2:31 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

You're not alone, billboard tells nonreligious

This is what the billboard near Grand Rapids looks like
Credit Center for Inquiry

A billboard alongside a highway in western Michigan is spreading the message that religion is something people can live without.

The billboard went up Monday and is to remain in place through Oct. 27 along U.S.-131 in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.

It's sponsored by the Center for Inquiry and carries the message "Millions of Americans are living happily without religion."

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5:10 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

West Michigan cattle farmer can keep his signs critical of socialism, President Obama

Vernon Verduin (middle) talks about his case after a judge's ruling Thursday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

On Thursday a Kent County district court judge ruled in favor of a farmer with two huge political signs on his property. The signs are critical of socialism and President Obama.

Gaines Township argued what the signs say is not at issue, just the size of them. Under local zoning laws, people can have commercial signs up to 32 square feet, political signs up to 20 square feet.

The township issued Vernon Verduin a citation, since his signs are much larger than 20 square feet. One can see the signs from a nearby freeway.

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9:19 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Legal battle over free speech brewing on a West Michigan cattle farm

Vernon Verduin's signs still sit in the cow pasture, near M-6 in Gaines Township.
Julia Henshaw ACLU

“I can summarize it in common language; what’s more important, egg McMuffins or political speech?”  attorney Howard Van Den Heuvel said.

His client, cattle farmer Vernon Verduin, posted two huge signs critical of President Obama and socialism back in September. One of the signs reads “Marxism/Socialism=Poverty & Hunger,” the other “Obama’s ‘mission accomplished’ 8% unemployment 16 trillion debt.”

Van Den Heuvel says the township cited Verduin after two anonymous complaints. Gaines Township ordinance has a 20-square-foot limit on the size of “political signs” and a 32-square-foot limit on “commercial signs.”

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Religion & Sexuality
2:45 pm
Sun September 25, 2011

2 Ohio churches debate gay issue with billboards

A billboard in Florida

The ongoing debate in churches regarding homosexuality is being argued on 10 billboards in northwest Ohio. The Toledo Blade reports that Toledo's Central United Methodist church posted a single roadside billboard in April that said that being gay is a gift from God. That has led the minister at Church on Strayer to offer an opposite view.

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