(Lexington, Kentucky, September 18, 2012) "Don’t believe in God? Join the club."
These words, superimposed over an image of a mountain sunrise, now appear on a prominent 10 ½’ x 36′ billboard in Lexington. It is located at 2660 Wilhite Drive off of New Circle Road and can be seen on the right-hand (north) side of the road, visible to New Circle Road westbound traffic.
In this position it will remain up until Columbus Day, heralding the first ever Kentucky Freethought Convention, to be held October 6 at the University of Kentucky. For full details on this event, which will feature a former minister and religious broadcaster, university professors, and freethought leaders, go to www.kyfreethoughtconvention.com/ .
The ad has been placed by the Bluegrass Coalition of Reason with $5,650 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason. Its appearance marks the public launch of Bluegrass CoR, the Bluegrass Coalition of Reason, which is an alliance of five atheist, humanist, secularist and skeptic groups working together in the greater Lexington area.
This campaign is the latest in a nationwide effort to reach out to non-theists. Since 2009 there have been similar billboards, bus ads or Internet campaigns in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. This is the second coalition billboard campaign in Kentucky. The first was in Louisville in 2010.
"The point of our ongoing nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Such non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. We hope our effort 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 coalition: "We hope people in the Lexington area will understand that we are a regular part of the community," said Clay Maney, coordinator of Bluegrass CoR. "People like us live all over Kentucky. We’re your friends and neighbors, family members and coworkers. You might even find some of us in the pew next to you at church!"
"Being visible is important to us," Edwords concluded, "because, in our society, atheists and agnostics often don’t know many people like themselves. Moreover, if traditionally religious people can be open about their views, why can’t we be open about ours?"
For a high-res image of the billboard, free for media use, go to www.BluegrassCoR.org .
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The Bluegrass Coalition of Reason is made up of five area atheist, humanist, secularist and skeptic groups working together to provide education, support and a sense of community among the like-minded.
The United Coalition of Reason is made up of 57 local coalitions nationwide and works to raise the visibility and sense of unity among non-theistic groups.
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