"Don’t believe in God? You are not alone."
These words are part of a national billboard campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don’t believe in a god, and the campaign is now in full swing in the Big Easy. The latest billboard can be read by motorists driving from downtown New Orleans on I-10 W. It can be seen on the left-hand side just prior to the Carrollton exits. It was placed by the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association and funded by the United Coalition of Reason. It features an image of blue sky and clouds with the words superimposed over.
"The point of the billboard 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 corner. But we hope this message will serve as a beacon and will let them know they’re not alone."
Reaching out to non-theists isn’t the only goal of the billboard campaign: "We want people to know you can be good without God," said Harry Greenberger, leader of the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association. "There’s a lot of misinformation out there about us, but we want people to know that we’re as normal as anyone else. We’re your friends, neighbors and family, and we pay taxes, are involved in our communities and are true to our values. And we want to feel comfortable sharing our ideas."
The billboard is one of many that have gone up around the country this year, including those in places as far flung as Charleston, South Carolina; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; and Moscow, Idaho. The United Coalition of Reason plans to fund billboards in as many as 17 additional states before year’s end. And during the past Mardi Gras season, the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association had placed the same words, in a different design, on the Canal streetcar.
The New Orleans Secular Humanist Association ( www.nosha.info ) is dedicated to raising the awareness of people of the Gulf Coast region to the ideals and values of secular humanism.
The United Coalition of Reason ( www.unitedcor.org ) exists to raise the visibility and sense of unity among nontheists (atheists and agnostics) by providing funding and expertise to help them raise their public profiles.
For more information contact:
Harry Greenberger, president
New Orleans Secular Humanist Association
Fred Edwords, communications director
United Coalition of Reason