Atheists Advertise: Imagine No Religion, Sleep In on Sundays

A humanist group has launched another billboard blitz telling the public that it's OK to sleep in on Sundays, among other things.

"Obviously, there are many reasons to reject religion, most of them intellectual," said Dan Barker, FFRF co-president. "But face it – one of the immediate benefits of quitting church, besides getting a 10 percent raise because you can stop tithing, is getting to sleep in on Sundays! What the world really needs is a good night's sleep."

The Freedom From Religion Foundation will have 20 billboards placed throughout the Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., area this month.

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Four different ads are being featured, including "Sleep In On Sundays," "Imagine No Religion," "God & Government: A Dangerous Mix," and "In Reason We Trust" – which is the group's newest message.

Some of the messages are designed with a stained glass window motif.

"We want our billboards to be attractive, since our messages are controversial, and freethinkers like stained glass as much as the religious do," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, in a statement. "But we'd also like to create a little cognitive dissonance. Wouldn't it be something if you saw this message, 'Imagine No Religion' or 'Sleep in on Sundays,' in a church?"

Incorporated in 1978, FFRF describes itself as an association of freethinkers, including atheists, agnostics and skeptics. The Madison, Wis.-based group claims more than 15,500 members nationwide.

Gaylor has pointed out that the nonreligious are the largest-growing segment of the population by religious identification in the United States. The popularly cited 2008 American Religious Identification Survey had revealed that the percentage of Americans claiming no religion jumped from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 15 percent.

Though many do not attend religious services, more than half (56 percent) of nonreligious Americans believe in God and 49 percent pray regularly, according to sociologist Bradley R. E. Wright.

Still, FFRF wants to send the message that not all Americans believe in God or follow a religion.

"If all people see is religion, it wins by default," Gaylor said, as reported by the St. Petersburg Times.

FFRF began running billboard campaigns in October 2007 and has so far placed their messages in 25 states. This is the first time the group is advertising in Florida.

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