MARYVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Local) — A new billboard that advocates the separation of church and state is starting to stir passions in east Tennessee.
The billboard, sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, reads: “God & Government: A Dangerous Mix. Keep State & Church Separate.”
It was installed on Monday and can be seen on the northbound side of Highway 129 in Maryville.
East Tennessee FFRF chapter president, Aleta Ledendecker, says the billboard is not targeting any particular issue and was erected in Blount County at this time simply because the space was available. She hopes the message gets people thinking.
What are your thoughts? An East TN group's billboard reads: 'God & Government, A Dangerous Mix' https://t.co/ZGQhkFUzvI
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“Our government is really supposed to be a secular government. Lots of people in East Tennessee are very comfortable with the idea of inserting religion into government and I think this is a very important message for people to see,” she told WATE.
But Bryan Abell, who has driven by the billboard, describes the billboard as “disturbing.”
“I think it promotes people to think more of government and less on God,” he said. “To remove God’s moral character from government, in my opinion, our founding fathers used the Bible to create the founding documents.”
The billboard will be up for the next four weeks.
“I just hope a lot of people see it and it starts a conversation,” said Ledendecker.