Atheist Billboard in East Tennessee Draws Surprisingly Positive Reactions April 11, 2015

Atheist Billboard in East Tennessee Draws Surprisingly Positive Reactions

A few days ago, the Rationalists of East Tennessee put up a billboard in Knoxville, Tennessee with the message, “Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone!”

I felt like it was a fairly tame message, but when you’re in a conservative area, you never know how people will react…

And I’ll admit: I was shocked by the reaction:

While walking up Kingston Pike Wednesday, Jared Winchester noticed the new billboard.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said.

Winchester believes in God and free speech.

“It’s an essential key in democracy,” said Winchester.

Well, I’ll be damned.

But that’s just one dude. Someone go ask a pastor!

Dr. Wade Bibb, the senior pastor at Central Baptist Bearden, isn’t bothered by the sign.

“We’re very strong supporters of freedom of speech,” said Pastor Bibb.

What the hell…?

He understands that not everyone in his congregation will agree, so he has a message for them.

“If you wanted that to be a pro God message there then I think you should have rented it out and put a pro God message on there,” said Bibb.

That’s… a perfectly rational response. A tip of the hat to you, Pastor Bibb.

I didn’t think it was possible, but the reaction so far has been exactly what you’d hope it would be: An acknowledgment of the atheists’ right to put it up, an understanding that the message isn’t anti-Christian, and general support for free speech. That’s a pleasant surprise. Even the comment thread in the news story is pretty supportive.

This is not the Tennessee I thought I knew. It’s nice to be wrong.

Also, I guess this means the group can go more aggressive with the next billboard, right…? 🙂

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