, and that’s far from the truth,” Allen said in an interview with KSWB-TV.
The billboard is slated to go up on Thursday afternoon.
KSWB-TV has more about this story: