A number of atheist organizations have joined together to release a series of billboards throughout the Gulf Coast this week, presenting messages that tell people that they are not alone if they don't believe in God, and that people can be good "without a god."
The billboards went up across the states of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, The United Coalition of Reason said in a press release. The campaign marks the formal launch of the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, which represents the alliance of 16 nontheistic groups.
"The point of our national awareness effort is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," said Dr. Jason Heap, national coordinator of UnitedCoR.
"Nontheists sometimes don't realize there's a community for them because they're inundated with theistic messages at every turn. So we hope our effort will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren't alone."
The messages on the billboard, placed on a background of sun and sky, read "Good without a god? So are we," and "Don't believe in a god? You're not alone."
The ads received over $11,000 in funding from UnitedCoR, and are scheduled to stay up for the next four weeks. Similar billboards have been erected as part of a campaign since 2009, the atheist group said, and have reached 37 different states, and Washington, D.C.
Various surveys have found that between 15 to 20 percent of the American public identify as having no religion.
Billboards from other atheist groups have also been popular around Christmas time, and in December, American Atheists launched a campaign across Bible Belt states with a message calling people to "skip church" for Christmas.
AA president David Silverman told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that the billboards are aimed at atheists living in households with theists, who feel pressured to participate in religious activities.
"That little girl on the billboard symbolizes the atheists who go along to get along, attending and possibly tithing a church that preaches a religion in which they don't believe, for no other reason than habit or familial pressure," Silverman said.
"We are using these billboards to spur intra-family communication, because we believe the communication is desperately needed."
The Freedom From Religion Foundation also put up billboards across Chicago in December with various atheist-themed messages. Some of the ads asked people to "think for (themselves)," while others argued that kindness "comes from altruism" and not from "seeking divine reward."