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Pope antichrist sign sparks free-speech holy war

An Oregon billboard proclaiming the Pope is the Antichrist has angered the local Catholic community, sparked a debate over First Amendment rights, leading to death threats against the man behind the message.

The red, white and blue sign, located along Interstate-5 just north of Medford, Oregon reads, "The POPE Is The ANTICHRIST, Free Proof," and provides a website address for more information.

Larry Weathers, a 50-year-old barber from the small town of Talent, sponsored the sign. He says he has no intention of taking it down, despite a flurry of death threats.

"As long as they're threatening this and not shooting," Weathers tells WorldNetDaily. "And they've got to go through God [to kill me]. If He says it's all right, then I can't argue with that."

"By saying the pope is the personage of Satan, that really grates off on Catholics," says Bud Bunce, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Portland.

Bunce is also critical of the company allowing it to be posted, Outdoor Media Dimensions.

"This is not a First Amendment issue; it's not a free-speech issue," Bunce tells WorldNetDaily. "It's a matter of what kind of advertising that a media outlet will accept ... [a billboard] is not a media outlet you can turn off like a car radio."

Bunce says he has called Outdoor Media Dimensions on several occasions to discuss the matter, but has yet to receive a return call.

The Pope is the Antichrist
Archdiocese of Portland
Spruced-up billboard marks beginning of new 'pope-is-Antichrist' campaign (Portland Catholic Sentinel)