This is the image on four new billboards put up by the Blue Ridge Coalition of Reason (in Virginia):
The four billboards — promoting a coalition of groups based in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Farmville, and Charlottesville — were put up by the United Coalition of Reason at a cost of $3,500 and will remain up in Roanoke through mid-January.
Another similar billboard went up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, promoting the Fredericksburg Coalition of Reason:
That one costs $5,100 (also provided by the United Coalition of Reason) and will be up through December in the city and then in nearby Thornburg through February.
Reaching out to the like minded isn’t the only goal of the effort. “We hope people will discover that we are a regular part of the community,” added Paul Hoyt, coordinator of Blue Ridge CoR. “Non-believers and agnostics like us live all over Virginia. We’re your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and family members. It’s about time we were as free to be open about our views as religious people are about theirs.”
“We need to be visible, said Matt Jordan, media representative for Fredericksburg CoR, “because non-religious people in Virginia don’t often know many others like themselves. The billboard campaign has become a celebration of reason. Reason, civility and community are the guiding principles we live by.”
Virginia is one of those states that could really benefit from strong non-religious communities, so expect both an uproar from the community (damn offensive billboards!) and an increase in attendance at the local atheist groups’ upcoming meetings.
On a side note, the same kind of billboard was just vandalized in Chico, California. Hopefully there won’t be a copycat crime in Virginia, too.