By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – When he campaigns in southern Florida on Monday, Mitt Romney will have an unwelcome traveling partner: a mobile billboard attacking his religion.
The billboard on wheels, sponsored by American Atheists, attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its treatment of African-Americans and gays, though the church says the attacks are inaccurate.
The billboard, which American Atheists says will follow the Romney campaign for seven days, features two messages on Mormonism: “No Blacks Allowed (until 1978)” and “No Gays Allowed (Current).”
The first line is a reference to the church’s practice of denying lay priesthood to black male members until 1978.
Though the church did not allow black male members to be ordained before that year – when the church head says he received a revelation to reverse the policy – it did allow blacks and members of all racial and ethnic groups to be church members. According to The Second Book of Nephi, a part of Mormon doctrine, “Black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God.”
The billboard’s second line refers to what American Atheists President David Silverman says is the religion's “intolerance” and “bigotry” when it comes to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
But the church denies such categorizations. It accepts gay members, though church doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed and the church strongly opposes same-sex marriage. Some gay rights activists say the church is subtly growing friendlier toward the LGBT community, including voicing support for some gay rights.
"People are surely free to disagree with us on the facts," Dale Jones, a church spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "This group seems not to know that there have been black members of the Church since our earliest history, and there are many faithful gay members of the Church today."
Jones continued: "We would be happy to introduce the (American Atheists president) to any of our millions of members of different ethnicity who would be happy to educate him on our racial diversity."
Silverman denies the billboard, which is costing the group $8,000, is an attack on Romney specifically. A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign said she would not comment on the sign.
“Nobody seems to be talking about the implications of having a very religious Mormon president,” Silverman said. “There are a lot of things about Mormons that people don’t know, including the fact that racism is an important part of their dogma.”
The LDS Church has largely tried to stay out of the politics surrounding the presidential campaign, even though it has received increased attention due to Romney’s candidacy. This billboard, writes Jones, is "obviously" about the "personal politics" of American Atheists.
"We have consistently kept out of the political campaign," Jones wrote. "People can see this (billboard) for what it is."
American Atheists has a long history in using billboards to call out religion and get its message out. During the political conventions in August and September, the group put up billboards attacking Mormonism and Christianity, taking aim at the faith of both presidential candidates.
This mobile billboard, however, is a departure from the standard American Atheist tactic of multiple billboards on multiple religions. According to Silverman, this is because Romney’s faith hasn’t been addressed enough in the 2012 election.
“We all understand the implications of having a Christian president. We do not understand the implications of having a Mormon president,” Silverman said. “We are not taking a position on the election, we are taking a stance on ignorance.”
Latter Day Saints? Self appointed high priests of bull! Who knows what they believe? It changes every day!
All you right wing teabaggers are worshiping at the altar of an atheist. Who is John Galt? An atheist. Why did Atlas Shrug? He was bewildered by you theists. The author of Paul Ryans' favorite books? Atheist Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books
In the third book of Nephi (currently in print and soon available true Amazon.com) will amend some of the church gay issues true somebody's revelation..Every mormon book is an actual amendment to the previous. No wonder Romney is flip-flopping so much..it is his faith..
I almost don't want to dignify this with a response but the third book of Nephi already exists as a book in the Book of Mormon. There is also a 4th book of Nephi in there. Disagree with Mormons all you want but don't make up easily disproven lies.
Offering second class membership doesn't count as acceptance.
In CNN and the MSMs wild attempt to portray "both sides" fairly they have ignored this the sign: acknowledging that minorities could be members is fine, but the sign says LEADERSHIP.
Should lynch the monkey obama by the rafters of the White House and expel the followers of BS religion called Mormonism! This is a Christian Nation! I am voting for Jesus!
Siily, silly Jesus! WQe are not a Christian nation. God is imaginary and so are you. Here is what some of our founding fathers thought about religion. Clearly, America is NOT a christian nation. We are founded on the principle of separation of church and state.
1. "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man"- Thomas Jefferson
2. "The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs." – Thomas Jefferson
3. "It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticism's that three are one, and one is three; and yet the one is not three, and the three are not one- Thomas Jefferson
4. "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be cla.ssed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors."- Thomas Jefferson
5. "There is not one redeeming feature in our supersti.tion of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites."- Thomas Jefferson
6. "Lighthouses are more useful than churches."- Ben Franklin .
