CLEVELAND (AP) — A billboard campaign that features atheists, agnostics and other non-theists sharing messages about their views started recently in northeastern Ohio.
Participants in the campaign sponsored by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation and its Northern Ohio Freethought Society chapter say one goal is to let area non-theists know others share their views and make religious believers more comfortable with them.
A Richmond Heights couple and a University of Akron student are among Ohio residents appearing on some of the 11 billboards in areas including Cleveland and Akron.
“The main idea is to help other freethinkers not be afraid to come out of the closet and know that there are plenty of other people of similar worldview,” Mark Tiborsky of Richmond Heights, told The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Tiborsky and his wife Marni appear together on a billboard in Cleveland.
Craig Bauman, a University of Akron student appears on a billboard in Akron.
“I think people need to know that it’s OK to have questions and doubts and I believe they need to have a place to discuss those doubts without judgment,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation is a church-state watchdog organization that claims more than 20,000 members, including about 550 in Ohio. The organization debuted its “Out of the Closet” campaign in Madison in 2010 and has taken the campaign to several other U.S. cities.