American Atheists has a new billboard campaign that highlights statements made by prominent Republican politicians, including Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, along with Pastor Robert Jeffress. CNN’s Belief blog notices the new billboards and, unfortunately, catches a misquote:
In one billboard, a picture of Palin is featured on the left, with a quote attributed to her. “We should create law based on the God of the Bible,” the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tag line “GO GODLESS INSTEAD.”
The billboard, however, misquotes Palin. In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Palin addressed the growth in American secularism by saying America’s founding fathers “would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments,” not “should.”
Here’s what Palin actually said:
Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant– they’re quite clear– that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandents, it’s quite simple.”
Obviously she meant that we should do what she thinks the founding fathers did, but that billboard still needs to be changed. If you put it in quotation marks, it has to be a verbatim quote, not a paraphrase. Accuracy matters. And kudos to my friends at American Atheists for owning up to the mistake and changing the text of that billboard.
I haven’t been a big fan of some of the billboards AA has put up, but I like this campaign. I like that it highlights the theocratic tendencies of prominent Republicans, something I do every day on this blog. That is exactly what we are fighting against.