“Prayer is superstition, plain and simple” – American Atheists President David Silverman.
American Atheists, a national organization that defends the civil rights of atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers, is sponsoring a new digital billboard outside New Jersey’s Metlife Stadium, the venue for Super Bowl 2014. The billboard, pokes fun at prayer, specifically citing the “Hail Mary,” a popular Christian invocation, and a popular, if desperate, long pass play in football.
Speaking about prayer as it relates to football, Silverman said “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.”
With the message, “A ‘Hail Mary’ only works in football. Enjoy the game!” the billboard features a priest cradling a football. In addition, the billboard also promotes the group’s upcoming national convention in Salt Lake City.
According to a press release put out by American Atheists, the ad is “believed to be the first-ever atheist-sponsored ad aimed at a Super Bowl audience”