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.
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.