American Atheists’ New Christmas Billboard Campaign

Christmas is near and that means it’s time for American Atheists to reveal their next billboard campaign! (The War on Christmas begins earlier each year, doesn’t it?)

First, some background. Last year, AA President Dave Silverman put up this billboard on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel:

That caused all sorts of controversy. (I mean, he called Christianity and the Christmas Story a myth! And he said we all KNOW it! With capital letters! Can you believe it?!)

Bill Donohue and the Catholic League responded (and capitalized on the publicity) by paying for a billboard of their own on the New York side of the tunnel:

Of course, those billboards were the source of countless segments on FOX News and they received plenty of coverage in print media across the country.

If you’re AA, how do you top what you did last year? How do you get more exposure for your group, create more conversations about what’s reality and what’s mythology, and find more opportunities to talk about atheism in front of the cameras in the weeks leading up to Christmas?

Well, you can’t do things too differently. Keep the same designers as before. (AA doesn’t do flashy, “professional” looking billboards. They do billboards designed to get your attention — and it works.) Make a bold statement — one that speaks to the closeted atheists out there. Then, sit back and watch people with religious sensibilities get offended over nothing.

Inevitably, someone will ask you to go on the air to talk about your message — and others will follow. It snowballs quickly.

With all that in mind, here’s the billboard that’s about to go up at the foot of the Lincoln Tunnel (click to enlarge):

37 Million Americans know MYTHS when they see them. What myths do you see?

After three weeks, that billboard will be replaced by a new one — a “call to action” — specifically for the closeted atheists out there. (I’ve seen it and the message is great!) Silverman will announce that billboard in an appearance on — where else? — Mike Huckabee‘s show on FOX News Channel on the night of December 10th.

For now, that Lincoln Tunnel billboard will be joined by similar ones in other states.

Like this one going up in Florida, promoting AA’s upcoming regional conference in Ft. Lauderdale:

(Nice touch with the plural form of “god” there — A lot of atheists are going to appreciate that.)

And there’s this one going up in Ohio (PDF), because… well… why not?

It’s not often you see the images of Poseidon, Jesus, Santa, and Satan all in the same place.

What’ll cause more controversy? Putting Jesus and Satan in the same context as Poseidon… or the Christmas-time revelation that Santa is a myth?

(I don’t know if anyone would make the latter argument. If you’re old enough to read, you probably already know the truth about Santa.)

What do you think of the new images?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey Mick Wright

    Someone’ll probably be dumb enough to try to get it taken down over the Santa inclusion – ‘Think of the children!!!11!!one!’ isn’t exactly a rare tactic out of fundie assclowns.

    • Anonymous

      I think a lot of fundamentalists are against Santa. It probably depends a lot on what variant they are.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        There’s a level in between the fundamentalists and the liberal Christians… the “family values” Christians. They’re crazy enough to believe that things like homosexuality and gay marriage are destroying “family values” (whatever the hell that means), but are sane enough to still tell their kids about Santa and have fun with it.

  • AtheistMom

    I don’t agree with your stance of  “If you’re old enough to read, you probably already know the truth about Santa”. I have worked with kids that believe in Santa until they go to junior high/middle school.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tina-Loving/100001333023378 Tina Loving

      I do agree with the Santa thing.  I wished they hadn’t used Santa….

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tina-Loving/100001333023378 Tina Loving

        Although if you know what a myth is then you probably know St. Nick isn’t real.

    • Kristi

      I think this would be a good way to talk about Santa to our kids.  Eventually they will learn the truth… may as well include it with  all the other myths out there so they can get a grasp on the myth vs real idea.

      • AtheistMom

        That is assuming that everyone is ready to talk about it with their kids.I’m an atheist, and both my kids are atheist. But, Santa comes to this house, and I’m not saying anything until they are ready.

        • Kristi

          Although I do not agree with “If you’re old enough to read, you probably already know the truth about Santa”… but I do think that if they are old enough to read that ad and understand what it means and what it is referring to, then maybe they ARE ready for “the Santa talk”.  Just a thought.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2C6XFSMIUYAZUDZ4CWUWLV7CEY Josh Pearson

          And as an atheist I’m never going to lie to my children to get them to behave by using a known-myth to manipulate them. And then eventually crushing them by showing them that people will lie to them to get them to do what they want, even people that love them unconditionally.

          • Rich Wilson

            That’s another aspect.  Although (as I said) Santa comes here, we don’t use that as a ‘be good’ threat.  That makes me sick.  Santa doesn’t discriminate against kids who get cranky because they miss a nap or a snack.

