A billboard in Southern California, aimed at connecting those who don’t believe in a god, is definitely turning heads. But not everyone is happy to see it.
KCAL News reports the billboard, which sits just off Interstate 215 south of the Interstate 10 junction reads, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone,” and gives the Internet address for the Inland Empire Coalition of Reason.
The coalition is made up of seven groups of area atheist, agnostic, skeptic and humanist organizations.
Jane Goings, 70, is the cofounder of one member group — Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics — and said she supported putting up the sign because she recalls how lonely she once felt living in the area as a nonbeliever.
“There was a long time when I thought I was the only nonbelieving person in the whole Inland Empire,” Goings told The Press-Enterprise, a local newspaper.
But not everyone is as welcoming. Some think the sign is divisive and others want to see it taken down all together.
“Everybody’s an individual, so you shouldn’t be told how you should think or what you should believe,” area resident Cyndi Bulger told KCAL.
“I’d have them take it down, because God’s real,” said Benjamin Hall.
But 59-year-old Rebecca Kitchings, who founded the Greater Riverside Skeptics Forum, says the sign isn’t divisive at all. It is simply meant to make others aware of an alternative point of view and connect those who may feel alone.
“Nonbelievers have been vilified and isolated,” Kitchings said. “This is an attempt to say, ‘Don’t think of us so badly. We’re your friends, neighbors and family.’
“We want to create a community for people who haven’t had a community before,” she added.
Local members of the loosely affiliated groups kicked in $2,000 to pay for the billboard. A national organization, the Washington, D.C.-based United Coalition of Reason, footed the rest of the bill at $6,500. The sign will stay up for four weeks.