The Freedom From Religion Foundation placed 19 billboards in Trenton, N.J., for a month in late August, including messages saying: “Imagine No Religion,” depicting the face of a penny with the words “In Reason We Trust,” warning “God & Government a Dangerous Mix” and saluting Charles Darwin in a billboard depicting his image and saying “Praise Darwin: Evolve Beyond Belief.”
New Jersey contains interesting freethought history. There are statues of Thomas Paine, fomenter of the American Revolution and author of the antibiblical Age of Reason, in Morristown and Bordentown. Feminist and freethinker Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who wrote The Woman’s Bible, settled in Tenafly. The Foundation’s first chapter was in Morristown and was run by FFRF co-founders Jo and Charline Kotula.
Trenton Times staff writer Bridget Clerkin (Aug. 27, 2010) reported: “According to Gaylor, her organization has had trouble actively expressing their beliefs for decades, facing censorship from many billboard companies.
“ ‘Non-theists are sort of at the bottom of the social totem pole,’ she said. Now that the economy has slowed down, billboard owners have been more willing to provide advertising space for the group’s message, and FFRF is ‘starting to make up for lost time, putting up billboards in every state,’ Gaylor said.”
The 19 billboard signs were found, according to the Times, in “many of the most heavily trafficked areas, including Princeton Avenue, Chambers Street and Perry and State streets.”