Alabama youth ministry apologizes for billboard featuring Hitler quote

Submitted by reader Julie Burns of the Life Savers Ministries billboard outside Village Mall in Auburn, Ala.

When you think of inspirational quotes for the people of our future generations, none of Adolf Hitler’s really come to mind.

However, a youth ministry in Alabama didn’t seem to realize their choice of inspirational quote would have the effect it did, on nearly everyone who saw it. In an effort to recruit young people to the Life Savers Ministries of Opelika, Alabama, a billboard was put up, advertising to kids with this very controversial quote:

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future,” as said by Adolf Hitler.

The sign, which was put up at a nearby mall, featured 5 smiling children smiling next to the Nazi leader’s quote. Also included on the billboard was a quote from the chapter of Proverbs in the Bible: “Train up a child the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Needless to say, the sign drew much criticism and quickly became shared over social media, resulting in the billboard's removal.

“We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion,” Life Savers Ministries founder James Anderegg told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer newspaper, according to Reuters.

The ministry was founded in 1996 to help underprivileged kids who live in project housing attend programs like their KidzBoost leadership academy. The youth pastors, who advertise “cool” buses instead of “school” buses, may have simply been a little too naive when thinking up ideas for the billboard.

"We are a children's organization and had honourable intentions and nothing less," said Anderegg.

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