An atheist group planning to protest the Answers in Genesis Ark Experience in Williamstown, KY had their plans rained out last week when the billboard company declined to accept their advertisement.
Lamar Advertising Company, one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the United States, rejected the proposed billboards designed by the Tri-State Freethinkers, a local atheist group. The billboards referred to the Ark Museum as “Genocide and Incest Park.”
Hal Kilshaw, Lamar’s Vice President of Governmental Relations, told Baptist Press that Lamar refused to produce the billboard because the company felt the message was “misleading.”
Tri-State Freethinkers have raised around $11,000 through an Indiegogo campaign to support the negative bill boardbord effort. In a press release, Tri-State Freethinkers President Jim Helton expressed his disappointment with Lamar Advertising.
“We knew the IndieGoGo campaign would be big news in freethought and atheist communities,” Helton said. “When the story hit the local press, Lamar backed out. They were unwilling to work with me to try to find a solution that would have resembled anything close to our original concept for the billboard.”
Kilshaw says Lamar Advertising does not discriminate against atheists.
“We have taken plenty of copy from atheist groups and some of them with the name Freethinkers; I guess they have different local or state chapters,” Kilshaw told Baptist Press. “If they wanted to say, you know, they don’t believe in Noah’s Ark, fine. They can say they don’t believe in Noah’s Ark. If they want to say, they don’t like the Noah’s Ark project that’s being undertaken, fine; they can say that.”