OMAHA(KPTM)- A billboard at a busy Omaha intersection is sending a message that has become more than a passing thought.
The 14' X 48' board at 72nd and Pacific street reads "Don't believe in God? Join the Club!"
The sign facing the north sends the message to the nearly 60,000 southbound drivers that drive near the intersection daily.
In August, the sign will flip to be read by the northbound traffic, with an average of 90,000 daily drivers.
It's a message that Deacon Timothy McNeil with the Omaha Archdiocese says can be risky in the city, being that there is a strong religious presence,
"I mean, the majority of people in Omaha are Catholic, Christian, Jewish. They have a strong belief in God so this is the type of message won't get a lot of traction in our city," said McNeil.
Dana Carlton-Flint works right near the board, saying her reaction to the sign was that "The whole thing is just kind of odd… the first thing I thought was, you know, it's a club? Having a religious view or belief is not part of a club."
The sign was posted by the Omaha Coalition of Reason, a group that supports atheists and similar non- religious groups.
The Omaha CoR director, William Newman, says the sign is in no way meant to offend the religious community. Rather, it's meant to help non- religious Omahans find a place where they feel not alone. The board has a phone number and a website where people can find ways to connect with other like-minded people in the community.
"Traditionally, atheists, non-theists have been not held in very high regard throughout the community and country. But, we feel that if traditionally religious people can be open about their views, why can't we be open about ours," said Newman.
Newman also hopes it will let Omahans know that atheists are a part of their community.
Flint says though she may not agree with the message, she does support allowing all beliefs to be expressed.
"It doesn't mean theirs are right, I think mine are right and that's why we live in America and is what makes our country wonderful."
The billboard was also posted to get non-religious omahans to view the website www.omahaCoR.org , which also has information about the 4th annual Midwest Free Thought Conference, designed to bring like-minded non religious people together for socializing and to listen to various speakers. It will be held at UNO in August.
You can also find more information about the conference through the following link.
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