Christians Mess with ‘Keep Saturn in Saturnalia’ Banner… and It’s Caught on Tape!

On Thursday, a lovely billboard went up in Pitman, New Jersey, courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation:

It’s obviously a response to those “Keep Christ in Christmas” banners and you can read more about this billboard’s history here.

Over the weekend a family attempted to put their own banner — what seems to be a picture of Christ — over (or possibly under) the Saturnalia billboard… and it was caught on tape! I can’t embed it because it’s on Facebook, but you can view it here… at least for the time being. (The commentary makes it all the more entertaining: “Well, someone paid for that billboard. It’s not like you can just cover it up for free!”)

The first screenshot below is Santa looking at the people putting up their own sign while the second one gives a more clear shot of the banner-hangers:

(They’re not even good vandals… using tape?! C’mon. You need some heavier-duty stuff.)

In case you’re wondering what Santa’s doing, by the way, he’s holding up this totally-rational sign (click to enlarge):

For Christ sake its Christmas! Not Obamass

That… doesn’t even make sense. Even with the lousy grammar.

Clear Channel, the owners of the billboard, have been notified about the “additional” banner, though there’s no word on whether its still up.

I’ve contacted the person who presumably took the video to learn more about what she saw. I’ll update this post once I hear back.

(via FFRF)

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.

  • paulalovescats

    What? What? We’re celebrating Obamass now?

  • Holytape

    Of all the wrongs on that sign, it’s the second ‘s’ in Obamass that gets me.
    I just want to run you to him and say, “Making a play on words and misspelling it, guess who’s going on the ‘Dumb-as-rock-crazy-as-nuts naughty list.'”

  • m6wg4bxw

    Considering “Obamas” is the plural form of “Obama,” there is a chance of the reader missing the intended word play. I think the sign author made the right choice.

  • 3lemenope

    I think the sign author made the right choice.


  • m6wg4bxw

    I know, I know

  • Chris

    It seems like he may have been going for Obama Ass.

  • Holytape

    When it comes to that sign, I think the only right choice was not to make it.

  • Holytape

    It’s an okay holiday. If you’re a good little boy or girl you get access to health care. And if you’re a bad little boy or girl you get access to health care. It’s kind of anticlimactic. Unless your sick, then it’s actually kind of cool.

  • Pitabred

    Which is the only good thing about the ACA. Everything else is just perpetuating the insane costs and corruption of our healthcare system 😉

  • HumanistFox

    Of course! Obama and atheism is totally the same thing! And every year, we celebrate our Obamatheism by promoting Saturn, the god of agriculture.

    Happy Obamass!

  • WallofSleep

    Well when you put it like that it make complete sense.

  • SeekerLancer

    Obama is at fault for everything they perceive as liberal and/or evil.

  • Randay

    I first understood you to write, Oba-matheism and wondered what math that was. D’Oh:)

    I say Keep Saturn in Saturday, though it this case it refers to the planet.

  • Brainzilla

    Funny, saturn is a “catholic” deity. Not that there even is such a thing as catholicism. It is just a bunch of Satan worship disguised to look like Christianity.

  • Paul Reed

    Maybe it’s a misspelling of Übermass, the German holiday where each person eats a whole box of crackers and drinks an entire bottle of wine.

  • Anymouse

    Do they whistle Übermass carols afterward?

  • Brad Preston

    Only Hasselhoff compositions.

  • LesterBallard

    Never heard of Ubermass, but if it can be Ritz crackers, count me in.

  • Brad Preston

    Wow. Then I guess it’s Übermass at my house every night. And every morning. (Three times each Saturday and Sunday.)

  • The Other Weirdo

    I thought you were going to say “…and drinks a hog’s head of mead.” Now that would be Übermass.

  • WallofSleep

    On the fifth day of Obamass, the Gov’t gave to me…


    Four ‘Wars on Christmas’

    Three violations of my constitutional sovereignty, and I swear to god if they push me too far this time…

    Two T-bone steaks

    And a welfare queen in a Cadillac

  • Brad Preston

    I think Obamass is actually in August. Awesome holiday. You get to go door-to-door and sing “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green.

  • Brad Preston

    The best part, though, is trying to eat your chocolate Biden in one sitting.

