Atheists buy billboards near hassidic, Muslim areas

Group called American Atheists plan billboards near Jewish, Muslim areas calling God a myth, saying "you have a choice."

By JTA
March 4, 2012 15:58
American Atheists' advertising billboards.

Athesist offensive billboard 390. (photo credit: American Atheists)

 
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NEW YORK - An atheist organization says it will unveil a Hebrew-language billboard calling God a “myth” near a Brooklyn hassidic enclave, and a similar billboard in Arabic in heavily Muslim Paterson, NJ.

The group American Atheists says it will unveil a billboard Monday in hassidic-dominated South Williamsburg. The billboard writes out the name of God in Hebrew, and then features in English and Hebrew translation the phrase “You know it’s a myth… and you have a choice.”

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“If there are atheists in those communities, we are reaching out to them,” Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, told CNN last week. “We are letting them know that we see them, we acknowledge them and they don't have to live that way if they don’t want to.”

Silverman said the billboards will be up for a month and will cost his group less than $15,000.

“People are going to be upset,” he said. “That is not our concern.”

CNN noted that the use of the name of God in Hebrew, which Jews traditionally avoid writing out except in sacred texts, may be considered particularly offensive by area Jews.

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