Group Defends 'Godless' Billboards in Roanoke

Roanoke, VA - Some billboards in Roanoke are getting a lot of attention and making a lot of people angry.

The billboards are from atheist and agnostic groups looking for like-minded people.

The Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason has been taking some flak ever since they went up this week. One group member is defending the group's month-long campaign to attract new members.

"I'm getting feedback that we are taking advantage of the season. Not very well accepted by a lot of people," said Paul Hoyt.

Hoyt is part of the Blue Ridge Coalition for Reason, a subgroup of the nationally recognized United Coalition of Reason.

Since 2009, the group has promoted signs just like these in 32 states; Virginia makes 33.

"We're trying to find like minded people to join groups in the area." Said Hoyt.

Membership drive or not, as they say, timing is everything and a backlash against a message like this during the holiday should not be unexpected.

"I can understand. Some people think we are trying to be abrasive but we're not," said Hoyt.

At least one person doesn't care as this sign in Salem has already been vandalized.

"I think a lot of people will take offense because they don't understand," said Hoyt.

"Bad Timing?" we asked.

"Yeah, bad timing... I guess you can say that."

The Blue Ridge Coalition for Reason was hoping to put their message out in Lynchburg as well but advertisers in the Lynchburg-area denied their request.