Sioux Falls Atheists and Humanists push billboard campaign

Published: May. 5, 2017 at 12:36 PM CDT
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The latest Sioux Falls Atheists billboard is up on W. 12th St. in Sioux Falls.

Like most of the billboards from the Sioux Falls Atheists, Agnostics and Humanists, it's not your conventional billboard. As expected it's getting mixed reviews.

"It's unnecessary, if you don't believe in God, you don't believe in God. No need to go plaster it all over a billboard," one bystander said.

"It just seems like it's a cry for attention to me," Jim Jensen said.

"It's freedom of speech as far as I'm concerned. It might be offensive to some people, and it might not offend some people," Jenny Reymundo said.

"I'm not really religious at all, but I can tell you anytime I see one of these signs I just shake my head and try to turn the other way," Jensen said.

"Those that don't believe in any spirits or anything like that, all I can say to them, is where did it all come from?" Mark Hoffman said.

The man behind these billboards says he's trying to educate people on what he calls the truth. He refers to people as witch doctors if they educate against evolution.

"They're no different than that thing, back in Africa 4,000 years ago that said 'we're going to worship the skull' or do horrible things to people because I say so because I'm the witch doctor. Then we had the inquisition, and that's why it's the centerpiece because that was a Christian thing," Hemming said.

Hemming pays for these billboards on his own. According to Lamar Advertising, a double sided billboard like this can run about $4500 a month, so who does a board like this benefit?

"The benefit is being correct in regards to reality, accepting that reality is the way it is, not some made up thing," Dale Hemming said.

"I'm trying to get people to learn something other than this nonsense they are taught by even their schools, and their religious leaders. Not all religious leaders are this way. I go to a church. The religious leader is in total agreement of what I am doing," Hemming said.

Promoting atheism around town, yet he still goes to a Christian church.

"I go to the church because they are good people there. They have many events that are charity events, and I contribute to charities. I contributed more than $50,000 to charities last year, but no one cares about that. I put up a billboard they don't agree with so cut his head off. 'Burn him at the stake out there,' that's what they would like to do," Hemming said.

Another question many have, why the small distracting print?

"I can't get across my message with one word like 'be and atheist' or 'I'm and atheist' nah, that's not going to work," he said.

He says his methods have people going back to take a second look. Also, he has confirmed, these billboards are going no where anytime soon.

"We have about 14 static more billboards going up soon," he said.