10.27.2009

Atheist Ads Coming To New York Subway Stations

This is very cool. From The Big Apple Coalition of Reason:

The Big Apple Coalition of Reason (Big Apple CoR) is a collection of local organizations working together to increase awareness of secular-minded groups throughout New York City.

All Big Apple CoR organizations share common ground -- promoting wider acceptance of a more rational and realistic view of the universe -- but each has its own particular emphasis. Some advocate for scientific knowledge, reason, and skeptical inquiry. Some focus on the promotion of dogma-free humanist ethics, and an appreciation for life and the lives of other persons. Others focus more on providing a social aspect to the secular community.

[snip]

Big Apple CoR aims to inform New Yorkers that there is a community of people who share a rational basis for their worldviews, who attend intellectual public lectures, enjoy philosophy discussions, and socialize. We invite you to visit our various websites, to contact any of those in which you are interested, and to feel free to attend the public gatherings of any of our organizations.

do something....
These are the dozen subway stations where the ads will be running:
  • 14th Street-Sixth Avenue
  • 14th Street-Seventh Avenue
  • 14th Street-Eighth Avenue
  • 23rd Street-Eighth Avenue
  • Pennsylvania Station (three ads)
  • 86th Street-Lexington Avenue
  • 96th Street-Lexington Avenue
  • 42nd Street-Sixth Avenue/Bryant Park
  • 66th Street-Broadway/Lincoln Center
  • 72nd Street-Central Park West
  • 86th Street-Central Park West
  • West Fourth Street
More news coverage about these ads can be found here.

In the meantime, here's the story from CNN:
The advertisements ask the question, written simply over an image of a blue sky with wispy white clouds: "A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?"
On October 26, a dozen bustling New York City subway stations will be adorned with the ads as "part of a coordinated multi-organizational advertising campaign designed to raise awareness about people who don't believe in a god", according to a statement from the group, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason.
New York City's subway system is one of the busiest in the world with more than 5 million riders per day and more than 1.6 billion total passengers in 2008, according to the Metro Transit Authority.
Recognizing this, the Big Apple Coalition of Reason decided the "best bang for the buck" was to place posters in popular subway stations to capitalize on the amount of potential viewers, says Michael De Dora Jr., executive director of the New York Center for Inquiry, one of the associated atheist groups.
De Dora says the ambitions behind the advertisements are threefold.
First, the coalition hopes the promotion will enhance awareness of New York City's secular community. He explained that the coalition also hopes to encourage "talking and thinking about religion and morality," as well as support involvement in groups that encourage a sense of a social community for non-believing New Yorkers.
read more...
Here's the story from The NY Times:
Starting next Monday, a coalition of local groups will run a monthlong advertising campaign in a dozen Manhattan subway stations with the slogan “A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?” The posters also advertise the Web site BigAppleCoR.org, which provides a listing of local groups affiliated with the Coalition of Reason, the umbrella organization that coordinated the campaign.
The campaign — which is being paid for by $25,000 from an anonymous donor — follows a similar but unrelated monthlong campaign on buses by New York City Atheists in July. Jane Everhart, a spokeswoman for the New York City Atheists, said that campaign was highly successful and brought in many new members. “We are trying to raise money to do it again,” she said.
The subway station advertisements were chosen for the $25,000 campaign because they were the best deal for the given budget, said Michael De Dora Jr., the executive director for the New York branch of the Center for Inquiry. A Times Square ad would have cost $45,000 to $50,000 for a month, while a campaign that blanketed the inside of subway cars would have cost $70,000.
The subway campaign is timed to a new book called “Good Without God” by Greg Epstein, which is to be released on Oct. 27 by William Morrow. Mr. Epstein, the Harvard University humanist chaplain, is having a book signing at Columbia University Bookstore on Oct. 28.

read more....
Of course, Sean Hannity is simply apoplectic (from Think Progress):
Sensing an opportunity to exploit the ads for political benefit, Hannity told his audience that a Christian group could never get away with airing ads like that:
Can you imagine the outrage if a Christian group put pro-God ads in the New York City subways? What outrage.

But as Subway Sights — a blog about the NYC subway system — explains, “The problem with this thinking is that Christians have been putting up pro-Christianity ads in the subway for years and nobody cares.” The blogger continues, “There are ads for all kinds of competing churches, each offering their own flavor of Christianity and their own path to salvation,” and offers this photograph as evidence:


read more....
crossposted at ProgressiveNation.us

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