Chicago Coalition of Reason Billboard Goes Up October 20, 2009

Chicago Coalition of Reason Billboard Goes Up

Today, the Chicago Coalition of Reason premiered our billboard in the heart of the city, on the corner of LaSalle Blvd. and Grand Ave. in River North:


(Photo courtesy of Dan Fester)

I don’t know if it’ll be controversial. Why would it be? Unless you’re deluded enough to think goodness only derives from belief in God, this should be a matter-of-fact statement.

Still, I hope it gets people talking 🙂 We’ll see what happens.

***Update***: Here is the press the billboard has received:

10/20/09: The Little Things (blog)

10/20/09: Chicagoist (blog)

10/21/09: WBBM 780 (Radio station’s website)

10/21/09: Huffington Post (blog)

10/21/09: The Seeker (Chicago Tribune blog)

10/21/09: Medill Reports (online newspaper)

10/22/09: CBS 2 Chicago (local news website)

10/22/09: WGN (local news website)

10/23/09: Atheism Examiner (blog)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Amyable Atheist

    Hooray! I’ll have to make a point of getting to that neighborhood soon! I love this slogan, particularly because it’s so affirmative and unimpeachably civil that only the true loons who would, as you say, deny that goodness can even exist independent of their god, could find fault with it.

  • Scott D

    Boston CoR has a very similar one

  • Scott D

    Opps wrong link:

  • Richard Wade

    I don’t know if it’ll be controversial. Why would it be?

    The “controversy” has been, is now and will be over atheists having the right to exist. Any other issues that people find “offensive” about these signs are just a smoke screen.

  • Unless you’re deluded enough to think goodness only derives from belief in God …

    Actually, I know several people who believe just that. Of course, I know you are being sarcastic.

  • K

    The theists should be happy the CoR used a capital “G” in god, right?

  • This is a really innocuous sign, but I’ll bet the religious reich is furious. It’s simple, common sense, and cannot logically be denied. The deists hate that combination.

    My sign reads, “Most of the problems of the world, are, and always have been, caused by religion. Mankind will never truly be free until the dark yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of facts and reason.”

  • muggle

    Beautiful, man, beautiful!

    And the message? Perfect. Short and sweet and to the point.

  • pete

    Hi Hemant you said..”Unless you’re deluded enough to think goodness only derives from belief in God, this should be a matter-of-fact statement”

    Sadly many folks are still deluded to think this.I often find myself in discussion with folks specially folks of faith,who bring up the old charity angle to throw back at me.

    I acknowledge that at present they have this as a kind of trump card.But remind them how often its also non believers money that has contributed to the christian charity funds.Not that many of them even then seem to care about it,none have apologized yet.

    Personally i think it so misleading and deceitful that they use these type of statistics against those who have often helped.My opinion is we maybe need to have more widesread education of non believers need to not give to faith charities, who often then also use it as ammo to fire back against us while promoting themselves as those who give the most.

    My opinion is its important that non believers be sure their donations only go to secular charities etc,for reasons of cutting through this biased type thinking.

  • Dan Fester

    This whole process was so exciting to be a part. To finally have it up for all to see. Hemant, thanks for getting working so hard on this.

  • Nate

    Another thing I like about this sign is that it’s just a couple blocks from Moody Bible Institute which is at LaSalle and Chicago. Irony? Why thank you very much!

  • Shame Kate didn’t give a shout to your book.

  • Mark P.


    You could reply “so why are the prisons filled with the faithful?”. There are very few incarcerated atheists.

  • llewelly

    As pointed out in the previous thread, these CoR signs are neat, but they are just slightly wrong – everyone who is good, is good without God; atheists are merely those who know it.

  • Servetus

    PROBLEM ! ! !

    If you look closely, you can see an image of Jesus in the clouds. Seriously. Right in the middle of it. .
    Just Kidding

  • Epistaxis

    everyone who is good, is good without God; atheists are merely those who know it.

    I would accept the proposition that only millions are good.

