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'God is' billboard replaces controversial Lincoln Tunnel atheist billboard
December 23rd, 2010
05:44 PM ET

'God is' billboard replaces controversial Lincoln Tunnel atheist billboard

By Emanuella Grinberg and Nicole Saidi, CNN

An atheist billboard on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel that declared Christmas a "myth" has been replaced by a pro-Christian billboard.

The old billboard, put up in late November by the American Atheists organization, said "You know it's a myth. This season, celebrate reason."

The sign stirred controversy among Christian organizations, prompting the Catholic League to erect its own pro-Christmas billboard on the New York side of the tunnel that read, "You Know It's Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus."

The new sign, which was posted by the Manhattan-based Times Square Church, reads "God is," and includes a word cloud of religious themes.

See images of new "God is" billboard

The sign is a direct response to "atheist billboards near the Lincoln Tunnel declaring Christmas a myth," the church said on its website.

"We want to encourage people to seek God and prove that indeed He is," senior Pastor Connor Conlon said. The ad originally ran as part of a subway ad campaign Times Square Church ran in January 2010.

iReporter Lulis Leal noticed the new sign while passing through the Lincoln Tunnel and shared photos of it with iReport. She said people on both sides of the issue are talking about the latest billboard. She said she's even observed people arguing about it.

As for the old sign, an American Atheists spokesman said the organization's lease ran out on the space, as they'd only had it reserved for a month.

"They have First Amendment rights," spokesman Blair Scott said.

Since putting down $20,000 for the billboard, the group has earned $65,000 in donations, which Scott attributed to the national publicity it garnered - with a little help from the Catholic League.

"We received e-mails from hundreds of agnostics and atheists who heard about the billboard and had never heard about us who thanked us for being there and letting them know they're not alone, and that was our target audience from the get-go," he said.

"We sent the Catholic League a thank-you letter."

- egrinberg

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church • Christianity • Christmas • Holidays • iReport

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soundoff (1,586 Responses)
  1. Hope

    It makes me cringe inside reading some of fthe comments here! Truly this is an evil generation! I believe that the blasphemies coming from some here are straight from the pits of hell itself.

    When the judgment of God falls upon this generation, they will not know what hit them!

    December 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  2. zeestan

    please dont forget god also said go forth and kill them all even the suckling children on thier mothers breast if they dont accept the children of israel as my chosen ones

    December 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  3. What Is Intolerance?

    Atheists are motivated by envy.

    They can't stand Christians enjoying a holiday and so therefore must either attack it, or try to steal it.

    December 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
    • Marconi

      Would that be the holiday called Christmas? Stolen from pagans, and other celebrating the winter solstice.

      December 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  4. therm

    Todd '...I can truly say the way we are designed is too fascinating to be an accident.'

    And then you plead for us to see your so-called reason? Dude, that's a personal opinion if I ever saw one. I suppose you have proof from all your studies that your statement is true, right? If not, your just as ignorant as you think the people you are pleading with are, probably even more.

    December 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  5. Something

    NL,

    "...we do remember you [Zeus] when we light the olympic torch every two years."

    Yes, and all English-speaking people honor, the god Tyr (Tuesday), god Woden (Wednesday), god Thor (Thursday), goddess Friga (Friday) and god Saturn (Saturday) every week... and god Janus (January), the pagan ritual of Februa (February), god Mars (March), goddess Maia (May), and goddess Juno (June) every year.

    If there were still Roman or Norse god worshipers around, they might take offense at non-believers (a-pantheonists) being so sacrilegious as to date stuff, 'January' or ‘February’, or 'Thursday', etc.

    December 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  6. Zeus

    I believe in the bible now. I also believe the earth is flat just like the men who wrote it.

    I am a lemming.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Todd

    I am a Christian, and I reject the notion that I am somehow less intelligent than an atheist or agnostic. I am going to medical school, and I didnt get there because of my good looks lol. If somone wanted to ask me an intelligent question about my faith, Id be more than happy to talk with them. Respectfully, I submit the proposition that atheists need to have more faith than Christians, Muslims, etc. You must believe that I am an accident and the result of a highly unlikely scientific process. In all my school studies, I can truly say the way we are designed is too fascinating to be an accident. For my atheists friends, if you are advocating for reason, please consider my reasoning.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Todd: As a Med studnet, I am sure you see the flaws in your proposal. First, you are claiming that you have rejected all of the evidence supporting evolution. As a med student, I am sure you see that now I must require you to submit the evidence that you have which invalidates the supporting evidence. If you have no evidence besides a feeling or what you have learned in med school, your position is an emotional one and not based in logic or reason. Second, even if you could provide verifiable evidence to disprove evolution, that does not prove your creationist theory. Your Creation theory requires it's own evidence to support it's claims. I would suggest you bring your superior intellect to prove the theory you subscribe to rather than trying to disprove another theory because of what you think you know.