  • Pattrsn

    He’s referring to Oba-mass, Oba being the ontario beekeeping association, which is presently trying to supplant Christianity with Sumerian bee worship.

  • momtarkle

    GAWD, that’s hilarious!

  • Neko

    That billboard is lovely.

    I thought even culture warriors loved Saturn. Those people’s hearts are two sizes too small.

  • Holytape

    What we need is a comprise. We keep Christ in Christmas, and we don’t let him out for the rest of the year.

  • WallofSleep

    Whenever I hear that phrase, or something similar to it, I always want to say “What the fuck is wrong with you Christians that you can’t keep your Christ in your Christmas? As for me, I’ll celebrate my Christmas just how I want, with blackjack and hookers. On second thought, fuck Christmas”.

  • randomfactor

    “Keep MASS in Christ’s mass. It’s a CATHOLIC holiday, all you Baptists get your own festival.

  • JA

    I’d rather see the “Christ” be put back into “Christian”.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”

  • Holytape

    Yes, and I ain’t letting the bastard out.

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Letting your Prince Albert out in public could be illegal.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    How do you know they were Christians?

  • islandbrewer

    Ahahahahahaha! *wipes tear*

    Thanks, Emmet.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    I can’t tell what their sign says, and the only clue about “tape” comes from the audio.

  • Brad Preston

    It’s apparently a drawing of Jesus.

  • islandbrewer

    How do you know it’s not Mohammed?

  • Brad Preston

    Because to my knowledge, no one has been murdered for putting up the sign.

  • baal

    They usually only firebomb. If anyone dies that’s a bonus.

  • $84687101

    People, turn your phones sideways when shooting video. Haven’t we all learned this yet?

  • momtarkle

    Uhh……..I’ll have to give that a “No”.

  • Brad Preston

    Thank you. One of my biggest pet peeves.

  • Katarn
  • Michael

    Never gonna happen.

    We can develop better playback options for vertical video, or just moan. Both are fine.

  • $84687101

    Option 1 is a bit outside my wheelhouse, so I’m stuck with option 2.

    There’s also an option 3 that’s also outside my wheelhouse: fix it in the phones. They’re already sensing their orientation, so just turn off the video option when it’s in portrait.

  • katarn

    Or just make the sensors square. Video will just always record with a landscape crop no matter how you hold the phone.

  • $84687101

    That, too.

  • katarn

    Better playback options don’t solve the problem of humans living in a world of horizontal spaces.

  • Guest

    You don’t get it, they really want it like that. They don’t care about the bars on the side on a phone because they only watch it played back on phones because they don’t use any other devices, because they don’t care about high quality games, don’t want to write anything with a word processing program, don’t want to save anything except a bookmark, don’t use Photoshop, don’t care about privacy, don’t do anything except text, play insipid games and watch YouTube videos.

  • 3lemenope

    …and GET OFF MY LAWN!

    Young whippersnappers, and their rock music, and their soda pop. [shakes head gravely]

  • SeekerLancer

    Yeah damn those kids for using modern technology to film this attempted vandalism and post it to the Internet.

    It’s the kids with the phone that are obviously what’s wrong with society.

  • Derrik Pates

    Agreed, it’s terrible. Everything you need to know:

  • m6wg4bxw

    I’d have been over there, trying to get an interview and close video of their faces. I hope they can be identified.

  • Anymouse

    In a way, I hope they can’t. If they are, they will get their 15 minutes of fame (on Fox News probably). On the other hand, if it could be prosecuted as a hate crime…

  • GubbaBumpkin

    I’m guessing they would have been proud to make their case for you. Trying to pull that off in broad daylight, we already know they’re not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    And if they do run off, you got yourself a free ladder…

  • God’s Starship

    Well that’s just nuts. I mean batshit crazy. I can’t even get angry over it. Just having to live their own lives must be punishment enough for them.

  • Brad Preston

    You’ve got to feel bad for those poor kids, though.

  • God’s Starship

    Good point.

  • Mario Strada

    I am reading that sign as:
    “For Christ’s sake, it’s Christmas! NOT!”
    Signed: “Dumbass”

    He just can’t spell very well.

  • Rob P

    Hmmm… they are intelligent enough to know what Saturnalia is. But not intelligent enough to bring two ladders.

