Colorado Billboard: “God Is An Imaginary Friend”

A coalition of atheist groups in Colorado purchased a series of billboards in Denver and Colorado Springs they hope will spark debate and encourage community gathering and thought.

The billboards will read “God Is An Imaginary Friend-Choose Reality, It Will Be Better For All Of Us.”

According to Colorado Coalition of Reason (COCORE) one of the motivations for the billboards was a concern that religious individuals feel they have “not only the right, but the obligation to force their religious views on others.” The group cites increased proselytizing in the military, educational systems, and government and growing attacks on the LGBT community and abortion providers as evidence of the ever-expanding influence of religion in our culture.

The group went out of its way to state they were not trying to offend believers. “If you disagree with the sentiments of the sign, please don’t be offended. We are more interested in opening a dialogue than upsetting you. We don’t ask you to stop believing in your versions of a super-natural being. We do ask that you consider not forcing your religious views on others.”

This is not the first time the coalition of atheists put up billboards to spread its word. In 2008 and 2010 the group paid for billboards that asked “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” and also one that protested the Denver City Council Building nativity scene.

It’s a simple point but one that will no doubt cause controversy with the significant evangelical population in the state. If only this message were as welcome in public discourse as the fidelity of a person’s faith.

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Photo from dannybirchall via flickr.

1805 comments

Carol M.
Carol m.3 years ago

Hi Richard, Didn`t that scripture say the thorn bush was burning but not consumed ? Likewise those 120 at pentecost they had tongues as of fire , but their tongues wern`t burning , but in both places it say`s that Gods holy spirit caused this to be , really that doesn`t leave much room for anyones interpretation .. It is what it is, Holy Spirit , and if there is a mystery in that book the bible , I haven`t found it yet . sure enjoy our discussion though. as the bible of the truth it says that the truth will become more abundent in these last days . I hope you and Ron will not give up on searching for the truth , because it is there for all who would like to know it . not to mention I have grown attached to you two.... "SMILE" Your friend , Carol

Richard Zane Smith

I'm not saying "nothing is certain." That can be just as circular as saying "There are absolutely no absolutes!"
but i do believe there exists MUCH uncertainty and we'd all do better if we "let mystery be" and find common ground ...and to love our neighbor as we want ourselves to be loved.

Richard Zane Smith

Carol,
thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think "interpretation" is inevitable. Interpretation in my understanding is as you concluded when you stated: "I too do not believe that the thorn bush was actually burning , otherwise as stated it would have been consumed," and also concerning the day of Pentecost : "Of course, these were not burning flames, but tongues as if of fire."
These are both "interpretations" one makes by reading and deciding, by study, what they mean to us. Our interpretations might be right or wrong, because understanding exact original intent is the challenge for even a Greek scholar reading, especially ancient writings that come from ancient writers minds and pens.
JWs. interpret the NT differently than the majority of evangelical Christians. Many in the Orthodox Church feels like modern evangelicals have cheapened the gospel and lost a sense of awe and mystery and use lots of icons as "aides" to worship. Some churches feel icons are idols. Many Evangelicals in this country are ultra-political and pledge allegiance to a national flag. Others feel this is near blasphemous and is no different than kissing the ring of Caesar...well,you get the point.
We all "interpret", even if we believe deeply that God is directing us to "his interpretation", there STILL will be different and even opposing conclusions. I'm not saying "nothing is certain" but i do believe there exists MUCH uncertainty and we'd all do better if we "let mystery be" and find common gro

Carol M.
Carol m.3 years ago

Richard , I too do not believe that the thorn bush was actually burning , otherwise as stated it would have been consumed...and as was recorded at Acts 2 1-4 holy spirit at that time took the form of "tongues as if of fire" that became visible and rested upon each one of the 120 present in that upper room in Jerusalem. Of course, these were not burning flames, but tongues as if of fire , yet they were something that was truly observable , just as were the flames that Moses saw in the thorn bush , when God called and commissioned him to deliever his people from bondage . .... Gen. 40:8 says interpretation belongs to God.... with that in mind it would be wrong for people to have their own interpretation wouldn`t we all agree? funny you mentioned the jews and what they believe , as I talked to a Rabbi one time He said " know how we know that Jesus was not the son of God? " Because scripture says we would be the ones who put him to death and we didn`t the romans did. " I also asked him how come they took God`s name out of the bible ? His answere was because it took up too much room. Isn`t that somthing? INTERPRETATION !

Richard Zane Smith

Carol,
I'd have to be honest in saying I don't think readers were meant to take the "burning bush" story "literally", From what i've heard, most Jews today see their scriptures as ancient teaching stories and wisdom literature that rabbi's say comes "alive" every time its read by a different mind and from a different era. Truth doesn't change but interpretation,discussion about its meaning and application DOES change...and THS is when the "spirit" is active.

But i agree that in "you have heard it said...an eye for an eye.." that Jesus was indicating it wasn't himself I AM giving those commands to Israel, but it was his "Father."
(assuming the NT account is true, of course and scribes always interpreted it correctly)

Carol M.
Carol m.3 years ago

Richard, I try not to use outside sorurces , i`d rather find it in the bible . this is my understanding of the I AM from my bible . In Ex. 3 starting in verse 2 we see Moses finds this burning bush and by means of an angel , God spoke to Moses, then we see that God tells him the ground is holy because God was present. the verse 6 I AM the God of your father , the God of Abraham, the God of Issac and the God of Jacob, then we see Moses covers his face from the true God. He goes on to say to Moses he has heard the peoples crys for help. verse 13 Moses says to the true God " suppose I am now come to the sons of Israel and do say to them the God of your forefathers has sent me to you " and they say to me what is his name what shall I say to them? 14 I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be . ( some of my translations render it I AM that I AM) 15 This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel " Jehovah the God of your forefathers ", the God of Abraham , the God of Issac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. This is my name to time indefinit , then says Jehovah the God of your forefathers has appeard to me.... You`ll find where you see in your bible it renders caps" LORD " this is where Jehovah`s name has been replaced by LORD or GOD which we know are only titles.. His name was in the bible org. over 7,000 times . they did leave it in a few places though like Ps. 83:18 MY conclusion is plain who the I AM is .. Almighty God Jehovah ,.... interesting to hear yo

Richard Zane Smith

Sure Carol,
I've not heard the JW position on that. just let us know your extra-biblical sources ok?

Carol M.
Carol m.3 years ago

DIDN`T HEAR FROM YOU GUYS , WONDERING IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE INFORMATION I LOOKED UP?

Carol M.
Carol m.3 years ago

Richard and Ron, I really appreciated your last comments , Yes, it is easy to let ourselves become over confident in our understandings of scripture or anything for that matter , we`re not perfect,.. although not easy I do try to let the bible answere then it`s not my thoughts. You two guys are super and real ! ... I don`t know Richard if you really wanted to know about the "I am " spoken from the thorn bush and who it was or not , and why Jesus said what he did in responce about that , but I did do research on that . It is really very interesting..... that`s if you want me to share that with you two , your friend , Carol

Richard Zane Smith

Ron,
I appreciate that. I agree, and apologies accepted....forgiven.
We all see through a darkened glass, and through it there will ALWAYS be some distortion.
Its easy for ANY of us to become overly confident in our own understandings.