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Help sought to counter atheist message in Times Square
by Jason Collins
Jan 13, 2013 | 4747 views | 8 8 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Contributed photo
This billboard in Times Square upset Toni Beck enough that she is raising money to put up a her own message of Christ. An atheist organization placed this one, which says “Keep the merry, dump the myth,” which was put up at Christmas time.
Contributed photo This billboard in Times Square upset Toni Beck enough that she is raising money to put up a her own message of Christ. An atheist organization placed this one, which says “Keep the merry, dump the myth,” which was put up at Christmas time.
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BEEVILLE — When Toni Beck saw on the news a billboard proclaiming Christ as a myth, she was outraged. Enough so that she wants to spread her own message to those on Times Square.

She hopes to raise the more than $25,000 to put her own billboard up in this borough of New York City promoting Christianity.

This Beeville woman first saw the billboard while watching Fox News in mid-December.

With a picture of Santa Claus above an image of Christ, the sign, sponsored by New Jersey-based American Atheists, urges passersby to “Keep the Merry!” and “Dump the Myth!”

“I don’t care if an atheist believes in Christ,” Beck said.

She is upset because this attack on Christianity and her beliefs comes at time when so many are turning to their faith for hope.

The news report in question aired only two days after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that left 26 people, most them children, dead.

“A lot of people are clinging to their faith, and they don’t need to hear news of what you believe in is a myth,” she said. “We don’t need someone telling us, ‘You are, basically, dumb.’”

That sentiment is also shared by the Catholic League, which goes head to head every year with the atheist group that sponsored the billboard.

“This year, it’s different,” Bill Donohue, league spokesman told Fox News during its Dec. 16 report. “This is vile. When you depict Jesus on the cross with a crown of thorns, this is exploitative. We as Christians never harass, intimidate or insult atheists. But they can’t seem to say, ‘We simply disagree with you.’ They have to insult us.”

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, told news media that their message was simply that the holiday doesn’t have to be about religious belief.

“Most Christians are really atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion,” Silverman told FoxNews.com. “They need not be Christian to enjoy the holiday season.”

Beck said that she is determined to spread a different message to the multitude of people who pass by the Manhattan billboard.

“My husband and I are going to pay and have the ad put. I am a fifth of the way there,” she said, adding that another couple also helped contribute to this first amount. “I already have other people wanting to contribute.”

She hopes that the community here will offer their financial support to make this happen.

“I am not trying to be in anyone’s face with religion,” she said. “I am just tired of the hypocrisy.”

The billboard, owned by Lamar Outdoor Advertising, was only booked through Thursday, and she wants to have something up within the next couple of months.

An account at First National Bank has been set up under the name Hope is Alive for donations. Money can also be contributed at New Life Church.

“We are hoping to have a billboard up for Easter promoting Christianity,” she said.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
Comments
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laselva
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January 16, 2013
The point is, is that none of us knows anything about the hereafter, and most of us don't know much about the here and now, which is all there is. Why waste your precious time on this earth praying for a miracle when life is staring you in the face? We should be fine just participating in this life and consider ourselves lucky to have a loving family and friends.

If you want to quote the ramblings of a bunch of superstitious sheep herders from 2,000 years ago, or believe that when you die you turn to dust and that's the end of you: no point at all to having a life, it makes no difference because no one is watching and judging your every move. How paranoid are you anyway? You love God: great. You don't care about God: great. You believe in nothing: fine. It's a great and wonderful universe and we reduce it's majesty with every pitiful discussion about our limited imagination..
laselva
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January 15, 2013
I for one would stop watching Fox News. It's obvious those people have really upset Ms. Beck.

Here's one for you: two atheists were sitting on a bench arguing over who didn't believe in God the most...wait a minute, that never happens.
Informer
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January 15, 2013
Ha! Nice one Iaselva!

But it's not enough for fanatics to tune something out that doesn't align with their beliefs. Their solution is to yell louder. Typical.
bigmanoncampus
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January 14, 2013
What gets me is they can ridicule Christ since Christians are mostly peace seeking. However, they would never mock Muhammad.
Informer
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January 15, 2013
Why should atheists mock Islam or Muslims, Christians do that well enough.
relam
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January 14, 2013
Most Americans are "practical" atheists. Although unwilling to say we don't believe, we live our lives as if no God exists. This was the basic idea behind the "death of God" movement in the mid-1960s. Not that God was really dead, but that we acted like it. We buy property to leave to our children; we buy insurance to protect us from disasters; we purchase consumer goods as if this life is all that matters. God has become more of a cultural tradition rather than a real live force in people's lives. Early Christians had to adjust to the world when they began to realize that Christ was not coming back as soon as they thought. Ever since, people have had to cope with the world as they found it.

On the other hand, the promise of heaven kept people in line. Texas slaves, for example, were Christinized, at least partially, as one means of keeping them docile. Why worry about this life when you have a greater life beyond? The problem was they wanted to take advantage of the here and now just like others did.

So, we believe there is a heaven and we plan to go there, but we act as if there isn't.
tbonetoad
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January 13, 2013
Good Luck in your endeavor. We need more Christians who are willing to defend their faith. Atheism is a disease which is infecting the hearts and minds of our youth and robbing the hope of young and old alike for which Christ gave His life.
Informer
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January 13, 2013
As an atheist here in Beeville, I have to say the billboard may have been a little insensitive, but if you're so offended by what people a billboard says...don't read it. It's as simple as that. If I see a street preacher on some corner, I don't stand there and listen, I ignore it.

Tbonetoad if atheism is a disease, then you'd better board your house up. I don't know if you seen the latest numbers, but we are growing in droves and that includes little secluded Bible Belt towns like Beeville.