For more pictures of the traveling billboard, please visit our RNC picture gallery.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is mobilizing secularists by placing its timely message--"Keep Religion OUT of Politics"--via a mobile billboard roving within three blocks of the Republican National Convention site in St. Paul.
The Foundation, which is a nonpartisan nonprofit, took the same message to the Democratic National Convention last month through a billboard in downtown Denver.
"If religion in politics is driving you crazy, we hope you will join the Freedom From Religion Foundation in our work to keep church and state separate," said Foundation co-president Dan Barker.
The educational mobile billboard includes an audio, which plays an excerpt of John F. Kennedy's historic 1960 speech to the Houston ministers saying:
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. I believe in an American that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish, where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source."
JFK's quote segues to a recitation of the original Pledge of Allegiance (". . . one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"), minus the phrase "under God," which was added belatedly in the 1950s. The audio also includes a piano version of the "Let freedom ring" ending of the song, "America the Beautiful."
(The Freedom From Religion Foundation, with the help of Michael Newdow, has a federal case in New Hampshire court challenging the use of the religious pledge in public schools.)
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which launched a national billboard campaign last fall with messages saying "Imagine No Religion" and "Beware of Dogma," added the "Keep Religion OUT of Politics" message to its billboard repertoire in recognition of a religion-permeated presidential campaign.
Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor noted:
"The religious right, which does not represent most Americans, has been permitted by political parties to dominate the political debate for far too long.
"We do not elect a Pastor in Chief. Our Constitution is expressly godless, separating government from religion. We need a reason-based, not a faith-based government. It's time for politicians to quit pandering and preaching, and concentrate on running a secular country."
The Foundation sends warm appreciation to the benefactor who underwrote the cost of the mobile billboard.