            (think of it as the all forgiving Jesus-Santa)

          • AtheistMom

            Santa is not a behavior modifier for us. He’s a jolly old elf who likes to visit and give presents. 

  • Me

    At first I thought the one from the Catholic League was a sarcastic joke from atheists. It’s almost sad to see how far the faithful have fallen. “you know it’s real” is so weak. it reminds me of Monty Python with monks chanting “O Lord thou art not made up”

    • Jason

      Actually, saying “you know its a myth” is a positive claim, taking their atheism out of the protective shell of just being “lack of belief”.

      That said, the ad is false, because although they believe it is a myth, they don’t know it.

      • Anonymous

        Here is one definition of myth:

        Traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

        Here is another:

        A usually traditional story of ostensibly historical
        events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or
        explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon

        One more:

        A traditional story, especially one concerning
        the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social
        phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events:

        All of the billboard claims are mythological in nature. Christianity has a mythology just like every other religion. The billboards, which I don’t personally support, seek to point out that Christians elevate their mythologies to “truth” while relegating other equally unsupported mythologies to mere fables. The same could be said of Muslims, Hindus etc.

        • usclat

          So why don’t you support the billboards, having explained what you did?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t support them because I find them dickish and counter-productive. The supposed point of them is to reach out to closeted atheists and let them know that they are not alone and that there is a community for them. Though the goal is great, the method is lacking in my view. I don’t see these confrontational, intentionally provocative ads working on someone who isn’t already an activist or at least perfectly comfortable with their nonreligious identity, and they are not the target group.

            I also think there is a lesser problem with the “you KNOW” part because it inevitably leads to long conversations about the niceties of what you can “know” and what it means to “not believe”, and on and on. Besides being an exceptionally tiresome subject, it also derrails the supposed point of the ad, which is to reach out to the closeted or nonbeliever.

            • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

              I don’t see these confrontational, intentionally provocative ads working on someone who isn’t already an activist or at least perfectly comfortable with their nonreligious identity

              Apparently it did work according to AA. They claim to have received a lot of support from fence-sitters and people just trying to fit in.

              there is a lesser problem with the “you KNOW” part because it inevitably leads to long conversations about the niceties of what you can “know” and what it means to “not believe”, and on and on.

              That’s exactly the point! That’s what leads to TV and radio interviews where an even clearer message can be made, reaching a much wider audience.

              • Kristi

                Glad someone else sees this point as well and doesn’t look at this whole thing as being too confrontational.  I do not think Christians are being too confrontational when they knock on my door or hand me pamphlets outside the grocery store….  advertising is supposed to get your attention and make you talk about how much you like/dislike something and why you do.  Advertising like this is meant to get people talking and thinking and pissed off and proud all at the same time.

                I do feel the messages are living up to their exact purpose. Causing a stir, getting people to remember them.

            • Rich Wilson

              Have you looked at Dawkins’s “Magic of Reality”? And if so, do you think it’s dickish?  (That’s an honest, i.e. not a rhetorical question).  I’ve come across some atheists who think it’s being unnecessarily insulting to call the stories of ‘modern day’ religions ‘myths’. They say  Zeus is a myth, but Adam and Eve is a story.

              I feel that having two versions is insulting in and of itself.  That is, if you’re going to give one religions extra respect just because there are a lot of people alive who practice it, you’re REALLY disrespecting the very small number who practice some religion that you continue to put in the ‘myth’ category.

              • Anonymous

                I have not read it, but I know what it’s about. I wouldn’t consider it dickish because if you’re reading it, you’ve volunteered to hear things like that.

                I think the way you choose to communicate counts. I consider the message that atheists will burn in Hell to be horrific. However I think there’s a difference between saying that inside of your church and putting up a billboard proclaiming it to all the world.

                With a billboard you have literally seconds to make an impression, and its my view that the impression being made by these billboards is one not as helpful to drawing out the more timid atheists than the purely positive “Good without God” and “Out of the closet” ads.

        • Demonhype

          Exactly.  And they don’t “know” that Posiedon is or isn’t real or a myth either, or any other belief, but that doesn’t stop them from saying so to anyone who will listen and a lot more who don’t.

          CURSE YOU, MERCIFUL POSIEDON!!!!!!

