Updated: Sunday, 22 Nov 2009, 11:33 PM MST
Published : Sunday, 22 Nov 2009, 11:33 PM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Messages questioning religion are popping up across the city of Albuquerque just weeks before the biggest religious holidays in the world.
The Freedom from Religion group sponsoring the billboards said they are paid through next month.
Even if some find them controversial, the group said they aren’t about to take the billboards down.
“Many times religion is a crutch that doesn't do as much good as people think it does,” Freedom of Religion member Ron Herman said. “We paid for the space, just like people paid for their space in newspapers advertising their services."
The colorful messages are on 10 billboards around Albuquerque. One billboard reads “Imagine No Religion and Keep Religion out of Government.”
While statements encouraging the separation of religion and government are not new, the billboard sitting on Comanche off of Interstate 25 is.
“I don't agree with them, but everybody is entitled to freedom of speech,” Baptist Stephanie Wahe said.
Another billboard reads “Praise Darwin” and his theory of evolution. Some of Albuquerque’s faithful are appalled by the billboard praising a scientist.
Others are holding strong to their religion.
“I know my faith and my beliefs,” Catholic Leslie
Albuquerque is one of about 30 cities where the messages have surfaced.
Herman said New Mexico brought the attention upon itself.
“In New Mexico there is also a strong undercurrent that to be part of government and in some groups, that you should be a believer,” Herman said.
While some are upset, some of the faithful said no sign will shake their faith.
“I just feel that if you raise your children to believe in something that a sign is not going to change their minds about what they believe in,” Wahe said.