LEMON GROVE, Calif. – A local group hopes to “shine a positive light on Atheism” with a new billboard message along a local freeway.
The billboard, which is set to go up alongside State Route 94 this week near the College Avenue exit, will read “Atheism, a personal relationship with reality,” San Diego Coalition for Reason Director Debbie Allen said.
“When people hear the word ‘atheism’ or ‘atheist,’ they usually think of a corrupt, bad person, and that’s far from the truth,” said Allen.
But some residents would rather see the billboard go up somewhere else.
“I’d rather that they didn’t do it, but I love this country and freedom of speech is something that’s protected to all of us,” said longtime Lemon Grove resident Elmer Lewis.
Down the road from the billboard is the Christian Church of Lemon Grove, where members are worried about how this message will be received by the community.
“I don’t know how much an atheistic message like that will resonate around here,” said Pastor Will Warren.
“It’s a conclusion that there simply isn’t enough evidence of super natural beings,” said Allen, who hopes the billboard encourages those who think like her to join local atheist groups.
“For such a type of believe stating there’s nothing else that connects them together and they’re coming together for a sense of community? I don’t get that,” said Warren.
“We believe we are entitled to our opinion,” said Allen.
Some residents have also expressed concern over whether the billboard will be too distracting for drivers.
The cost of the billboard, which will be up by noon Thursday, was $4,000. The location was selected due to low cost.