(Louisville, Kentucky, August 3, 2010) “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”
These words are part of a prominent billboard in Louisville, Kentucky, on I-65 at Phillips Lane, on the right side of the road and visible to southbound traffic. Situated near the airport and the Kentucky Exposition Center, it will be seen by visitors to the Kentucky State Fair, since it will remain up through August 28. The 14′ x 48′ billboard features the words superimposed over an image of a blue sky and fluffy clouds. It was placed by the Louisville Coalition of Reason (Louisville CoR) with $4,100 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (United CoR).
This billboard also marks the public launch of Louisville CoR, which is made up of eight area groups with members who, according to its website, “value separation of church and state, rational thought and evidence-based understanding.” Louisville CoR will have a booth at the Kentucky State Fair from August 19-29. It will be located in the South Wing C near the south wall. The stated purpose is to provide Kentucky citizens with information about local and national secular groups and the history of freethought.
The Louisville billboard is also part of a national effort. Already this year there have been similar billboards, or bus ads, in Austin, Des Moines, Detroit, Fayetteville (Arkansas), New Orleans, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tucson, Sacramento and Seattle. Last year there were United CoR-sponsored billboard, bus, and subway ads in 20 cities, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Tulsa, Phoenix and San Diego.
“The point of our nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists, agnostics, skeptics and humanists living in the United States,” explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. “Nonreligious people 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 the like minded isn’t the only goal of the effort. “We also want the public to know that people who don’t believe in a god are part of the Louisville population,” added Edwin Hensley, coordinator of the Louisville Coalition of Reason. “People like us can be found all around: in families and among friends and co-workers, including cheering kids at soccer games. We can even be found in churches, temples, and mosques!”
“Being visible is important for us,” Edwords concluded, “because atheists and agnostics in our society often don’t know very many people of like mind. Moreover, if traditionally religious people are open about their views, why shouldn’t we be open about ours?”
For hi-res images of the billboard, free for media use, go to www.LouisvilleCoR.org .
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The Louisville Coalition of Reason is an alliance of organizations dedicated to promoting secular societies. Broad goals include support for science, reason, skepticism, civil liberties, separation of church and state and the improvement of the human condition.
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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