American Atheists unveiled billboards Monday in two heavily religious communities declaring that God is "a myth."
The group, which has posted ads in the city like this before, said the first sign will be written in Hebrew and posted in a Jewish neighborhood near the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, with the second sign in the primarily Muslim community of Paterson, New Jersey.
The signs read, "You know it’s a myth ... and you have a choice," and are meant to advertise the American Atheists' Reason Rally in Washington D.C. on March 24.
"We want to advertise to the atheists in these communities. We want them to know we acknowledge them. We welcome them," said David Silverman, president of the organization.
The Hebrew billboard is likely to gain particular notoriety, because it spells out the name of God, an act forbidden in most conservative Jewish sects, according to CNN.
Shamsi Ali, an ex-imam at the Islamic Cultural Center in New York, said it's important to remember that anyone from any side has a right to voice an opinion.
"We don’t need to overreact," he said. "We are living in a globalized world and competition is high. Everyone has a right to present their ideas," he said, adding that the sign could be interpreted as "provocative" even if it isn’t meant to be.
During the 2010 holiday season the group posted a similar billboard near the Lincoln Tunnel, which read: "You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason."
In response, the Catholic Church took out an ad saying, "You know its real. This season, celebrate Jesus."
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