Richard Mansfield, a senior pastor at the New Beginnings Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is not amused by a billboard which has just appeared on his patch.
He is quoted here as saying:
I think they’re trying to give a slap in the face to not only the Christian community but people that have faith and people that have hope.
Asked whether the billboard was intended to take the piss out of faith-heads, Nick Fish, the National Programme Director for American Atheists said:
We do want to get a rise out of them, but the idea is not to be offensive.
Fish said the billboard’s goal is to start a conversation by reminding people that there are millions of atheists in the country.
The billboard went up on Wednesday, and it’s not the only one. There are two in Dallas and five more going up in Oklahoma.
We want people to critically think about everything they’re being told. We want people to think about what messages they’re getting in church and think about the fact that in this country, we give a really big pass to preachers or churches or to religious beliefs that hold really abhorrent views.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that Washington’s Metro has rejected a Catholic ad campaign that promotes “spiritual giving” instead of presents, arguing that the image of stars, shepherds and sheep promotes religion, a violation of the transit system’s rules.
The Archdiocese of Washington said that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority turned down a request to promote its “Find the Perfect Gift” initiative because the image “depicts a religious scene and thus seeks to promote religion,” although it does not include a manger scene, Christ figure or even a cross.
As a result, the Archdiocese this week files a lawsuit challenging Metro’s ad guidelines.