A billboard conveying an atheist message has been taken down in Rancho Cucamunga:
The billboard, at the busy corner of Archibald Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, says “Imagine No Religion” in large letters on a stained-glass background. Underneath is the name of the group, “Freedom From Religion Foundation,” and the group’s Web address…
Judy Rooze, administrator of First Baptist Church of Rancho Cucamonga, which is two blocks from the billboard, was relieved it was coming down.
Rooze said it was unsettling.
“I understand people have freedom of speech, but this is taking it too far,” she said. “It’s very jarring.”
The request to remove the billboard came from the city, which had received 90 complaints from tolerant people of faith like Judy Rooze. It’s not clear from the reports how voluntary that request was, but that’s getting dangerously close to censorship. Cities have no business asking a billboard companies to take down signs just because they have an anti-religious message.
I wonder if Ms. Rooze was offended by the clever “God speaks” billboard suggesting that non-believers will spend eternity in Hell? I’m guessing not, and it’s hard to imagine a city asking that it be taken down so as not to offend secularists.
Unfortunately, this isn’t even the dumbest anti-atheist prejudice I came across today. That dubious honor goes to Wall Street Journal editor Dan Henninger, whose columns I’m embarrassed to admit I enjoyed in college.