Just in time for Christmas, the controversial group "American Atheists" erected two billboards encouraging people to skip church this year. However, in an ironic twist, the two women featured one on billboard are devout Christians who believe the exact opposite of its message.
As reported, the first billboard is a parody of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign slogan and bears the phrase, "Make Christmas Great Again. Skip Church!". The organization says it will be displayed throughout December in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lynchburg, Virginia; Augusta, Georgia; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Georgetown, South Carolina.
The other billboard - which will be displayed in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Shreveport, Louisiana - shows a text conversation between two friends, with one telling her friend that she's not going to church because "I don't believe that stuff anymore" and that her parents will "get over it."
According to CBS News, years ago, Candy Burns and her daughter posed for a stock photo shoot, helping out a friend. While they knew their photo could be used anywhere, they never imaged it would be used to promote atheism.
"I just think it's funny that you have two Christian women as your spokesperson and you don't love God but I do," Burns told the outlet.
She added that she tried with no avail to get the organization to remove the images from the billboard.
"I can't get mad about it because I know who I am in Christ, I know that I'm a child of God. I know I'm not an atheist."
Earlier, she told the Gazette she found out about the billboards after a friend emailed her a link to a news story.
"If they want to sit there and not believe in God, that's on them," the mother said. "But for them to take a Christian mother and daughter and put them on a billboard, I think that's low. Why don't they use their own people?"
In a press release, the group said it launched the billboards nationwide to show support for the "growing population" of non-believers in America.
"It is important for people to know religion has nothing to do with being a good person, and that being open and honest about what you believe - and don't believe - is the best gift you can give this holiday season," the press release said. "More and more Americans are leaving religion, but we still have work to do when it comes to fighting the stigma many atheists face."
Evangelist Franklin Graham slammed the campaign in a Facebook post earlier this week: "Have you ever heard the old saying 'Misery loves company?' That's what this atheist billboard made me think of. These people are anti-God, and they want others to miss out on the joy of Christmas as well. They are blind to the truth of Christmas-which is God showing His great love for us by sending a Savior, His Son Jesus Christ. Christmas isn't about Santa Claus or Jingle Bells. So let's make Christmas great again this year-by attending church and by keeping Christ at the center. Are you in?"