No God Needed: that’s the message going up along Houston freeways next week.
A non-profit group called the Center for Inquiry, out of Amherst, NY, is buying up billboards in three American cities, including Houston.
But is their slogan self-evident or sacrilegious? We leave that up to you.
The billboards read: “You Don’t Need God…to Hope, to Care, to Love, to Live.”
They’re part of a multi-media push on behalf of the millions of Americans who don’t give God a second thought; those who live without religion.
Houston was chosen because it’s basically the buckle on the Bible belt, says Center for Inquiry CEO Ron Lindsay.
“We're not trying to put down people who believe in God,” explains Lindsay. “We're just trying to get rid of some of the prejudices that some may feel about non-believers.”
“Is Houston ready for this billboard?” FOX 26 News asked Staise Gonzalez with Houston Atheists.
“Absolutely, Houston's been ready for this billboard,” Gonzalez says. “We have a very large group here and I know there are more of us out there.”
Staise Gonzalez: In such a religious city and such a religious-soaked state, I think people need to know that there are other options out there, especially if they're not religious.
FOX 26 News: Some people say that they're offended by this message.
Staise Gonzalez: I don't understand how they are offended. If they're offended by that, then I'm offended by all the crosses on the churches and all the big Christian billboards. I mean, it's just not fair.
“We presuppose there is a God, we don't presuppose that there is no God,” counters Dr. Gary Moore from Second Baptist Church.
Dr. Gary Moore: So if the atheist is correct, then all we've wasted is this life. If the atheist is incorrect, he has lost the future.
FOX 26 News: Does this billboard offend you, personally?
Dr. Gary Moore: You know, there are a lot of billboards that offend me. Certainly within the context of, I think they are giving people, I think they are confirming the non-believer in his disbelief and I think that's a very dangerous thing.
FOX 26 News: How so?
Dr. Gary Moore: Because from the Christian standpoint, if we believe in God and trust in Him and believe in His word, He makes certain promises about our reward in heaven. For those that don't, there are other promises.
FOX 26 News: I don't want to read too much into it, but it sounds like he's saying that you're going to hell.
Staise Gonzalez: That's his opinion. I'm sure that the Muslims would say he's going to hell so, you know, no one knows who's right.