The national Freedom From Religion Foundation has a mini-blitz of its irreverent billboard, saying "Imagine No Religion," around Portland, including billboard sites at 18th & Taylor, Sandy & 50th and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard & Beech.
The John Lennonesque-message is against a colorful stained-glass window background. The Foundation originally placed ten billboards in Portland last month at various locations, but some have come down as contracts ended.
"We want Portland residents who are not believers to realize they are not alone, and we also hope our billboard message will provoke thought," said Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.
The Foundation launched a national billboard campaign in late 2007, and has placed billboard messages in about 14 states to date. The Portland billboards are the Foundation's first foray into the state of Oregon, which boasts a comparatively high percentage of citizens who are not religious.
The Madison, Wis.-based Foundation, a state/church watchdog and the largest association of atheists and agnostics in the country, made headlines in the Pacific Northwest last month over its Winter Solstice sign in the Olympia State Capitol, placed to protest a nativity scene at the capitol.
The Foundation's feisty sign captured the ire of Bill O'Reilly, was briefly stolen and then replaced, provoked an evangelical rally outside the statehouse and resulted in Washington Gov. Gregoire declaring a moratorium, for now, on December capitol displays.
"Those of us who are free from religion like to imagine a world where instead of wasting our best efforts on some unprovable afterlife, we humans could concentrate on leaving this world a better place for future generations. We should strive for 'heaven' here on earth," noted Dan Barker Foundation Co-President and author of the new book, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists.
The Foundation will sponsor a mobile billboard in red, white and blue, advising "Keep Religion OUT of Politics," on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C.
The 13,600-member organization is a co-plaintiff in Michael Newdow's challenge of a religious oath and formal Christian prayer by ministers at the presidential inauguration. A hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15 in the District of Columbia over the challengers' request for a temporary restraining order to bar Chief Justice John Roberts from adding "So help me God" to the secular oath prescribed in the Constitution and to stop ministerial prayer at the civil function.
Below is a full listing of where billboards were placed in Portland: 1 080486 SW 18th Av 100 ft S/O Taylor St ES F/S-3 Portland - Westside Y Oregon Dept Of Human Services
2 083555 SE McLoughlin Blvd 140 ft N/O Chestnut St ES F/N-1 Oak Grove Y Ad Council
3 085234 SE Foster Rd 150 ft E/O 56th Av NS F/W-1 Portland Y George Fox University
4 086363 SE Division St 42 ft W/O 109th Av NS F/W-1 Portland Y Oregon Lottery
5 087108 SE Stark St 175 ft E/O 223rd Av SS F/E-1 Gresham Y Comcast SportsNet Northwest, LLC
6 088224 SE 82nd Av 15 ft S/O SE Morrison St ES F/N-1 Portland Y March Of Dimes
7 088945 NE Halsey St 100 ft E/O 114th Av SS F/W-3 Portland Y George Fox University
8 089964 NE Sandy Blvd 105 ft E/O 50th Av SS F/E-1 Portland Y George Fox University
9 090859 SE Hawthorne Blvd 75 ft E/O 9th Av NS F/W-1 Portland Y George Fox University
10 092850 MLK Jr Blvd 150 ft S/O Beech St ES F/N-1 Portland