the official press release:

For Immediate Release

(North Carolina, June 22, 2010) "One Nation Indivisible"

These words, superimposed over an image of the American flag, are

appearing on billboards across North Carolina--from the mountains to

the sea--in advance of the Independence Day week-long celebration. The

billboards, scheduled to run for four weeks, are located in Asheville,

Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.

At a total cost of $15,000, they are being sponsored by the North

Carolina Secular Association (NCSecular.org), a coalition of local

secular, humanist, freethought and skeptical groups throughout North

Carolina. Much of the funding has been provided by FreeThoughtAction,

a national organization whose mission is to "encourage the continuing

growth, open engagement, and public acceptance of a freethought

community in American society."

"This is a positive message of unity and inclusion for all Americans,"

said Joseph McDaniel Stewart, vice president of FreeThoughtAction. "It

is designed to bring nontheists and theists together as patriots in a

shared society."

Stewart added: "When the words 'under God' were inserted into the

Pledge of Allegiance between 'one nation' and 'indivisible,' they made

a lie out of both those ideals because you can't have an indivisible

nation if you draw a line between the godly and godless. We all belong

here."

"This concern is especially notable for North Carolina," said Jennifer

Lovejoy of the Western North Carolina Atheists, a member group of the

North Carolina Secular Association sponsoring the local ad. "It is

written into the North Carolina Constitution that one must believe in

God to hold public office. Even if this requirement can't be enforced

because it violates the U.S. Constitution, it's still there. Imagine

how people would feel if the state constitution required office

holders to be white and male."

During the last election, nontheist Cecil Bothwell, a duly elected

councilperson in Asheville, had his right to hold office challenged

because of the state constitution's religious restriction. Article VI,

Section 8 disqualifies from office "any person who shall deny the

being of Almighty God." It is listed first, ahead of the prohibition

of anyone convicted of a felony or anyone convicted of treason.

"As innocuous as this billboard is, it was rejected by one of the

three largest billboard companies in North Carolina as 'too

controversial,'" Stewart said further. "This just goes to show how

real our concerns are and how necessary our message is."

The billboard in Asheville is sponsored by the Western North Carolina

Atheists, the billboard in Winston-Salem by the Forsyth Area Critical

Thinkers (FACT) and the Forsyth County Chapter of Americans United for

the Separation of Church and State, the billboard in Greensboro by the

Greensboro Atheists Organization and the UNCG

Atheists/Agnostics/Skeptics, the billboard in Raleigh by the Ethical

Humanist Society of the Triangle, the billboard in Charlotte by the

Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics and the billboard in Wilmington by the

Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear.

The billboard in Asheville is located on I-26, .3 mile east of Pond

Rd. That in Winston-Salem is on business I-40, .1 mile east of Rt.

150. That in Greensboro is located on I-40, .4 mile west of exit 126.

That in Charlotte is located on the Billy Graham Parkway near the

Boyer intersection. That in Raleigh is located on Capitol Blvd. 0.1

mile North of Trewick Rd. And the billboard in Wilmington is located

on at approx. 5939 Carolina Beach Road.

Other groups in the North Carolina Secular Association who are

sympathetic, though not participating directly with the campaign, are

the Atheists & Agnostics of Brevard/Transylvania County; the Triangle

Atheist, Agnostic, Freethinker, and Humanist Meetup Group and the

Triangle Freethought Society.

For more details on the North Carolina Secular campaign, visit:

www.NCSecular.org .

Views: 38

Tags: Carolina, North, billboard, godless

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Comment by Little Name Atheist on July 21, 2010 at 1:47am
Looks like Tunder God. I've never heard of the... oh, maybe that's Thunder God?
Comment by Little Name Atheist on July 21, 2010 at 1:47am
Rock on, North Carolinian atheists!
Comment by Chris Baker on June 27, 2010 at 3:42pm
Comment by Jared Lardo on June 25, 2010 at 12:13am
I love that this is happening in my state.
Comment by Loren Miller on June 24, 2010 at 8:13pm
Maybe a little less blatant than your average atheist poster, but I LIKE IT!

Rock on, North Carolina!!!

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