Atheist Grandfather Wants Grandchildren To 'Enjoy Life Now,' Because 'There Is No Afterlife'

Wayne Hensler, an atheist farmer in his mid-80s, has purchased an atheist-themed billboard in Janesville, Wis. as a “legacy for [his] grandchildren.”

The sign, which reads “Enjoy Life Now: There Is No Afterlife,” is displayed on a 10-by-30 foot billboard sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), a national non-profit that advocates for secularism and the separation of church and state.

Hensler, who joined Wisconsin’s FFRF in 1985, paid for the same message on a FFRF billboard in 2010 in an effort to leave something for his nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, but it was vandalized within two weeks.

Hensler also hopes that the sign will inspire fellow FFRF members to promote similar philosophies. “It’s something that will make people think a little bit, and maybe help them make a little more joy in life. With all these signs, especially the religious ones -- God this and Jesus that -- this is kind of counteracting that kind of thing,” Hensler said in 2010.

"One of the greatest disservices of religion is that it misdirects human energies from this world -- our only life -- to some unprovable, highly improbable imaginary afterlife," co-founder of FFRF Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. "We should enjoy life now, but also realize that the only afterlife that ought to concern us is leaving our descendants a secure and pleasant future."

Religious affiliation in the U.S. is at its lowest mark since polling began tracking religiosity in the 1930s, with one-fifth of the U.S. public and a third of adults under 30 religiously unaffiliated today.



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