Irreligious Billboard Mini-Blitz Hits Detroit

Seven FFRF Billboards Are Up!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has launched a “mini-blitz” of billboards with irreverent messages in seven Detroit locations over the next month. Two 14×48-foot billboards are up—one bearing a likeness of Darwin, which asks passersby to “Praise Darwin—Evolve Beyond Belief,” the other saying “Imagine No Religion.” The Lennonesque message employs a colorful stained-glass window motif.

The larger billboard ads will be joined by five smaller panel billboards with the “Imagine No Religion” message. All billboards went up in the last few days.

The 12×24 foot poster billboards are found at:

• East Nine Mile east of Dequindre

• Ford Road east of Inkster

• Grand River Avenue west of Birwood

• Van Dyke & Bliss

• Woodward & Willis

The 14×48 foot billboards are at:

• I-96 Fwy west of Chicago

• West Eight Mile west of Lodge Fwy

The colorful, thought-provoking messages are courtesy of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which acts as a state/church watchdog, and has 14,000 atheist and agnostic members nationwide, including over 400 in Michigan.

This is the Foundation’s first billboard pitch in Michigan. The Foundation has placed billboards in about a quarter of U.S. states, and more than 30 cities. An “Imagine No Religion” billboard is currently up in Indianapolis and suburban St. Louis, and another “billboard blitz” will visit Las Vegas next month.

The Foundation currently has 75 king-sized bus signs on San Francisco buses, alternating “Imagine No Religion” with Mark Twain’s “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so,” along with 200 pretty interior signs touting quotations by famous nonbelievers.

The billboard celebrating Darwin’s accomplishments is timed not only for the bicentennial of his birth, but the upcoming sesquicentennial of the release of his pivotal work, On the Origin of Species, in November. Local Foundation member Paul Pearson, who patiently scouted out sign locations, especially requested the Darwin billboard message to counter a creationist message on a competing billboard:

“These messages not only cater to nonbelievers, but will give those who are curious access to resources and ideas they may otherwise never encounter,” comments Pearson.

“We thank the Founding Fathers for the parity these boards allow,” he said. “This is an attempt at balancing the media messages of religion aimed at believers with some percentage aimed at unbelievers. Letting unbelievers and those with healthy skeptical doubt know FFRF exists can give knowledge and comfort.”

“And we also thank our Foundation members who have contributed to a pool for bus signs and billboard advertising. As it gets replenished, we will continue taking our campaign around the country,” added Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

“It’s a ‘sign of the times’ that those of us who are nonreligious are finally being allowed to purchase space to advertise our views, and make freethought a part of the debate in our nation,” said Foundation Co-President Dan Barker.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., is a national association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics) that has been working since 1978 to keep church and state separate.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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