FFRF Sues City After “No Religion” Billboard Taken Down

datePosted on 14:36, December 2nd, 2008 by Kosmic Kurt

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the city of Ranch Cucamonga in Southern California for removing their billboard after alleged complaints and a phone call from city representative Linda Daniels. The billboards depicts the ubiquitous World Trade Center twin towers with the words “Imagine no religion” taken form John Lennon’s song Imagine (shown elsewhere in this blog). General Outdoor sign company removed the billboard after Daniels called and said the city had allegedly received 90 calls complaining about the billboard.

This is clearly a perfect example of a city giving preferential treatment to a religious majority over a non-religious minority. The Bill of Rights was created for the express purpose of preventing this from happening. The city is violating the rights of the FFRF and other non-believers. What’s more, this action reflects very poorly on the religious protesters.  Everyday I come in contact with religious billboards and religious advertising that I find very offensive. So, I look away or change the channel – or better yet, if there is an opportunity for me to express another view – I express it. Suppressing the opinions of any group because they differ from yours is very wrong. When the government does it, it is illegal.

From a philosophical point of view, the world would indeed be a much better and safer place to live in without religion. In recent memory I don’t recall any atheists bombing subways or flying airplanes into

buildings. Those acts belong to Christians, Muslims, and other believers. Apparently the people of  Rancho Cucamonga are so comfortable with their religious hatred and violence that they can’t Imagine life without it.

No religion’ billboard taken down after complaints

By The Associated Press, Associated Press

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Complaints have led to the removal of an atheist group’s “Imagine No Religion” billboard in this San Bernardino County city.

The General Outdoor sign company took down the Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard after the city said it received about 90 complaints and asked whether there was a way to remove it.

The Madison, Wis.-based foundation, which advocates separation of church and state, has billboards in eight states that include such messages as “Reasons Greetings” and “Beware of Dogma.”

The foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said the billboard is meant to encourage a debate about religion by evoking lyrics from a John Lennon song.

“The city has no business suggesting our billboard be censored,” Gaylor said. “They’re not allowed to interfere over religious controversy.”

The city’s actions are “dangerously close” to censorship and a violation of the First Amendment, said Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition.

“A city government has no business trying to dictate or influence the content of an advertising image, particularly one that’s political and controversial as this is simply because some people don’t like it and complained about it,” Scheer said.

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