"Are you good without God?" the billboard asks. "Millions are." This is the message of the Reno Coalition of Reason, which is an "alliance of five non-theistic groups in the Reno, Lake Tahoe and Carson City areas, with activities ranging from support to education to activism." In a recent press release, the Reno COR indicates that this is part of a nationwide effort:
The Reno campaign is the latest of a nationwide effort. Since the spring of 2009 there have been similar billboards, as well as bus ad campaigns, in 25 states and the District of Columbia. The states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia. Reno's billboards are the first of this type in Nevada.
"The point of our ongoing nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Such non-theists sometimes don't realize there's a community for them because they're inundated with religious messages at every turn. We hope our effort will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren't alone."
The billboards also are intended to let people know that atheists are part of the community. "We're your friends and your family, coworkers and neighbors. We might even be someone sitting in the pew with you at church," says Edwin Lyngar, coordinator of the Reno COR.