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American Atheists to put up ‘Hail Mary’ billboard at the Super Bowl

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Super Bowl fans will see something unexpected when they show up for Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey: a billboard message from American Atheists. It features a priest cradling a football and the words, "A 'Hail Mary' only works in football. Enjoy the game!" The website for the group's 2014 convention (April 17-20 in Salt Lake City) is also shown since, as AA's press release indicates, the convention also has a football connection. That's because Chris Kluwe, former NFL punter, noted LGBT advocate and self-described "cheerful agnostic," will be a keynote speaker.

Also from today's press release:

"Prayer is superstition, plain and simple," said America 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 all about - coming together to cheer on hard-working athletes doing what they do best."

"During the Super Bowl, people of all religions and atheists come together as a community," said Managing Director Amanda Knief. "Like many in New Jersey, we at American Atheists are excited to be part of this event and with this billboard share our voice."

The billboard message is digital and will repeat every 10 minutes from Thursday through Super Bowl Sunday. The billboard measures 14 feet by 48 feet and is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey 0.5 miles west of the Meadowlands Complex on Route 3. It faces east and should be readily visible to all westbound traffic.

This is not the first time American Atheists have made an appearance at the Super Bowl. In 2012 they flew a banner over Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium that read, "Football Beats Church Anytime - atheists.org."

Links:

American Atheists http://www.atheists.org

American Atheists press release http://news.atheists.org/2014/01/29/press-release-atheists-take-playful-jab/

"Cheerful agnostic" http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/08/07/chris-kluwe-american-atheists-2014-convention-speaker-is-actually-cheerful-agnostic/

2012 Super Bowl banner http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/02/04/a-super-bowl-sunday-ad-you-wont-see-during-the-game/

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