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David Silverman is getting soft!

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.

exmormons

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.

Comments

  1. Rey Fox says

    Not very aggressive at all.

    It’s got the word “Mormon” with an “x” over it, that’s “aggressive” enough given the location.

    And I’ve seen their more “aggressive” billboards, this one’s an improvement. I sure wish they could pick up another fonts CD though.

  2. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Not to worry. The LSD still considers them to be Mormons. Just not tithe-paying Mormons. So they still count them.

  3. Scientismist says

    Please, go ahead and do something sciencey, something that might help all those doubting Mormons to explore their own doubt. Notice that the sign doesn’t say “come and join American Atheists in our doubt.” If you want to be part of something bigger than yourself, there’s a whole universe out there for you to identify with. Tell them something about it.

  4. Nemo says

    I thought we were a nation of rugged individualists. I’m so confused.

    Just don’t call us “loners”. “Loner” is apparently synonymous with “lone gunman” in the minds of TV reporters.

  5. ludicrous says

    I thought the Salt Lake Trib web page was great, they even included an unedited page from Monnett’s facebook. Way better than I would have expected, although SL had a liberal mayor for a while.(dunno about now)

    I think Silverman’s methods are effective, good cop, bad cop gets confessions and isn’t that what we want? Believers to confess to themselves their doubts?

  6. says

    Cross-posted from the Vikings Football thread (Chris Kluwe is also scheduled to speak at the convention, so that is the connection between the billboard thread and the football thread):

    From the comments below the Salt Lake Tribune article describing the Atheist Convention billboard:

    Along with being atheists, these people are very brave. There is a good chance the children may be shunned at school or worse. Good luck to them. Stay safe please.
    —–
    you’re just trading one organization for another
    ——–
    Of course they’re harboring demonic intentions! Both the mother and the niece are baring their shoulders. That’s not normal and we need to protect the virtue of the young men who might happen to see such degradation! [pretty sure this is sarcasm, but in Utah you never know]
    ——-
    They leave Mormonism and organize another religion.
    ———–
    What’s truly foolish is there are people who believe so faithfully that there is no God that they’ve created their own organized “godless” religion to help sell those beliefs. Too bad they can’t see the hypocrisy in that. I consider myself Agnostic, but I don’t need a support group of like minded individuals and an organization hanging billboards to help confirm my beliefs.
    ———
    Trolls organized enough and insecure enough that they need to print billboards proclaiming their beliefs.
    ———-
    I’ve met some who are every bit as self-righteous as those they are railing against.
    ———-
    since when does one need a convention to not believe – well, anything?
    ——–
    I suspect that what gives birth the “rational human beings” is a big cause of the massive and civilization catastrophes that our upon us.
    ———
    “Come explore your doubt with us”? Really? I’m glad I have no doubts about the One True Religion. It’s amazing, that in the year 2014, and with all the numerous examples of there being a god, that people are STILL doubting, and are willing to advertize the fact. […] All it takes is a little application of one’s thoughts and actions to prove God.

    A lot of people in Salt Lake City still missing the point. They really need an Atheist Convention to open their eyes.

  7. eric1rom says

    “I rather like them being a bit in-your-face.”

    Turns out there’s more than one persuasive strategy than constantly being a dick.

  8. Sastra says

    …and they just have to try and shoehorn atheism into a familiar pattern.

    “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.

    Do I detect a hint of dismay coming from our benign Overlord over the “shoehorning” of atheists into the “familiar pattern” of “organized nonreligion?” If so, this will concern his many minions, the Hoard who regularly hang out on one of the most popular atheist blogs in the world — reading, learning, commenting, arguing against, agreeing with, and supporting each other. How dare the media distort the situation. Not all atheists are “joiners.”

    I mean, for example — there’s us!

  9. says

    More comments from readers of the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    I can hardly wait to see the Monetts’ follow-up billboard–will they be pictured trying to teach their pet goldfish to climb trees and turn into trumpeter swans? This could really be entertaining!
    ——–
    Teaching creatures to be something they’re not (Evergreen anyone?) is something best left to Mormons.
    ——–
    This forum demonstrates why the Atheists will hold their convention in Utah. Where else would they draw 1600 comments to a news story about a single billboard.
    ——-
    Proselytizing Atheists! Good Lord!
    ———
    I don’t think evolution contradicts or invalidates my religious teachings… instead I just assume it was a tool God used when creating. Why? Because according to the LDS teaching that “God works/does all by natural means” I logically assume those “natural means” are science. The LDS don’t believe God is a magician in other words. I say He simply uses science to it’s fullest potential, He being God knows every aspect of it where we are mere beginners knowing very little thus far.

  10. says

    Trolls organized enough and insecure enough that they need to print billboards proclaiming their beliefs.

    Ah, this sentiment always amuses. Here in ND, religious billboards are a dime a dozen. I also recall many religious billboards in SLC when I lived there.

  11. says

    Everyplace that isn’t a church…. is where you practice atheism. They don’t like to be reminded of how small their control over society has been getting.

  12. Sastra says

    since when does one need a convention to not believe – well, anything?

    This is one of the most common complaints — or questions — I’ve heard from religious/spiritual friends regarding my atheist conventions. They seem to be genuinely puzzled. “But what do you do? What sorts of things would there be to talk about?”

    I usually bring up the talks on science, philosophy, ethics, or other topics which could well have been given in some other convention and are thus acceptably “normal” and “positive” and thus understandable. But I’m rethinking the value of my doing this, partly because it feeds into the sense of religious privilege. It’s a bit too accomodationist, perhaps.

    The working assumption behind the question is that truth can’t be the point. Arguing against something you don’t believe is without substance if the belief in any way helps other people. The proper attitude for the nonbeliever is apathy towards what others believe. Therefore, if the main focus of the convention is “attacking” supernatural beliefs and organizations, then it’s focused on hate. Faith is personal, special, and something to be respected.

    Church-state separation issues are okay, I guess. But if the speakers spend time on dismantling arguments for the existence of God and encouraging atheists to spread them, then this is negative information, negative thinking, and negative value.

    My own friends extend this to skeptic groups as well, of course. The paranormal and alt med and the like apparently fall into the same privileged class of “things you ought to allow other people to believe in if they want.”

    I think religion and spirituality play a trick on their adherents. The truth about God is THE most important fact there is and belief in this is THE most important choice an individual can make. But, at the same time, the entire subject is supposed to be minimalized into being like a hobby, a lifestyle, a preference, or a taste. Just as you would not hold a convention about how stupid it is to like to knit or wear wool sweaters, you would not hold a convention against religion. Right?

    Because why would you care? What is there to talk about??

    We need to encourage our culture to delve into the distinction. We also need to disabuse people of the sense that religion and spirituality are unmitigated positives. On the contrary, where they are positive, they always overlap with humanism. We wouldn’t consider them positives if they didn’t.

  13. Nemo says

    “It doesn’t do in America just to be an individual nonbeliever,” she says. “We’re a country of joiners.”

    For me, organized atheism is a political movement. It’s not like I actually want to spend my time fighting against medieval mindsets — what I want is for them to go away, so I can get back to far more interesting things, like science, engineering, the arts… that’s how I’d prefer to spend my time. But the religious won’t leave me alone. They won’t stop voting for stupid, destructive, oppressive policies, all in the name of religion. So I can’t just ignore them.

    I’m really not a joiner. It’s more like… “Join, or die”.

  14. sapperdon says

    I think the message on the board is super clever.

    For those not in Utah or around Mormons:

    Every six months the Mormons get together for “General Conference” in which the Mormon-Pope (called Prophet or President depending upon which duty he is fulfilling) and the Apostles speak.

    Following the October 2013 General Conference, my very Mormon family quoted (to me) many times the new rally cry of “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”

    This billboard seems to be playing right off of it, and I think Mr. Silverman is clever for doing so.

  15. says

    “I rather like them being a bit in-your-face.”

    Turns out there’s more than one persuasive strategy than constantly being a dick.

    Do you think that PZ expressing his personal preference is a demand that everyone else comply with his views? If not, what was the point of your comment?

    Of course there’s more than one strategy. As it happens, many of us think that multiple strategies are a good thing. I even seem to recall PZ saying as much on some occasions. So, who do you think you’re disagreeing with?

  16. says

    sapperdon:

    Following the October 2013 General Conference, my very Mormon family quoted (to me) many times the new rally cry of “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”

    Hahahaha, ah, that makes the billboard even better. Wonderful.

  17. David Marjanović says

    I like this billboard.

    (Apart from the font – but even that isn’t outright horrible.)

    “Come explore your doubt with us”? Really? I’m glad I have no doubts about the One True Religion.

    And so, the Seed of Doubt was planted.

    Hahahaha, ah, that makes the billboard even better. Wonderful.

