ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s only been up for one day, but a billboard along I-25 in Albuquerque already has a lot of people talking.

It says, “Just skip church it’s all fake news.”

“I think it’s terrible because Christmas is almost here for one thing and that’s not the way I wish to celebrate the holidays,” said Connie Lindsay.

“Just skip church it’s all fake news. Wow. I am a Catholic,” said Edward Ray.

It shocked some and resonated with others.

“I myself am an atheist so gonna have to concur with that,” said Devon Gutierrez.

The billboard was put up by the American Atheists.

“It’s a great way for us to in kind of a lighthearted way start those conversations and get people talking,” said Nick Fish with American Atheists.

Fish says the sign isn’t meant to offend anyone. It’s meant to inspire people to think critically about what they hear.

“We want people to think critically about all aspects of their life. We want people to think critically about the news that we get from Facebook and social media. They need to think critically about it. They shouldn’t just shut off that part of their brain when they go into a church,” said Fish.

This is the first time that AA put one of their holiday-themed billboards in Albuquerque.

“We want to go places where we think the conversation just needs to be poked a little bit. Where there’s a community out there for folks who are leaving religion and Albuquerque has that,” said Fish.

Fish also says this billboard is to make people whose beliefs do not align with the Christian celebration of Christmas feel included.

“Christianity or any other religion doesn’t have a monopoly on December. So, our message here is, however, you want to celebrate it go ahead and do that,” said Fish.

Most people KRQE News 13 spoke to weren’t mad. They were sad and shocked. However, most people said AA has the right to put up whatever billboard they want, even if they don’t agree with it.

“I think inclusion is important. It’s definitely important. But, to that degree, I don’t know if that’s necessary. It’s just not in my belief system,” said Greg Aguilar.

AA says the billboard will be up until the end of December.

The Albuquerque billboard was the first to go up. Later this week, similar billboards will go up in Texas and Oklahoma.

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