“Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season” Billboard Generates (Fake) Controversy in Colorado

A new billboard in Grand Junction, Colorado is apparently “controversial,” though a news report failed to find anyone offended by it.

The digital ad put up by the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers reads, “Axial tilt is the reason for the season!” and sits near two Christian-owned businesses: Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby.

If you watch that news clip, you hear from the group’s President Aleksandr Kolpakov, who hesitates a bit in explaining why they put up the sign. On Facebook, however, he vented some of his frustration with the report:

[Reporter Chris Schumann] wanted to know if we were trying to ‘Shove our beliefs down people’s throats’, which I of course rebuffed and emphasized our motivations as an action of solidarity this winter solstice season and a humanist drive for secular pluralism. I even explained to him that religious people too could (and should) be secularists as it is the American way.

They had me talk for a solid fifteen and this is the only instance where I hesitated, having repeated myself a number of ways already.

It’s a perfect example of how the media can bait you to get a better (for them) sound bite. There’s nothing being “shoved” down anyone’s throat here — and if this was a billboard saying “Happy Hanukkah,” you can bet no reporter would have dared to ask that question. This is merely an alternative to the majority’s message, not a substitution of it.

The billboard will be up for a week.

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.


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