First, there was the American Atheist billboard that read “You KNOW it’s a Myth”:
Not long after that, AA put up a billboard that went after all religions in general. It read: “You KNOW they’re all SCAMS”:
Now, AA’s latest billboard targets the upcoming “arrival” of Jesus. It reads: “The Rapture: You KNOW it’s Nonsense. 2000 Years of ‘Any Day Now’“:
That billboard’s going up this week in Oakland, CA; Houston, TX; and Fort Lauderdale, FL — why there? There will be “Rapture Parties” taking place in those cities! (Because, you know, Jesus is coming back on May 21st.)
“This is nothing new,” said American Atheists President Dave Silverman. “Self-declared Christian prophets have a long track record predicting the end of the world. What distinguishes this latest round of warnings, though, is the sheer scale, and the cultural backdrop of ‘gloom and doom’ over everything from the economy to the environment.”
Mr. Silverman added: “Every time someone has predicted the rapture they’ve been wrong, but most of the time the preachers make a lot of money in the process. In my opinion, it’s an excellent scam — if you can handle the
complete lack of ethics involved.”
It’s amazing how much attention these billboards get. On paper, they’re just supposed to reach out to all those closeted atheists out there. But it’s really all about the publicity — and I have no doubt these billboards will get their fair share.
The only people who don’t seem to care about the billboard’s message are the atheists complaining about the poor design.
Just FYI, the Oakland billboard is supposed to have cost $27,000. I’m not sure if that’s courtesy of a private donor, but I suspect American Atheists would only keep these billboards coming if they were paying for themselves (via donors or subsequent donations).