- (Photo: FFRF)
A Wisconsin-based atheist organization will post billboards at the sites of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, posted a billboard on Thursday in Tamp, Fla. and will be placing two billboards in Charlotte, N.C.
In a statement, FFRF Co-President Dan Barker said that the billboards are "an equal-opportunity message to both political parties and all public officials."
"Essentially, we secularists, who comprise nearly a fifth of the U.S. population, are telling government officials that it's time to get off your knees and get to work!" said Barker.
The billboard features a cartoon drawn by editorial cartoonist Steve Benson depicting Uncle Sam wagging his finger and saying "God fixation won't fix this nation."
Gary Schneeberger, vice president of communications for Focus on the Family, told The Christian Post that FFRF was professing a minority opinion.
"The great thing about America is the freedom to share even unpopular opinions in the public square – and with poll after poll finding that about 9 in 10 Americans believe in God, this is clearly not a very widespread opinion," said Schneeberger.
"As a Christian organization ourselves, we not only believe that praying to God about the issues and decisions facing our country is wise and helpful – for elected officials and citizens alike – but that the very freedoms we enjoy as a nation … are rooted in Judeo-Christian principles."
FFRF is not the first atheist group attempting to erect billboards in Charlotte and Tampa in order to convey a message to the DNC and RNC.
Earlier this month, New Jersey-based American Atheists posted a couple billboards attacking the religious views of President Barack Obama and candidate Mitt Romney.
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, Inc., told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that the billboards' purpose was to show "the silliness of religion" influencing politics.
"Many politicians are religious, but when their only justification for a position is religion, it moves the country towards a theocracy," said Silverman.
"In this campaign there are two distinct religions represented, and for the first time in a long time Christians may not hold the office of the president. That's fine, of course, as long as we hold the candidates responsible for holding positions grounded in secular reasoning."
American Atheists was unsuccessful in getting its billboard posted in Tampa due to companies refusing to post it. Further, the billboards posted in Charlotte were removed on Thursday due to a strongly negative public backlash that, according to AA, included threats via email and telephone.
Regarding the claims by the atheist groups that religion has too much influence on the political system and holds back American innovation, Focus on the Family's Schneeberger told CP that faith has a long history of influence on the United States.
"Men and women who espoused and acted on their faith in God have been the guiding force for good in our nation since its inception," said Schneeberger.
"The Bible says in Philippians that in humility we are to consider others better than ourselves, that we should not only look out for our own interests, but the interests of others. How can someone who is earnestly living each day to obey that exhortation 'hold back' our nation?"
The Republican National Convention will take place in Tampa, Fla., from Aug. 27 to Aug. 30; the Democratic National Convention will take place in Charlotte, Sept. 4-6.