“Millions of Americans are Good without God.” These words are part of a coordinated ad campaign by Fort Worth atheist groups involved in the DFW Coalition of Reason. The campaign is slated to launch tomorrow. It is designed to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a god. Ads proclaiming this message will appear on the sides of “T” buses traveling in Fort Worth and other Tarrant County cities. They will continue until the end of the year.
Each ad features the words displayed over an image of an American flag made up of the faces of real atheist and agnostic people. The campaign is designed to help those interested find the fifteen area nontheistic groups that make up the DFW coalition.
“We’d have run these ads on Dallas buses as well,” noted DFW CoR Coordinator Terry McDonald, “but when we approached DART, they chose to stop running all religiously-related ads rather than include ours.”
The Fort Worth secular group’s ads are also part of a national effort sponsored by DFW CoR’s parent organization, the United Coalition of Reason. Thus there have been similar transit ads this year in Detroit, Northwest Arkansas, Philadelphia and Washington DC as well as billboards in Austin, Des Moines, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tucson, Sacramento, St. Louis and Seattle. Last year such billboard, bus and subway ads appeared in 20 cities, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Tulsa, Phoenix and San Diego.
“The point of our national 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 like these 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 a secular audience isn’t the only goal of the campaign, however. “We want religious people to understand that non-believers are basically the same as everyone else,” added Terry McDonald. “We are as good, as moral as any other group. If you look you’ll find us among your friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. There are about 50 million non-religious people in the United States. It’s time we were recognized and granted our rightful place in society.”
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The Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason is a community of DFW atheist, humanist and secular groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. DFW CoR works to raise the public profile of and cooperation among all such local organizations.
The United Coalition of Reason is a nationwide network of local coalitions. It 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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