Washington, D.C — Vandals have blacked out—apparently with spray paint—part of a billboard in Moscow, Idaho that reads “Millions are good without God” so that the word “without” is unreadable. The billboard, which was placed by the American Humanist Association in mid-September, is part of an AHA advertising campaign to spread awareness about being good without God. It’s the third billboard the organization has displayed in the Moscow area and similar advertisements have been put up around the country.
“We’re disappointed that someone felt the need to sabotage our message,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We don’t see the billboard as being controversial or an attack on religion; we see it as just stating a point of fact. It’s saddening that some people react with such antagonism to the mere statement you can be good without a belief in God.”
“I knew there would be some disagreement with the billboard’s slogan, but I do wish that those who objected would have opened a dialogue with us rather than trying to stifle our message and damaging property,” continued Speckhardt. “A phone call would have been much nicer.”
The American Humanist Association has filed a police report with the Moscow Police Department. In addition, it has alerted the billboard company they contracted with, Lamar Outdoor, who said they will assess whether or not the billboard can be cleaned. If not, the American Humanist Association will pay to have the billboard replaced.
“If we replace the billboard our next slogan might read ‘Being good without God clearly not for everybody’,” Speckhardt joked.
The billboard can be found on Highway 95, just south of Moscow near the Sweet Avenue cross street, facing northbound traffic. Lamar Outdoor said that occasionally billboards are vandalized, but it hasn’t happened in several years. This is the first American Humanist Association advertisement that has been defaced to the organization’s knowledge.
“We have had a few complaints about our advertisements, but most have been respectful of our right to speak our minds,” said Speckhardt.
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across the United States.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.