Atheist Billboards

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 Feb 

Sacramento, CA

California

Are you good without God? Millions are.

 
 
PRESS RELEASE

Godless Billboards Spring Up Across Sacramento

“Are you good without God? Millions are.”

These words are part of ten billboards (10 ft. 5 in. by 22 ft. 8 in.) that have just gone up around Sacramento. Sponsored by the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason (Sacramento CoR) with $6,450 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason, the billboards each carry their message superimposed over an image of blue sky and puffy white clouds. Their appearance marks the launch of the Sacramento coalition, which is made up of nine area nontheistic (atheist and agnostic) groups.

For hi-res billboard images free for media use, see the right sidebar.

This effort is part of a coordinated nationwide program that began last year. Last month it included billboards in Seattle, Washington, and Tampa Bay, Florida. Each local campaign is sponsored by a multi-organizational coalition of nontheistic groups in the area.

“The point of our national program 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.”

Reaching out to the like minded isn’t the only goal of the effort. “We also want to let the general public know that we belong to the larger community,” added Rachael Harrington, coordinator of Sacramento CoR. “We nontheists are your family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We’re just like you, except we don’t believe in a supreme being. It’s about time we were equally free to be open about our views.”

The billboards, six of which are lit at night, can be found at the following locations:

16th St., east side, 200 ft. north of North C St., facing south
65th St., east side, 45 ft. south of Q St., facing north
Auburn Blvd., west side, 385 ft. south of Myrtle, facing north
Broadway, north side, 100 ft. west of 16th St., facing west
Franklin Blvd., west side, 214 ft. south of Fruitridge Rd., facing south
I-80, north side, 8 ft. west of Sacto Cl., facing east
I-80, south side, 1 mi. east of Taylor Rd., facing east
Marconi Ave., south side, 218 ft. east of Darwin St., facing west
Roseville Rd., west side, 0.1 mi. north of Longview, facing north
Sutterville Rd., south side, 225 ft. east of 21st St., facing west

The United Coalition of Reason launched eighteen similar ad campaigns in 2009. Each involved billboards or public transit ads. They appeared in Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Morgantown, West Virginia; Newark, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; San Diego, California, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

[February 09, 2010]

 
VANDALISM
PRESS RELEASE

Godless Billboard Vandalized near Sacramento
One or more vandals used spray paint to deface part of a billboard on Interstate 80 midway between Sacramento and Davis, California, that reads "Are you good without God? Millions are." The words "also lost?" were added below the "Millions are." The billboard, which was placed by the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason last Tuesday, is one of ten such roadway ads that have gone up in and around Sacramento. They were paid for by the United Coalition of Reason, headquartered in Washington DC. "This shows loud and clear just how necessary our message is, because prejudice against people who don't believe in a god remains very real in America." said Rachael Harrington, coordinator of Sacramento CoR. The defaced billboard is located on the north side of I-80, just west of exit 78, and faces east. For a hi-res image, free for media use, click HERE. The United Coalition of Reason has asked Clear Channel, the owner of the billboard, to file a police report. Meanwhile, Clear Channel has indicated that it will replace the billboard free of charge. "We are extremely pleased by this," said Fred Edwords, national director of United CoR. "Freedom of speech is worthy of everyone's defense. And it is only when those with minority opinions can safely go public about their views that people will have a chance to broaden their awareness of the wonderful diversity within their communities." On its website at SacramentoCoR.org , the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason says its purpose is "to increase awareness of secular-minded groups throughout the Sacramento area." The coalition was launched on February 9 when the ten billboards were announced. "Now we are more committed than ever to the cause of making our presence known," Harrington added. "Hopefully this vandalism will inspire more nontheistic people in the Sacramento area to realize how important it is to get organized. Only by working together will we end bigotry against philosophical and religious minorities." [February 16, 2010]
Two More Godless Billboards Vandalized
With just one week to go in its four-week billboard campaign, the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason had two more of its ten billboards vandalized over the weekend. The one on the west side of Roseville Road, just north of Longview Drive, visible to southbound traffic passing McClellan Air Force Base, had nearly all of its vinyl torn off by vandals, revealing most of the previous billboard underneath. And the one on the west side of Auburn Blvd., nearby just south of Myrtle, also facing north, had "Christ Loves U" spray painted roughly in the lower right-hand corner. This follows in the wake of the vandalizing of a different Sacramento CoR billboard a little over two weeks ago. That one is on Interstate 80 midway between Sacramento and Davis, California. All the billboards read: "Are you good without God? Millions are." But in this earlier case the words "also lost?" had been spray painted below the "Millions are." Clear Channel, the company that owns the billboard, quickly replaced it with a new one. But with all the billboards scheduled to come down this Friday, the United Coalition of Reason, the national organization that paid for the billboard campaign, won't request free replacements. Instead, it is asking Clear Channel to allow two of the other eight billboards to remain up an additional week. "This isn't Clear Channel's fault, nor is it ours. The fault rests entirely with the vandals," said Fred Edwords, national director of United CoR. "So our goal is to ensure that this mischief has as little negative impact as possible on both our campaign and on the billboard company that has so ably served us." Mike Krebsbach, a press representative for Sacramento CoR, added, "Our billboard message reaches out to those who know that people can be good without belief in a supreme being. It doesn't say that believing in a god makes one bad. So why would the vandals act as if the belief actually had that effect? It's a sad day when we have to witness such cavalier disregard of property and free speech rights. Wouldn't it have been better if those who disagreed with us had sought to open a dialogue, instead?" United CoR is filing a police report today. "The defense of liberty and property are central American values," Edwords concluded. "Their protection benefits us all, religious and non-religious alike. So, by our standing firm on the importance of our message and our right to proclaim it, everyone wins except the vandals." [March 01, 2010]
 
 

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