Atheist Billboards Go Up in Connecticut

In anticipation of Secular Assembly for the North East (SANE), the first statewide conference for atheists in Connecticut, the newly-formed Connecticut Coalition of Reason has put up two billboards announcing their presence:

One of the billboards is in Hartford; the other’s in New Haven.

The point of our ongoing nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. “Such non-theists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. 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 coalition: “We hope people across Connecticut will discover we are a regular part of the community,” said Dan Blinn, coordinator of Connecticut CoR. “We live all over the state and are your friends and neighbors, family members and coworkers. You might even find some of us sitting next to you in church!”

The billboards cost $10,000 and were funded by the United Coalition of Reason, a group that has now placed signs in 34 states in addition to the District of Columbia.

These billboards will be up until November 10. The conference takes place this Saturday and tickets are still available!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Timmah

    Annnnnnnd a vandal has already spraypainted over the “out” in “without”.

    • Kallizm

      Seriously? Lame.

    • BoGardiner

      Kidding or for real?

    • Rich Wilson

      Damn them! They’re not even giving us a chance to predict the vandalism any more! What, are the signs being printed already vandalized?

      • islandbrewer

        *shrug* It just saves time and paint.

    • Timmah

      Your guys clearly don’t watch enough South Park. ;)

    • Richard Wade

      Should have used “Puppies are cute.” What would the vandals do, spray paint “not” onto the billboard?

    • anniewhoo

      Maybe we should start putting up pre-vandalized billboards. It would be a time saver!

    • johnnyal

      So, the answer to the “new” question is: Apparently not.

    • Fred Edwords

      A joke of course, since the billboard is digital and thus carries messages of other advertisers in a series of 10 second appearances.

      • Timmah

        This should seriously be a requirement in the future. Had it been a regular one, my joke would probobly already of been reality.

  • Jasper

    Does the atheist savagery and hatred know no bounds?

    • Tim

      lol Savagery and Hatred? Sounds more like the bible than how Atheists live. You should read a book and learn more.

      • BoGardiner

        His was a satirical comment, of course.

    • Ron

      The horror! The horror!

  • BoGardiner

    I think this is my favorite billboard message. It says it all, and manages multiple meanings including what could be read as an urging to be good.

    And it doesn’t go after theists as persons, unlike some Times Square billboards we know,,,

  • Rationalist1

    I like these ads. Polite, non confrontational and telling people it’s okay not to believe and that non believers are a part of the community.

    • Bob Becker

      Yes. Far far superior to the appalling FFRF one of a jolly Santa saying “Yes, Virginia, there is no god.”

      • Anna

        Why is that one appalling? It’s not my favorite, but it’s simple and straightforward. It doesn’t attack anyone; it just says that a deity isn’t real. There are thousands of billboards proclaiming that gods are real, and no one would describe those as appalling.

        • Bob Becker

          Because, being put up during the Christmas season, it targetted children, wrapping atheism in a jolly Santa package that six to ten year olds were likely to be drawn to, merely passing by. I dislike it when Christians target children not of their congregations in such ways. I like it no more when we do.

          • Anna

            You thought it targeted children? I didn’t see it that way. I mean, it’s an obvious reference to the Virginia O’Hanlon story, which isn’t going to make sense to kids without context. Santa did appear on the billboard, but Santa is in many advertisements during the holiday season, and many of those aren’t geared towards kids. I don’t know. If it had explicitly targeted children, I might share your feelings, but I really just thought it was a clever billboard, along the lines of the “What myths do you see?” one, which also featured Santa Claus.

            • Bob Becker

              Then, Anna, we’ll have to disagree on this one. The huge jolly old St. Nick on that board seemed to me then, and now, to be designed to draw the attention of Santa-believing children. I liked others of the FFRF campaign. And, like you, I think the “Be good for goodness sake!” one is a winner.

          • badgerchild

            Targeting children with reality? Isn’t that what we build schools and pay teachers to do?

        • Rationalist1

          I prefer the Christmas one that says “Be good for goodness sake” I know theists have myriad bill boards exclaiming the most outrageous things. AT one particular tricky spot on the highway near my office one says “Are you prepared to meet your maker?”

          II just think we’re better than that and if we take the high road many on the fence would rather be on our side.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        I prefer the inviting billboards like this one, but at the same time, I consider the fact that Christians swarm to attack even the blandest atheistic messages as evidence that stronger messages are also needed for desensitization.

  • Geocentric

    Secular Assembly for the North East (SANE). Best acronym ever.

  • coffeecat

    My new favorite holiday statement is on a new ffrf card, “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia”. It would make a great billboard – pithy, funny, and no way for theists to alter the message.
    I’ll have to look for the Hartford billboard. I didn’t know there was anything going on here.

    • Deus Otiosus

      Yeah, I live a few miles from New Haven. I wonder where that billboard is.

      • Fred Edwords

        It’s on I-91 South just before exit 7. And it can’t be vandalized because the billboard is digital.

        • Deus Otiosus

          Hey thanks! I have to head that way next week. Billboards are usually up for a month at a time, right?

          • Fred Edwords

            Right. This one is up thru November 10.

  • Deus Otiosus

    FYI – That conference filled up immediately. There are no more openings.

  • Joshua Pierce

    Now I have to go driving around this weekend in hopes of seeing them!