Atheist billboard is moved after threats

CINCINNATI, Nov. 13 (UPI) – A pro-atheism billboard in Cincinnati was being moved to a different location in response to alleged threats two days after it was put up, sponsors said.

The copy on the billboard reads: “Don’t Believe In God? You are not alone.” It was put up Tuesday but was taken down Thursday because the owner of the property where it was posted reported receiving threats because of the message, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, reported Thursday.

Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, which sponsored the billboard, said the organization was contacted by Lamar Advertising of Cincinnati on behalf of the landowner.

“We weren’t given the landowner’s identity or precise details,” Edwords said. “Nor did we pursue them. It was sufficient to learn that multiple, significant threats had been received and that Lamar would act quickly to alleviate the problem.”

“Everything that has happened shows just how vital our message is,” Shawn Jeffers, co-coordinator for the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason, said. “It proves our point, that bigotry against people who don’t believe in a god is still very real in America.”

Jack Jones of Downtown told the TV station he thinks the sign should not be put up.

“It’s atheist,” he said.

upi.com/Top_News/US/2009/11/13/Atheist-billboard-is-moved-after-threats/UPI-87491258091561/

Such threats Anti-Christian.
Of course there are others, not Christians, who believe in God, Jews, Muslims etc. who might also be offended.
In the end such threats are Anti-God, and Anti-American

We should pray for those who made such threats that they do not place their souls in further danger by their anger.

Peace
James

Well, of course it wrong to employ violent means even for ostensibly good ends, but I don’t know if it’s anti-Christian. Seen as a historical phenomenon there’s a dark underside to Christianity like any religion and I don’t see any point in pretending it’s not there. When I read of incidents like this, I feel that it is religion showing its true face. Also, I feel a sense of relief that there are still people who care enough about God to be moved to violence when they see blasphemy in the public sphere. I doubt this would happen in a place like England or Sweden where Christianity is a spent force.

I suspect that there has been since the founding of the United States a tension between the exercise of free speech and the respect owed religion and conventional morality.

The fact of evil, even within Christians, does not make it Christian. God is Good, God is Love. We as Christians are to strive to be like God. Remember the Two Great commandments? Love God - Love Neighbor. Then there is - "do good to those who spitefully use you.
Yes, there has been much violence in God’s name. It does not make it any less sinful.
To threaten violence is bad. It is anti-God and therefore Anti-Christian.

When I read of incidents like this, I feel that it is religion showing its true face. Also, I feel a sense of relief that there are still people who care enough about God to be moved to violence when they see blasphemy in the public sphere. I doubt this would happen in a place like England or Sweden where Christianity is a spent force.

First, let’s deal with the “Blasphemy” issue. If one does not believe in God, can one blaspheme??
Maybe in one sense you are right and religion is showing it’s true face. If so then it is time we changed the face of Religion. We can only do this by emulating Christ and Loving these people home, drawing them to Christ by our example instead of trying to Push them toward Christ.

I suspect that there has been since the founding of the United States a tension between the exercise of free speech and the respect owed religion and conventional morality.

Perfectly right. Yes there has been tension there. We are STILL trying to get it right after 2000 years (long before the U.S.)

Peace
James

I agree that it’s sinful and yet I’m not willing to say every instance of Christian behavior in the past that has been violent has also been an aberration. That it seems to me would be to whitewash history. Whether the Crusades were justified or not, for example, it is incontrovertible that they were very violent and they were also very Christian; and the people who were participating in them were doing so because it was considered pious by Christian society and by the Catholic Church and clergy at the time.

Any religion can be perverted to do evil; that’s why it’s so easy for anti-religion polemicists to cite long lists of “atrocities” committed in the name of religion. Every religion casts a dark shadow throughout its own history. The reason Christians don’t burn each other at the stake anymore isn’t because Christianity has woken up to its own true self at some point since the Middle Ages; it’s because the Enlightenment has sapped it of its vitality and its urgency.

First, let’s deal with the “Blasphemy” issue. If one does not believe in God, can one blaspheme??

I think so, perhaps because even atheists as human beings can sense God’s existence in their heart.

Take the case of that Chemistry professor in the Midwest who desecrated a host that he had smuggled out of a Catholic Church and then posted a video of it on Youtube. Does that not qualify as blasphemy because the professor is a militant atheist? He knew what he was doing.

Maybe in one sense you are right and religion is showing it’s true face. If so then it is time we changed the face of Religion. We can only do this by emulating Christ and Loving these people home, drawing them to Christ by our example instead of trying to Push them toward Christ.

Emulating Christ is always a good idea. :slight_smile:

Yes, but I’m saying the tension is particularly acute in our country (I’m assuming you’re a Yank like me) because of our Constitution’s First Amendment, co-existing as it does with the enduring power of religious devotion here. I think this story about the billboard is a little skirmish in that ongoing battle, a small adjustment in the tectonic plates of the American socio-historical configuration, if you will.

I don’t see how that example proves a sense of God’s existence. It’s a protest against Christians and Christianity, but that doesn’t require a belief in the existence of God, merely a belief in the existence of Christians.

i’m theorizing that eventually all these anti-God and anti-Christian movements will breed extremism in Christianity, even among Catholics. while we all agree it is not what Christ taught, we should acknowledge that at one point someone who is devoted will become fed up and embrace a darker tactic to defend his/her faith

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I was trying to say to JRKH “don’t you agree that this constitutes blasphemy”, rather than presenting it as proof of anything. I don’t think there’s any way to prove my contention that atheists can feel God’s presence – it’s more of an article of faith.

