(San Diego, California, January 30, 2013) "Atheism: A personal relationship with reality."
These words appear over an image of a curtain, held open by a stack of books, that reveals an appealing natural scene. They are part of a prominent 14 ft x 48 ft billboard scheduled to go up today along the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway (SR 94) near College Avenue. Its appearance is the product of a joint effort by the national American Atheists and the local San Diego Coalition of Reason. The latter is a cooperative network of 18 atheist, humanist, skeptic and church-state separation groups. These include student, military, parenting, support and social groups as well as lecture societies and congregationally-structured communities.
The billboard cost $4,000, paid for by American Atheists and local contributors, and will remain for the next four weeks. For high res images of the billboard, free for media use, visit www.SDCoR.org .
This effort is part of the ongoing nationwide campaigning of both American Atheists and the United Coalition of Reason, which between them have placed billboards in the majority of U.S. states and most major cities over the past five years.
"We want to express how using intelligence to free oneself of the god idea can open the curtain to a inspiring new outlook," Said Debbie Allen, coordinator for the San Diego Coalition of Reason. "Atheism is positive and offers grounding in the real world."
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, noted: "With many of our previous billboards, we’ve made it a point to challenge traditional religion. But this time we want to show the other side of our coin, that atheism is a breath of fresh air."
"As for those who will never join us, we hope they will discover that we are a regular part of local communities everywhere," added Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason, the parent organization of the San Diego Coalition of Reason. "Non-believers like us live all over America. We’re your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and family members. You should get to know us."
The billboard was designed by graphic artist Bruce Harris for the San Diego Coalition of Reason. According to Debbie Allen, part of the message of its imagery is: "When you raise the curtain between the known and the unknown, there is nothing there but the natural world. No wizards, no spirits, no deities." The billboard will be seen by traffic going east toward Lemon Grove, La Mesa, Spring Valley and Rancho San Diego.
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The San Diego Coalition of Reason ( www.SDCoR.org ) is an alliance of local organizations working together to increase public awareness of secular-minded groups throughout the San Diego area.
American Atheists ( www.Atheists.org ) is a prominent national organization that labors for the civil liberties of atheists and the absolute separation of government and religion.
The United Coalition of Reason ( www.UnitedCoR.org ) is a support organization that exists to raise the visibility and sense of unity among local groups in the community of reason.
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