Free speech is one thing, but come within a mile of religion and people are going to get tweaked. In Orange County, FL, a week before Easter, a billboard suddenly appeared, reading simply: “All religions are fairy tales.” Almost overnight, a nearby restaurant watched business drop by 2/3. People started calling the media. I’m imagining the reports went something like this: “Hello, media? Someone is expressing an opinion and I have to be exposed to it when I drive by!”
I think the business angle is especially interesting – it provides an instant concrete measurement of public opinion. What is it about religion that strikes so deeply? I can hardly imagine another opinion being expressed on a billboard – no matter how controversial – that could impact local businesses on such a broad scale. It’s just weird.
The billboard company claims the signage was not paid for, but put up in the middle of the night by anonymous pranksters.
Update: The article has been removed from WFTV’s site without explanation. Google for coverage elsewhere.
via Sean Graham