I’m losing track of all the atheist/Creationist billboards in Times Square, but the latest salvo in the mythical War on Christmas belongs to American Atheists. Today, they’re launching a 15-second digital billboard reminding viewers that even atheists can celebrate the holiday season.
The main message reads: “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody.”
“This season is a great time of year for a hundred reasons — none of them having to do with religion,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “This year, start a new tradition: Don’t go to church. You hate it, it’s boring; you probably only go because you feel guilty or obligated. Instead, spend more time with your family and friends — or volunteer. There are better uses of your time and money.”
“Church and religion are not what most Americans care about during this time of year — they care about family and friends and giving presents and food and having fun,” said Public Relations Director Dave Muscato. “Many so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions celebrated by Americans have nothing to do with Christianity. For example, the North Pole and Santa traditions come from Nordic and Germanic pagan traditions, and caroling, yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths all pre-date Christianity,”
The ad will appear in Times Square for the next week, after which it’ll be moved to Penn Station through the end of December.
How much did it cost? Technically, nothing. This ad was part of a larger deal American Atheists has with a billboard company and was an add-on to a previous campaign.
The message itself is hardly controversial, though the crossing out of Christ during the ad and the use of the X in “Xmas” will probably anger those Christians just itching to have a culture wars fight.
Either way, it’ll be hard to top last year’s provocative (and huge) Times Square billboard that read “Keep the merry! Dump the myth!”
This is the third non-religious group to put up a message in Times Square in the span of two months. In October, the Freedom From Religion Foundation countered a Creationist ad with one of their own:
And last week, the Center For Inquiry put up a 15-second digital ad focusing on the more positive aspects of Humanism this time of year: