Coalition of Reason (Guest Post)

On August 20th, the South Dakota Coalition of Reason officially launched by putting up seven billboards around the state proclaiming, “Don’t believe in God? Join the club!” These billboard are located in Sioux Falls (2), along I-29 S (mile marker 93.8), Vermillion, Brookings, Rapid City, and Spearfish.

The campaign is part of a national campaign by the United Coalition of Reason. Since 2009, similar campaigns have been launched in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Each campaign is sponsored by a multi-organizational coalition of local non-theistic groups. The South Dakota Coalition of Reason is made up of the following local groups: Siouxland Freethinkers (Sioux Falls), Black Hills Freethinkers (Rapid City), Brookings Freethinkers, and Secular Student Alliance groups at SDSU, SDSM&T, USD, & BHSU.

We put the billboards up to speak to the secular freethinkers in South Dakota. Our message is to let them know that they are not alone, and that there are groups all across the state that they can join to meet like-minded individuals and participate in a variety of events and activities, such as social get togethers, volunteer work, and advocacy. Being an atheist or freethinker in South Dakota can be extremely isolating, so reaching out is the main purpose of our campaign.

The billboards also serve to bring awareness and acceptance. Non-theists are a regular part of communities all across South Dakota, as well as all across the nation. We are your friends and family; we’re people that you already know. We’re no different than anyone else – we laugh, love, celebrate, work, and experience life.
Overall, the reaction to these billboards has been overwhelmingly positive, although they have also sparked much debate. We look forward to having open respectful discussions with those who have different world views than us.

If you are an atheist, agnostic, humanist, skeptic, or freethinker in South Dakota – go to our website, SouthDakotaCoR.org or find us on Facebook and connect with like-minded individuals. Chances are there’s a group near you and we would love to have you join us.

Amanda Novotny President,

Siouxland Freethinkers East River Media Representative,

South Dakota CoR



6 comments ↓

#1 grudznick on 08.21.13 at 8:51 pm

I can’t wait to see many of you at the meetings.

#2 Tom H. on 08.22.13 at 10:28 am

Just curious – what exactly goes on at these meetings? Is it just a discussion of topics that (it seems like) everyone there will already agree on? Or are there organizational efforts as well in order to (for lack of a better word) evangelize the CoR message?

#3 Detroit Lewis on 08.22.13 at 10:32 am

Not sure. I’m not a ‘clubby’ person.

#4 grudznick on 08.22.13 at 5:57 pm

If it’s a breakfast meeting there is usually eating. Otherwise there is a lot of “yep. yep. uhhuh. How ’bout that Fleming?” kind of discussion.

#5 mandycommandy on 08.22.13 at 7:30 pm

Actually, we do a variety of things at our meetings.

Monthly, we have a “New Members Meetup” which is a way to get acquainted with what we do, and what we’re about.

We also have a monthly members meeting, where we of course discuss any business the group has, and then we have a presentation either about a scientific skepticism topic, or an atheist topic. Some of the presentations we’ve had lately have been about sleep disorders, secular conferences that you can attend, and Common Core science standards.

We also do a lot of volunteer work. Some of the volunteer activities we’ve done are adopting a highway, donating blood, raising money for Autism Speaks, and volunteering at science events for children.

We also have social events, such as picnics and potlucks and nights out at the pub.

It’s not a bunch of people sitting around agreeing with each other. We have a variety of members who have a variety of world views. Some people identify as atheists, some as agnostics, some as humanists, some as skeptics, and more. We have intellectual discussion and challenge each others ideas. I strongly encourage you all to come check out a meeting sometime.

#6 Coalition of Reason (Guest Post) | United Cor on 05.08.15 at 12:31 pm

[…] The campaign is part of a national campaign by the United Coalition of Reason. Since 2009, similar campaigns have been launched in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Each campaign is sponsored by a multi-organizational coalition of local non-theistic groups. The South Dakota Coalition of Reason is made up of the following local groups: Siouxland Freethinkers (Sioux Falls), Black Hills Freethinkers (Rapid City), Brookings Freethinkers, and Secular Student Alliance groups at SDSU, SDSM&T, USD, & BHSU. (View Full Article) […]

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