  • Rosita


    There are a number of reasons why churchs appear to be more charitable than non-believers. In the US at least there are more believers than non-believers so there contributions will always look better on a simple sum measure. Even when we look at gifts per capita the church’s have advantages.

    They are not taxed, at least in the US, so they can afford to give more. They are loud mouthed about it so that you know its them. This is not what Jesus was reputed to have taught. 🙂

    Churches are organized whereas atheists have, until recently, tended to be invisable loners. Much of the good that atheists do is attributed to something else, including the policies of their employers. This is especially cruel when their employers are a church, for example, doctors working in a Catholic hospital.

  • AxeGrrl

    Richard Wade wrote:

    The “controversy” has been, is now and will be over atheists having the right to exist.

    Indeed. But’s it’s also a bit ‘more’ than that……

    It’s the idea of non-believers claiming to ‘have access’ to being truly/authentically ‘good’ that offends some of them. When you believe that ‘all goodness comes from God’, there’s simply no way to integrate the idea of non-believers being able to be ‘good’.

    And it’s that compartmentalization/blindspot that needs to be torn down.

    I hope the billboard (which I think is brilliant in terms of its precise ‘slogan’) inspires lots of argument/discussion…..because that’s the only way to win people over; namely, those people who can’t even conceive of the ‘Godless’ being capable of goodness.

  • AxeGrrl

    Oh, and I just wanted to say that I think that this particular billboard’s ‘slogan’ is THE best one ever!

    I can’t imagine a simpler, more direct catchphrase that goes out of its way to not offend believers in the process.

  • I want to remind people that Dangerous Talk is still looking for photos of Christian Billboards for our Billboard Wars Project. Please help!

  • The crux of this argument is that Goodness is self-evident. Just as in “These truths are self-evident”.. we believe that goodness and morality make good sense.
    As well, a set of ethical moral codes learned and ingrained from personal experience last a lifetime- but those forced upon you under fear of a flaming death for eternity- have no foundation of understanding under them and are easily lost. Just ask every prison inmate. They are all good Christians.

  • Elizabeth

    I literally live right behind a big Catholic church. I would love to have this on a tarp that I could hang out my window every Sunday.

  • Tom

    How do I join the Chicago Coalition for Reason? Could someone email me?

  • Grey

    The greatest irony that I find in this situation is that the religious zealots that are offended by this have its statement proved by their own bibles.

    God gives man free will, they can choose to be good or evil without God being able to interfere.

    Also, it adds another level of hypocrisy to them for the assumption that atheists don’t have that same God given right to choose their beliefs.

    If I were gonna be a hypocrite, I wouldn’t make the info so available.

  • Alex

    I think that if you got a problem with the billboard to bad, this is a free country to follow any religion you want to. I have my faith in God, some people don’t, I don’t care cause I won’t pass judgement on you, not my place. But don’t get all bent out of shape when someone puts up a simple fact. Just like the fact that millions of people are Good with God.

  • Batty Edwin, a vegetarian atheist goth…

    This is fantastic!! yay!! However, I would like to point out the lovely irony, of the ad placed above the article 🙂 priceless 😀 I’ve seen Google Ads goof up this badly a few other times, such as at, an article anout the weirdest presidential candidates ever… and about halfway down the page was an ad for… JOHN MCCAIN. 🙂 anyway, go athiests go! ps. Wales has an 18% athiest population. that’s really big in contrast with the U.S.’s 2-5%…

  • Bravo! Bravo! Keep up the good work.

  • the truth of he matter is that atheist are the ones with the closed mind not knowing why belifers feel they way they do see we had it made once without sin in the garden of eden then the serpent came and tempted man fooled him into thinking its ok to go against the creator , see we all sin and sin isnt good so without god’s son as our ambasador to god we are doomed in sin and sin isnt good

  • missagnostic

    Considering that in Rhode Island there’s a billboard that says “The only way to heaven is through Jesus,” people have no right to get upset about this billboard. I think it’s great; more people need to see things like this.

  • mbx24

    I am an atheist who lives in Chicago. I’m glad there’s an atheist billboard here. 🙂

  • How much does a billboard like that set you back?

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