An atheist group local to the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas sent a controversial message to 50 North Texas pastors on Good Friday, March 29, in what it claims to be a method of "outreach to Christians."
The message, which was emailed by the local atheist group Dallas–Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, conveyed the controversial message: "God is Dead, Have a Good Friday."
Zachary Moore, coordinator of the lesser-known local atheist group, told CBS-affiliate Dallas-Fort Worth, which first broke the story, that the purpose of the controversial email was to reach Christians who question the teachings of the church.
The atheists' message sparked a rash of outrage on the Internet, with many calling the move on behalf of the local atheist organization to be in "poor taste," especially during such a reverent time in the Christian tradition.
Good Friday is considered to be a particularly solemn time for Christians because it commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, while Easter Sunday serves as a time of hope and joy because it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus.
"That's really sad and evil that they did that. God is alive and real. I feel really sad for people who don't realize and accept that," said one commenter on the CBS Dallas-Fort Worth article reporting on the controversial email.
"I have friends who are atheists and they are way smarter and more considerate than this [organization]," another commentator wrote on Yahoo! News.
Others argued that this recent move by the local atheist organization was merely a desperate attempt at receiving attention during a time of year which is meant to rejoice in God and Christianity.
Still, many Christians took to Twitter to contend that even though they found the Good Friday message to be offensive, they did not let it deter them from the festive time of Easter.
"Every knee will bow and confess God is Lord," tweeted one Dallas-Forth Worth resident in response to the atheist group's Good Friday message.
As Yahoo! News points out, the phrase "God is Dead" was initially coined by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in reference to a theological movement.
Although the Dallas-Forth Worth Coalition of Reason chose to address the Easter season in a negative matter, several more well-known names, such as athlete Tim Tebow, actress Meagan Good, and reality television star Khloe Kardashian took to Twitter to express their joy in the festive Christian holiday.
"Because He lives we can face tomorrow, we have faith, hope, and love and we have the gift of eternal life!" tweeted NFL star Tim Tebow on Easter Sunday.