Atheist group and church advertise on digital billboard

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A digital billboard in northwest Arkansas is flashing alternating ads by a church and an atheist group.

The billboard along Interstate 49 in Springdale has been showing an ad sponsored by the group American Atheists. It shows a young girl writing Santa Claus that all she wants for the holidays is to miss church, because she's too old for fairy tales.

The ad is part of a campaign to promote the atheist group's national convention, which will be held over the Easter weekend in Memphis, Tennessee.

The atheist ad has inspired a response by Grace Church in Alma, Arkansas. Executive Pastor Devon Walker told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the congregation raised about $900 to pay for its own ad to appear seconds later on the same digital billboard for the two weeks before Christmas.

The church's ad reads, "Questions, Doubts, Curiosity? All Welcome at Grace Church, Alma."

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