A new billboard launched by American Atheists this week to advertise their upcoming convention in Salt Lake City hits the residents where it hurts.
The ad features parents West and Lennie Monnett along with their two sons and niece (of whom they’re guardians) — declaring that they’re not Mormons and not just “ex-Mormons”; they’re atheists:
“Many atheists still call themselves Mormons or ex-Mormons,” [AA President David] Silverman continued. “Our message is this: If you don’t believe anymore, you don’t have to continue to base your identity in Mormonism. You’re not an ‘ex-Mormon’; you’re an atheist, and you are very far from alone. You should be proud to be an atheist — we are. We want to celebrate being an atheist with you.”
The billboard could use a little more clarity since it’s unclear whether just the parents are Mormons-turned-atheists or if the kids, too, left the faith at some point as well. But, you know, it’s a road sign. Not a lot of room for nuance.
So far, I have yet to see any backlash against the ad. Which is exactly as it should be, as the billboard doesn’t even denigrate Mormonism. All it does is show people — plenty of current Mormons included — that there are those who left the religion and are doing just fine. So if you’re worried that leaving Mormonism cannot possibly end well, think again.
I absolutely love these billboards featuring real people from the community, declaring their atheism proudly and with smiles on their faces. More of this please.
American Atheists said in a press release that when they were looking for families to use for this ad, they were “overwhelmed with responses.” No reason they can’t use a few more of them in ads before the April convention…