7. "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."- Ben Franklin
8. "I looked around for God's judgments, but saw no signs of them."- Ben Franklin
9. "In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it."- Ben Franklin
10. "This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it"- John Adams
11. "The New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation.'- Thomas Paine
12. "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."- Thomas Paine
13. "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."- Thomas Paine
14. "Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies."- Thomas Paine
15. "All national inst.itutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."- Thomas Paine
16. "It is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene.”- Thomas Paine
17. "Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in
hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society."- George Washington
18. "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession."- Abraham Lincoln
19. "It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interference in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespa.sses on its legal rights by others."- James Madison
20. "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."- James Madison
21. History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. – Thomas Jefferson
22. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superst!tion, bigotry, and persecution. – James Madison
The better ad:
SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.
SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.
SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.
Added details upon request.
And an ad obviously not supported by the Obama campaign.
And another ad obviously not supported by the Obama re-election gurus:
IF THE PILL AND MALE CONDOMS WERE USED PROPERLY, ABORTION WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE AND OBAMA WOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT.
TOO BAD they don't really study history for facts. . . . The first black person was baptized two years after the Church’s founding in 1830, and Mormons started to ordain black men into the priesthood the first one in 1836, even to the office of a Seventy, under the Apostles, almost unheard of at that time to have a black man in a leadership position over whites. . . . a ban on priesthood ordinations occurred generally between 1848 and 1978. . . . There you have it. Mormons don't know why the restriction existed, but it doesn't now. Why was Moses directed to have the priesthood restricted to Aaron and his sons in the Old Testament? . . . The church, though, has never prohibited black men and women from joining, and black members remained with the church throughout the priesthood ban which was lifted by revelation in 1978. . . . Today there are over 1 million Mormons of black African heritage worldwide. While African-Americans make up just 3 percent of Mormons in the United States, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, they make up 9 percent of Mormon converts… In Africa, now at just over 300,000 Latter-day Saints, church membership has grown by almost 10,000 new members per year, and they now have 3 LDS Temples there, and are building 2 more. . . .
History for facts? How about all the silly lies told by Joseph smith about Jews in America, is there any facts or history in this or just some delusion believed for thousands of Mormons, neither exist any historic prove of Moses, Abraham, Aaron or Noah's existence... That's history that matters, no the date when Mormons became more or less racists...
Don't forget that when Mormons claim a certain number of converts, they are including the dead people they baptize.
BW Yet another innaccurate "fact". All the member numbered are alive. Ignorance abounds in this forum.
I find this sort of thing silly and rather futile. It accomplishes nothing. It simply stirs up people who already hate and fear atheists, and as we can see from the comments here, they are already burdened with irrational hatred.
God not allowed*
Man not allowed unless it believes it evolved from a chimp**
SHAME ON ATHEISM
*Refers to the foolish atheist
**Refers to atheistic evolutionist that believes it evolved from a chimp ;)
Hard to disallow something that doesn't exist.
Also, you might want to brush up on your basic biology.
Idiot bigot xtians need to learn to think for themselves and look outside of a 2,000 year old book for facts on reality.
Considering your command of English ("libtard"?), you clearly didn't evolve very far.
Nobody who knows anything about evolution believes humans evolved from chimps. Humans and chimps evolved from the same common ancestor.
Please educate yourselves. Mormons ARE communists! They believe that eventually the country will be run under something they call, "The Law of Consecration." They already did it before but the government made them stop.
I find it amusing that you are accusing Romney of being of all things a communist. There is apparently also one big problem in accusing Latter-Day-Saints of being communists, which is that Latter-Day-Saints actually believe in God.
Why aren't they following Obama? Oh right, because they already know, he actually is not into God at all.
Even the atheists can see that.
Of course I have NO idea what I'm talking about since it's obvious that mormons are VERY hateful people and I just want everyone to hate Obama since I'm such a hateful christian myself.
You really are ignorant just like the rest of these racist comments. Just go ahead and admit that you don't like black people. Romney is nothing but Sarah Palin in a man's body. If you want the government ran like a boardroom vote for him, otherwise keep religion out of it. He is not going to vote on his principals because he does not have any and he is a puppett because this is what the GOP/TP Klan wants. I sure hope that you make over $250,000.00 a year otherwise you will be screwed just like the rest of us.
Obama said: (paraphasing) I'm a Christian because I believe I'm my brothers keeper. I'm a Christian because I believe in treating others like I would like to be treated.
