American Atheists to Launch Super Bowl Billboard: A ‘Hail Mary’ Only Works in Football

With a few days to go before the Super Bowl, American Atheists is hoping to capitalize on the guaranteed media blitz by putting up a new digital billboard just outside of Metlife Stadium:

The ad, which will go up tomorrow, reads: “A ‘Hail Mary’ only works in football. Enjoy the game!”

“Prayer is superstition, plain and simple,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “It trivializes the dedication of the players and takes away from their achievements. A third of football fans pray in hopes of helping their team. These are adults we’re talking about — people with children, people with careers, people who vote. It’s 2014; it’s time to stop believing that prayer works. Give credit where credit is due and celebrate what this is really about — coming together to cheer on hard-working athletes doing what they do best.

It’s worth noting that former NFL punter Chris Kluwe, a “cheerful agnostic,” will be the keynote speaker at AA’s 2014 convention in April.

Also, in case you’re wondering, the “priest” in the ad is AA Operations Director Todd Jones.

This isn’t the first time AA has tried to capitalize on the most-watched sporting event of the year.

In 2012, they had a banner flying over Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis during that year’s Super Bowl reading “Football beats church anytime — atheists.org.”

And in 2010, they offered $20,000 to rename host stadium Sun Life Stadium to “American Atheists Stadium” for just one hour the day after the game. That offer was rejected.

The current digital billboard will display the ad every ten minutes and run through Sunday. Before then, you can expect the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue to flip out and call this some sort of affront to Catholicism…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.


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