An atheist-themed billboard encouraging people to "skip church" has been vandalized in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with someone spray painting the words "GOD'S NOT DEAD" across the large placard.
The vandalism comes after activist group American Atheists posted billboards in North Carolina and Colorado during the holiday season. These messages included an image of Santa and read, "Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness’ sake. Happy holidays!"
Clearly, someone was less than content with that message, responding in red spray paint with a proclamation that was popularized by the 2014 release of Pure Flix Entertainment's faith-based film, "God's Not Dead."
The production company, which is releasing a sequel to the film on April 1, wasted no time in distancing itself from the vandalism.
"We're saddened that a vandal would use the title of our movie to deface the message of a billboard they don't agree with," Pure Flix producer and founding partner Michael Scott, told the Christian Post in a statement. "Ironically, it was precisely that kind of dismissive disrespect for Christians' belief in God that formed the plot of 'God's Not Dead.'"
The graffiti was placed on the billboard on Sunday, according to KXRM-TV.
Randy Gotovich, a regional director for American Atheists in Colorado, said that the organization received plenty of support after the incident, explaining that most people see the act as "just a despicable, hateful act."
"And it’s not just atheists saying that either, because an act like this doesn’t do much for the image of good honest Christians who would never do such a thing," Gotovich said. "Unfortunately we get that stereotype when most of us don’t deserve that stereotype."
The billboard was expected to be taken down the first week of January. It is unclear it is remains on display. Also unclear is whether the perpetrator has been caught.
American Atheists’ 2015 billboard (American Atheists)
As TheBlaze previously reported, American Atheists has taken its anti-Christmas message to New York City’s Times Square, among other locations, during past Christmas seasons. A 2013 billboard in Times Square asked, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” then answered: “Nobody.”
And American Atheists’ 2012 “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!” billboard featured an image of Santa with a photo of Jesus suffering on the cross. The “merry” corresponded to the traditional Christmas mascot, with “myth” presented beneath the Christian savior’s picture, clearly in reference to Jesus’ death.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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