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Austin Cline

LIND Billboard Company Discriminates Against Atheists?

By December 14, 2011

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According to the LIND Billboard Company, if you're an atheist group and want to put up a billboard saying "There Is No God - Don't Believe Everything You Hear," that would be "inflammatory" as well "obscene, offensive, and/or not in the best interests of the community." Say what?

Curiously, a billboard with the exact same words was put up by a different company in the same area -- but that billboard was sponsored by a Christian church. It's the exact same words, so the only thing that the LIND Billboard Company can claim is "inflammatory" or "offensive" is that it's an atheist saying them -- specifically, Mid-Ohio Atheists.

Now how is that not blatant anti-atheist bigotry and discrimination? Is there any excuse that LIND can offer that would salvage them from the accusation of being bigoted?

The content of the proposed displays was supposed to have been approved beforehand by senior management at Lind, but unfortunately was not. When the content of your proposed displays did recently come to the attention of senior management, it was felt that a legal opinion was needed as to whether the content of the proposed displays might constitute a violation of the terms and conditions of Lind's lease agreements for the billboard structures at which the posters would be displayed. Legal counsel determined that such displays could constitute a violation of such lease terms and conditions.

Moreover, the inflammatory nature of the proposed displays would no doubt be considered offensive to much of the community and would be harmful to Lind's community reputation and goodwill. Lind has always and will continue to reserve the right not to publish advertisements which, in its sole opinion, are obscene, unnecessarily offensive and/or not in the best interests of the community at large. We regret any inconvenience this might have caused your organization and Lind will bear the costs it has already incurred in the production of the displays without charge.

Maura Siegenthaler
Vice President
Lind Media Company


Source: Mid-Ohio Atheists

Michael posts a few of the billboards which LIND Billboard Company has accepted and it's clear that LIND is just fine with billboards from Christian churches accusing other Christians carrying the "mark" of the Antichrist. But atheists... Never!

A company like LIND does have some freedom when it comes to what advertising it will accept and what advertising it won't. They can't be forced to accept absolutely everything that is submitted to them. But what can LIND point to as "inflammatory" about the billboard submitted by Mid-Ohio Atheists... aside from the fact that it's atheists who are doing the advertising?

Admitting that would reveal their decision as an example of illegal religious discrimination. It would be illegal for them to refuse a billboard simply because the message comes from Muslims and promotes a Muslim group. It would be illegal for them to refuse a billboard simply because the message comes from Jews and promotes a Jewish group.

Well, the same is true if the potential advertiser happens to be atheists. I'd like to see other companies using LIND be boycotted and I'd really like to see a lawsuit against the LIND Billboard Company -- in my experience, companies will continue bigotry and discrimination until it becomes too costly to continue and only then will they stop. So to get LIND to stop the bigotry and move up to the 21st century, they are going to have to lose some money.

Comments
December 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm
(1) Foxindy says:

I’m sorry, I don’t see what the problem is.

“A billboard with the exact same words was put up by a different company in the same area.”

So how is Lind held responsible for discrimination against the source? They did not publish the message at all, even the one by theists.

They are clear about their prerogative to refuse publication of anything they deem “in its sole opinion, are…unnecessarily offensive….”

Obviously, they feel that there are enough theists in the community that a billboard with the goal of atheistic ends is more offensive than some others they have published with theistic ends.

It doesn’t seem fair to speak out against them, any more than one would speak out against a company for not publishing vulgarity. While some may not take issue with it, many do.

April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

I’m sorry, I don’t see what the problem is.

Because you’re a narrow-minded bigot.

They are clear about their prerogative to refuse publication of anything they deem “in its sole opinion, are…unnecessarily offensive….”

And anyone who thinks that announcing the existence of atheists is offensive is necessarily a bigot.

So is anyone engaged in apologetics on their behalf.

Obviously, they feel that there are enough theists in the community that a billboard with the goal of atheistic ends is more offensive than some others they have published with theistic ends.

That’s no less bigoted than a similar statement replacing “theist” with “Christian” and “atheist” with “Jew”.

It doesn’t seem fair to speak out against them, any more than one would speak out against a company for not publishing vulgarity.

Only a bigot would consider announcing the existence of atheists to be comparable with vulgarities.

December 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm
(3) Believer says:

The only ones filled with hatred are people like you. I am very saddened for you. Good job Lind!! For taking a stand in what you view as good for your company. Why is it necessary to ‘advertise’ that to you God does not exist?? We all know atheists have no faith, or believe in anything but themselves it is not something that needs to be advertised.

December 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(4) Austin Cline says:

The only ones filled with hatred are people like you.

Can you support that accusation?

Good job Lind!! For taking a stand in what you view as good for your company.

So, bigotry and discrimination are “good” in your mind? I wonder what you consider “hatred” – kindness and compassion?

Why is it necessary to ‘advertise’ that to you God does not exist??

Why not?

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