By Jessica Rine
A tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign that hopes to counterprogram God is set to roll out across Sacramento in the coming months.
The Sacramento branch of the Freedom From Religion Foundation recently purchased enough space to scatter 55 billboards in the Sacramento area. The advertising effort is intended to raise atheism’s community profile and to let individuals who don’t affiliate with any religion know there are plenty of godless folks just like them.
The foundation’s greater Sacramento branch president, Judy Saint, said the billboards were to start going up December 2 in communities like south Sacramento, Natomas and Orangevale.
Billboard ads will feature individuals and families from the Sacramento area who identify as humanists, atheists, freethinkers and other non-religious tags next to a chosen quote—lines like, “I believe in one less god than you,” and, “History has thousands of gods—I choose none.” FFRF has 54 ads designed and billboard-ready.
The atheism ads have already generated quite the buzz on Reddit’s Sacramento page. Online commenters have typed north of 230 furious missives about whether the quotes are condescending to the religious, how the billboards will be terrible eyesores and about the base morality of advertising, all with fierce rebuttals. “It’s not an eyesore. It’s an advertisement for a product. If you don’t like the product then move on,” wrote a commenter identified as Mr_Shickadance.
Regardless of their intended impact on lonely atheists, the advertising campaign is already giving Sacramento’s diverse religious community an existential jolt. And just in time for the holidays.