First on CNN: Atheist group targets presidential candidates' faith with billboards

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – A prominent atheist group is using next month's Democratic National Convention to take aim at the presidential candidates' religion, putting up billboards targeting Mormonism and Christianity in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sponsor of the ads.

"Religion is silly and religion has components that are inherently divisive. … There is no place for any of that in the political system,” he said.

The billboards go up Monday in Charlotte and will stay up for a month at a cost of roughly $15,000. The Democratic convention runs September 3-6.



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I was going to post it directly to the American Atheists website:

In lieu of anything else, that's there and SOMEONE will hear it.

I thought they had a group on A|N as well?

They do have a group! It is simply called American Atheists. Seems like a logical place to start.

@John Jubinsky. You make an excellent point. Romney is not pushing his religion on anyone (at least in public), and his choice for VP is a Roman Catholic - same religion as the current VP, Biden; the latter who openly admits his belief in that "faith." While the extremist right wing of the GOP claims President Obama is a foreign born Muslim, no one is really bringing up religion at this point. The "hot topic" of this election is the economy and the deficit. Not that I necessarily agree that's our biggest problem, but that is what each side wants to convince their respective supporters they have the "answer" to.

@Loren. You, too, are correct in your assessment in that the content of the billboard is accurate, but in piss poor taste and poorly timed. 

I normally agree with the positions and public stance taken by David Silverman, but this time, I think he stepped on his reproductive organ.

Okay ... for good or ill, I just posted the following to's "Contact Us" site:

I have misgivings regarding the billboards which American Atheists is considering sponsoring in coordination with the Democratic National Convention.  Both of them have the potential of being perceived as confrontational and creating a negative rather than a constructive reaction by believers who will see them.  Something built around David Silverman's quote: "Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," might be preferable.  It would at least be the basis for opening a dialog, rather than fomenting more rancor and ill will.

I urge you to reconsider the content you wish to promote.  Thank you for your consideration.

I would like to think I'm being respectful with my feedback.  Let's hope they think so.

I see nothing wrong with the way you've approached them whatsoever, it seems considerate and constructive, one only wishes they'd have used the same consideration when making the decision to speak for us all...

Personally, I see nothing wrong in your message. It disagrees without being disagreeable. You are being respectful, yet letting them know that not all atheists are in agreement with their particular message. Thanks. Going to myself to voice my concern.

Sounds good to me. I'm going to see what I can start in the American Atheists group and see if I can get Dave Silverman's e-mail address.




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