“There are people in this world who don’t love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!” - Tom Lehrer (intro to National Brotherhood Week)

Fair enough. I don’t know the Church’s official definition of blasphemy, but JRKH seemed to insinuate that it required a belief in God. Based on that, my intent was to suggest that your example wouldn’t be technical blasphemy, but merely a form of protest against a human organization.

Yes, whereas I would say it only requires some shared cultural assumptions, although I haven’t given it a lot of thought to be honest.

Added: I’ve been reading some of the “Crow” poems by Ted Hughes – who admittedly was probably more pantheist than atheist – and it seems to me after reading them there is a frisson that you get from reading these seriously anti-God poems which wouldn’t happen if the author were completely indifferent to the idea of God. That’s kind of what I’m getting at.

I find it very sad that events like this occur, but I agree with earlier posts that this type of conflict is inevitable under our first amendment, which guarantees not only the freedom of speech, but also prevents government from establishing an official religion, while at the same time giving free exercise for everyone to practice a religion.

When someone is persecuted for their beliefs, I feel that it does not only hurt atheists, or specifically those atheists who put up the billboard, but it hurts everyone. If one group can be threatened with violence because others do not approve of their message, then no group should be considered safe.

Americans should move past violence as the solution to problems and emulate Christ’s nonviolent example.

They don’t know who made these threats. But He automatically assumes it was Christians. And he has the hide to call Christians bigots. Like another poster said. How does he know it wasn’t jews or muslims who made this threat?

“O Yes so very vital” What happened here me thinks,. Is they went for publicity. And people saw the billboard, went “OH hum another Anti religion message. Big deal” So they faked the whole threat thing . Yes i’m saying they called in the threats so they can get some more publicity. Poor old Shawn. His little billboard was old hat by the time he he got around to making one.

I’ve read that article 5 or 6 times now…could you please point me to the bit where it mentions Christians? I see no implication that the threats came from Christians, and I don’t see Christians being called bigots.

I don’t see him assuming anything, but I certainly see you doing so.

I’m sorry, but I have to totally disagree with you on this statement. It is completely contrary to the Lord’s teaching that we are to love our enemies. In the Garden of Gethsemane, for as much as Peter cared about God, he drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave when Jesus was being taken away. Did the Lord praise him? Did He condone what Peter did? No. Rather, the Lord told him that those who lived by the sword would die by the sword.

We weren’t given the landowner’s identity or precise details," Edwords said. “Nor did we pursue them. It was sufficient to learn that multiple, significant threats had been received and that Lamar would act quickly to alleviate the problem.”

“Everything that has happened shows just how vital our message is,” Shawn Jeffers, co-coordinator for the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason, said. “It proves our point, that bigotry against people who don’t believe in a god is still very real in America.”

I don’t believe in this report. It could be a set up. It’s especially fishy, when the person who put that billboard up to instigate nonsense, said "See… SEE! " it’s dreadfully stupid and insipid to see reports like these. They’re aimed to sway the weakminded and the young.

No one is running around persecuting Atheists, if anything is happening, it’s all defensive reflexes…it’s hypocritical for atheists to insist they’re a victim, when they instigate their **** by berating those who believe.

These people are self-important lunatics, looking for attention. "Bigotry against people who don’t believe in god " :rolleyes: Oh shut up.

It’s possible, which is why we have to remind people to let their emotions subside.

We Catholics have to remember by Jesus example, that when someone didn’t believe, you move on. Let them be, they don’t want it, you shrug and move on.

Fulton Sheen, gave advice, you hear someone say “well, I don’t believe in God” the first inclination is to object, but don’t argue, just listen and pay attention to “why” they say what they say.

Here is the article from the Cincinnati Enquirer: ‘Godless’ billboard relocated due to threats

The article itself does not identify who made the threats, but if you read the public responses to the article in the comments section, from the very beginning you will see many fingers pointing at Christians as the culprits, and the tone of many of the comments indeed alludes to Christians in negative terms…including the inference that they are bigots.

Exactly! If people don’t receive the gospel message, we are not to “cram it down their throats”.

We have to take their nonsense on the chin. Show their folly, by speaking truth to their belligerence. Remember when Jesus got struck in the face, he put the guard to shame.

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine.

20 Jesus answered him, "I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.

21Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said."

22When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”

23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

The uprising as our nation has anti-Christian forces stirring, is nothing new, and nothing to despair about. It is what it is, **we **have the truth and they ultimately have nothing. Whatever *they *think they got is ephemeral, and a delusion and is proven upon their death beds.

To get overly worked up where one would consider violence to defend the lord, is to lose sight of God and his power.
Remember in addition to your quote, Jesus said to Peter, that he could easily call upon 12 legions of Angels, but that’s not the way of God, because Peter was thinking like a man when he drew his sword. He wasn’t thinking about the larger picture at the time, which was the cross.

The larger picture is, since the nation is turning away from God, these secular forces like these militant atheists, are to be expected. They will be handled, just as the inside forces within our Church are being exposed.
" Whatever is hidden will reveal itself. Nothing will remain unavenged. "

Actually I get angry a lot of times, especially seeing anti-Christian comments, I’m still emotional…especially when there’s so much desire to come to the defense of the Lord, but then am later humbled, “well that’s kind of showing a lack of confidence in God isn’t it??” and remember Jesus’ example during moments like these…it’s a matter of temperance, countenance, patience.

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