Atheists, billboards, and America

Any short journey on the US’s highways is riddled with attempts to convert commuters to fast food, mattresses, outlet malls, and followers of the Lord.  The age-old tradition of using a billboard with a catchy message was recently used by the American Atheists organisation, and they managed to twist a few knickers in the process. In an attempt to target closeted atheists in more insular religious communities, the organisation posted billboards saying “you know it’s a myth…and you have a choice”  in Arabic and Hebrew in Muslim and Jewish communities in New York. I went on CNN’s Connect the World with Becky Anderson on Thursday to debate with Larry Taunton, a Christian commentator, about the outrage over the billboards, which some have deemed to be too “inflammatory”.

Are there problems with the approach? Maybe — but that’s an entirely different conversation. Do they have the right to put up the billboards? Absolutely. You cannot ban hate or ignorance, and to be frank, we could use some more honesty in these conversation. Either way, it’s safe to say that the precedent has already been set. I will let America’s roads do the talking: