There’s a billboard battle raging in Sioux Falls, S.D., where an atheist group recently posted a message letting non-believers know that they are not alone. Days later, in a clear effort to counter the sign, another Christian-themed board appeared right next to it. It includes text from Psalm 14:1, which reads, in part, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”
The atheist messaging, which says, “Don’t believe in God? Join the club,” was posted last week by the South Dakota Coalition of Reason. After it went up, business owner William Kreider, 44, decided to respond, The Argus Leader reported. Kreider, the owner of BSR Construction, purchased space on a nearby digital billboard in an effort to support the existence of a higher power (see the pro-God message here).
“I think there’s a lot of people who do believe in God, and I just wanted to represent them,” he told the newspaper. “It’s kind of the opposite of what they’re doing. I’m hoping it sparks something…I hope it sparks some debate.”
On Aug. 25, Kreider also took to the company’s Facebook page to discuss the billboard and the goals he hopes to accomplish through its prominent placement.
“[It's] been a great day, I’ve spent most of it in church, hearing from God’s word and spending time with others who have a Love for God,” he wrote. “I recently placed an [ad] on a billboard here in Sioux Falls, [and] I think it is time for others to be able to read some scripture. I am hoping to get peoples interest so that they start reading what God has to say instead of what man has to say. It could be a great thing.”
The response from at least one local atheist has been intriguing. Amanda Novotny, a member of the South Dakota CoR, doesn’t have a problem with the competition her organization’s sign is getting, but she believes that it misses the point her group was trying to make. The original billboard, she claims, is simply aimed at letting non-theists know that they aren’t alone.
On the organization’s website, a line of text accompanying the billboard reads, “If you don’t believe in God, you are not alone. Hundreds of your neighbors in South Dakota feel the same as you do.”
Despite holding a contradictory message, Novotny defends the Christian alternative to her group’s billboard.
“One of the things that’s great about America is freedom of speech, so they have every right to put up a bill board,” she said of Kreider’s efforts.
Read more about the dueling messages here.
(H/T: Argus Leader)