'Godless billboards' make statement in Sioux Falls

Published: May. 13, 2016 at 5:31 PM CDT
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They are causing quite a stir around Sioux Falls; more than 20 'Godless billboards' have been plastered across the city over the last week.

The message on these billboards are shocking for many, with some saying "there is no God" and "prayer doesn't work." But shock and awe is exactly what the man behind "Sioux Falls Free Thinkers" and "Sioux Falls Atheists" is going for.

Driving on Minnesota Avenue, the billboards are hard to miss.

One of them reads "Million are good without God. 98 million Americans are living without religion. Being a good person doesn't require a God."

"Why do so many religious believers hate so much? There's some heavy hate out there," said Dale Hemming, founder of "Sioux Falls Free Thinkers" and "Sioux Falls Atheists."

Hemming is the face behind the messages and sole funder of the billboards.

"I want them to think about what the sign says and realize they're not alone in their beliefs," said Hemming.

Destigmatizing what it means to not believe in God is a big part of Hemming's message he says.

"I'm just asking people to think. And if they want to come talk about their religious beliefs or their lack of religious beliefs -- because many have fallen from believing in religion and becoming agnostic or atheist -- I think that's what I want," said Hemming.

"I think a lot of these people are just pre-Christian people," said Pastor Jeff Hayes of Faith Temple Church.

Pastor Hayes says there are many Christians who once were agnostic or atheist but who are now believers in God after they had a spiritual awakening.

"I think it's good for Christians to have a reaction and we can be negative toward the Free Thinkers but I think we should just pray for them and just believe that, wow if there is a god, is He big enough to reveal Himself to them," said Pastor Hayes.

"This puts it in front of people. There'll be six solid weeks of this. They can't miss it," said Hemming.