In Columbus “Out of the Closet” campaign

Church complains — ‘Good without God’ billboard removed!

UPDATE: Dylan's billboard has been relocated to East Main St., west of Alum Creek Dr., facing west. See http://ffrf.org/news/releases/update-censored-billboard-relocated/ for more information.

A billboard featuring a cheerful student saying, “I can be good without God,” was too much for the delicate sensibilities of a local church in Columbus, Ohio, which insisted late last week that a local billboard company remove the message.

The billboard picturing Dylan Galos, a Columbus student and atheist, was removed and is awaiting placement at an alternate eastside Columbus location.

Dylan’s billboard is one of seven featuring local nonbelievers posted within the last week for a month-long lease in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Out of the Closet” campaign.

The colorful billboards bear the faces and personal views of friendly neighborhood atheists.

“The action of this censorious church shows exactly why our campaign, intended to encourage social acceptance of nonbelievers, is so important,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.

“Do its deacons truly believe one can’t be good without God?” wonders Gaylor. “Nonbelievers know that it is not what you believe, but how you act, that makes you a moral person. We don’t feel the need to be rewarded in heaven or threatened with everlasting punishment in order to do good and be ethical.”

Added Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister who co-directs FFRF, “Everywhere atheists and agnostics go, we encounter advertisements, marquees and other proselytizing messages. This is one of the few public advertisements anywhere in the nation right now, and there isn’t room for it next to a church?”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a state/church watchdog based in Madison, Wis., is the nation’s largest association of atheists and agnostics with more than 16,500 members, and about 450 members in Ohio. Columbus is FFRF’s fourth stop on a national campaign to introduce local nonbelievers to their neighbors. FFRF debuted the “Out of the Closet” campaign in Madison last fall. FFRF took the campaign to the bible belt in the spring: Raleigh, N.C., in April and to Tulsa, Okla., in May.

 

See all the billboards and read FFRF’s original press release, “Local nontheists come ‘Come out of the Closet’ in Columbus campaign” here.

Location Description
 
Size
 
Daily Effective Circulation
Creative Design
  
Available
1 1572 W. Fifth, north side facing east. 10'5" x 22'8" 12,610 Olivia 6/20/11 - 7/17/11
2 785 Wilson Rd., west side facing north. 10'5" x 22'8" 21,980 Jeremy 6/20/11 - 7/17/11
3 4524 Kenny, east side facing south. 10'5" x 22'8" 15,460 Ed 6/27/11 - 7/24/11
5 577 N. 4th, west side facing south. 10'5" x 22'8" 23,210 Nick 6/20/11 - 7/17/11
6 E Dublin Granville Rd. at Westerville Rd., south side facing west. 10'5" x 22'8" 22,920 Amanda & August 6/20/11 - 7/17/11
7 2455 S. Hamilton Rd., west side facing south. 10'5" x 22'8" 16,620 Ashley 6/20/11 - 7/17/11

UPDATE: Dylan's billboard was formerly located at #4 on the map above. It has been relocated to East Main St., west of Alum Creek Dr., facing west.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

 

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FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.