Atheist Billboards

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 Sep 

Atlanta, GA

Georgia

God & Government: A Dangerous Mix. KEEP STATE AND CHURCH SEPARATE

 
 
PRESS RELEASE

Freethought will be on Atlanta’s mind?

Atlanta, Georgia is definitely on the mind of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is blanketing the city with 50 irreverent billboard messages going up this week for a month.

“Atheism and agnosticism should be as American as peach cobbler,” maintains Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.

This is the largest single billboard campaign undertaken to date by the Madison, Wis.-based Foundation, which has more than 16,000 nonreligious members nationwide, and more than 270 in Georgia. The Foundation works to keep church and state separate.

Atlantans can look out for a variety of small, colorful billboards around town, including one with particular meaning for FFRF and for Atlanta. It features actress Butterfly McQueen, who lived in Atlanta at the end of her life, and showcases her statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution made during the 50th anniversary year of the release of the movie, “Gone with the Wind,” in which she played the role of “Prissy.” McQueen, who rebelled her entire life against religion as she rebelled against stereotyped acting roles, said: “As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion.”

McQueen was a Lifetime Member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and made an appearance at FFRF’s 1989 national convention in Atlanta, where she was named FFRF’s premiere Freethought Heroine. She died in a tragic kitchen fire in 1995.

“We hope discrimination against atheists and other nonbelievers will soon be ‘gone with the wind,’ ” said Dan Barker, FFRF co-president, a former evangelical minister who is author of Godless and Losing Faith in Faith.

Other billboards include these varied FFRF messages:

• “In Reason We Trust” depicted on a shiny penny
• “Imagine No Religion” with a stained-glass window
• Red-white-and-blue “God & Government: A Dangerous Mix”
• The jocular “Sleep in on Sundays”

In early August, FFRF took Tampa Bay by storm with 20 colorful billboards posted throughout Tampa and St. Petersburg. In mid-August, FFRF posted 5 billboards in New Orleans, including a 14×48 foot billboard at prominent Canal and Rampart Streets. At the end of August, FFRF posted 19 billboards in Trenton, N.J.

Also being posted this week are 20 billboards in Louisville, and a very special billboard in Tulsa. It reads: “Atheism is OK in Oklahoma” and salutes U.S. Sen. Thomas Gore as the “first atheist senator.” Gore served from 1907-1921 and 1931-1937. His grandson, the famous writer Gore Vidal, recently stated that Sen. Gore was a “dedicated atheist.”

Since launching a national billboard campaign in October 2007, the educational nonprofit has placed billboards in half the states and about 45 cities.

[September 8, 2010]

 Atlanta, GA 

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