Vandals Allegedly Tampered With the ‘Try God’ Billboard Along the Mass Pike
A large billboard along the Massachusetts Turnpike, advertising a Catholic radio station, was allegedly defaced by vandals last week, according to the manager of the talk show promoting their services.
Last Friday, listeners of 1060 AM WQOM Catholic Radio called the station management and reported that the black billboard that read “Try God,” and advertised the station’s AM dial, had its message altered to say “Try God. The other WHITE meat.”
Chris Kelley, who manages the Catholic Radio broadcast, said “it’s very sad” that someone would deface the “uplifting message” encouraging people to turn their radio dials to the station. “This is clearly not a circumstance of some teenagers with spray paint. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make it appear that the new text was a real billboard message,” Kelley said of the sign, which stands along I-90 in Brighton.
The “Try God” campaign is running in the Greater Boston area through September 22. The purpose of the campaign is to reach a broad cross-section of the Boston community, according to a statement from the radio station. There are 23 billboards up around Boston on major highways including 93 North in Medford, and 93 South in Dorchester.
Although troubling, Kelley tried to look at the bright side of the situation. “This act, however, is an indication that the ‘Try God’ billboard campaign is attracting attention and making people reflect on the role of God in our lives,” he said, spinning the act of vandalism into a positive message. “That attention is the silver-lining and a sign that the campaign already has been successful.”
Kelley admitted he didn’t understand what the alleged vandals were trying to convey by adding the words “The other WHITE meat” to the plain text on the sign, but Scot Landry, host of The Good Catholic Life radio program at the station said he would guess it is an act against people of faith. “This act of vandalism was certainly not a prank. It should cause us to reflect on the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that hostility is increasing against the practice of faith and against religious expression,” he said. “People of faith, including Catholics, contribute so much to the fabric of our society in the Boston-area, through social service organizations, hospitals, schools and in little acts of service in every community. The message of ‘Try God’ is a hopeful one as it invites everyone, in some way, to connect with a faith community and participate in building a civilization of love.”
There was no indication that any of the other signs along major highways were tampered with.
As of Monday morning, the billboard along the Massachusetts Turnpike had been fixed to reflect its original message.
The announcement about the vandalism on the Archdiocese of Boston’s official Facebook page elicited varying responses, including prayers for those who were behind the gag. Others, however, had a different message for the alleged pranksters: “Hope that person enjoys their little comedy skit while roasting marshmallows in hell,” one person wrote.