Columbus Atheist Billboard Forced to Move Again

Dylan Galos can’t catch a break.

His billboard for the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Out of the Closet” campaign in Columbus, Ohio looked great:

Unfortunately, it turned out that billboard was placed on church property, so it was taken down and moved elsewhere.

The billboard… has been relocated to East Main St., west of Alum Creek Dr., facing west.

Guess what?

A business owner has complained about the billboard’s new location. And now it has to be moved again.

The billboard was apparently removed on Tuesday, July 5, but FFRF did not receive indirect notification until this afternoon. FFRF has been promised the billboard will be relocated soon and that FFRF’s contract for 28 days will be honored for Dylan Galos’ billboard.

“As we pointed out at the end of June, when the church censored our billboard placement, this kind of intolerant reaction shows why our campaign is so important,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

“It’s revealing that Dylan’s statement, ‘I can be good without God,’ has provoked this kind of prejudice,” added Dan Barker…

Unbelievable.

I love this picture of Dylan near his billboard (before the latest move) on the FFRF site:

The upside to all this is that as more people complain, the campaign gets more attention and the billboard stays up even longer.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Parse

    So, is this getting covered in the local media at all? Because if this happened to a church’s billboards, you know that reporters would be fighting each other to report on the outrage.

  • Bones

    I understood the sign being moved off the churches property. I didn’t have a problem with that. It made sense that it shouldn’t have been there.
    Now it’s just getting ridiculous.

  • Steve

    Also, the more places it’s moved to, the more people there are who actually see it.

  • http://www.pbase.com/jfinite Justin Bonaparte

    Also, the more places it’s moved to, the more people there are who actually see it.

    ROFL, maybe it’ll tour the nation this summer!

  • Foo

    How about that ad company starts getting calls with “moral” objections to all kinds of billboards? Mormons v. beer, coffee & caffienated sodas. Buddhists v. violent movies & games. Baptists v. dance clubs. Jews and Muslims v. pork. Jay-Dubs v. birthday celebrations and blood drives.

    How many moves will they make before they see the absurdity of moving any?

  • Matto the Hun

    Like Bones said, I get the church situation. Unfortunate, a little silly perhaps, but makes sense.

    So what the hell is the deal here. Did the business have a similar contract where the billboard is on the business’s property?

    Or does it have to be moved every time the billboard makes a theist sad in their pants?

    I am glad in a way though. It does get more press this way. It points out religious privilege and the bigotry atheists have to deal with that many theists pretend they deal with.

  • Heidi

    Um, does the business owner actually own the land the sign is on? Because the church owned the land. And that makes a huge difference, IMO.

  • Lisa

    I live in C-bus, and the first move did make the news (at least online-didn’t catch it on broadcast). Still haven’t heard about this move. The second stop for the billboard is just west of an affluent community (Bexley) with a large Jewish population, and Capital University, and just east of somewhat rundown and poor part of Columbus (literally seperated by railroad tracks). Haven’t heard what biz complained.

  • Alex

    FFRF needs to change the sign to read “I can be good without a tithe” Since that is the real issue anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Tom is Money

    I just really want an Iced Capp now. A refreshing summer treat. With a side of a Baby’s Back Ribs.

  • Rich Wilson

    Also, withing more locations, the billboard is getting more unique ‘hits’ (as opposed to repeats).

    Good value for the money I say :-)

  • Meyekael

    I suppose we should entertain the possibility that the store owner may only be objecting to the billboard because he’s afraid its proximity may hurt his business. Even so, it still serves as an illustration of just how intolerant religious people are.

  • Richard Wade

    As long as Clear Channel, the billboard company remains so spineless about every complaint, we could keep this billboard up and going around Columbus until they use up every location they have. Just call in claiming you’re an “offended” nearby business owner, and demand that it be moved. Dylan could be smiling down on the city for over a year.

  • Annie

    Why was the billboard put up on church property in the first place (before the first move)? I question the motives of the BB company with that one.

    It’s a great billboard. I’m glad more people will get to enjoy it now.

  • Ray

    Keep moving it. If the media hasn’t covered it yet they will after it moves often enough. Great publicity.

  • http://twitter.com/shannonkish Shannon

    So, If I am understanding this correctly, all I need to do is complain about a billboard and it will be relocated? At least in Georgia.

    There are several “turn or burn” billboards that I see regularly during my drive to and from work. Guess I should complain about them to get them moved.

    RIDICULOUS!

  • http://twitter.com/shannonkish Shannon

    I love the fact that it has been moved in front of a daycare and that the daycare is called, “Teach and Learn.” Awesome!

  • Annie

    @Shannon- I think that tactic only works if you’re a christian… at least in Georgia. I’m in Florida, so I feel your pain.

  • http://www.virtualnectar.com vnectar

    I’m in Cbus too and haven’t seen anything about this on local news.

    It cracks me up, since all you have to do is travel about 40 miles outside of CBus (towards Cinci) before you start seeing billboards with the 10 commandments and such.

  • CS

    @Shannon-

    I just checked the comments to see if anyone noticed that. I’d be willing to bet some angry parents will get it taken down there, too.

    Man, imagine the horror if their kids knew they could be “good without God.”

  • AxeGrrl

    Justin Bonaparte wrote:

    ROFL, maybe it’ll tour the nation this summer!

    *teehee* Frankly, I love that idea!

    And I hereby offery my services as ‘chaperone’ for it (like the guy whose sole job is travelling with the Stanley Cup :)

  • Richard Wade

    Shannon and CS,
    The picture of Daryl and his sign in front of the Teach And Learn Child Care is the original location. It faced away from the daycare and toward the church’s parking lot. You can see a Google street view of the location here.

    The location pictured near the top of this post where it is mounted on very tall poles was its second location. We’ll have to wait for a photo of where the heck it is now.

    I’m beginning to think that billboard companies will have to create a special category of a few essentially invisible billboards just for atheist customers; those hidden by trees, on nearly untraveled, empty roads, or facing the blank wall of a building erected later.

    In the future, atheist organizations buying billboard services should insist on seeing photos of the particular locations that the advertising companies are offering, as well as pertinent information about the neighborhood.

  • Drakk

    Why does this business owner even have a say in what happens to this billboard?

  • Gus Snarp

    OK, I get moving it away from a church. But do business owners now get to approve all billboard near them? Absurd. I still wonder whatever happened to the Cincinnati billboard that was moved due to violent threats against the property owner. The new location was supposed to be on my way home from work and I never did see it.

  • http://thedarkhorsecourier.wordpress.com/ Jordon

    I’m with most others on this. It’s fair that the church should have the right to move it off their property, but unless someone actually owns the land should they really be the deciding factor where it ends up?

  • http://ARfreethinkers.org LeeWood

    With regard to the first move, I have to ask does the church receive any money from the billboard company since their billboard and it’s base sits on church property? If so, I so they should have sucked it up. I’m sorry but if you have property and a billboard company comes to you and wants to erect a billboard and you get some of the profit off of it, or worse yet if you go to the billboard company asking if they want to erect a billboard on your property and give you some of the profit, it just stands to reason that sooner or later there will be an advertisement that goes against your own personal beliefs. Will they also complain about Planned Parenthood ads, contraception ads, etc.
    Secondly, how few complaints does it take to get a billboard moved? If we can nail down this answer we can rally together and move the religious billboards as we see fit ourselves, but I have a feeling that none of the companies are going to give us a specific number in fear that we will advertise how many we need to log to get something moved.
    All around I think this is complete bullshit.
    The constitution does not guarantee the right to not be offended. What a bunch of pansies.

    Sick of being hated for no good god-damn reason,
    LeeWood


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