Lemon Grove, California — A new billboard advertisement purchased by two atheist organizations was erected in California recently, urging the public to have a “personal relationship with reality.”
San Diego Coalition for Reason director Debbie Allen told reporters that the purpose of the billboard, placed on Martin Luther King Drive, is to “shine a positive light on atheism.”
“When people hear the word ‘atheism’ or ‘atheist,’ they usually think of a corrupt, bad person, and that’s so far from what’s true,” she told reporters. “Some people assume that atheism is an entire world view. It’s not. It is an opinion about one thing and one thing only. About whether or not there are deities, fairies, goblins, ghosts, any kind of supernatural deity.”
However, some believe that the billboard will be counterproductive to the group’s stated goals as it rather is a blatant mockery of Christianity.
“They’re trying to shine a positive light on a negative philosophy,” one area resident told local television station KSWB-TV.
“I will be praying for them,” stated another.
“I don’t know how much an atheistic message like that will resonate with people around here,” said Pastor Will Warren from the Christian Church of Lemon Grove.
Christian-themed billboards are reportedly a common sight in the area, such as “Jesus Christ is Lord, not a swear word.” Atheist groups have also displayed messages in the past as well.
“We want to encourage people in the community to come out and give us a try,” Allen said.
San Diego Coalition for Reason and American Atheists will also be advertising an upcoming event as American Atheists president David Silverman will be speaking at UC San Diego later this month.