A sign mentioning Christianity is covered up by a message reading: "Are you good without God? Millions are." Mike de la Ossa does the job for Clear Channel Outdoor. The Center for Inquiry of Southern Arizona takes in various stripes of nonbelievers. KELLY PRESNELL / ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Nonbelievers, you are not alone.

That's the message the Center for Inquiry of Southern Arizona hopes to convey on a midtown billboard: "Are you good without God? Millions are."

The message was put up on Monday and will remain on the sign near East Speedway and North Van Buren Avenue - just east of Craycroft Road - for four weeks. A similar message was displayed in Phoenix last year.

"Many people think you can't behave ethically unless you believe in God, but thousands of nonbelieving Arizonans are living proof that this claim is untrue," said Jim Gressinger, a spokesman for the center.

He pointed out that up to 17 percent of Arizona's adult population are nonbelievers, according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey.

The center's Web site quotes Gressinger as defining group members as "skeptics, secular humanists, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and other nonbelievers." He said members are becoming increasingly political because religious values are increasingly being imposed on others through political means.

"In general, we work to uphold the Jeffersonian principle of separation of church and state," Gressinger said. "We put up the billboard because we want people to know about (the Center for Inquiry), to discover what we have to offer, and to work with us to promote science, reason and secular values."

The center is an international, nonprofit group that presents public educational programs and lectures. It has given to local charities for several years.

For more information, go online to www.centerforinquiry.net/saz

Contact reporter Patty Machelor at 806-7754 or pmachelor@azstarnet.com