In the '90s, Julia Sweeney rose to fame playing the androgynous Pat on "Saturday Night Live," a character whose indeterminate gender identity was a source of constant frustration for his (or was it her?) friends.
But that doesn't mean she is one for ambiguity: On Friday, the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation unveiled a Times Square billboard featuring Sweeney's beaming image along with the message, "OMG, there is no god!"
The atheist billboard is the latest salvo in an ideological turf war that's probably done more for the outdoor advertising industry than it has for either side in the debate. It appears on the very same digital display, at the bustling intersection of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, which recently featured a very different message from the Christian organization Answers in Genesis: "To all our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong."
Since leaving "SNL" in 1994 Sweeney has taken a serious turn, writing and starring in a number of autobiographical one-woman shows. "God Said Ha!" chronicled her struggle with cervical cancer and her brother's death from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The more recent "Letting Go of God" traced her journey from Catholic schoolgirl to avowed nonbeliever. She is also a regular panelist on NPR's news quiz show, "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!"