(Photo: American Atheists)
An atheist organization has posted two billboards in the North Carolina city where the Democratic National Convention will meet that attacks the religious beliefs of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
American Atheists, a New Jersey-based organization, posted the two billboards in Charlotte with the intention of them being up during the Convention, which begins in September.
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, Inc., told The Christian Post that the billboards' main purpose was to point out "the silliness of religion" influencing politics.
"Many politicians are religious, but when their only justification for a position is religion, it moves the country towards a theocracy," said Silverman.
"In this campaign there are two distinct religions represented, and for the first time in a long time Christians may not hold the office of the president. That's fine, of course, as long as we hold the candidates responsible for holding positions grounded in secular reasoning."
One billboard, geared toward President Obama, speaks of Christianity having a "Sadistic God" and "Useless Savior," among other things, and shows a piece of toast with the face of Jesus on it.
The other billboard, geared toward candidate Romney, speaks of Mormonism being "Big Money, Big Bigotry" and shows a man wearing shining undershirt and underwear, alluding to the temple garments many Mormons wear under their clothes.
"American Atheists prides itself as being the Marines of the free thought movement," said Silverman, who went on to contrast his organization with other secular groups.
"There are other organizations in the movement that take a softer, more embracing stance with religion, but silly ideas warrant serious criticism, especially if it affects our country on the whole."
While the American Atheists' billboards remain on display, several evangelical churches will take part in a "solemn assembly" at the Verizon Center the day before the Democratic National Convention begins.
David Benham, chief organizer of "Charlotte714," told The Christian Post that the billboards posted represented a rebellion against God.
"If someone denies God I can't expect them to honor God. They are simply doing what I did before I came to know Christ and that is lash out verbal abuse at Christians," said Benham.
Regarding the statement by Silverman that politics in America is influenced too much by religious reasoning, Benham told CP that people driven by religious reasoning created the United States of America.
"Well our country exists because of religious influence, especially through Christianity. There's no way around it," said Benham.
"What book do we put our hand on to swear oaths?"
According to Silverman, American Atheists attempted to purchase space for the Mormon billboard in Tampa, the site of the Republican National Convention. However, they "could not find a company to post it."