      December 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • aurum79

      Tod – Fully expecting you to torture your patients to death per the senseless rules Christians have imposed on end of life care. Remind me to die with dignity somewhere else than in the loving arms of you and your mean-spirited old testament God. My life, my choice.

      December 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  8. wild bill

    Depends on your definition of "is"

    December 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  9. Vapor

    Aarrgghh

    @aaaarrrggghh We can PROVE gravity, over and over and over again. We even know how much or little of it there is on other planets because we can PROVE IT with mathematics and experiments.

    Seriously? Or are you just joking? The theory of gravity is just that, a theory. It has holes the size of Texas in it. In fact, alternative theories of gravity are a better fit for some ugly scenarios that GR just cannot explain such as why thre are rings around saturn and none on earth etc etc. Care to google Alternate better theories of Gravity? So the point is athiest believe in hocus pocus as well, right? Only, it goes by another name called science. Go figure.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Sorry Vapor, your response is logically flawed. You are making an argument from ignorance. Any alternate theory carries it's own burden of proof and need for demonstrative evidence to support it's claims. Your lack of capacity to understand the evidence that supports a theory does not invalidate it. Then again, believers have always been a bit fuzzy on the whole "need for demonstrative evidence" issue.

      December 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  10. Eric G.

    Believers keep making reference to a strawman that is created by the atheists. They say we are turning their words. Hypothetically, if evidence did exist that would either prove or disprove the existence of a god, would a believer want to see it? Please keep in mind that your response will be in your words. It will not be necessary for me to turn them against you, so choose your words carefully.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  11. Zeus

    Will somebody please tell me what god the dinosaurs worshipped?

    December 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  12. NL

    kuwait_999
    "Jesus is the true Prince of Peace!"

    But Christ will return as a god of War, right?

    December 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  13. Don

    thorrsman, once again you attempt to shift the burden of proof. Please stop.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  14. NL

    thorrsman

    So, God's emotions are not 'equal' to human emotions, and we "finite humans are unable to comprehend the mental workings of Beings far, far greater than we." Does that mean that any human really 'knows' what God's 'love' means, for example? It likely doesn't have the same meaning as we have, right? According to your own view, being a mere 'finite human' yourself you cannot say for certain what God's 'love' actually is, so how can you be certain that having God's love is something desirable? Who knows, God may 'love' us the same way Garfield the cat loves lasagna.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  15. Lol@God

    Yeah Fabiola, who needs that silly thing called logic or reason? Fairy tales make much more sense to me too!. Also, are you so excited for Santa to visit you tonight ? Make sure you leave him milk and cookies.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  16. WakeUp

    Who did rthe dinosaurs worship?

    They were here WAYYYYYYYY longer than us?

    December 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  17. turkeyfish

    This episode makes clear how atheists can subsidize their efforts to get out the word that there is no god at the expense of those who are determined to prove that there is. Simply buy up large stretches of property along highways and post signs announcing that god is a myth as well as a phone number for billboard adverstising in this space. This will cause such a ruckus that the devout will come out to outspend the atheists and put up a "counter-sign". Atheists then collect money to further subsidize more billboards and land purchases. God, being a capitalist will be happy.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  18. CAPTAINACARS

    I think it is funny that Thorrsman keeps saying that we must prove there is no god, and that he does not need to prove the existance of god. Hey , I can prove something, thorrsman is the biggest christian moron on this blog, and that is quite a feat considering how many christian idiots have crawled out of their churches for this. I am shocked god is ok with you using the internet considering it is so evil. I think that is a sin thorrsman.

    December 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  19. WakeUp

    The bible was written by a bunch of men that thought the world was flat.

    Really? Do you see the mentality of the people over there in the "holy lands"?

    Humans are the only dorks that make gods and stuff up when they can't find answers.

    What religion did the dinosaurs practice when they were here for millions of years?

    December 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  20. Bucksfan

    Here is my question for any atheist out there. If you can answer this question with a legitimate answer then I will understand how you can be an atheist. If you can't answer the question, then you must believe in some God/Higher power.

    According to SCIENTIFIC revelations, the universe was created by "the big bang". Or, originally the universe was an extremely hot, dense ball of matter and mass, and from that ball of matter and mass, it hence expanded and created EVERYTHING in this universe. This is fine until you look at the law of conservation of mass. another SCIENTIFIC way of explaining things. The law of conservation of mass states that matter and mass can neither be created nor destroyed. So here is my question. If the big bang created everything, where did the matter/mass that caused the big bang come from. Or for that matter, where did the first mass/matter ever come from? it can't be created (According to SCIENTIFIC views) but mass and matter had to come from somewhere.

    Science hereby contradicts itself. because its says the big bang created everything, but it offers no explanation to where that original mass and matter came from. The only explanation is that there is a creator who created that mass/matter, and then the big bang happened. But you'll never hear a scientist say there is a creator.

    Please, someone answer this for me.

    December 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.