Nine FFRF Billboards Going Up Today!
A "mini-blitz" of nine billboards bearing three different irreverent messages begins today for a month in Las Vegas, compliments of the national Freedom From Religion Foundation. Three billboard panels will warn, "Beware of Dogma," three will ask passersby to "Imagine No Religion," and four will "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.
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
The billboards are the first to hit Nevada as part of a national campaign by the Madison, Wis.-based Foundation. The state/church watchdog has 14,000 atheist and agnostic members nationwide, including almost 100 in Nevada.
The Foundation has placed billboards in about a quarter of U.S. states, and more than 30 cities, since launching its campaign in October 2007. An "Imagine No Religion" billboard is currently up in Indianapolis and suburban St. Louis. Seven billboards are up in Detroit, according to Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. The Foundation also has a bus sign campaign in San Francisco.
"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 member John Whiteside. John scouted out locations and paid for the campaign, "which is very wonderful," Gaylor said.
The billboard celebrating Darwin is timed for the fall sesquicentennial of the release of Darwin's landmark work, On the Origin of Species.
Foundation Co-President Dan Barker said it is important for Americans to see positive mention of Darwin, given the mass ignorance of evolution revealed by the fact that 50% of Americans embrace the Genesis legend of creation.
"Darwin and the science of evolution get such bad raps. We think instead of praising an imaginary god, we should praise human achievement, and the giants, such as Charles Darwin, who have moved the human race and knowledge forward," said Barker.
Gaylor said she is curious to see the reception the nonreligious billboards will receive in Las Vegas. "We hope to hear from Las Vegas residents who agree with us," she said.