According to the news, an atheist billboard went up in San Diego today, Jan. 31, 2013. The billboard is stirring up controversy among residents. To make matter worse, the atheist billboard is near a Christian church.
Description of the atheist billboard
These words appear over an image of a curtain, held open by a stack of books, that reveals an appealing natural scene.
"Atheism: A personal relationship with reality."
The billboard measures 14 ft. x 48 ft. along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freeway (SR 94) near College Avenue.
The billboard is the product of a joint effort by the National American Atheists and the local San Diego Coalition of Reason that spent $4,000 on the billboard.
Watch the video and hear Debbie Allen, the head of the San Diego Coalition of Reason tell people what the term "atheist" really means.
“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.”
The billboard also advertises an upcoming speech by David Silverman, the president of American Atheists.
Silverman said part of his speech’s message will be that religion demands special treatment it does not deserve.
“There’s a big difference between respecting people and respecting their beliefs. I respect every person, but I do not respect the belief in an invisible man in the sky, because that’s ridiculous.”
San Diego has a growing community of atheists. The population of atheists is growing across the country as well, according to a recent PEW study. It found the number of Americans who say they don’t have any religious affiliation has more than doubled since 1972.
Allen said she wouldn't be surprised by some negative reaction to the sign. Her group also put up a billboard in 2009, and received a lot of positive responses from it.
American Atheists and the National Coalition of Reason groups have been setting up similar billboards across the country over the past five years.