  • Paul Reed

    To be fair, they only need to be intelligent enough to know it’s an “attack” on Christmas

  • Malcolm McLean

    Which it obviously is. Pretending that the festival is really Saturnalia can be motivated only by a desire to destroy Christmas.

  • Paul Reed

    Well no, that’s not really what it’s about.

    It’s making the point that Christmas isn’t the exclusively Christian holiday that they like to think it is. Most atheists like Christmas. It’s largely a secular holiday.

    To put it another way: A holiday’s origins don’t need to be honored as part of its modern incarnation.
    The holiday that is now Christmas used to be a religious holiday, and before that it was the pagan festival of Saturnalia.

    Christians want us to go back to Christmas’s history, just not too far…..

  • Neko

    I thought Christians appropriated the festival of Sol Invictus. Saturn, get in line!

  • Malcolm McLean

    Exactly. Nonsense isn’t compatible with nonsense.It’s true that other religious festivals have occurred at about the same time, but they are not Christmas, which anyway was a very different sort of holiday before Charles Dickens popularised it in the 19th century.

  • Derrik Pates

    “Different” in what respect? Other than that it co-opted the time frame, celebratory practices and traditions, and various other trappings of what came before it, and slapped a “This belongs to us. –Christianity” label on it? Oh wait, no, that’s not actually different at all…

  • Rain

    Some people just like making words out of Obama. It has a long tradition. (Michelle Malkin 2011, Obama-mas).

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Yeah, that’s Bush league.

  • Jason Hinchliffe

    I’d just like to take this moment to wish everyone a Hopeful Obamass!

  • guest

    and a Baracktacular New Year!

  • Astreja

    I hope it’s a good one, without any…

    …Darn. Neither ‘shutdown’ nor ‘Tea Party’ rhymes with ‘Year.’ Any suggestions?

  • Jonas

    As we go by yet another year,
    The Tea Party will continue to spread Obama fear.

    Sorry, I suck at this sort of thing :(

  • Richard Wade

    We Buy Ugly Religions .com
    Don’t fix it. Sell it!

  • Richard Wade

    I wish we could see what their banner said.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Are there ANY laws in this goddamn country that apply to Christians?

    They’re already immune to the First and 14th Amendments, tax laws, civil rights laws, and often child molestation laws, and in Idaho, faith healers can kill their own kids for free.

    Now it’s property damage that’s their new super-privilege. What next– you can kill Obama if you eat a magic cracker?

  • OhioAtheist

    “Freedom of speech only counts if it agrees with MY speech. We are being oppressed!”


  • Mark W.

    Why do these things always happen when my “I’m with Stupid.” shirt is in the wash.

  • guest

    The sign I like best is ‘axial tilt is the reason for the season’.

  • Artor

    I had that up in my storefront once, with a nice diagram showing the Earth and it’s tilt in relation to the sun. I had a college-age guy exclaim, “No, it’s because the Earth is farther from the sun in winter, duh!” I had to explain slowly, in small words, why it was summer in Australia. I don’t think he got it.

  • Feminerd

    *whimper* That’s just sad. Stop trying to crush my last hopes for humanity!

  • Jonas

    I was about to comment that it was both, then I looked it up. I coulda swore we were actually farther from the sun during winter but nope. In 2013, we were closest to the sun on January 2nd. I think it’s this coming January 4th when we’re closest again. Damn you 5th grade science that I forgot, and thank you internet for making relearning so easy :)

  • allein

    One of these years I’m going to use that for my Christmas cards.

  • SeekerLancer

    The best part is I’m sure those people don’t even know what Saturnalia is they just understand it’s making fun of them.

  • $925105

    Just another example of Christianity being a religion of hate.

  • Gunner Miller

    Santa cannot spell. It was supposed to read “OboeMass”. A special mass using an oboe based orchestra.

  • RowanVT

    Or is it then supposed to be Oboemasu, which means “to remember”?

  • Paul Reed

    What’s that, Japanese…?

  • RowanVT

    Yup! Polite form of oboeru.

  • Riddles

    Those people who tried putting up their “keep Christ in Christmas” banner must be completely oblivious to what the billboard is even saying. Even if they don’t know what Saturnalia is and how Christmas pretty much took over it, how can they not see that it’s parodying the “Keep Christ in Christmas” saying?