The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

October 7, 2013

You're not alone, billboard tells nonreligious

WYOMING, Mich. — A billboard alongside a highway in western Michigan is spreading the message that religion is something people can live without.

The billboard went up Monday and is to remain in place through Oct. 27 along U.S. 131 in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.

Sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, the billboard reads, "Millions of Americans are living happily without religion."

Jennifer Beahan, assistant director of the nonprofit secular group's Michigan chapter, says secular people need support and the knowledge that they aren't alone.

"Because it is more conservative around here, people feel the need to find people who are like them," Beahan said. "The primary purpose is to let people know we're here, for those of us who are free-thinking, atheist, secular. We're kind of a support group.

"You don't know how many emails I get every year (that say) 'Oh, my gosh, I thought I was the only one.'"

The campaign also includes ads on billboards and mass transit systems in Indianapolis, New York and Washington, D.C. In Michigan, the locations are on Interstate 94 in Kalamazoo and at Interstate 75 in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights.

The ads "invite the public to learn more about how real people with a secular, humanist worldview are living meaningful, fulfilling lives, in contradiction to misguided stereotypes that paint them as angry, despairing 'lost souls,'" the Center for Inquiry said in a statement.

Though commonly viewed as religiously conservative, the Grand Rapids area is not that different from other parts of the country, according to a 2010 survey of religious congregations.

The Association of Religious Data Archive survey ranked greater Grand Rapids 51st out of 102 metropolitan areas in the proportion of religious adherents in its population, MLive.com reported.

The survey ranked the Grand Rapids area 35th in the proportion of religious congregations to population. The rankings were for metropolitan areas with at least 500,000 residents.

The largest single group was "unclaimed" people, including those who are atheists, agnostic or unaffiliated with any of the 236 religious groups counted.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • spt_flanagan.jpg Hometown favorite wants to win Boston Marathon, for Boston

    Shalane Flanagan grew up in nearby Marblehead with a reverence for the Boston Marathon and dreamed, like many locals and foreign runners alike, that she would win the race someday. Her goal has changed now.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami Correctional 06.JPG Indiana county worried about new law's impact

    A new law revamping the state's criminal code has sparked concerns in northeastern Indiana's Allen County that it will saddle the county with new costs and fill up the local jail.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_felumlee.jpg Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_missingboymass.jpg Body found by highway is missing Massachusetts boy

    The body of a small boy apparently cast off the side of a highway has been confirmed as a missing 5-year-old, authorities said Saturday.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_mounteverest.jpg 13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mount Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_malaysiaairlines.jpg Sub search for missing jet to be finished within a week

    A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is expected to finish searching a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed within a week after so far coming up empty, and the search area may be expanded after that, officials said Saturday.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_bostonofficerslain.jpg MIT honors officer slain after Boston Marathon bombings

    Like many other youngsters, Sean Collier wanted to be a police officer. Unlike most, he brought that dream to life — and then died doing it, becoming a central character in the gripping hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_eyewitness.jpg Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    The American legal system offers few moments as dramatic as an eyewitness to a crime pointing his finger across a crowded courtroom at a defendant. The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is right only about half the time.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0121 - flu - 05 Second wave of milder flu hitting Northeast

    Months ago, the flu season seemed to be winding down. But health officials on Friday reported widespread flu-like illnesses in six states.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0525 - marijuana - JM -pic (4).jpg Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

    A college student eats more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumps to his death from a hotel balcony. A husband with no history of violence is accused of shooting his wife in the head, possibly after eating pot-infused candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How are you spending Easter Sunday?

At church
At an Easter egg hunt
In the great outdoors
A lazy day at home
     View Results