- Views & Opinions
Billboards proclaiming, “I’m an Atheist and I Vote,” went up in 12 locations across Madison this morning and will remain on display through the state’s April 5 presidential primary election.
Freedom From Religion Foundation, which calls itself “the largest free-thought association in North America,” is sponsoring the billboards, which feature local millennial voters who are atheist. The goal is to send a message to presidential candidates and their staff as they travel through Madison while campaigning in the state.
“Madison is a very secular city, and we want the candidates to acknowledge our presence and priorities,” said Calli Miller, a graduate of UW-Madison who is currently an FFRF legal assistant, in a press statement. “Candidates should acknowledge secular voters as the fastest growing minority group in America, while committing to keep religion out of government.”
According to FFRF, the number of religiously unaffiliated adults in America has grown by 19 million since President Obama was first elected in 2008. The group says that secular millennials are fueling the growth.
The Madison billboards are part of a larger campaign to reach voters across the nation through FFRF chapters, a national TV ad buy focusing on the separation of church and state and efforts to mobilize students on college campuses. The campaign is a coordinated effort involving the nation’s other major free-thought associations, which together will sponsor the “Reason Rally” on June 4 in Washington, D.C.
“Secular voters are highly educated and independent-minded,” said FFRF co–president Annie Laurie Gaylor in a prepared statement. “They care deeply about women’s rights, environmental protection, marriage equality, and social justice and candidates should be reaching out to them directly.”
Click this link to check out the billboards’ locations.