(Corpus Christi, Texas, March 7, 2013) "Don't believe in God? You are not alone."
These words, superimposed over an image of a blue sky with clouds, can be seen on two prominent 14 x 48 foot billboards in Corpus Christi. Their appearance marks the formal launch of the South Texas Coalition of Reason (South Texas CoR), an alliance of six non-theistic (atheist and agnostic) groups in South Texas spanning from Corpus Christi to Kingsville, Laredo and Brownsville. Member organizations include: Ateos de Laredo, Brownsville Skeptics Atheists, Corpus Christi Atheists, the Humanist Society of South Texas, Individuals for Freethought and the Secular Student Alliance at Texas A&M University–Kingsville.
Sponsored by the new South Texas CoR, with $5,616 in funding from the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), the billboards will remain up through March, covering Spring Break and the Easter season. They can be found at the following locations:
* On the south (right-hand) side of I-37 at Peabody, as viewed by eastbound traffic heading into downtown Corpus Christi.
* On the east (right-hand) side of North Padre Island Drive at Bates, as viewed by northbound traffic heading toward the airport or I-37.
Both billboards are illuminated at night. For hi-res images, free for media use, visit SouthTexasCoR.org .
The campaign is part of a coordinated nationwide program that began in 2009. From then to now, similar campaigns have been launched in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Each local campaign is sponsored by a multi-organizational coalition of non-theistic groups in the area.
"The point of our national awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of UnitedCoR. "Non-theists sometimes don't realize there's a community for them because they're inundated with religious messages at every turn. So 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 effort. "We want people to know that atheists and agnostics are a regular part of the community here," added Christian Ferris, coordinator of South Texas CoR. "Non-theists live all over South Texas. We're your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and family members. And we want to be as free as everyone else to be open about our views on religion."
"Being visible is important to us," Edwords concluded, "because in our society non-religious people often don't know many others like themselves.”
This campaign is the latest in a statewide and nationwide effort. Previously in Texas, from 2009 to 2012, billboard or bus ad campaigns were launched in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. There have been similar billboards, bus ads or Internet campaigns over this same period in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, 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, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
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The South Texas Coalition of Reason ( SouthTexasCoR.org ) is a resource for freethinking people, with the goal of uniting the various non-theistic groups in Corpus Christi and throughout South Texas.
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 common goals.
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For more information contact: