American Atheists rolled out a new billboard campaign to be launched in Charlotte during the week of the Democratic National Convention there, with the billboards targeting the religions of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Although Romney’s Mormonism is generally recognized as a branch of Obama’s Protestant Christianity (although not by some evangelicals), American Atheists has unveiled separate billboards, seen here together:
Mormonism—the Scientology of the 1800s—states that god is a physical man about six feet tall who lives near a planet called Kolob; hence the reference to god as a space alien.
The Mormon Church has also taken heat for having baptized dead non-Mormons into Mormonism, including Holocaust victims.
The Church also expects its members to tithe generously, as much as 10% of income, which augurs well for its financing, as evidenced by its extravagant facilities.
Up until 1978, the Mormon Church refused to ordain black ministers. Also, for most of its history, the Church taught that black people are cursed.
The picture of the man in his underwear is a reference to the fact that most Mormons don special undergarments after partaking in the Mormon endowment ceremony.
The billboard knocking (mainstream) Christianity is easy to understand for anyone who has actually read the Bible. In the Old Testament, god is indeed a sadistic entity, who supposedly once decided to wipe out most of humanity in a giant flood because he was unhappy with how his own creation was going. He also supposedly told Abraham to murder his son, which the old man was actually going to do, until god sent an angel to tell him, jk! And then there’s that poor slob, Job, whom he tormented relentlessly.
The 30,000 versions of truth is likely a reference to the fact that there are innumerable branches of Christianity. Such is the nature of religion, which relies on revealed wisdom, and is subjected to the personal interpretations of adherents.
Belief in god can promote hate, as religion has proven arguably the most divisive phenomenon in human history, with the core issues about gods, prophets, and other matters being wholly irresolvable.
The Jesus in the bread references the ridiculous occasions when the face of Jesus allegedly appears in everyday objects, such as toast, bathroom tiles and Google Earth. None of these, however, are as awesome as Bacon Elvis.
Will these billboards have the desired effect that American Atheists want? Out-of-home advertising probably isn’t the most effective way to spread the word. More than anything, the billboard campaign will no doubt be derided as offensive by members of the faithful, even though frequently it is members of the faithful who insist that failure to adhere to the religions they personally practice will result in eternal torture.
Now that is offensive.