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Billboard promoting atheism will be removed

An Ontario billboard company is removing a controversial Rancho Cucamonga billboard promoting atheism after receiving complaints, according to the group that paid for the advertisement.

The billboard, at the busy corner of Archibald Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, says "Imagine No Religion" in large letters on a stained-glass background. Underneath is the name of the group, "Freedom From Religion Foundation," and the group's Web address.

Representatives of the company, General Outdoor Advertising, did not return repeated phone calls Thursday.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of Freedom From Religion, which calls itself the nation's largest association of atheists and agnostics, said an advertising representative at the company called her Thursday to notify her the billboard would be coming down.

"We're being censored," Gaylor said.

The billboard was the group's first in California. Nine others had previously gone up in other cities.

Gaylor said advertising companies in four cities refused to display the ad, but General was the first to take down an existing billboard in the middle of a contract.

The billboard went up last week and was scheduled to run through January, she said.

The company agreed to refund the $1,379 fee, she said.

Gaylor said the billboard was put up to recruit new members and provoke discussion.

"It's asking people to think," she said. "We want people to realize you don't need religion to do good, and that if we didn't have religion, the world would be less divisive. . . . Think of how many people have been killed in the name of a supernatural being that there has never been any evidence for."

The inspiration for the billboard was John Lennon's song "Imagine."

Judy Rooze, administrator of First Baptist Church of Rancho Cucamonga, which is two blocks from the billboard, was relieved it was coming down.

Rooze said it was unsettling.

"I understand people have freedom of speech, but this is taking it too far," she said. "It's very jarring."

Gaylor said Freedom From Religion, based in Madison, Wis., is looking for another Southern California location for a billboard.

Religious viewpoints are constantly aired, but people rarely hear from atheists and agnostics, she said.

"There should be some balance," she said. "We're supposed to have a marketplace of ideas in this country."

From The Press Enterprise

Business as usual in Jesusland, then.


Rooze said it was unsettling.

"I understand people have freedom of speech, but this is taking it too far," she said. "It's very jarring."

Ah, diddums, what a crying shame, no freedom of speech unless you're religious!! Pathetic.

Free speech is either free or it isn't - it can't be considered to go "too far" and have to be rolled back otherwise it isn't free speech.

Which is exactly what these brain donors really want, of course.

So Americans belive in freedom of speech so long as it's not 'upsetting' or 'jarring'?

Is it too late to tell them that we find the declaration of independence upsetting and jarring?

admin. wrote:
Business as usual in Jesusland, then.

Your picture appears as a red cross on my computer, and the reason appears to be that you can only see it if you're a logged-in member of the host site.

Such censorship exists in the UK too. Try putting a similarly harmless message in your window and if some thug doesn't break it, you'll probably get a visit from the Old Bill "asking you" if you would take it down. If the cop is a christian, he might even lean on you, as happened to me a few decades ago. The cop put the P in PIG.

GHG. The picture came out OK for me. Possibly your security level is too high or you may need to tick something on the "Advanced" on your "Internet Options". Forum Index -> Atheist chat
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