The "mini-blitz" of ten billboards by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Las Vegas will be celebrated with a Non-Prayer Brunch, which starts at 10 a.m., followed by a group photo shot by the "Imagine" billboard at noon, on Sunday, Oct. 25. (You must RSVP ahead to attend).
Three billboard panels warn, "Beware of Dogma," three ask passersby to "Imagine No Religion," and four "Praise Darwin." All are designed with a colorful stained-glass window motif, and are imprinted with the Foundation's name and web address, ffrf.org.
"These billboards promote science and the separation of church and state, as guaranteed by the First Amendment. I view them as an act of patriotism," says the Foundation's Las Vegas Lifetime member John Whiteside. John scouted out locations and paid for the campaign.
John plans to use the brunch to announce an atheist charity, Freethought Kitchens, which he is planning to launch December of this year. Freethought Kitchens will be dedicated to serving area homeless people with organic and natural meals from sustainable agriculture methods humane to animals. John says, "We won't pollute their minds, with dogma, or their bodies, with substandard food." Freethought Kitchens appears to be the first of its kind in the country.
John will be a guest on this weekend's Freethought Radio. John graduated from the University of Alabama in 1974, entered the Marine Corps flight training and flew F4 Phantom and A4 Skyhawk aircraft before flying for 25 years for an international airline, obtaining the rank of Captain. John has flown over 20,000 "accident-free hours" and transported over a million people safely to their destination. In 1990, John was recalled to active duty in the Air National Guard and flew the F16. He flew 52 missions in "Operation Desert Storm" and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for "heroism" in combat. John retired from the airline industry in 2003. Upon retirement John decided to read the bible and ended up reading it cover to cover three times. "After the third read, I started to question religion," he said.
Following the brunch there will be a noon group photograph of area freethinkers in front of the "Imagine" billboard on Charleston at the north east corner of Charleston and Las Vegas Boulevard. To sign up for the breakfast, please call John Whiteside at 702-265-7722.
Billboards bearing the message, "Praise Darwin: Evolve Beyond Belief" (with Darwin's portrait) are found at:
- Maryland WS 180ft N/O Sahara
- I-15 ES 1mi N/O Lamb
- Craig NS 0.4mi W/O Lossee
- LVBN WS 900ft S/O Lamb
Billboards with the cautionary pun, "Beware of Dogma," are at:
- Rancho WS 1500ft S/O Lone Mountain
- Las Vegas Blvd WS 1275ft S/O Russell
- Arville ES 5ft E/O Harmon
Those with the John Lennonesque theme, "Imagine No Religion," are at:
- Decatur ES 100ft N/O Obannon
- Charleston NS 150ft E/O LVBS
- Boulder ES 1700ft N/O Sunset