Atheist billboard stirs religious debate on the Turnpike

A six-story billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike condoning atheism is sparking religious controversy among Garden State commuters and beyond.

The group Free Thought Action sponsored the sign as part of a nationwide campaign to bring atheism into the public arena. The group calls the billboard a "positive message of support to non-believers."

The group says the sign is in no way a slight to anyone who is religious, but some drivers feel the road is not an appropriate forum for the message.

"I don't believe in that," says truck driver Gary Cooper. "It should be taken down immediately."

Other commuters feel the sign isn't harmful and deserves to remain put. "Everyone that's willing to pay money for a billboard should have the right to put it up," says driver Sharyl Fidoten. She maintains anyone who disagrees with the sign can choose to ignore its message.

The billboard has begun garnering Internet attention. Free Thought Action says it has received messages from around the world thanking the group for its work.

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