In Los Angeles, a war of words of sorts is being played out between Christian and atheist groups. Over 13 years ago, Brent Farley of Charlotte, NC, was an atheist. However, he found God and soon felt the need to share his new faith with others. Thus, “Jesus Saves Signs” was born. “The signs were an idea that the Holy Spirit gave me to share the gospel with a simple, vivid, short, super simple message,” he said in an interview. Soon, signs with the phrase “Jesus Saves” were popping up all over North Carolina. Soon, the signs were popping up in other parts of the country, like Des Moines, Iowa, too, as Farley spread his ministry. 

Farley is currently taking his ministry to LA, where he finds himself up against the LA-based Atheists United group. The group sponsors what they call “Atheist Street Pirates,” groups of volunteers throughout the country that have dedicated themselves to removing illegally placed religious signs on public land. LA municipal code prohibits the placement of any kind of signs in the public right of way. “Obviously, they have a motive. There’s a kingdom of darkness and a kingdom of light, and they’re working for the kingdom of darkness,” Farley told The Christian Post when speaking about the group’s efforts to remove his signs. 

Although the Street Pirates claim to be a group aiming to remove any religious signage, their main focus appears to be on Christian signs. Last month, the LA Street Pirates featured an art exhibit of signs that had been removed. The majority of removed signs contained Christian messages such as “Jesus. The way. The truth. The life” and many of Farley’s own “Jesus Saves” signs. Evan Clark, executive director of Atheists United, stated the number of signs the volunteers remove is evidence of a “larger phenomenon happening, where Christian nationalists, evangelicals and other types of religious fanatics are using our public land illegally for their proselytizing.” 

Farley accused the group of targeting Christians. “If there was Muhammad’s name or my name or anybody else’s name on those signs, they could sit there. But the only way to God, the way of salvation, there is a war, there is an attack against His name, and it’s quite vicious,” he said. Farley remains vague on whether he knowingly places signs illegally but states the motives of the atheist groups are clear. “If they were working for the kingdom of light, and it was a litter problem that they saw, they would be picking up litter; there would be bags of trash in their vehicle, not just things that give people hope and faith in God.” Clark, writing to The Christian Post, denied targeting Christians. “We have never, and will never, target one religion. We are a separation of government and religion program and would take down a Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Satanist, or atheist sign just as quick as any Christian sign,” he insisted. “The fact that all signs we’ve found so far are Christian has been a surprise to us and begs the question of why they’re the only religion incapable of following the law.”

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