The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is practically the home base for evangelical Christians looking to proselytize in the military. It’s constantly in the news for leaders pushing their faith onto cadets.
President Obama is scheduled to deliver the final commencement address of his administration there on June 2, so the Military Religious Freedom Foundation figured it was as good a time as any to make a point about the importance of church/state separation at the institution. To that end, they designed this billboard to alert Obama to the situation in the hopes that he could do something about it:
Say what you will about the message; it’ll get everyone’s attention.
Unfortunately, Lamar Advertising said it won’t put up the billboard.
Mikey Weinstein, MRFF’s President, told me last night that the reason they gave him was that the sign was “not factual.”
Let me repeat that: Lamar won’t put up the billboard because Jesus is not, in fact, the Commander in Chief.
So much for sarcasm.
Incidentally, Lamar is the same company that recently refused to take atheist money for a billboard in Kentucky that says “Genocide and Incest Park” (in protest of the soon-to-open Noah’s Ark theme park). I guess it’s problematic because Ken Ham‘s brain(dead)child is not actually promoting genocide and incest?
It’s a strange situation all around, in part because billboard companies promote religious messages all the time. Has Lamar ever rejected a sign that says “Jesus is real” on “factual” grounds?
No matter. Weinstein said he would look for other ways to get that billboard up, with or without Lamar, even if that meant using another billboard company or purchasing cable TV ads.