An atheist group has posted a billboard in Mississippi, one of the most religious states in America, telling residents that God and faith will not solve their problems.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation's largest atheist organization, announced it is putting up a highway billboard on July 1 in Tupelo with the message "God Fixation Won't Fix This Nation," with plans to keep it in place for the entire month.
"We lose sight of human needs when we fixate on gods," said FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor. "When we have faith in ourselves, we won't need faith in gods."
The organization pointed to a Pew Research Center poll that listed Mississippi as tied for first place for the most religious state, with 77 percent of adults identifying themselves as "highly religious."
Another survey found that Mississippi ranks as the worst state to live in based on a number of socioeconomic factors, such as unemployment rate, poverty rate, and life expectancy at birth.
FFRF said it only has about 100 members in the state, however, and said that it hopes its latest billboard will attract people to the organization.
"We welcome with open arms any nontheists living in Mississippi," Gaylor added. "Groups like ours provide comfort and solace to folks whose nonbelief can make them feel like outsiders in their own communities."
FFRF has launched a number of state-specific billboard campaigns, and back in March targeted young atheist voters in Madison, Wisconsin, urging them to get involved in the 2016 presidential election.
"Madison is a very secular city, and we want the candidates to acknowledge our presence and priorities," said Calli Miller, who serves as a legal assistant for the Madison-based atheist group.
"Candidates should acknowledge secular voters as the fastest growing minority group in America, while committing to keep religion out of government."
Attitudes toward atheists in America have been changing, with a 2015 Lifeway Research study noting that Americans are now more accepting toward atheists compared to Muslims.
Scott McConnell, vice president of LifeWay Research, further noted that only 19 percent of respondents still identify the U.S. as a Christian nation.
McConnell said: "Debate about whether America is a Christian nation will continue. Although most Americans are Christians, they understand a nation founded on principles of religious freedom will be a nation of many faiths."