The billboard American Atheists have put up in Salt Lake City is…nice. Not very aggressive at all. I don’t know about this — I rather like them being a bit in-your-face.
Of course, even with a gentle sign, the Salt Lake Tribune seems a little weirded out. First they express mild surprise that atheists are normal people, they report on the mother of one of the people in the picture who is not very happy, because
what he and these atheist groups espouse can be “hurtful stuff,” and they just have to try and shoehorn atheism into a familiar pattern.
University of Utah professor of religious studies Colleen McDannell says it’s a quintessential human attribute, evidenced throughout our nation’s history, to want to be a part of something.
"It doesn’t do in America just to be an individual nonbeliever," she says. "We’re a country of joiners."
In other words, organized nonreligion. American Atheists President David Silverman explained in a news release, "Our message is this: If you don’t believe anymore, don’t continue to base your identity in Mormonism. You’re so much more than an ‘ex-Mormon’; you’re an atheist."
Oh, well. I’m tempted to do a fierce atheist talk at the convention, but I was planning to do something sciencey instead.