A 14x48-foot "stained glass" billboard bearing the message, "Imagine No Religion," is going up Saturday morning, February 2, for the month of February on the southeast corner of East Broad St. and Lancaster Ave, Reynoldsburg (suburban Columbus).
The Foundation, the nation's largest membership association for freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), is using a national billboard campaign to take its irreverent message state-by-state to what it calls the "unmassed masses." The billboard also carries the Freedom From Religion Foundation's name and its website, ffrf.org.
"Our goal is to place a freethinking billboard somewhere in every state," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.
"Many of our members, including generous sponsors in Ohio, want to balance all that religion on the roadside with some reason on the roadside," says Dan Barker, Foundation co-president and author of Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist.
One local donor to the billboard campaign is eager to take a freethinking message to Ohio's governor, an ordained minister, who recently described Ohioans as people who "support their churches." Said the Ohio agnostic: "Gov. Ted Strickland apparently needs to be reminded that many wonderful, patriotic, hard-working Ohioans do not 'support churches.' In fact, they believe that too much religious influence over state government is harming the state. In recent years, state officials have caved to the religious right on issues such as gay rights, the right of other consenting adults to live as they wish, and the display of Christian symbols on state property. These divisive actions have driven people from Ohio and distracted the state from the serious economic problems it faces."
The Foundation made complaints late last year over nativity scenes hosted by the city of Whitehall, and by a public high school in Portsmouth. The Foundation also called for the Inspector General to investigate Gov. Strickland's unlawful order to the Department of Natural Resources to return nativity scenes to state lodges, after the DNR had ordered them removed.
To speak to a local contact and billboard backer, call Foundation member David Russell (614) 578-7581.