(Columbus, November 10, 2009) "Don’t Believe In God? You are not alone."
These words are part of prominent billboard in downtown Columbus at the corner of North 4th and Spring Streets. It is visible to those traveling west on Spring Street. Placed by the Columbus Coalition of Reason, with funding from the United Coalition of Reason, the billboard’s message is superimposed over an image of blue sky and puffy white clouds.
For a hi-res image of the billboard, free for media use, see the right sidebar.
This effort is part of a coordinated statewide campaign that includes similar billboards announced today in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Each billboard signifies the launch of a local, multi-organizational coalition of nontheistic (atheist and agnostic) groups. The stated aim of the coordinated campaign, which is part of an even larger national effort, is to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a god.
"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. "Our message is also to let people know we’re here," added Sharon Moss, coordinator of the Columbus coalition (Columbus CoR for short). "We’re often misunderstood but are, in fact, like everyone else. We’re your friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. By gathering together we can support each other and make a difference in our broader community."
United CoR has launched ten campaigns previously this year. Each has involved a billboard or ads in public transit systems. These have appeared in places as far flung as New York, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; Morgantown, West Virginia; New Orleans, Louisiana, and Phoenix, Arizona.
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The Columbus Coalition of Reason ( www.ColumbusCoR.org ) is a group of like-minded member organizations from throughout Central Ohio that advance the idea that science and reason lead to more reliable knowledge than dogma and faith.
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.
For more information contact: