CHARLOTTE, N.C. – American Atheists and Adams Outdoor Advertising are removing two Charlotte billboards slamming Christianity and Mormonism after the national atheists' group said it received an outpouring of public anger and threats.
The billboards, targeting the faiths of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, went up about two weeks ago. They were supposed to be present for the duration of the national conventions, though there were only billboards in Charlotte.
Amanda Knief, the managing director of American Atheists, said that a report from Fox News about the billboards this Wednesday incited a national outpouring of "vitriol, threats and hate speech against our staff, volunteers and Adams Outdoor Advertising."
Knief said that if Adams had not been involved, American Atheists would have kept the billboards in place.
"It was a mutual decision between us and Adams Advertising for the safety and interests of both organizations that the billboards come down," Knief said.
Knief declined to say the extent or severity of the threats the atheist organization, based in Cranford, N.J., received, but said that the Cranford police department had been contacted because of them.
The general manager of Adams Outdoor Advertising's Charlotte branch, Kevin Madrzykowski, did not immediately return phone calls Friday.