It amazes me the HATE the right wing has unleashed against Obama and they fall to the alter of the "generic Republican" cult member screaming "morals".
I'm a Christian because I believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, that He died for my sins and that He was resurrected on the third day and now sits on the right hand of God.
Do you realize there is only one way to become a Christian? The litmus test for a Christian is whether that individual is a Christian based on Jesus Christ's definition of what it takes to be one.....not what Obama thinks about himself. I can call myself a runner because I believe the same things runners believe but if i dont actually put on shoes and act like a runner I'm going to be embarrassed. The lack of actual Christians in this nation is the reason Obama can get away with statements like that and fool the masses into believing he's a Chrisitan.
There's a reason Jesus told us to judge someone by their works rather than their words. Anyone can claim to be a Christian and Jesus gave us the instructions to determine whether they are being honest in that regard. Obama fails that test.
No GOD allowed *
*Refers to the godless, shameless atheists
I'm a libtard, I'm a tard, just a tard...tard...thats me....huhuhuhuhh....I smell!
Mormons are stupid. They are not my people. Mormons are the people of the darkness.
nice one Christ real loving; @ss hate!
Thank you Sam, I thought you would agree with what I said since Christianity is such a hateful, violent religion, masked behind smiling, lying people.
so then JC, you regret it?
Go to a communistic country you freaks.
go to a christian county ,..like Uganda you psycho
Saturn departing Virgo, go to a country controlled by religion, like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Us non-theists like our freedoms to think for ourselves.
the revelations from 'god'?
Did you ever notice how their so called revelations from god always seem to come when their power is threatened or if they are in the society that threatens its dogmatic beliefs.. and ya, when they are in the verge of attaining more power.. what does that tell you about them?
Snow perhaps you should read about what kind of people you Atheists admired.
Ace: Don't even start to try to identify who I admire or what kind of person I am. That goes for all atheists – atheists are not members of a group with a decreed set of "beliefs". It is a word describing the portion of our character that says we hold our morals apart from having them handed to us or policed by an imaginary celestial figure. I am and know many atheists. Frankly, some of them do make it into a bit of a religion, but most do not. The issue is that there is systemic prejudice against non-Christians in this country. You present a classic case in point.
The mormon revelation thing is complete BS. The mormon leaders know full well it's all a lie. No one receives revelations from any gods and that is a fact. The pope does not and the mormon big wigs do not. Lies on top of lies. Very deceptive, manipulative, and most importantly, very evil. Gods do not exist and they never have. Wake up people. Jesus !
i like good job Atheist
This kind of thing is why most people don't like atheists. Something like 18% of Americans said they would hesitate to vote for a Mormon, but over 50% said they would hesitate to vote for an atheist.
If you don't believe in God, fine. I'm sorry for you, it's a dimension of life that most humans have held too, often very deeply and devotedly, but at the end of the day nobody is forcing you to believe. But if you choose not to believe in God, why attack those who do? And if you do attack them, why do so inaccurately and in a loud and annoying fashion like a billboard with asterisks pointing to tiny unreadable font at the bottom?
I think atheists would have alot more popularity and good will toward them if they put their efforts toward doing things that religions do, like running hospitals, schools, colleges, welfare programs, etc. It seems like atheists spend most of their energy sneering at believers, half the time in misleading or ignorant terms like this attack on the mormons. If you don't believe God exists, wouldn't the $8000 be better spent on giving scholarships to atheist students, or starting an atheist food kitchen, or whatever? People are more willing to respect you when you spend your efforts doing good things that everyone can agree on; this spending on an anti-Romney or anti-Mormon billboard is a fail. Atheists should know better.
Of course I'm stupid to even say that "most people don't like atheists" since I don't KNOW most people. I just know my good, communistic, hateful mormon religion and it works for me!
Atheists aren't a collective like religious nutters. That's why. You act like non-stamp collectors should have an agenda that's centered around licking-glue and small bits of rectangular paper, but that doesn't make it any more sensible.
Definition of atheist. Atheist hate their parents and relatives. All atheists came from loving Christian homes, but, because a Pharisee stroked them in school and told them the knew more than their folks. They bought this lie hook line and sink ya and denied their families ever more.
Think about this atheists. The USA is the greatest country on earth. Why. Because we know God's truth. Our ancestors knew God's truth as did your parents and their parents. The only ones that don't know God's truth is your generation and look how are country is now. Borrowing from other countries. Sinking fast.
