If You Wrote This Anonymous Note, You’re a Jerk

Things that are okay to criticize: Nativity scenes on government property.

Things that are okay to criticize only if you’re a complete asshole: Nativity scenes on your neighbor’s lawn.

That’s what an anonymous letter-writer did to Kristen Hunter‘s family in Newton, Massachusetts:

The “neighbors” who sent the letter wanted to point out that the entire neighborhood is not Christian and may not want to look at their decor, especially given that it is “cheap, tacky and kitschy.”

The note stated that the “neighbors” have held their tongue in the past, but felt it was important to make their concerns known this year. Because “not everybody in the neighborhood is Christian” they believe that people do not want to “see such a flagrant display” of Christian beliefs.

The letter also stated that the decorations were tacky, calling them a “terrible eye-sore on the neighborhood.”

“All religious matters aside, your decorations themselves are beyond tasteless,” the letter said.

The “neighbors” conclude the letter by telling the family that they are free to worship and celebrate however they’d like and they are even “free to have bad taste” but they ask the family to do those things in the privacy of their own home.


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New Survey Shows Americans Prefer ‘Happy Holidays’ Over ‘Merry Christmas’

The War on Christmas is over!* We win!**

The Public Religion Research Institute says in a newly-released survey that more Americans than ever before prefer the term “Happy Holidays” to “Merry Christmas”:

(What’s that you say? The question is biased to make people say “Happy Holidays” so they don’t seem disrespectful? Good job, my AP Stats students…)

Nearly half (49%) of Americans agree stores and businesses should greet their customers with “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” instead of “merry Christmas” out of respect for people of different faiths. However, a substantial minority (43%) disagree. Support for saying “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” is up slightly since December 2010, when 44% preferred that businesses use less religious greetings.


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Last Night, the ‘Keep Saturn in Saturnalia’ Billboard Was Nearly Set on Fire

Who knew the most controversial atheist billboard of the season was the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” one in Pitman, New Jersey?

Over the weekend, one family tried to attach their own banner (of a Nativity Scene) on or underneath the billboard — and it was caught on tape.

But last night, it got even worse:

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Atheist Political Action Committee Endorses First Slate of Candidates… but Will Anyone Pay Attention?

The Freethought Equality Fund, formed back in September, announced yesterday that they would be backing a slate of candidates in next year’s elections, all of whom voice their support for church/state separation and the atheist community at large.

“It’s long past due for our elected officials to stand up and advocate for humanistic values, and we will strongly support candidates that do,” says Freethought Equality Fund Coordinator Bishop McNeill.

The six candidates are all Democrats (no surprise there) and running for both statewide and national offices:

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It’s a Christmas Miracle! New Study Shows That 1% of Women Claim to Have Virgin Births

***Update***: BMJ is known to write parody papers in their Christmas edition. So while the material below is plausible, take it with a grain of salt. It’s likely a hoax.

(In a related study, 1% of women lie to researchers.)

The headline’s serious, though it requires a little more explanation.

A new report published in the Christmas edition of BMJ shows that 0.8% of women who became pregnant also claimed, at the time when the child would have been conceived, that they were not having sexual intercourse:



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