Atheist group sponsors billboard attacking Romney’s religion, but Mormons slam its accuracy
American Atheists prez slams Mormonism as ‘racist,’ ‘homophobic’ and ‘misogynistic.’
By Christine Roberts / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A mobile billboard attacking Mitt Romney’s faith will accompany the GOP presidential nominee on the campaign trail this week.
The American Atheists-sponsored sign, which will park outside the site of Monday’s debate in Boca Raton, Fla., blasts the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its views on African-Americans and gays, CNN reported.
“We feel that America doesn’t know or understand the possible ramifications of a Mormon president,” David Silverman, president of American Atheists, told the Daily News. “Mormonism is marketed to us as another sect of Christianity. But it is not.”
The LDS Church, however, says the billboard’s messages, “No Blacks Allowed (until 1978)” and “No Gays Allowed (Current),” are baseless.
“People are surely free to disagree with us on the facts,” church spokesman Dale Jones 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.”
The sign’s first statement refers to the church’s refusal to ordain black male members until 1978, when the church head said he had a revelation to change the policy.
People of all racial groups, however, have been allowed to be members of church since it was founded.
The second statement addresses what Silverman tells CNN is the church’s “intolerance” and “bigotry” towards members of the LGBT community, a characterization the church denies.
”The fact is that Mormonism is racist to its core. It’s homophobic in its behavior. It’s misogynistic through and through,” Silverman told the Daily News, adding that he “laughed” when he heard the church said his group’s statements were inaccurate.
Silverman maintains that the sign, which will cost about $8,000 to run for the week, is not aimed at Romney specifically.
Rather, he said it’s designed to make people realize that they know next to nothing about Mitt Romney’s “views on equality and tolerance.”
“We want to know if he can guarantee every American citizen equality,” Silverman said. “We want to know if he’ll be open to diversity. And we want to hear it from him tonight.”