A local member of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), has sponsored a first-of-its-kind billboard in Pennsylvania.
The colorful billboard sign reads "Imagine No Religion" against a backdrop portraying a stained-glass window. The billboard includes the Freedom From Religion Foundation's name and its website, ffrf.org.
"After passing many 'message from God' billboards, I've often thought that the local nonreligious should know that there are others here who don't believe," writes the anonymous donor.
The Chambersburg billboard, leased from Kegerreis Outdoor Advertising, is scheduled to go up this week (probably today) on Route 30 just below the SunnyWay Grocery Store on Radio Hill. It will be rotating to a billboard on Route 997, between 1-81 and Rt. 1, and a spot on Route 30 West, over the next 6 months.
The Foundation unveiled a new billboard campaign earlier this fall, launching it with a "Beware of Dogma" billboard (with the same stained-glass motif) in Madison, Wis.
"Our goal is to place a freethinking billboard somewhere in every state," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.
With the help of Atlanta freethinkers, the Foundation just placed a 48x14 foot billboard, also saying "Imagine No Religion," in suburban Atlanta, which will be up for the month of December.
"We don't go to Mass, but we still want to reach the masses," adds Dan Barker, Foundation co-president. "Many of our members want to balance all that religion with some reason on the roadsides."
"In our religion-drenched society, it is just assumed that if it's religious, it's good. We question whether basing decisions on faith, which basically means with no evidence, rather than on reality, can ever be good for people or for society. Since there is no proof for various religious claims, it creates divisiveness. More wars have been fought in the name of religion than for any other reason. Those of us who are free from religion--and we're a growing segment of the population, as many as 14% to 18% of the population--think we should place our energies in improving this world, not in promoting some unknown, unprovable life after death," Gaylor added.
Barker and Gaylor thank the generous Pennsylvania FFRF member who underwrote the 8X16 foot rotating display.