Chico, California – December 12, 2012; 09:00 am PT – by George Gold – Butte County Coalition of Reason – Coordinator.
While driving into Chico from Magalia I noticed that the billboard on Skyway right near Honey Run Road had been vandalized. Based upon a false report the night before, I had already prepared a statement I wanted to read to the media about one of our billboard’s being vandalized, so after taking a photo, I set about contacting the reporters I spoke to this past Monday. They met me at 12 noon, at the Chico library for a mini press conference. And yes, I think it actually did start at 12:12 pm on 12-12-2012. I did not deliver a hard copy to the reporters. There were a few follow up questions, but I actually tried to avoid them and repeated statements I had already made. It took me about 1 minute 50 seconds to read. There was some TV coverage this evening, with quotes from me of about 5 seconds air time.
The Butte County Coalition of Reason installed 12 billboards throughout the City of Chico to let the non believing population know they are not alone. These signs simply say: Don’t believe in god? Join the club. Based upon the Pew Research Center Study of October 2012 our audience in Butte County is somewhere around 41,000 people.
The billboards went up on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Since Wednesday I have received approximately 50 emails about the billboards. I want to be very clear that 96%, not 40% not 50%, not 60%, but 96% of those emails have been supportive and in fact thankful.
What’s the controversy? No one is forcing you to look at the billboards. These billboards are targeted at our population. Our community of non believers. And non believers have been responding in appreciation. These billboards are not targeted at religionists.
Today, throughout the world, there are ongoing trials of priests, the very agents of religion, who are charged with raping and violating thousands of boys and girls. What has religions’ response been? Guilty pleas, payoffs and cover-ups.
Is there one religionist anywhere that is speaking out about these atrocities? Is there a collective religious voice that speaks out about these horrendous crimes? There is not.
The vandalism of one of our signs clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy of the religionists who claim to love everyone and that they worship and follow the teachings of an all forgiving creator or the son of their creator. It’s a lie. They only accept you if you believe what they believe.
Whether it’s the pope or the vandals who desecrated our sign, they are liars and hypocrites.