Atheist group removes controversial billboard

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Several controversial billboards in Charlotte ridiculing religion have been taken down.  A group called American Atheists put them up near the airport and the Brookshire specifically for visitors to the Democratic National Convention. 

They told Eyewitness News they took them down due to complaints and threats from the public. 

One of the billboards, against Christianity, called God "sadistic and the Savior "useless".  The other group attacked Mormonism and called its God a "space alien". 

American Atheists said they wanted to use the billboards to "expose the foolishness of religion in the political landscape".

Thursday, the group announced they and the billboard company, Adams Outdoor Advertising, agreed to take the signs down after several threats and hate speech against staff and volunteers.

"It is incredibly sad and disheartening when a group puts up a billboard that criticizes the ideas of religion and is viciously attacked."  said Amanda Knief, American Atheists' Managing Director.

One person  who has passed the billboard often, told Eyewitness News, "They have a right to state their opinion.  They have a right to be wrong," said Bob Hackendorf. 

"It appalled me that it was on a billboard outside of a highway," said  Denise Jackson.

The billboard company is refunding American Atheists a portion of the money it paid for the billboards.  The group said it plans to have protesters on the ground at both conventions to express their views.