(Baltimore, December 1, 2009) "Are you good without God? Millions are."
These words appear on four electronic billboards in Baltimore, located near Ravens Stadium, on I-895 and on I-95 (specific details below). They are sponsored by Baltimore CoR, the Baltimore Coalition of Reason, which launches today. Consisting of nontheistic (humanist, atheist, and agnostic) groups in the greater Baltimore area, Baltimore CoR seeks to raise public awareness that people can be good without believing in a god. Funding has been provided by United CoR, the United Coalition of Reason. The billboard’s message is superimposed over an image of blue sky and fluffy white clouds.
Today’s effort is part of a nationwide campaign that includes billboards in three Ohio cities and San Diego, California, and will include billboards in Houston, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week. Each billboard signifies the launch of a local, multi-organizational coalition of nontheistic groups.
"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. "It is often assumed that one can’t be moral without belief in a deity," added Emil Volcheck, coordinator of Baltimore CoR. "In actual fact, we humanists, freethinkers, agnostics and atheists make moral issues and social activism primary. Now we’d like others to be aware of that."
The campaign is coordinated with the release of a new book: "Good without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe," authored by Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University. It is published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. Epstein will speak this coming Sunday, December 6, at the First Unitarian Church, 1 W Hamilton St (Corner of Charles and Franklin). There will be a reception and book signing at 3:00 PM in Enoch Pratt Hall followed by his talk at 4:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public.
As part of its national campaign, United CoR launched a dozen advertising initiatives previously this year. Each involved billboards or public transit ads. They appeared in 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; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Portland, Oregon.
For a hi-res image of one of the Baltimore billboards, free for media use, go to www.BaltimoreCoR.org . To visit the billboards, go to the following locations:
Russell Street, traveling north into Baltimore, on right, in front of Ravens Stadium.
I-895, traveling south, on left, after Childs Street.
I-95 N, on left, 1.4 miles after the Ft. McHenry Tunnel.
I-95 S, on right, just north of Caton Avenue.
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The Baltimore Coalition of Reason ( www.BaltimoreCoR.org ) is a collection of local organizations working together to increase public awareness of nontheistic groups throughout the greater Baltimore area.
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:
Greg M. Epstein
Ben Bruton (publicist)