A billboard placed along a Massachusetts highway with the words, "Try God," was vandalized last week to include the words "The other WHITE meat," causing drivers to pay more attention to the sign than originally thought by a Boston-based Catholic radio station.
The station WQOM 1060 put up the sign to promote their AM dial as part of a billboard campaign featuring 23 signs with the purpose to reach the Boston community and share the "good news" of the gospel. Last Friday, the station manager became aware of the vandalism after listeners called in to report it.
"This is clearly not a circumstance of some teenagers with spray paint. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make it appear that the new text was a real billboard message," Chris Kelley said, 1060AM station manager, in a statement.
Although the message was taken off on Monday and replaced with the radio station's information instead, Kelley acknowledged the vandalism incident actually worked in their favor.
"This act, however, is an indication that the 'Try God' billboard campaign is attracting attention and making people reflect on the role of God in our lives," Kelley said. "…That attention is the silver-lining and a sign that the campaign already has been successful."
The "Try God" billboard is just one of a slew of other faith-based signs that have received national attention recently from believers and non-believers alike. Last week, an atheist organization posted seven billboards throughout South Dakota to reach out to secular freethinkers, which caused a Christian business owner to fund his own billboard in direct response, placing it in front of one of the godless message signs. Furthermore, over 300 Texas churches have joined in on a 30-billboard campaign throughout Austin with the simple words, "#Explore God."
Similar to those billboards, the "Try God" campaign has received positive and negative responses but a radio host for WQOM 1060 said the vandalism incident was not only an attack on the Catholic church but to other believers as well.
"An act against one faith, in some ways, is an act against all faiths, and against all people of faith. This act of vandalism was certainly not a prank. It should cause us to reflect on the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that hostility is increasing against the practice of faith and against religious expression," Scot Landry said, host of The Good Catholic Life radio program, in a statement.
The radio station will continue to display the boards until September 22 and for now they hope the vandals will take away the intended message of the campaign despite their actions.
"We pray for those who did this that whatever troubles they have that would cause this action that God heals them and then get the help they need. We ask them to 'Try God,' perhaps by listening to 1060AM Catholic Radio," said Kelley.