In the heart of the Bible belt, billboards stating “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone” have been posted in parts of Dallas, home of the Institute for Creation Research.
The boards are sponsored by the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason (DFWCoR), an atheist nonprofit group which joins together smaller local anti-theistic organizations to “increase the growth, visibility and acceptance of nontheists throughout the Metroplex.”1 Two ads have been posted in the D/FW area, one just a few miles from ICR headquarters, and will remain up through April.
According to Fred Edwords of the United Coalition of Reason, a co-sponsor of the ads, “the primary goal of billboards like these is to let nontheistic people—such as atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and humanists—know they aren’t alone.”2 He had a similar message catering to lonely atheists when the American Humanist Association placed anti-God ads on public buses in Washington, D.C., this past Christmas season.3
“The message is particularly necessary in a part of the country that, for many, has become identified with Protestant evangelicalism. Area nontheists may be unaware that there’s a thriving community for them,” Edwords said in a DFWCoR press release.2
Terry McDonald, DFWCoR coordinator, said in the news release, “We [atheists and agnostics] have the same compassionate values and, in most other ways, are just like [people of faith]. We are hard-working, tax-paying moral citizens who care deeply about family, community, state and nation.”2
But neither Edwords nor McDonald acknowledged the zealous intolerance towards people of faith that many atheists and humanist organizations have displayed, even in the recent past.
During Christmas when the Washington, D.C., bus ads appeared, another special interest group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, installed an intolerant poster next to a nativity scene in the Washington state capitol that attacked people of faith and their beliefs: “There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”4
In the fall of 2008, the British Humanist Association posted ads on London’s bendy buses that read, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”5 The London ads were endorsed by prominent atheist and The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins.
Since the Christmas ads gave a glimpse into the intolerance of the anti-faith mindset and agenda, advertisements such as the Dallas billboards seem to be attempting a new approach—appealing to the emotions of atheist constituents. But when given an inch to attack faith and religion, organizations such as these have proven time and again to go the whole mile.
Similar billboards have appeared in or near New York City, Philadelphia, Denver, Kansas City, Charleston, and Idaho.
- Dallas/Fort Worth Coalition for Reason website.
- Godless Groups Organize around DFW Billboards. Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason press release, March 30, 2009.
- Dao, C. Atheists’ Christmas Campaign: ‘Yes’ to Goodness, ‘No’ to God. ICR News. Posted on icr.org on November 18, 2008, accessed April 2, 2009.
- Dao, C. Atheists Get ‘Shared Time’ with Nativity Scene. ICR News. Posted on icr.org on December 8, 2008, accessed April 2, 2009.
- Dao, C. Dawkins Supports ‘No God’ Ads. ICR News. Posted on icr.org on October 23, 2008, accessed April 2, 2009.
* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on April 7, 2009.