“Godless” billboard at Lake City Way

billboard_nwf2The billboard, located at Lake City Way NE near 78th Street, reads “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” It’s sponsored by the Northwest Freethought Coalition (NWFC), of which Seattle Atheists is a part, and was funded by the United Coalition of Reason. The billboard cost $6,700.

This effort is part of a coordinated nationwide campaign that began last year. In December it included billboards in Baltimore, Houston and Tulsa. Each billboard is sponsored by a local, multi-organizational coalition of non-theistic (atheist and agnostic) groups.

“The point of our national campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. “Non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community out there for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope this will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone.”

But reaching out to the like-minded isn’t the only goal of the effort. “Our message is also to let people know that we belong to the larger community,” added Ron Renard, coordinator of the Northwest Freethought Coalition. “Whether you know it or not, we’re your family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We’re just like you, except we don’t believe in a supreme being. Now we think it’s time we were as free as you to be open about our views.”

The United Coalition of Reason launched eighteen similar ad campaigns across the country in 2009. Each involved billboards or public transit ads.

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