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The San Diego Coalition of Reason, a collection of local groups of non-theists and church-state separation activists, has teamed up with American Atheists, a national organization, to purchase ad space on a billboard off the SR 94 freeway near College Avenue.

“Atheism: A personal relationship with reality,” reads the 14 by 48 foot sign, which went up on the eastbound side of the highway yesterday and is scheduled to remain for four weeks at a cost of $4,000.

“With many of our previous billboards, we've made it a point to challenge traditional religion. But this time we want to show the other side of our coin, that atheism is a breath of fresh air,” said American Atheists president David Silverman in a joint release. Some of the group’s other advertisements nationwide, such as a Chico, California billboard asking “Don’t believe in God? Join the club,” have drawn backlash and prompted vandalism from some within the faith community.

“I don't expect that anyone will deface our billboard in San Diego. People here seem to be a little more tolerant of differing points of view,” Debbie Allen, local director for the Coalition, tells the Reader. “Furthermore, this sign seems well protected. Its base is behind protective fencing.”

Allen says that the sign is part of an ongoing outreach campaign funded by local donors who have been raising money for the installation since January 22 to cover the local groups’ share of the cost. The timing is in part to drum up interest for an event featuring Silverman to take place at UCSD on February 24.

In addition, Allen says, “we have been hosting a booth in Balboa Park almost every Saturday where we have a sign that says, ‘Ask An Atheist.’ In this very small way we are ‘coming out,’ ‘speaking out’ and ‘reaching out’ to likeminded neighbors.”

Image: San Diego Coalition of Reason

Comments
4

Allen throws down a challenge when she says, “I don't expect that anyone will deface our billboard in San Diego." That's asking for trouble.

Jan. 31, 2013

I read it as a compliment. She's saying she thinks people in San Diego are more enlightened. I'm not sure she is right, but I think that's what she meant.

Jan. 31, 2013

belial

Feb. 1, 2013

Very nice sign. Thank God I'm an atheist.

Feb. 1, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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