Atheist Billboards

-campaign archive and searchable database-

 Dec 

Roanoke, VA

Virginia

Don’t believe in God? Join the club.

 
 
PRESS RELEASE

Godless Billboards Spring up across Roanoke

“Don’t believe in God? Join the club.”

These words, superimposed over an image of a blue sky with clouds, now appear on four prominent 10 ½ x 22 ¾ foot billboards across Roanoke. Their appearance marks the formal launch of the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason (Blue Ridge CoR), an alliance of seven area non-theistic (atheist and agnostic) groups in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Farmville, and Charlottesville.

Sponsored by Blue Ridge CoR, with over $3,500 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), the billboards will remain up until the middle of January and can be found at the following locations:

* 32 Boulevard Street near the underpass and just north of Patterson, in Roanoke, facing south

* Virginia Route 419 at 1420 Lynchburg Turnpike, in Salem, facing east

* Dale Avenue at the railroad bridge, near Fallon Park in Vinton, facing east

* US Highway 220 (Franklin Road) at Virginia Route 668, south of Garden City facing south.

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

A similar billboard, 16 x 72 feet, bearing the words: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone,” has also gone up in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is located on the west side of I-95, three miles north of Route 17, and is sponsored by the Fredericksburg Coalition of Reason. It will remain up through February.

This effort is part a coordinated nationwide program that began in 2009. From then to now, similar campaigns have been launched in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Each local campaign is sponsored by a multi-organizational coalition of non-theistic groups in the area.

“The point of our national awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” explained Fred Edwords, national director of UnitedCoR. “Non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope our effort 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 hope people will discover that we are a regular part of the community,” added Paul Hoyt, coordinator of Blue Ridge CoR. “Non-believers and agnostics like us live all over Virginia. We’re your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and family members. It’s about time we were as free to be open about our views as religious people are about theirs.”

“Being visible is important to us,” Edwords concluded, “because, in our society, non-religious people often don’t know many others like themselves.

This campaign is the latest in a nationwide effort. There have been similar billboards, bus ads or Internet campaigns in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

[December 19, 2012]

 
VANDALISM
PRESS RELEASE

Vandals Deface One of Roanoke's Godless Billboards
Vandals used spray paint to deface one of the four Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason billboards in the Roanoke area. The billboard at Virginia Route 419 at 1420 Lynchburg Turnpike, in Salem, facing east, originally read, "Don't believe in God? Join the club." But the word "Don't" has been blacked out. This billboard, along with the other three, was placed by the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason (Blue Ridge CoR) with $3,500.00 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), headquartered in Washington DC. The ad has only been up since Tuesday and was first announced Wednesday morning. "This unfortunate incident shows just how necessary our message is. Prejudice against people who don't believe in a god remains very real in America," said Paul Hoyt, coordinator of Blue Ridge CoR. For images of the billboard, in both its original and defaced conditions, free for media use, see the right sidebar. United CoR has informed the billboard owner, Lamar Outdoor, of the vandalism and is arranging to have the billboard replaced. But it is leaving it to the discretion of Lamar to file a police report. "If necessary, we will pay the cost of printing up new vinyl and have this billboard's original message bright and clear in short order,” said Fred Edwords, national director of UnitedCoR. "Freedom of speech is worthy of everyone's defense. For it is only when people with minority opinions are able to safely go public about their views that people of all opinions can feel secure in their rights.” On its website at BlueRidgeCoR.org, the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason declares its purpose as "a joint outreach effort" to help the public connect with "local freethought, humanist, atheist, agnostic, rationalist" and other such groups. It is also to provide interested people "with information and a sense of community." The coalition was officially launched December 19 when the billboards were announced. "Now we are more committed than ever to the goal of making our presence known," Hoyt added. "We hope this vandalism will inspire more nontheistic people in Virginia to understand how necessary it is to get organized. Only by working together will we end bigotry against philosophical and religious minorities." [December 21, 2012]
A Second of Roanoke's Godless Billboards Vandalized
A second of the four Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason billboards in the Roanoke area was found vandalized today. The billboard at 32 Boulevard Street near the underpass and just north of Patterson, in Roanoke, facing south, originally read: "Don't believe in God? Join the club." But the "n't" was blocked out with wrapping paper and duct tape, leaving the text to read "Do." Last week the billboard at Virginia Route 419 at 1420 Lynchburg Turnpike, in Salem, facing east, had had the entire word “Don't" blacked out with paint. That billboard has been replaced. The billboards were placed by the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason (Blue Ridge CoR) with $3,500.00 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), headquartered in Washington DC. The ads were first announced Wednesday, December 19, as part of the public launch of Blue Ridge CoR. "Once again we are sadly reminded of how necessary our message is," said Paul Hoyt, coordinator of Blue Ridge CoR. "While atheists haven't been known to vandalize religious billboards, there are a number of cases of atheist billboards getting vandalized for obvious religious reasons. And now this is being done, of all times, when both atheists and religious people are celebrating the holiday season." For images of the billboard, in both its original and defaced conditions, free for media use, see the right sidebar. UnitedCoR has informed the billboard owner, Lamar Outdoor, of this latest vandalism and is arranging to have the damage repaired. UnitedCoR continues to leave it to the discretion of the local Lamar office to file a police report. "Prejudice against non-theistic and other non-religious people continues to be very real in America," said Fred Edwords, national director of UnitedCoR. "So we are forced to speak out whenever these unfortunate incidents occur." On its website at BlueRidgeCoR.org, the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason declares its purpose as "a joint outreach effort" to help the public connect with “local freethought, humanist, atheist, agnostic, rationalist” and other such groups. It is also to provide interested people "with information and a sense of community." The coalition was officially launched December 19 when the billboards were announced. "We remain more committed than ever to the goal of making our presence known," Hoyt added. "And we know that this second act against us will mobilize more non-theistic people to come out of the closet. For it is only when we stand together that we can end religious bigotry." [December 28, 2012]
 
 

 Roanoke, VA 

GALLERIES:
DESIGNS        VIDEOS
PHOTOS      SPONSORS
VANDALISM
FOREIGN BILLBOARDS
RELIGIOUS BILLBOARDS

MORE:
BILLBOARD FACEMASH
UNITED STATES MAP
SLIDESHOW

FOLLOW US:
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Google+
Pinterest