An atheist group is gloating on its website over the revenge it has taken on Christ Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio.
The church, which owns a billboard leased to Clear Channel Outdoor advertising, discovered that an atheist advertisement had been placed on their sign by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
They had it removed as offensive.
The billboard featured the smiling image of Dylan Galos, a local college student, proclaiming the atheist message: “I can be good without God.”
It seemed more than coincidental to some that the pictured atheist student was black, just like Christ Cathedral’s pastor, Rev. Waymon Malone.
After the billboard was removed from church property, the atheist organization, based in Madison, Wisc., decided to take revenge on the church for removing their sign.
Freedom From Religion describes what they did next:
A decision by Christ Cathedral Church, 3350 Allegheny Ave., Columbus, Ohio to remove a Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard has had expensive consequences for the church.
Shortly after Columbus atheist Dylan Galos’ “Coming Out of the Closet” billboard, stating “I can be good without God,” went up in late June, Rev. Waymon Malone Jr. of Christ Cathedral Church said it had to go, and it was moved to a new location. The church owns the property the billboard company was leasing near its parking lot.
After finding no record the Church paid property taxes for this commercial use of the property, FFRF sent a letter July 7 asking Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo II to investigate.
The auditor responded by billing Christ Cathedral for roughly $20,000 in past taxes.
Meanwhile, the account executive who worked with FFRF to find locations for the atheist organization’s billboard says he had no idea that one of those selected was on church property.
It was “an unfortunate oversight” by Clear Channel, said Jay Schmidt, account executive for Matrix Media Services, who handled the atheist organization’s billboard buy.