      • Kristi

        Myths are legends, epic stories, tall tales. We are taught in middle school about Greek Mythology…

        The ad is not false.  Every religion has it’s legendary and mythological stories… this is no different.  People only *think* it is different because they believe the bible stories to be true.  That said… how would we know then that Santa is fake? Or the Easter Bunny? Or the Tooth Fairy?

        Based on the reasoning style in your post, then we must apply ALL mythological stories to the “positive claim” that you are explaining.

    • Anonymous

      Joseph – what is he thinking?

      “Mary? She was out a few times earlier this year.  Now she expects me to go along with this virgin birth thing?  I know she is not a virgin…so why should I believe the rest? What does she take me for? I just can’t face the guys with this story.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

    Does your “average Joe” know what a myth is?

    • Newavocation

      Very good point! Maybe fairly tales would be better.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

        You’re right. They’re making a big mythtake.

        • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

          Hey, atheism is just myth-understood.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

            Very good. Religion no longer mythtifies us.

            Now that’s enough already!

  • Trevor

    I’m just jealous. No billboard company in North Dakota will even consider anything even mildly non-theistic. However, there are religious boards up all over the place. It’s insane. You go, AA.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t you have any billboards owned by CBS, Gannett or ClearChannel?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

    It’s much better than last year’s. This one invites people to look and think about it, rather than telling them what they “know”. It’s not so “in your face”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tina-Loving/100001333023378 Tina Loving

    Santa is real and you’re insane if you believe differently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

    Sure. It’s a female moth, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1467176690 Matthew Wayne Rogers

      Mithra? I think she battles Godzilla.

  • Wendy

    Oh, dear.  I wish the billboards weren’t so provocative during the holidays.  The traditions and imagery of Christmas are awfully charming and warmly familiar to most Americans.  Let’s be hardcore in June.

    • A Portlander

      Your concern has been noted.

      • Wendy

        Lol, Portlander.  I’m more of a middle-aged bible-belt atheist than a concern troll.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

      those traditions do not belong to christians

      • Wendy

        I agree whole heartedly.  But this is a PR campaign to persuade people who are non-religious to accept their inner atheist, isn’t it?  I can’t imagine the non-religious people I know are very responsive to this message.  I think we should take a pro-Grinch Stole Christmas approach rather than an anti-Linus one.

        • Lionjill

          yeah – it just seems like a mean spirited thing. That will raise defenses, not cause people to get intraspective about their own beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    *sigh*

    Honestly, I have to believe we can do better than this. There has to be a clever way to reaching out to closeted atheists during the holidays than billboards that essentially say “There are a bunch of us who aren’t fucking morons (like the rest)”. Yeah I know that there will be theists offended by any expression of nonbelief, no matter how benign. However I also know from past campaigns, especially AA campaigns, that this approach turns off a lot of atheists too. I’ll wager that the supposed targets of these ads, closeted atheists, will be even less receptive to in-your-face smug snark than those of us who are “active” atheists.

    My vote is with the Coalition of Reason style and the out of the closet ads

    .

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000019835554 Patrina Chamney

      Personally, I’m not fond at all of the “Good Without God” message – reading it semantically, it comes across as though it’s acknowledging the existence of a god.  “Good Without a god” would be more apropos, if they want to stick to the basic line.    That said, I’m not overly fond of the billboards above, either; I’d have taken-out satan and Santa Claus, myself, and replaced them with other frequently-seen mythic images.  Advertising can be a tricky thing ….

    • Wendy

      I tried to say the same thing, but thank you for saying it way better!  Pro-”Grinch Stole Christmas” special, not anti-Linus.

  • Jason

    Tell the Christians how superior you are, how BRIGHT you are, how much more moral you are.

    Never let up!  Keep telling the stupid bastards to wake up. 

    You can’t lose with that approach.

    Trust me!

    • http://profiles.google.com/kelvins273 Kevin Smith

      Well, it’s pretty similar to the approach Christians use, and it seems to work for them.

  • Anonymous

    It seems like a decline, and the first sign wasn’t all that great, in my opinion.  Good graphics, but lame text.  The new signs are lame graphics with lame text.  Capitalizing entire words makes writer seem crazy.

    • usclat

      Its called “emphasis” and it is a very legitimate literary mechanism.

      • Anonymous

        I guess it is, but it doesn’t seem to fit here, I think it detracts.

  • Ben Crockett

    Hooray for Ohioan nonbelievers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.zamecki Joe Zamecki

    Nice billboard ideas. Yes, Santa’s a myth too. Like we sometimes tell the Christians about Jesus being a myth, deal with it. We all had to eventually, in growing up.

    American Atheists rocks.

  • Kristi

    I really love these billboards! I wish there were one close to where I live.  My kids still believe in Santa (but not god… imagine that!)  and I would love to use this as a conversation piece to be able to break the santa news to them tactfully. 

    • Lauren

      Kristi, we have the same thing going on in my household, hahah!  But my kids are starting to realize…..

      • Kristi

        Hi Lauren.. I am dealing with a few ages and stages as of now.  My 6 year old firmly believes, my 8 year old knows about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy (but she still expects to be paid for those teeth and have eggs hidden!) I think she knows about Santa, but is just taking advantage of it for now.  My son, who is 3, really has no idea about any of it yet, but I feel his childhood beliefs wont last long anyway because of his two older sisters…. 

    • Sulris Campbell

      why would you lie to your kids about santa?  why break their trust like that?  tradition?  sound familiar?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

        I felt the same way. Dale McGowan’s post on it changed my mind. He says it is a good way for a child to experience myth from the inside and work their way out. Skeptical training basically.

        • Demonhype

          Like a vaccination, huh?  Build a tolerance using a weakened form of the virus?  :)  Sounds about right to me!

      • usclat

        Relax SC, at least Santa doesn’t condone stoning misbehaving kids. So I suppose you would oppose reading fictional bedtime stories to kids? Really? These innocent myths are intended to make a child happy NOT to control her or to indoctrinate her. Come on. Chill a little and let parents fill their children’s life with wonder and amazement. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2C6XFSMIUYAZUDZ4CWUWLV7CEY Josh Pearson

          Telling a kid something is true when you KNOW it isn’t, is not innocent.

          When you read a book to child and tell them it’s factual, that’s not innocent.

          You can fill your child’s life with wonder and amazement without lying though your teeth about it.

          The world itself is pretty damn amazing and filled with wonder. Non-Newtonian liquids anyone! What about the beauty of the cosmos?

          I know I wasn’t very happy when I found out my Mother had lied to me my entire life about Santa. I know my friends weren’t happy either.

          All of you remember those years of joy waiting for whatever “Santa” would get you for behaving (read: manipulated), but always forget that crushing despair that came when you found out it was all a lie and that every adult was in on it. I’m sorry, but the relative good that Santa can provide doesn’t outweigh the horrible reality of what doing that to a child causes.

          Seriously you are lying to your kids to get them to behave so then can get stuff from a being that doesn’t exist, how is that ANY different than what religion does to people? Yet so many of you still fall in line with that most antiquated concept.

          You know what is healthy fantasy: Lord of  The Rings. Harry Potter. Anything by Isaac Asimov. You can still share fantasy and amazement without callously lying to your children.

          Spreading the Santa myth is callous, vain, and serves no purpose. 

      • Kristi

        Me not believing in god(s) does not mean that my family has to be stone-cold and non-traditional.  Chill.  Christmas is fun for me AND the kids.  Now… if I had a nativity scene in my front yard and baby Jesus’ all over my house, then I could understand your attempt to call me out. 

        Really now…  did I tell my kids about the tooth fairy because I wanted to “indoctrinate” them? No… because they idea of a magic fairy rewarding you for growing and losing teeth to grow new ones is fun and it helped me with getting my kids to brush their teeth and take care of them. 

        I think you take “traditional” way too far.

  • Enigma

    How about: “You CAN THANK MITHRA FOR CHRISTMAS”? Most of the things in christianity was stolen from religion of Mithra. It was a major competitor in the Roman world; so in order to win Mithra followers over, early Christians adopted many of the Mithra ideals.

    • Patrick9e

      Not true, that’s a myth perpetuated by that Jesus documentary from years ago. It’s not Mithra, it’s Sol Invictus.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    What’ll cause more controversy? Putting Jesus and Satan in the same context as Poseidon… or the Christmas-time revelation that Santa is a myth?

    Regardless of the inclusion of Santa, what will make these extra controversial is the timing, because so many Christians seem to think that they own all of November and December, like private land. No Trespassing. No Non-Christians Allowed. If a billboard went up during November or December that only said “Atheists Think Puppies Are Cute” with a picture of a cute puppy, O’Reilly and the gang would still puff and bluster about the “War on Christmas.”

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Thanks for the laugh Richard.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

      they don’t own Christmas.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        I wish more Pagans would speak up about the original War On Christmas™ that occurred centuries ago, which they lost to Christians. ;)

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

          How about a ‘stop the war on solstice’ poster, featuring the sun rising at Stonehenge?

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      I think that is a great idea.  Put up a billboard that only says “Atheists Think Puppies Are Cute” with a picture of a cute puppy. 

      It could be part of a larger campaign to let America know that Atheists are normal people that like and love most of the same things as the Christian majority. 

      There could be also be the following:

      “Atheists Like Apple Pie”

      “Atheists Love Their Moms”

      “Atheists Like Baseball”

      “Atheist Think Kittens are adorable”

      “Atheists Love Their Kids”

      It may not be American Atheist’s style, but it should be done by someone.

      • Rich Wilson

        Sounds like the “I’m a Mormon” campaign that I get a lot of targeted ads for.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Yeah, I’ve joked about this idea a few times, but I’m actually serious. Your reasons for doing it are more positive and humanistic than mine, Jeff, and yours are better reasons.

        Mine were more of a psychological measurement, a way to demonstrate the level of irrational fear and loathing that the “A” word can stir in even the most innocuous statement possible. I was interested in seeing how much indignation, suspicion, outrage, and “offense”  we would get from TV and newspaper man-in-the-street interviews, and from O’Reilly, Hannity, and whoever is the the Fox News Blonde du Jour.

        I can just imagine some of the reactions to the puppy ad:
        “It’s the atheist War on Puppies!”
        “They’re trying to reach our kids through puppies!”
        “But where is their cuteness compass?”
        “All cuteness comes from God.”
        And from the slightly dismayed local preacher who’s trying to keep the peace,
        “Uh, I think this is a good thing. Dialogue is good. It will start my parishioners thinking more about puppies and God.”

        Kidding aside, maybe both our sets of reasons could be served.  If I ever get enough free time, I’ll create some sample billboards and put them up on a separate post.

      • Sulris Campbell

        I’m an athiest and I love puppies!!!  please lets make that our next billboard!

  • http://twitter.com/womanthatrolls teri m

    does AA allow these to be purchased for our own hometowns? i’d love to do this for my hometown.

    • Dsilverman

      They do indeed.  Contact AJ at Aj@atheists:disqus .org
      And thanks :)

       

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

        I liked how you took on those three Fox fools in your TV
        interview. Next time it could be Reilly, Hannity, and 
        Huckabee. Bring’em on.

  • Catherine Vibert

    Only one little nit. The Ohio billboard should not have the word ‘know’ capitalized, or it should use title case for the whole sentence. Otherwise, I love the sentiment! 

  • http://twitter.com/hipopotamo Hipopótamo de Río

    How dare you claim Santa is not real!!!!!

    With all the mounting evidence we have about him!

    See, up until I was seven, Santa would bring the most magical toys ever, every christmas. I know it was him, since he ate the cookies and brought the right toys. He would make it on time, delivering my toys and all the other kids in the world since, you see, his reindeers are magical and can pull that sleight really fast!

    But then, when I turned eight, something happened. I became a naughty kid. I would pull pranks on my brothers, forget to do the bed, not eat my vegetables… 
    So, Santa put me on the Other list, and stopped visiting me. 
    But my parents wanted to spare me the disappointment, so they stepped in for Santa, and joined the ranks of abnegate parents who shop at the malls and take you to the fake Santas at the plazas. 
    At first they succeeded in keeping my hopes, but only for a short time. Santa would like the same brand of cookies mother liked, and the toys were not always what I wanted. 
    So I became suspicious. 

    But I do have fate. I know I can be a good boy again. I am eating my vegetables now, though broccoli still sucks… Maybe this year I’ll finally get that much coveted train set…

  • Daniel Brown

    I’m gonna take a guess that those who are against this billboard will indeed attack AA for spoiling Christmas for the children. That is after all, a great way to vilify them. Make them out to be crushing the spirits of children.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mind Santa in it, but I would have preferred instead of Jesus and the devil they used Jesus and Horus or Thor.

    I know Christian mythology doesn’t have exclusive claim to the devil, but I would have liked to see more variety.

  • Annie

    Are there really 2 million atheists in Florida?  It makes my state feel so much cozier just knowing this.  I love the billboards, all of them… I don’t care whether they are welcoming or offensive (to some), provocative or funny.  I just want to see them everywhere!

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

      I’m a Florida atheist, Annie. Maybe we could get “cozy” together.
      ————————————————————————————————Some day I’m going to put this one up – - -

      “With Friends Like God, Who Needs Enemas?”

  • Rich Wilson

    I’m starting to get tired of being forced into the Santa Conspiracy.   We’re doing Santa with my son, but not pushing it.  And I’m pretty sure he’s starting to figure it out as well.  But the general accepted prohibition of mentioning “Santa isn’t Real” anywhere a 10 year old might hear it bothers me.  You can tell your kids whatever you want, be it Jesus or Santa.  And if some stranger or other kid pointing out the holes in the myth are a problem, then so be it.  Maybe your kid just doesn’t have enough ‘faith’ to hold onto the myth.

    We’ve argued about a kid’s right to not be spanked, and not be circumcised- how about a kid’s right to not be outright lied to.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      My ex-wife, who is also an atheist, is more severe than I would be on the Santa issue, but we’ve agreed on a compromise: tell our kids about Santa, but make sure they understand it’s all just pretend and make-believe, and not to ruin it for other kids who DO believe in Santa. They’re 3 and 4. :)

    • Demonhype

      That’s a good point.  I got the Santa thing when I was little, but I think it might have been more comforting to know the horrible kids I went to school with who made my life miserable got incredible gifts I could only dream of having because they had richer parents–and NOT because the Jolly Old Elf was rewarding the bullies for being so wonderful and that I, their victim, was getting less because I somehow deserved less.  I was used to the idea that we were poor and couldn’t afford what I really wanted, but it was confusing to see Santa giving some really evil kids the best of everything when he was supposed to be rewarding the good kids and depriving the bad kids.  I could have dealt with being poor, but I stopped writing to Santa early–or at least I stopped writing honestly, since my mom insisted–because it became obvious that I was never going to get what I wanted or  be rewarded for being a good kid.  So why even ask?

      That’s a pretty horrible thing to teach a little kid when they’re poor, because you’re just going to make them think Santa doesn’t love them as much as the rich kids, or that somehow the rich kids (who, in my experience, were the worst bullies) are just so much better and deserve nice things so much more.  Though I can see why the rich bastards would like that myth–put the poor kids in their place early and reinforce my own kids’ inflated sense of wealth-based self-importance and entitlement.  See, even Santa agrees that our rich family is just more deserving than the hoi polloi–don’t bother feeling sorry for that poor kid!

  • Lionjill

    I agree that the Christmas season isn’t the best time for this hard edged campaign. Wouldn’t a question have worked better in the first board? (Instead of “you KNOW it is a myth” to “don’t believe in this myth? That is ok.”   The new boards? Santa doesn’t make sense here – no one prays to him. A statue of Mary or another religious icon would have fit better.

    I may not be a Christian, but I think in the darkness of winter it is ok to celebrate Santa time with a little good cheer.

  • http://thatweirdatheistgirl.wordpress.com That Weird Atheist Girl

    I think those billboards are great. There’s nothing wrong with stirring up a bit o’ controversy. It spreads the word way better than being overly careful not to offend. I wish I could do something like it on campus. No one knows my group exists, so we could use a bit of controversy.  

  • gsw

    I should have preferred to see Mohammud, rather than Prometheas on the far right, after all somebody must have been the first to tame fire.

    • Sinfanti

      Prometheus?  Try Poseidon.  The trident is his calling card.

      As for Mohammud, there are historical accounts of his actions.  So while there’s plenty of myth surrounding him, his existence should be considered factual.

  • Alantas

    On a technical note, could you scale the images down before posting them? They’re over 10,000 pixels wide, and they make my browser hang for several seconds as they scroll into view, and no doubt others’ too.

  • http://SalemWitchWiles.com Thomas Vallor

    Personally, I think they could be more witty! As a witch I am not offended and I don’t think Poseidon is either! Anything that gets people thinking and TALKING and analyzing spirituality can only have a positive outcome.

  • Blondegirl6

    I feel sorry for all of you, to even deny the possibility of a loving God means you deny yourself so much more than you can imagine.  I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hateful replies to my opinion.   Actually it is not about religion, because religion is always flawed, since man designed it.  It is truly about a relationship with God.  Just sayin.  I know everyone has a choice to believe in God or not.  Happy searching.

  • guest

    Hi there. Full disclosure, I am a believer of Christ but I do not believe in Christmas. I want you to have your holiday back. I’d like to make a suggestion for you to get it back and it will be effective with the christians. Make a billboard that directly states that Christmas is a pagan holiday worshipped for the Sun God Mithra. Trust me, many will be happy to give it back to you once they know this.

  • Noemy

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