One or more vandals used spray paint to deface part of a billboard on Interstate 80 midway between Sacramento and Davis, California, that reads "Are you good without God? Millions are." The words "also lost?" were added below the "Millions are."
The billboard, which was placed by the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason last Tuesday, is one of ten such roadway ads that have gone up in and around Sacramento. They were paid for by the United Coalition of Reason, headquartered in Washington DC.
"This shows loud and clear just how necessary our message is, because prejudice against people who don’t believe in a god remains very real in America." said Rachael Harrington, coordinator of Sacramento CoR.
The defaced billboard is located on the north side of I-80, just west of exit 78, and faces east. For a hi-res image, free for media use, click HERE.
The United Coalition of Reason has asked Clear Channel, the owner of the billboard, to file a police report. Meanwhile, Clear Channel has indicated that it will replace the billboard free of charge. "We are extremely pleased by this," said Fred Edwords, national director of United CoR. "Freedom of speech is worthy of everyone’s defense. And it is only when those with minority opinions can safely go public about their views that people will have a chance to broaden their awareness of the wonderful diversity within their communities."
On its website at SacramentoCoR.org , the Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason says its purpose is "to increase awareness of secular-minded groups throughout the Sacramento area." The coalition was launched on February 9 when the ten billboards were announced.
"Now we are more committed than ever to the cause of making our presence known," Harrington added. "Hopefully this vandalism will inspire more nontheistic people in the Sacramento area to realize how important it is to get organized. Only by working together will we end bigotry against philosophical and religious minorities."
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The Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason ( Sacramento CoR ) is a collaboration of freethought, skeptic, atheist and humanist groups in the Sacramento area. It serves as a resource for the public and offers a means of combining the voices of those who hold that science and reason lead to more reliable knowledge than dogma and faith.
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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