Godless Ads Now on Portland Buses

(November 17, 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 King Size ad appears on ten buses traveling throughout the city. Their appearance will continue for at least a month.

Placed by the Greater Portland Coalition of Reason (Portland CoR), with $5,900 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 Portland transit ads are also part of a national campaign. They have been coordinated to appear simultaneously with ads in the New York City, Philadelphia and Boston subways as well as billboards in Chicago, Newark, San Diego and across three cities in Ohio.

"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."

But reaching out to nontheists isn’t the only goal of the campaign. "We want people to understand that humanists, freethinkers, agnostics and atheists are essentially like everyone else," said Sylvia Benner, spokesperson for Portland CoR. "We have most of the same values and concerns. And people will find us among their friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. Now it’s time for us to be acknowledged and granted our rightful place at the table."

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 speak November 19 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at Reed College in the Psychology Building, Auditorium 105. (The college is at 3203 SE Woodstock in Portland. The Psychology Building is just north of the East parking lot, off of Woodstock.) His book will be available for purchase and signing.

The Portland 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 more details on the Portland campaign and for an image of the ad, see the right sidebar.

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The Greater Portland Area Coalition of Reason ( www.PortlandCoR.org ) is a group of like-minded member organizations from in and around Portland, Oregon, 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:

Sylvia Benner
[email protected]

Fred Edwords
National Director
United Coalition of Reason
[email protected]

Greg M. Epstein
Ben Bruton (publicist)
[email protected]