the official press release:
For Immediate Release
(North Carolina, June 22, 2010) "One Nation Indivisible"
These words, superimposed over an image of the American flag, are
appearing on billboards across North Carolina--from the mountains to
the sea--in advance of the Independence Day week-long celebration. The
billboards, scheduled to run for four weeks, are located in Asheville,
Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
At a total cost of $15,000, they are being sponsored by the North
Carolina Secular Association (NCSecular.org), a coalition of local
secular, humanist, freethought and skeptical groups throughout North
Carolina. Much of the funding has been provided by FreeThoughtAction,
a national organization whose mission is to "encourage the continuing
growth, open engagement, and public acceptance of a freethought
community in American society."
"This is a positive message of unity and inclusion for all Americans,"
said Joseph McDaniel Stewart, vice president of FreeThoughtAction. "It
is designed to bring nontheists and theists together as patriots in a
Stewart added: "When the words 'under God' were inserted into the
Pledge of Allegiance between 'one nation' and 'indivisible,' they made
a lie out of both those ideals because you can't have an indivisible
nation if you draw a line between the godly and godless. We all belong
"This concern is especially notable for North Carolina," said Jennifer
Lovejoy of the Western North Carolina Atheists, a member group of the
North Carolina Secular Association sponsoring the local ad. "It is
written into the North Carolina Constitution that one must believe in
God to hold public office. Even if this requirement can't be enforced
because it violates the U.S. Constitution, it's still there. Imagine
how people would feel if the state constitution required office
holders to be white and male."
During the last election, nontheist Cecil Bothwell, a duly elected
councilperson in Asheville, had his right to hold office challenged
because of the state constitution's religious restriction. Article VI,
Section 8 disqualifies from office "any person who shall deny the
being of Almighty God." It is listed first, ahead of the prohibition
of anyone convicted of a felony or anyone convicted of treason.
"As innocuous as this billboard is, it was rejected by one of the
three largest billboard companies in North Carolina as 'too
controversial,'" Stewart said further. "This just goes to show how
real our concerns are and how necessary our message is."
The billboard in Asheville is sponsored by the Western North Carolina
Atheists, the billboard in Winston-Salem by the Forsyth Area Critical
Thinkers (FACT) and the Forsyth County Chapter of Americans United for
the Separation of Church and State, the billboard in Greensboro by the
Greensboro Atheists Organization and the UNCG
Atheists/Agnostics/Skeptics, the billboard in Raleigh by the Ethical
Humanist Society of the Triangle, the billboard in Charlotte by the
Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics and the billboard in Wilmington by the
Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear.
The billboard in Asheville is located on I-26, .3 mile east of Pond
Rd. That in Winston-Salem is on business I-40, .1 mile east of Rt.
150. That in Greensboro is located on I-40, .4 mile west of exit 126.
That in Charlotte is located on the Billy Graham Parkway near the
Boyer intersection. That in Raleigh is located on Capitol Blvd. 0.1
mile North of Trewick Rd. And the billboard in Wilmington is located
on at approx. 5939 Carolina Beach Road.
Other groups in the North Carolina Secular Association who are
sympathetic, though not participating directly with the campaign, are
the Atheists & Agnostics of Brevard/Transylvania County; the Triangle
Atheist, Agnostic, Freethinker, and Humanist Meetup Group and the
Triangle Freethought Society.
For more details on the North Carolina Secular campaign, visit: