Atheist Billboards

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 Nov 

Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.

 
 
PRESS RELEASE

Godless Billboard Appears in Downtown Cincinnati

“Don’t Believe In God? You are not alone.”

These words are part of prominent billboard slated to appear today in downtown Cincinnati. The location is Reading Road at 12th Street, one block south of Liberty Street. Facing north, it will be seen by traffic heading south. It is being placed by Cin CoR, the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason, with funding from United CoR, the United Coalition of Reason. The billboard’s message is superimposed over an image of blue sky and fluffy white clouds.

A hi-res image of the billboard, free for media use, is available in the right sidebar.

This effort is part of a coordinated statewide campaign that includes similar billboards announced today in Columbus and Cleveland. Each billboard signifies the launch of a local, multi-organizational coalition of nontheistic groups. The coordinated campaign, which is part of an even larger national effort, has the stated aim of raising awareness about people who don’t believe in a god.

“The point of our national billboard campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. “Nontheists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community out there for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope this will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone.”

But reaching out to nontheists isn’t the only goal of the campaign. “There is a lot of misinformation out there about us,” added John Welte, co-coordinator of Cin CoR. “Yet we humanists, agnostics and atheists are essentially like anyone else. We’re your friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. All we seek is the opportunity to be as open about our values as others are.”

United CoR has launched ten campaigns previously this year. Each has involved a billboard or public transit ads. They have appeared in places as far flung as New York, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Morgantown, West Virginia; New Orleans, Louisiana, and Phoenix, Arizona.

[November 10, 2009]

 
VANDALISM
PRESS RELEASE

Cincinnati's Godless Billboard Taken Down
In the wake of "multiple, significant threats," the downtown billboard that says, "Don't Believe In God? You are not alone," came down early this morning. It had been up only since Tuesday afternoon at Reading Road and 12th Street, one block south of Liberty Street. Now it is up again at a new site at the Sixth Street Viaduct. Around 2:00 PM yesterday, the United Coalition of Reason, which paid $3,875.00 for a one-month run of the billboard, was contacted by Lamar Advertising of Cincinnati. Lamar reported that the been threatened over the billboard's message and wanted it taken down. Lamar only leases the land the billboard stands on. "We weren't given the landowner's identity or precise details," reported Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Nor did we pursue them. It was sufficient to learn that multiple, significant threats had been received and that Lamar would act quickly to alleviate the problem." Edwords added: "Lamar was most apologetic to us regarding the situation. It was a development they hadn't expected. Nor had we. Nothing like this has ever happened to us before." The new location on the 6th Street Expressway, U.S. Highway 50, is owned by Lamar Advertising of Cincinnati and therefore isn't subject to landowner restrictions. The billboard faces east, visible on the left to traffic traveling west out of the city across the viaduct toward the suburbs of Delhi and Price Hill. Shawn Jeffers, co-coordinator for Cin CoR, the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason, which is the local organization the billboard advertises, sees this controversy as evidence of the billboard's importance. "Everything that has happened shows just how vital our message is," Jeffers said. "It proves our point, that bigotry against people who don't believe in a god is still very real in America. Only when we atheists, agnostics and humanists come together and go public about our views will people have a chance to learn that we too are part of the community and deserve respect." On its website at CinCoR.org, the Cincinnati Coalition of Reason describes itself as "a collection of nontheistic groups in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky working together to increase awareness of secular-minded principles and organizations." The coalition was launched on November 10 when the billboard first went up. "We are now more committed than ever to the goal of making our presence known," Jeffers added. "Hopefully this turn of events will cause more and more nontheistic people in Cincinnati to realize how necessary it is to get organized. Only by working together can we end prejudice against philosophical and religious minorities." The United Coalition of Reason has now funded fourteen campaigns this year. Each has involved a billboard or public transit ads. They have appeared in places as far flung as Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Morgantown, West Virginia; Newark, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Phoenix, Arizona, and San Diego, California. On November 10, three were launched in Ohio: in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. [November 12, 2009]
 
 

 Cincinnati, OH 

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