Godless Ads Now on the Boston Subway
(Boston, October 28, 2009) "Good without God? Millions of Americans Are."
These words are part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god. The prominent ad appears on over 200 subway cars, 175 on the Red Line and 26 on the Green Line. Each is 21 inches tall by 22 inches wide. Their appearance will continue for at least a month.
Placed by the Boston Area Coalition of Reason, with $11,000 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason, the ad features an image of blue sky and clouds with the words superimposed over.
The Boston subway ads are also part of a national campaign. They have been scheduled to appear simultaneously with ads in the New York City subway (announced last week and going up today), a billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike, and a billboard in downtown Chicago.
"The point of this 'Good without God' campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, head 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 nontheists isn't the only goal of the campaign, however. "Our message is positive. We want it recognized that people can be good without belief in a god," said Greg Epstein, coordinator of the Boston Area Coalition of Reason and the humanist chaplain at Harvard. "There is a lot of misinformation out there about nontheists. But we humanists, agnostics and atheists are everywhere. We're your co-workers, neighbors, friends and family members. One of us could be sitting next to you in the pew at your church. We care about our communities and live by our ethical values."
The campaign is also coordinated with the release of a new book: "Good without God, What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe," authored by Epstein. It is published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins. There will be a book signing and talk at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday, November 1. A major event with Epstein and United CoR will be held Monday, November 2, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the Harvard Science Center, Hall D, on the Harvard campus. The public is invited to both events.
The Boston ads are among many that have gone up around the country earlier this year, including those on billboards or in transit systems in cities as far flung as Charleston, South Carolina; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Morgantown, West Virginia and New Orleans, Louisiana. The United Coalition of Reason is working to fund campaigns in as many as ten additional states by year's end, reaching to the West Coast.
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The Boston Area Coalition of Reason ( www.bostoncor.org ) is a group of like-minded member organizations from the greater Boston area that share a worldview grounded in reason over superstition, and scientific truth over revealed truth.
The United Coalition of Reason ( unitedcor.org ) exists to raise the visibility and sense of unity among local groups in the community of reason by providing funding and expertise to help them cooperate toward the goal of raising their public profiles.
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For more information contact:
Atheist Ad Campaign hits Boston by Jacqueline Lavache, Boston Examiner
New T ads reach out to Hub’s nonbelievers by David Abel, Boston Globe
Can Harvard's humanist chaplain save nonbelief from itself? by Adam Reilly, The Phoenix
Secular Student Alliance Advisory Board Chair, Harvard Humanist Chaplain releases book on humanism by the Secular Student Alliance
"Good without God" by the WCVB Chronicle
Rebel with a cause by The Harvard Gazette