Kentucky now has an atheist billboard, courtesy of the Louisville Coalition of Reason!
It’s up until August 28th, thanks to $4,100 from the United Coalition of Reason.
Reaching out to the like minded isn’t the only goal of the effort. “We also want the public to know that people who don’t believe in a god are part of the Louisville population,” added Edwin Hensley, coordinator of the Louisville Coalition of Reason. “People like us can be found all around: in families and among friends and co-workers, including cheering kids at soccer games. We can even be found in churches, temples, and mosques!”
Leave it to a local priest to find something negative in that simple message:
“Some people are offended merely by our existence,” Hensley said, “and so matter what we do those people will be offended.”
“It’s a disturbing sign, or at least potentially disturbing sign,” said Fr. Elias Henritzy, a Roman Catholic priest.
Fr. Henritzy, a Dominican priest at Saint Louis Bertrand Catholic Church in Old Louisville, said he is not offended, but he is troubled by the billboard and what it might do.
“I think God really made us to be close to Him and have His love draw us close to each other more,” Fr. Henritzy said. “It’s a saddening sign in some ways, if that’s the real intent of it to draw people away from God.”
“Our answer is not so much what we turn people away from, but what we turn them to,” said Hensley, “which is rational thought, evidence based thinking, evidence based belief.”
While Fr. Henritzy’s faith is strong, he worries about those whose faith may not be.
“I’m hoping this isn’t an invitation to like a dead-end path for a lot of people and that’s the real danger of it, I think,” Fr. Henritzy said.
“A billboard in and of itself is not going to convert somebody. No one is going to drive down the road, see that billboard and say, ‘oh I’m now an atheist,” Hensley said.
It’s anything but saddening. It’s uplifting and a wonderful sign for any atheist to see.
I’m sure the discussions started because of the billboard will be useful for everyone who sees it, though, regardless of their beliefs.
How soon until this one gets vandalized? Let the guessing begin…
(Thanks to Wayne for the link!)