It’s “Reason’s Greetings” from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and its local chapter, the Triangle Freethought Society, who are placing a 14x48 foot billboard with that message, which will be posted Thursday, Dec. 9 by mid-afternoon, at Capital Boulevard on Highway 401 in Raleigh, N.C., for four weeks.
The colorful billboard employs FFRF’s trademark “stained glass window” motif.
"The Triangle Freethought Society chose this particular sign because it has a great message that works on many levels,” says Mark Zumbach, director of the chapter. "It is humorous. It offers good tidings, similar to Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays. And it serves as a reminder of the value of reason, a tool that enables progress and civility in our society."
The Madison, Wis.-based Foundation, which is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), has more than 16,000 nonreligious members nationwide, and 330 North Carolina members.
Dan Barker, Foundation co-president, says, "No month is free from pagan reverie!"
"It's always the season for reason. The greeting is a reminder of the real reason for the season — the Winter Solstice," notes Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.
The Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year, takes place Dec. 21. The solstice heralds the “return of the sun” and the natural new year, and has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with festivals of light, evergreens, feasts and gift exchanges, Gaylor points out.
"We nonbelievers don't mind sharing the season with Christians," Gaylor adds, "but we think there should be some acknowledgment that the Christians really 'stole' the trimmings of Christmas, and the sun-god myths, from pagans.”
Since launching a national billboard campaign in October 2007, the educational nonprofit FFRF has placed messages on billboards in about half the states and about 45 cities. Messages range from “In Reason We Trust” (depicted on a shiny penny) to “God & Government a Dangerous Mix: Keep State & Church Separate.”
The chapter and FFRF thank chapter member Todd Stiefel for contributing about half the costs of the billboard, as well as other chapter members who donated toward the project.