OC Atheists Unveil Another Provocative Billboard

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This afternoon, under a billboard facing Chapman Avenue in Orange, local atheists unveil the third phase of their "outreach program for letting other non-believers know they have a voice in Orange County."

The grass-roots group Backyard Skeptics will unveil their latest billboard, which has text reading, "Make This A Better World--Reject All Religious Superstitions."

Backyard Skeptics organizing director Bruce Gleason is scheduled to lead a press conference about the 48- x 14-foot billboard about a mile east of the 55 freeway, on the left side of Chapman. He boasts a membership of 500 makes his is the largest group of organized atheists in the county.

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"Atheists and humanists believe the world would be a better place without religious superstitions," reads a statement from the group about today's unveiling. "Although people of faith ignore religious superstitions outside of their faith, they see their own superstitions as fact and real. This billboard's message is that many superstitions are confirmed false by a believer when the superstitions in question are outside of their faith, but the believer will confirm the superstitions as true and real when they are tenants of their own religion.

"Magic underwear? Ridiculous. Talking snakes? Yes that actually happened! Many times a belief in religious superstitions results in the suffering of others because of the behavior believers exhibit," the statement continues. "This negative behavior stems from their faith and is hidden by the tenants of their religion. Although there are many attributes of religion which are positive, it pales in comparison with the actions religionists take which does not contribute to the well-being of others. The hindering of stem cell research, abstinence programs, the denial that condoms prevents STDs and gay marriage are several examples of how belief based on religious superstitions harms others."

Backyard Skeptics's second billboard, unveiled Sept. 21 alongside the 22 freeway at Valley View in Garden Grove, carried the message, "Faith Has No Answers--It Only Impedes Questions." It featured an image of a man reading the Bible though prison bars. The group's first billboard went up a month earlier next to the 55 freeway off Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana. It featured the slogan, "Atheism is Philanthropy Without Mythology, Peace Without Superstition."

The group raised the ire of believers across the nation for tearing pages out of Bibles near Huntington Beach Pier on Sept. 17. They did so to mimic the "Thomas Jefferson Bible," which removed biblical laws already deemed immoral by colonial times.

To learn more about the group, visit www.backyardskeptics.com.

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