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Aug 15 2012

Underwear on toast

American Atheists is putting up two billboards for the presidential nominating conventions.

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[Courtesy of American Atheists]

God the space alien in magic Mormon underwear. Jesus on toast.

19 comments

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  1. 1
    Alverant

    Are there still Mormons “coverting” dead people to their religion? They said they stopped but this isn’t the first time they lied about that. If they are, I’m going to start a baby-eating religion where the spirits of the dead feast on the tender essenses of fetuses and neonates (it’s a dead-people’s only religion, no one living is allowed). Then convert Mitt’s father and the founder of Mormanism to it. Fight fire with fire.

  2. 2
    ryan

    These are a little impotent, I’m sure we could have come up with something better. They don’t even mention the magic underwear, how would anybody know what that is just from seeing the guy?

    and the 30,000 versions of truth should be more clear, “30,000 versions of the one true faith.” or something to get the point across better.

    I do love the tagline though.

  3. 3
    ryan

    @Alverant

    I’ll join that! It’s the one religion where I have no commitments to uphold! Sign me up!

  4. 4
    mythbri

    @Alverant

    (Ex-Mormon here)

    Baptism for the dead is still occurring. It only came up in the news because of Romney’s campaign and the increased scrutiny on his religion. Then the outrage started because it was discovered that the LDS church has no compunction about baptizing those who died for their religion, like the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. So, they promised not to do that anymore, only to be better about baptizing those with whom they had some sort of familial connection. They never promised to stop the practice, and I doubt they’ve stopped baptizing all other kinds of deceased people as well.

  5. 5
    mcbender

    re: Mormons’ posthumous conversion:
    alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com

  6. 6
    soul_biscuit

    mcbender, I had to wipe a tear. Beautiful.

  7. 7
    eric

    Not that impressed. IMO it pushes too many emotional buttons to get anyone with even a bit of religious loyalty to really think about what they believe. IMO the “you know its a myth and you have a choice” ones were better, both in layout and message.

    I also thought the plain-positive “you are not alone” ones were very good. A ‘conversion’ billboard is unnecessary for the people just going through the motions (including checking the survey box of the religion in which they were raised). Just give these folks a welcoming place to come, an understanding that they can have community without religiousity, and they will come.

    Then again, let a thousand flowers bloom. This billboard AND the ‘myth’ ones AND the ‘you are not alone’ ones are probably better than any single one of them. What doesn’t speak to one fence-sitter might speak to another.

    ****

    Re: the OT discussion of mormon postmortem conversion. I kinda like it. Gives me a reason to not-listen to their spiel.

    To all religions: you have my permission to convert me after I die – if you agree to leave me alone until then.

  8. 8
    Anonymous Atheist

    Yeah, considering all the work Mormons have invested for decades in amassing vast amounts of geneaological records, for the primary (but still not very well-known to the general public) purpose of identifying more dead people to baptize, they’re certainly not going to shut down the whole system because of a little bad publicity.

    And going through the ‘stand in for dead people’ baptism routine repeatedly is one of the major ‘service’ activities they use to keep young Mormons engaged. If they didn’t have that, they might have to actually consider finding ways to spend time legitimately helping people while they’re still alive. ;)

  9. 9
    Anonymous Atheist

    Eric: The expressed intent of the last few years of controversial billboards put out by the American Atheists organization, *is* to push emotional buttons and such. This is one of the initiatives driven by Dave Silverman since he became American Atheists president.

    They want to push the envelope of what it’s possible to express about atheism so publicly, to make the less-confrontational billboards from other organizations seem less controversial in comparison than they used to, to the general public.

    They want to both energize people who already are admitted atheists into being active atheists, and jar some people who aren’t yet admitted atheists (might still going through the motions at church out of habit) into realizing that they should be.

    And they want to get the greater amount of news coverage that such controversial billboards will attract, which enables their messages to be seen by many times more people in the general public, nationwide rather than just in the locale of the billboard.

    This is some of what I’ve picked up about their perspectives/motivations by watching the American Atheists TV show on Vimeo.

  10. 10
    Brian M

    Why make a fuss about “baptising” dead people? They are dead. It’s tacky, presumptuous, and quite creepy, but not a real “issue”.

  11. 11
    'Tis Himself

    Brian M,

    My late father despised the Mormon church. He saw it as Joseph Smith’s and Brigham Young’s desires for power, wealth and all the sex they could handle. The present day LDS leadership is slightly less fixated on sex for themselves* but the hunger for wealth and power remains unabated.

    If my father knew he’d be necrodunked** he would have been felt seriously insulted. If some Mormon did that to me after death then I’d feel the same insult. Necrodunking: DO NOT WANT!

    *They do have a serious fixation on other people having sex. But then religion generally has a massive preoccupation with sexuality.

    **Baptized by proxy after death into the Mormon Church.

  12. 12
    'Tis Himself

    The expressed intent of the last few years of controversial billboards put out by the American Atheists organization, *is* to push emotional buttons and such. This is one of the initiatives driven by Dave Silverman since he became American Atheists president.

    Silverman’s billboards are pushing MY emotional buttons. There is a reason why I don’t donate anything to American Atheists and it has to do with Silverman’s need to put up ugly, insulting, unreadable billboards.

  13. 13
    Anonymous Atheist

    Yes, their billboards are always controversial even among atheists. Fortunately there’s a cornucopia of other organizations with different approaches you can choose to support instead. :)

  14. 14
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why make a fuss about “baptising” dead people? They are dead. It’s tacky, presumptuous, and quite creepy, but not a real “issue”.

    The atheist in me agrees with you, the rest of me does not. Its an issue of consent, which is something non-negotiable. You are correct in that dead people don’t know or care that they’ve been baptized. It’s a ridiculous and childish superstition over empty husks that used to be people. I totally get it.

    And yet, I personally find necrodunking to be incredibly crass, disrespectful and insulting. Those people were not and presumably did not want to be Mormons. They did not consent to baptism. It doesn’t matter that they’re dead and don’t know or care. In a way, that makes it worse, because that means Mormons are waiting for the precise time when consent cannot be given to do this. NOT okay.

  15. 15
    Randall Krebs

    Which of these things is not like the other?

    “Whatever consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is none of my business.”

    “Whatever Mormons do in the privacy of their own temple is none of my business.”

  16. 16
    Ophelia Benson

    I know, I know!

    The second one is fake, because it doesn’t specify consenting adults.

  17. 17
    Jafafa Hots

    Who cares if non-existent people gave their non-existent consent or not?

    Being offended on behalf of the dead is just as stupid as baptizing the dead.

    Be offended on behalf of the surviving family’s feelings, if anything. Beyond that, you’re wasting your time. If you’re going to be offended at the hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo that religions do, even specifically the Mormon religion, focus on the many, many, MANY things they do that actually effects PEOPLE. Real people.

    Like f’rinstance, funding Prop. 8 in California. There’s a huge menu of offensive things Mormons (and all other churches) do.

    Baptize me when I’m dead, throw me in a ditch, pee on my corpse, make me a Catholic, shrink my head, use my skull as an ashtray… I don’t care now what happens to my clipped-off fingernails, and there will be no me around anymore to care what happens to the pile of meat I inhabited once I’ve died.

  18. 18
    Felicity

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  19. 19
    Shannon Labrada

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