American Atheists, a secular activist group, is sponsoring a new digital billboard outside New Jersey’s Metlife Stadium — the venue for this weekend’s Super Bowl. It pokes fun at prayer, specifically citing the “Hail Mary,” a popular Christian invocation.
Text on the 14-foot-by-48-foot ad reads, “A ‘Hail Mary’ only works in football. Enjoy the game!” A man in a priest outfit is also depicted on the billboard; he is holding a football and giving a “thumbs up” to the non-theistic message.
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” and it will remain on display through football’s biggest event.
While its main intention is to invite people to the atheist group’s annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, this April, it also sends a clear message about activists’ views on prayer and faith more generally.
“Prayer is superstition, plain and simple. It trivializes the dedication of the players and takes away from their achievements,” the group’s president David Silverman said in a statement announcing the billboard. “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.”
Silverman went on to say that it is 2014 and “time to stop believing that prayer works.” Rather than crediting God, he said that credit should be given where its due and that people should simply come together to praise athletes’ hard work and dedication.
The American Atheists convention will run from April 17-20. Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, an outspoken atheist, will deliver the keynote.
(H/T: Christian Post)
Featured image via American Atheists