Out of the Closet in Columbus, Ohio June 20, 2011

Out of the Closet in Columbus, Ohio

After Madison, Wisconsin; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Out of the Closet” billboard campaign is now in Columbus, Ohio.

“We atheists and agnostics are your neighbor, your classmate, your colleague, the person who opens the door for you at the grocery store,” says Dan Barker, FFRF co-president. “We’re your friendly neighborhood atheists and agnostics.”

“Our members are FFRF’s greatest asset, the best advertisement for freethought,” adds Annie Laurie Gaylor, who co-directs FFRF with Barker. “We are delighted to introduce them and their viewpoints to Columbus. It’s high time to welcome atheists and agnostics and our point of view into the American mainstream,” she added.

Here are the seven billboards going up in Columbus this week — they’ll be up for a month:

This is one of the best billboard campaigns I’ve seen in the atheist world — unlike the American Atheists’ “You KNOW” campaign, it’s hard to find anything controversial with these billboards (though that won’t stop Christians from trying), and it offers nice human faces to replace the evil, immoral stereotypes that people may have about us.

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  • Sarah

    I love this. I wasn’t a fan of the “You KNOW” posters, but these are awesome.

  • fiddler

    I love seeing Ashley up there, she’s one of my favourite youtubers.

  • Kristi Evans Morris

    Excellent! I grew up in Ohio and lived in Columbus for about 15 years. I look forward to hearing from other folks who live there still.

  • Rieux

    A good campaign indeed.

  • Claudia

    @Fiddler I didn’t recognize her! How awesome!

    I continue to adore this campaign.

  • I agree. This is a well done set of adds. The backgrounds are slightly distracting but overall these are some of the best I’ve seen.

  • Kudos Columbus. Now just bring those puppies on down 71 to this God forsaken city of Sinsinnati. 😉

  • “Compassion is my religion,” so says the Freedom From Religion Foundation and one of its members? lol

    I like these billboards, but clarity must surely be as important as not pissing off the Christians…lol

  • DA623

    Cincinatheist, I agree we need them here in Cincinnati. Maybe they could put them right next to the billboards for that monstrosity (which I sadly live 8 miles from) known as the Creation “Museum”. Or better yet, replace those billboards altogether with the FFRF ads. I am sure there’s plenty of students of University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, etc. and maybe even Xavier University (which is technically a Catholic university) that are Atheists that would happily be on these billboards.

  • I recognised healthyaddict too. I was watching one of her YouTube videos last night on SlutWalk. It’s a small world.

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    I like that first one… it touches on an emotional point that rarely gets touched in persuasive efforts like these.

  • MadScutter

    I’ve been hoping they’d bring this to my area. Unfortunately none of them are in locations that I’ll pass with any regularity, so I guess I’ll just have to make some detours just to check them out.

  • We’re really excited to have these billboards come to Columbus. So far, all is quiet. Many of the folks featured are members of Students for Freethought at OSU or the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. Thanks to FFRF, the participants, and the kick ass local groups for brining this campaign to Columbus. We support you all!

  • T-Rex

    These are way better than any other other campaign out there IMO. The AA ones fall way short of these.

  • Nice smattering of demographics, (age/race/sex) to help break up the “Atheists are a bunch of old white males”.

  • Peter Mahoney

    These billboards are AWESOME.
    Meanwhile, IMO… so are the “You KNOW” ones from American Atheists.

    It’s great to have a spectrum of approaches to getting out pro-atheism (pro-rationality, pro-science, pro-reality) messages.

    Having one type of billboards does not exclude ALSO having others.

    Keep ’em coming…. all of them!

  • Fabulous! These could possibly attract the attention of some who dismiss the AA billboards (which I also like). Ad campaigns from many viewpoints widens the net we throw.

    Agreed, keep ’em coming….all of them!

  • Jen

    I passed one of these today on my way to Broad St in the Gahanna area and I was SHOCKED and did a double-take! I was so excited to find out that there are several, when I looked it up online. I’m thrilled that the people above put themselves out there proudly. I hope people take notice in a positive way.

  • Jason

    This is awesome I live here in columbus and to see this is a breath of fresh air for those of us that choose to live free of hate and oppression that is brought on by many different groups here thank you.

  • ScottJoh64

    I think these ads are “ok” but I still don’t feel the need to advertise atheism. Just as I do not want xians throwing their crap in my face on billboards, radio and TV ads, I don’t want to be a hypocrite and do the same.

  • Goo

    The campaign is very corny but it needs to be in order to convince catholics that atheists aren’t the devil. Can we please run this in Cincinnati?

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