    Seconded.

  18. cag says

    Billboards that do not genuflect to christianity still mortifies some people. Even here in one of the most secular areas of North America we have our kooks having conniptions over a fairly innocuous message. What the kooks fail to realize is that they are “useful idiots” in the quest for rational thought.

    Thank you kook for bringing this to my attention. The billboard is about 2 miles from where I live but not on my regular route.

  19. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I doubt that you doubted doubting your doubts. But, if I write it, it is of doubtful use, so . . .

  20. says

    Louis @23 for the win.

    With mormonism, it really is doubts all the way down. Their apologists keep trying to address doubts as they pop up, but no sooner have they inadequately addressed one, and another pops up. And every discussion leads directly back to historical sources that damn their founding con artist. By now, the apologists are in a very deep hole … and still digging.

    Polyandry leads to Joseph Smith.
    Polygamy leads to Joseph Smith.
    Racism leads to Joe.
    Plagiarism leads to Joe.

    We’ve even got Joe nailed for voter suppression, illegal banking practices, and willful destruction of the property of non-mormons.

    There’s not much that Joe the Con Artist missed when it came to scamming people. If you doubt that Joe saw God in a grove of trees, please do explore that issue. You will find four or five other versions of the same event, all written by Joseph Smith. Seems that Joe doubted his own recollection, doubted his own myth making. Yes, it is doubts all the way down.

  21. playonwords says

    Couldn’t you give a talk about how small black cats in foster care need a forever home?

  22. unclefrogy says

    the text is fine and timely with the doubting your doubt slogan from the mormons ‘
    What really nails it is the graphic. A smiling family emphasizing it is not the isolated rugged individual vs everyone else full of evil and hate for “normal stuff” it is just humans and normal families.
    The image I remember being emphasized when I was a kid by the church was of the atheist as a hostile loaner bent on the destruction of all that was good.
    That was a problem when learning about democracy and the founding fathers and the constitution. God was not involved nor was belief ? Even before I heard about how evolution and science worked there was a conflict in views.
    so driving past that sign what will stick are atheists and normal family people and doubt!
    that is enough.
    uncle frogy

  23. otrame says

    since when does one need a convention to not believe – well, anything?

    Reminds me of one of my very favoritest Cuttlefish poems, originally penned for the first big Australian conference. It begins:

    My faithful friends were wondering,
    And I was wondering, too,
    When atheists get together—
    Just what all do they do?

  24. mikehuben says

    I think it is brilliant: it is speaking the language of the Mormons. Especially the family orientation.

    The real question is what outreach activities the atheists will conduct during the convention. Presenting opportunities to discuss doubts in private throughout the city would be excellent.

    Even better, door-to-door proselytizing by atheists in suits, white shirts and ties would be excellent.

  25. David Marjanović says

    IT’S DOUBTS ALL THE WAY DOWN!!!

    It really is! That’s fundamental to science theory! :-)

    Polyandry leads to Joseph Smith.

    This I… doubt; it means [one woman having] many men [as husbands]. Do you mean polygyny, [one man having] many women [as wives]? (Polygamy, “marrying many”, is the cover term for both.)

    Even better, door-to-door proselytizing by atheists in suits, white shirts and ties would be excellent.

    Antiselytizing? :-)

    (Disclaimer: I don’t know anywhere near enough Greek to tell if that makes sense.)

  26. says

    And they still look utter shite.

    Honestly, has anyone ever introduced Dave to the concept of a “professional graphic designer,” and the wisdom of hiring one for this sort of thing?

  27. Al Dente says

    Martin Wagner @36

    Honestly, has anyone ever introduced Dave to the concept of a “professional graphic designer,” and the wisdom of hiring one for this sort of thing?

    What’s the fun in that? If Dave had professionals design his billboards then what would he do, besides antagonize Bill O’Reilly? Everyone needs a hobby and bad billboard design is David Silverman’s.

  28. says

    David M. @34

    This I… doubt; it means [one woman having] many men [as husbands]. Do you mean polygyny, [one man having] many women [as wives]? (Polygamy, “marrying many”, is the cover term for both.)

    I meant polyandry. As others have noted, Joseph Smith married many women who were already married. Sometimes he even sent their husbands on missions to get them out of the picture so he could make a move on the wife. Brigham Young employed some of the same tactics, as you can see from the details below. Other mormon apostles, such as Heber C. Kimball, also married women polyandously.

    The following married women married Joseph Smith. (The majority of the information here is from ‘No Man Knows My History’ by Fawn Brodie & ‘Reconsidering No Man Knows My History’ by Newell Bringhurst. Additional sources are included in parentheses after each woman’s name.[…]

    –“Lucinda Pendleton (Morgan) (Harris) (Smith), 1801-? (died after the Civil War), probably married Joseph polyandrously in 1838, at age 37. […]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: 1838, Far West, Missouri
    “Other Marriages: William Morgan, Virginia
    George Washington Harris, January 12, 1831, Arkansas

    –“Zina Diantha Huntington (Jacobs) (Smith) (Young), 1821-1901, married Joseph Smith polyandrously on October 27, 1841, at age 20. She had married Henry Jacobs on March 7, 1841, and bore him two children. On February 2, 1846, she married Brigham Young polyandrously, for time. […] Her marriage with Jacobs finally came to an end in May 1846, soon after the birth of their second child, when Brigham Young sent Henry on a mission to England. […]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: October 27, 1841, Nauvoo, Illinois
    “Other Marriages: Henry Bailey Jacobs, March 7, 1841
    Brigham Young, February 2, 1846, Nauvoo, Illinois[…]

    –“Prescendia Lathrop Huntington (Buell) (Smith) (Kimball), 1810-92. The older sister of Zina Huntington, she married Joseph Smith polyandrously on December 11, 1841, at age 31. She had married Norman Buell in 1827, with whom she lived for nineteen years even though he became disaffected from Mormonism in 1838. […] After Smith’s death, she married Heber C. Kimball polyandrously on February 4, 1846. She finally left Buell in May 1846 and traveled to Utah, where she bore Kimball two children.
    […]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: December 11, 1841, Smith’s Store, Nauvoo, Illinois
    “Other Marriages: Norman Buell, January 6, 1828, Watertown, New York
    Heber Chase Kimball, November 7, 1846, Nauvoo, Illinois[…]

    –“Sylvia Porter Sessions (Lyon) (Smith) (Kimball) (Clark), 1818-82, married Joseph Smith polyandrously on February 8, 1842, at age 23, and bore him one child, Josephine Lyon (Fisher), on February 8, 1844. […]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: about 1843
    “Other Marriages: Windsor Palmer Lyon, 1838, Far West, Missouri
    Heber Chase Kimball, January 1846, Nauvoo, Illinois
    Ezekiel Clark, January 1, 1850, Iowa City, Iowa[…]

    –“Mary Elizabeth Rollins (Lightner) (Smith) (Young), 1818-1913, married Joseph Smith polyandrously approximately at the end of February 1842, at age 23. She had married Adam Lightner, a non-Mormon, in 1835, with whom she had ten children. Mary and Adam lived together until his death in 1885. She also married Brigham Young for time, polyandrously, on May 22, 1845, but never lived with him as his wife. […]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: January 17, 1842, Nauvoo, Illinois
    “Other Marriages: Adam Lightner, August 11, 1835, Independence, Missouri
    Brigham Young, January 17, 1846, Nauvoo, Illinois […]

    –“Patty Bartlett (Sessions) (Smith) (Parry), 1795-1892, married Joseph Smith polyandrously on March 9, 1842, at age 47.[…]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: March 9, 1842, Nauvoo, Illinois
    “Other Marriages: David Sessions, June 28, 1812, Newry, Maine
    John Perry, March 27, 1852, Salt Lake City, Utah […]

    –“Sarah Maryetta Kingsley (Howe) (Cleveland) (Smith) (Smith), 1788-1856, married Joseph Smith polyandrously before June 29, 1842, approximately at age 53 or 54. […]

    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: after June 1842
    “Other Marriages:John Howe, about 1807 John Cleveland, March 16, 1826, Cincinatti, Ohio
    John Smith, January 1856, Nauvoo, Illinois[…]

    –“Ruth Daggett Vose (Sayers) (Smith), 1808-84, married Joseph Smith polyandrously in- February 1843, at age 33. She had married Edward Sayers in 1841 and stayed with him until his death in 1861.[…]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: August 1842
    “Other Marriages: Edward Sayers, January 23, 1841, St. Louis, Missouri

    –“Elvira Annie Cowles (Holmes) (Smith), 1813-71, married Joseph Smith polyandrously on June 1, 1843, at age 29. […]Elvira had married Jonathan Holmes on December 1, 1842, and stayed with him until her death, living most of her later life in Farmington, Utah.[…]
    “Marriage to Joseph Smith: before December 1842
    “Other Marriages: Jonathan Harriman Holmes, December 1, 1842, Nauvoo, Illinois[…]

    –“Marinda Hyde, [do not have full information](See Andrew Jenson, ‘Church Chronology,’ August 6, 1844)
    _____

    “These married women were propositioned by Joseph Smith but turned him down.
    http://www.i4m.com/think/history/Joseph_Smth_mens_wives.htm

    –“Sarah Pratt, wife of Orson Pratt

    “‘Sometime in late 1840 or early 1841, Joseph Smith confided to his friend that he was smitten by the “amiable and accomplished” Sarah Pratt and wanted her for “one of his spiritual wives, for the Lord had given her to him as a special favor for his faithfulness.” Shortly afterward, the two men took some of Bennett’s sewing to Sarah’s house. During the visit, as Bennett describes it, Joseph said, “Sister Pratt, the Lord has given you to me as one of my spiritual wives. I have the blessings of Jacob granted me, as God granted holy men of old, and as I have long looked upon you with favor, and an earnest desire of connubial bliss, I hope you will not repulse or deny me.” “And is that the great secret that I am not to utter,” Sarah replied. “Am I called upon to break the marriage covenant, and prove recreant to my lawful husband! I never will.” She added, “I care not for the blessings of Jacob. I have one good husband, and that is enough for me.” But according to Bennett, the Prophet was persistent. Finally Sarah angrily told him on a subsequent visit, “Joseph, if you ever attempt any thing of the kind with me again, I will make a full disclosure to Mr. Pratt on his return home. Depend upon it, I will certainly do it.” “Sister Pratt,” the Prophet responded, “I hope you will not expose me, for if I suffer, all must suffer; so do not expose me. Will you promise me that you will not do it?” “If you will never insult me again,” Sarah replied, “I will not expose you unless strong circumstances should require it.” “If you should tell,” the Prophet added, “I will ruin your reputation, remember that.”

    “(Article, ‘Sarah M. Pratt,’ by Richard A. Van Wagoner, ‘Dialogue,’ Vol.19, No.2, p.72. Also see, ‘The History of the Saints Sarah Pratt,’ Section from http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/spratt.htm)
    _____

    –“Jane Law, wife of William Law

    “‘William Law, a former counselor in the First Presidency, wrote in his 13 May 1844 diary: ‘[Joseph] ha[s] lately endeavored to seduce my wife, and ha[s] found her a virtuous woma.’ The Laws elaborated on this in a public meeting shortly thereafter. “The Prophet had made dishonorable proposals to [my] wife . . . under cover of his asserted ‘Revelation,'” Law stated. He further explained that Joseph came to the Law home in the middle of the night when William was absent and told Jane that “the Lord had commanded that he should take spiritual wives, to add to his glory.” Law then called on his wife to corroborate what he had said. She did so and further explained that Joseph had “asked her to give him half her love; she was at liberty to keep the other half for her husband” Jane refused the Prophet, and according to William Law’s 20 January 1887 letter to the Salt Lake Tribune, Smith then considered the couple apostates. “Jane had been speaking evil of him for a long time . . . slandered him, and lied about him without cause,” Law reported Smith as saying. “My wife would not speak evil of . . . anyone . . . without cause,” Law asserted. “Joseph is the liar and not she. That Smith admired and lusted after many men’s wives and daughters, is a fact, but they could not help that. They or most of them considered his admiration an insult, and treated him with scorn. In return for this scorn, he generally managed to blacken their reputations–see the case of . . . Mrs. Pratt, a good, virtuous woman.’ (‘Mormon Polygamy,’ by Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 44)
    _____

    –“Sarah Kimball, wife of Hiram Kimball

    “Sarah M. Kimball, a prominent Nauvoo and Salt Lake City Relief Society leader was also approached by the Prophet in early 1842 despite her solid 1840 marriage to Hiram Kimball. Sarah later recalled that ‘Joseph Smith taught me the principle of marriage for eternity, and the doctrine of plural marriage. He said that in teaching this he realized that he jeopardized his life; but God had revealed it to him many years before as a privilege with blessings, now God had revealed it again and instructed him to teach with commandment, as the Church could travel [progress] no further without the introduction of this principle.’ (‘LDS Biographical Encyclopedia’ By Elder Andrew Jensen, 6:232, 1887)
    _____

