(Philadelphia, November 16, 2009) "Are You Good without God? Millions 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 25 buses and 25 subway cars in Philadelphia. Their appearance will continue through December 7.
Placed by the Greater Philadelphia Coalition of Reason (Philly CoR), with $5,000 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (United CoR), the ad features an image of blue sky and clouds with the words superimposed over.
The Philadelphia ads are also part of a national campaign. They are appearing simultaneously with ads in the New York City and Boston subways as well as bus ads in Portland, Oregon, and billboards in Chicago, Newark, San Diego and across three cities in Ohio.
"The point of this 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.”
“Our ‘Good without God’ message encapsulates what Philly CoR’s member groups are all about,” said Barry Greenstein, coordinator for the Greater Philadelphia Coalition of Reason. “For years we’ve had real flesh-and-blood communities for nontheists. But many people still don’t know we’re here. We organize educational programs, social events and provide an outlet for volunteerism. So these ads are a shout out to all the other nontheists in the Philadelphia area who may be looking for a community.”
The campaign is also 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 stop in Philadelphia the weekend of November 21 to lead three book discussions:
Saturday, November 21 – 2:30 PM at the University of Pennsylvania and 7:00 PM at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at 102 Park Avenue in Willow Grove
Sunday, November 22 – 11:00 AM at Mishkan Shalom, 4101 Freeland Avenue in Philadelphia.
The public is invited to all three events.
The Philadelphia 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; New Orleans, Louisiana, and Phoenix, Arizona.
For a high resolution image of the ad, see the right sidebar.
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PhillyCoR, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition of Reason, is a joint effort of local groups to help connect freethinkers with each other and provide them with a sense of community as well as a way to combine their voices to move society forward.
The United Coalition of Reason ( www.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.