***Update***: CNN reports on the billboards here:
In one billboard, a picture of Palin is featured on the left, with a quote attributed to her. “We should create law based on the God of the Bible,” the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tag line “GO GODLESS INSTEAD.”
The billboard, however, misquotes Palin. In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Palin addressed the growth in American secularism by saying America’s founding fathers “would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments,” not “should.”
The billboards cost $25,000, they go up tomorrow, and they’ll be up through the month of March.
Today marks the launch of American Atheists’ latest billboard campaign, featuring notable people saying awful things all because of their faith. Politicians Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and local Pastor Robert Jeffress all get a star turn due to their awful statements. The Ex-Pope is featured (both in English and Spanish) next to a statement about how the Catholic Church covered up sexual abuse by their priests. And a generic statement against faith is shown next to an image of a church:
The campaign is all part of a media blitz to raise awareness about AA’s upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration and national convention in Austin at the end of the month. (I’ll be there!)
“We’re very proud of these billboards,” said American Atheists President Dave Silverman. “Prominent figures in the public sphere continue to make abhorrent statements, all justified by their religion. The time in American history where overt bigotry against atheists is acceptable is finally coming to an end, and good riddance! We invite reasonable people to stand up, come out, and join us in celebrating 50 years of fighting for the separation of church & state and the civil rights of atheists.”
Just as with AA’s previous billboards, I suspect the script for how this will play out is already written.
AA will get coverage from major news outlets (CNN, FOX News Channel, etc). Memes will fly around the Internet when Dave Silverman goes on air anywhere. The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue will blow a gasket about something or another and tie it into how these billboards are an assault on Jesus. Atheists will complain about the billboards’ design as if it will take away from all the publicity (it won’t). Religious conservatives will argue this is somehow hate speech. And then AA will have their convention without a hitch.
No word yet on the cost of the campaign or who is paying for it.
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