Thanks for nothing atheists dummies.
So what you are trying to say, Saturn, is that you don't like atheists so you will lie about them and try to stir anger against them. That is certainly your choice. But lying about the United States is wrong and disrespectful. If you actually studied history, you would know that our government was deliberately created to be secular. This protects you and your particular version of christianity as well as the non-christians and non-believers.
I guess you angry Christians better get used to us atheists/agnostics/non-believers. Because we're growing in number. And yours are shrinking.
Gandhi once said about Atheists: “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists.”
It's not so much that people believe in God, it's when those beliefs leak into the political world, affecting certain outcomes. Your religion stops where my nose starts. It should at least be understandable that non-believers will get upset when these things happen.
You and everyone else were born as atheists. You were taught religion. You were brainwashed and it worked quite well as it has on the majority of the population. Unfortunately, it was all just a heap of lies. You are the one who needs sympathy, not the atheists. We are free while you remain enslaved by your own choice. Get free and you will feel much less hateful. That would be good for all of us, including you. Jesus !
My friend told me that mormons stock pile food supplies, but that they would not share it with non-mormons in times of famine, Is that true? This was forbidden by their religion, because others are not the "chosen ones"
Its true. We do stock pile food for personal family emergencies and national emergencies. We call it food storage. My husband and I are currently using ours during this awful recession.
If my neighbors came begging for food, of course I would give in my plenty. Mormons believe in helping the poor and needy. Every month we fast (go without food) for an entire day and give the money that we would spend on that food to the poor.
But here is a better situation neighbors, why don't you follow our example and have a food storage too?!
The word famine in the bible means not to know or hear God's truth. Therefore, the person or persons are starving because they don't know God's truth only fairy tales that liars spread.
Mormons are famous for giving food and supplies to people in disasters. Them and Catholics are two of the Red Cross's biggest partners, whereas the government FEMA programs often lag far behind. The Mormon ideal is to be self-reliant, so that you are in a position to help other people, rather than being the one that needs help (Of course mormons sometimes need help too).
If everybody took logical steps to prepare for hard times, disasters, unemployment, or just a busy day with no time to run to the store, then there would be FAR fewer people in need of help during those hard times. I respect mormons for that- they largely take care of themselves, and Utah spends less on government welfare than just about any state because alot of the poor people rely on their church instead. Mormons aren't "chosen", but those of them that are self-sufficient and prepared for a rainy day are wise in my opinion. That's what allows them to be out helping other people at times like Katrina or whatever. Своя рубашка ближе к телу, the old russian saying goes.
Why would an athiest care? No major religion in history has accepted gay marriage – not one. There are many gays in the Church. They are welcome, and they are respected. Many black folks hold high positions in the church.
The book of Mormon says god made dark skinned people, dark skinned because they're evil.
correction all Pagan religions have Shinto, Hellenist, Druvid, ect their is also Hinduism and Buddhism
just not the three Yahist religions
because you god is evil
Read Genesis. God created all of mankind on the 6th day and said that it was good. Racism is man made. Not God made.
Buddhism is not a "major religion"?
BULLSH****************************T the church accepts gays or black! I was a part of the church for a period and left horrified when i began to see how "accepting" they truly are of anyone but white or straight people. And don't even get me started on how poorly women in general are regarded and how brainwashed they are into thinking the place they've been given is important at all. Mormons are the most vile people i've met in all my life, nothing but a bunch of greedy men preying on their own women and children who are rasied clueless to the real world.
I have a few gay friends who have had to choose between their Mormon community and being who they are. In practice, Mormonism does not accept gay people. They can spin it however they want, but this is the truth.
If you love your friends have them read the bible to save their souls.
hindu denier of truth absolute, Atheist, self centered verses hindu Mormon, denier of truth absolute, self centered, Match of follower's of hindu pig ism, filthy secular ism, to hind, fool humanity. Call it match of pig, secular verses hindu Moron ism, pig ism, secular ism.
Yah whatever. Could you at least type something out that is relevant?
If he can't write something coherent, how can he possibly write something relevant?
Ya, to hind, deflect truth absolute with a hindu stupid reason is way of hindu's, lairs , having no justification to justify , their hinduism, illegality. but to hind, lie , not to be able to understand truth.
He's writing the truth. That atheists are pigs.
What a rude comment, Henry. Do you know all atheists, or are you simply judging them the same because they don't share your personal belief?
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.