That didn’t take very long…
The billboard was a response to the “Year of the Bible” Resolution passed by the state’s House in January. The atheists quoted a particularly controversial Bible verse in the hopes that they would encourage viewers to take another look at the Holy Book.
Brian Fields, the president of the PA Nonbelievers, has issued an apology (I don’t think it’s necessary) to anyone who may have misinterpreted their intentions:
I want to say that I’m truly sorry that many people have misunderstood this billboard. It was never our intention to use “race” as our message itself — The point of our billboard was:
- The bible is NOT holy or moral as promoted by the PA House of Representatives in the “Year of the Bible”.
- The bible was used as an excuse for many very bad things — Including American slavery.
We would have hoped this message was clearer to observers.
***Edit***: Brian tells me the reason he issued the apology was because much of the local media coverage is centering around the claim that this billboard is somehow racist. “It’s hard to come back from when the race card gets thrown — Even in this case where it’s clearly wrong,” he said.
Ironically, the part that was vandalized was not the Bible verse with the word “Slaves.” It was the part that named the atheist groups that paid for the billboard and the rationale for putting it up in the first place, as you can see from yesterday’s photo:
Brian reiterates: “They removed the entire point of the billboard, the criticism, and left the actual ignorant and savage part.”
Questions I want answers to:
- Will anyone take credit for the vandalism? Will the culprit be caught?
- How soon will a replacement billboard be put up?
- If there are any costs associated with it, who will be paying for it?
If you’re talking or writing about this, be careful not to jump to conclusions. It’s tempting to accuse Christians of committing the crime, but there’s no evidence of that just yet.
Another view of the vandalized billboard: