Home / News / American Atheists rolling billboard brings attention to controversial Mormon doctrine
American Atheists rolling billboard brings attention to controversial Mormon doctrine

American Atheists rolling billboard brings attention to controversial Mormon doctrine

A mobile billboard being toted around the country to the same venues as the Romney campaign is causing controversy for it's message, which states that the Mormon chuch did not allow African Americans to join the church until 1978, and currently bars members of the LGBT community from membership.

The billboard is being touted by American Atheists, Inc. President Dave Silverman as a target on the LDS church. Silverman states,

"It's targeted at Mormonism specifically because a lot of people are simply not considering the ramifications or possible ramifications of a Mormon president."

Mr. Silverman maintains that Governor Romney has yet to clarify is stances on the separation clause of the First Amendment, as well as equality and diversity. He states these reasons for the creation of the billboard, which is getting a lot of attention wherever it lands. The billboard was present at the debate on October 22nd in Boca Raton, FL.

A local ABC affiliate, ABC4 News, received a communication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which states,

"This group seems not to know that there have been black members of the Church since our earliest history, and there are many faithful gay members of the Church today. We would be happy to introduce the group to any of our millions of members of different ethnicity who would be happy to educate them on our diversity.”

Silverman countered with,

"We are not saying he would be a good president or a bad president. We are saying the separation of church and state is a serious issue and diversity is a serious issue."

Mormon Voices, a group that defends the LDS Church in the media, vehemently opposed the billboard. The Christian Post reports that John Lynch, Managing Director of Mormon Voices, responded to the billboard as follows:

"Despite a history of never having segregated congregations and numerous ordinations of black males to the priesthood from its earliest days until the 1950's, like virtually all other identifiable groups (including atheists), the LDS Church has not been perfect in its treatment of blacks."

Silverman maintains his position, and the American Atheists, Inc. website issued a statement which says, in part,

“The American population is woefully unaware of the implications of a Mormon president because nobody is discussing the issue. Mormonism is a non-Abrahamic religion that has already used its money and might to impose its beliefs on the non-Mormon citizens of California.

“We need to know if Mr. Romney supports these and other discriminatory actions of his church, for which he evangelized when it was still overtly racist, and to which he continues to donate millions of dollars. It’s a fair statement to say that all American citizens should be wary of a president who once proselytized, to Christians and Atheists alike, for a living."

American Atheists maintains that it is not taking a position in the presidential election, but is concerned about whether or not a candidate will use the Oval office to impose personal religious beliefs and doctrine on the general public.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • Mike

    This billboard is an absolutely false representation of what Mormons believe:
    http://mormon.org/faq/stand-on-homosexuality

    http://mormon.org/people/find

    • apostasyusa

      I beg to differ. Prop 8 in California which failed to stop gays from getting married, was funded in large part by the Mormon church.

      You can't run from the record.

      • Deborah_B

        Apparently, "so-called" gays and lesbians (quoting the link above) are welcome in the church as long as they remain celibate and view themselves as having "a problem."

      • rippinsteo

        FALSE. The membership of the Mormon church in California gave some millions to the campaign on Prop 8. The church itself did not.

        • apostasyusa

          Come on! where does the church get their money? From trees!!??

          "Some Prop 8 opponents filed complaints with California that the Mormon Church had been deceptive about the level of funding they gave to the measure. And, with enough evidence to back them up, the state was investigating the matter. Facing this investigation, which was going to show the church had lied, the Mormon leadership decided to file a new, updated report which admitted they had filed misleading financial reports before. They are now saying that they previously neglected to report 99% of their actual spending. When you neglect to report 99% of what you spent in a campaign, you are not being forgetful. To neglect 99% of your contributions requires premeditated, intentional action on your part. While one might accidentally forget to mention an expense here or there, it stretches credibility for anyone to think that 99% of spending was left off the reports due to an error."

          http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2009/02/mormon-church-admits-they-lied-about.html

  • apostasyusa

    As the religious people use their ideology based on myth as a reason to oppress Americans, those religious people and their religion become irrelevant.

    Religion creates an opening for intolerance and a closing of reason and compassion.

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    I think it's a good thing they are getting this info about Mormonism out to the public. Neither Rumnut nor Ryan (need a nick for him) can keep church and State separate. We'll be in BIG trouble if they win.

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