    –“Sarah Kimball, like Sarah Pratt, was committed to her husband, and refused the Prophet’s invitation, asking that he “teach it to someone else.” Although she kept the matter quiet, her husband and Smith evidently had difficulties over Smith’s proposal. On 19 May 1842, at a Nauvoo City Council meeting, Smith jotted down and then “threw across the room” a revelation to Kimball which declared that “Hiram Kimball has been insinuating evil, and formulating evil opinions” against the Prophet, which if he does not desist from, he “shall be accursed.” Sarah remained a lifetime member of the Church and a lifelong wife to Hiram Kimball. (‘LDS Biographical Encyclopedia,’ by Elder Andrew Jensen, 6:232, 1887, ‘Official History of the Church’ 5: 12-13)”

    (Source for above: “Polyandry & Joseph Smith,” at: http://www.ldsfreedom.org/node/7)

  29. Al Dente says

    Joseph Smith was a piker compared to his successor Brigham Young. Smith had only 25 to 28 wives (the number depends on who’s counting). Young had 55 wives and 57 children by 16 of these wives.

  30. says

    More responses to the Salt Lake Tribune article about the billboard:

    What is it the American Atheists doubt? Do they doubt the existence of God? Do they doubt their conclusion that God doesn’t exist? Richard Dawkins said he couldn’t be absolutely sure God doesn’t exist. That would make this an upcoming “doubting” convention. Maybe one of the topics at the convention could be the parable of the house built on sand and the house built on the rock. At least if some doubt where they stand and whether or not they will survive the coming storm, there is still time to build your house on the Rock and be left standing after the storm has passed.
    ———
    What’s cool is that all of the attendees are going to streak Main Street wearing just green aprons.
    See? Who says atheists aren’t fun? The men can substitute a waxed cardboard lined doily and women can substitute a coffin veil headdress for the apron, if they like, but all participants are limited to one article of temple clothing for the run. [PZ may not know about this planned fun run wearing only mormon temple garments. He would look good in a green apron, I’m sure.]

    Green Apron
    The apron worn by temple patrons is green, which is symbolic of life. The fig leaves on the green apron are a fruit known for the countless multitude of seeds. This green apron full of fruitful seeds is worn after Adam and Eve are cast out, and strategically over the loins symbolizing the new power to procreate, be fruitful and multiply.

    http://www.i4m.com/think/temples/temple_clothes.htm

    Photo of mormon temple garments, including the green apron, here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/94625494@N00/3816206493/

  31. Rey Fox says

    Even better, door-to-door proselytizing by atheists in suits, white shirts and ties would be excellent.

    I think it’s been done before to comedic effect.

    I’ve always sort of preferred the general atheist evangelical technique: We’ll just be over here having a beer and enjoying life. It seems to be slowly working.

  32. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Sandy Small@37

    Damn right this is a nation of rugged individualists. All of us are.

    (Monty Python) I’m not! (/Monty Python)

  33. says

    I don’t really get the importance of “You’re so much more than an ‘ex-Mormon’; you’re an atheist.” Everyone is “so much more” than an ex member of whatever religion they followed but I doubt their lack of belief in god is the pinnacle of their achievements as a human being. But perhaps this speaks to Mormons in a way I do not understand because I have never been Mormon.

  34. omnicrom says

    I don’t really get the importance of “You’re so much more than an ‘ex-Mormon’; you’re an atheist.” Everyone is “so much more” than an ex member of whatever religion they followed but I doubt their lack of belief in god is the pinnacle of their achievements as a human being. But perhaps this speaks to Mormons in a way I do not understand because I have never been Mormon.

    I think the reason they say something like this is because saying you’re an Atheist rather than merely “Fomerly a Mormon” is more powerful. It’s a positive statement, identifying yourself by a trait rather than a lack of a trait. There’s the old anecdote about a parent being aghast at their child, saying that being non-religious is one thing but an Atheist? That’s so much worse. By declaring yourself an Atheist you are (ironically) making a positive statement of believe rather than a negative statement of non-belief. If you say “Atheist” instead of “Ex-[religion]” you are no longer even identifying yourself based on your association with a religion, you are verbally cutting ties.

    So yes, the simple fact of calling yourself an Atheist is indeed so much more than merely being an Ex-member of a religion. You’re officially delineating yourself from being in the same category as an agnostic or non-practicing religious person or maybe even someone who calls themself “spiritual”. You’re an Atheist, you’re much more than just an Ex-Mormon.