A few days ago, there was a rebuttal to the sign put up by Park Street Baptist Church (in the same location as the atheist billboard) with the words “We Still Believe in God & his Son, Jesus.” According to Pastor Sam Catoe, “We thought this would be a clever way to catch attention and it certainly has.”
WLTX out of Columbia interviewed both Catoe and Columbia CoR’s coordinator Dustin Tucker about the placement of the new billboard:
“It’s awesome,” said Dustin Tucker.
Tucker is from the Columbia Coalition for Reason, which put up the other billboard. Friday he saw the new competition for the first time.
“Anytime I see somebody expressing their first amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion, I’m excited,” said Tucker.
I love Dustin’s reaction. He’s not upset. He’s not irritated. He’s not mocking at all. But he is excited to see the response. Obviously, the church is welcome to express their First Amendment rights and what they believe.
It is amusing that the church seems to think that people may not know “the other side” (as if Christianity’s some well-kept secret). But it sounds enough like playful enough ribbing. There may even be a tangible benefit from the Billboard War: Interfaith work between members of the Columbia Coalition of Reason and Park Street Baptist’s congregation. Dustin and Pastor Catoe have already been in contact about doing community service with each other.