The Atheists’ Christmas Billboard: Just Plain Rude

Y’know, this is really getting tiresome. 

The American Atheists are once again spitting at the Christians, as our high holy day nears.  Not content to simply roll over in bed on Christmas morning, snagging a few more minutes of sleep that church-attending Christians don’t have time to enjoy, they have to hurl stones at their believing neighbors.

American Atheists, the activist group which posts controversial messages at every opportunity on billboards across the nation, has just unveiled its latest anti-Christian message.  They again used America’s digital blackboard—New York City’s Times Square—to belittle the faith of Christians.  Their 40’ by 40’ display asks, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?”

According to The Blaze,

After asking “Who needs Christ,” the digital billboard shows a hand crossing out Jesus’ name with a marker and text that answers the curiosity with a one word answer — “Nobody.” The next graphic tells viewers to “Celebrate the true meaning of XMAS.”

This “true meaning,” according to the billboard, includes charity, family, friends and food — all secular elements that are associated with Christmas. It concludes with the more general “Happy Holidays” greeting.

[Eyeroll]   

I have a message for the perpetrators of this tasteless stunt: 

GO HOME.  GROW UP.  LEAVE ME ALONE. 

I am reminded of a kid I knew, the neighborhood bully, who lived down the block from my house when I was in elementary school.  Even as a child, I understood why he had become the local troublemaker:  From his house on any given day, one could hear his father cursing, his mother screaming, dishes breaking, children crying….  Hailing as he did from such a tumultous environment, he might well have savored his time with the kids on the block, enjoying the respite before returning to the bedlam of family life for dinner.  But his volatile upbringing hadn’t prepared him to fit in easily.  Instead of joining our games of Cowboys and Indians and frozen tag, he did the only thing he knew:  he made trouble.

The American Atheists could choose another path:  Don’t believe in God?  Then don’t pray.  Go about your business.

Instead they feel a need to poke and prod, sticking out a foot to trip hapless passersby with their scornful message.

Imagine if one were to undertake a public campaign to denounce the faith of Jews.  I mean, Hitler did that—but the only approach to Jewish/Christian relations that is acceptable in polite society is cooperation and mutual respect.  Why it should be any different for atheists and Christians—why atheists feel entitled to poke a stick in my eye, without being charged with a hate crime—I honestly don’t know.

I do know this:  It’s ugly.  It’s unbecoming.  It’s juvenile.

  • Susan Peterson

    It is frightening to think that those who have said that they do not need Him, who died for them even though He was the God Who made them, will one day be facing Him on judgment day. He did say once, Forgive them, for they know not what they do. Is it true that these folks also truly know not what they do? I have to hope so. Lord, have mercy.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The atheists that I know evaluate the evidence to the best of their knowledge. It’s not like they’re closet Christians, knowing that God exists but just acting as if he didn’t.

      You can’t just believe on command. Provide the evidence, and belief just happens.

      • kathyschiffer

        Hey Bob, have you seen my friend Brandon Vogt’s new website, strangenotions.com? He intends it to be a “digital areopagus” where atheists and Christians can engage in meaningful dialogue. It relies on a number of guest bloggers. I think you’d like it!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A thoughtful suggestion, thank you.

          Yes, I’m familiar with that site. In fact, I may have written the first atheist guest post there.

  • Taleisin

    The division between theist and atheist Americans is getting wider and wider.
    This cannot continue without great suffering eventuating.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    In my town, a mysterious person has put up “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas” signs, with long quotes from Romans and Luke, on public property. Your “Leave me alone” came to mind for me in this situation.

    Bill O’Reilly does his annual soapbox about the “War on Christmas,” Sarah Palin has a book about it, and so on. Get annoyed at holiday shenanigans if you must, just remember that there’s a lot of that going around.

    • Ambaa

      That’s exactly what I wrote about on my blog today! :)

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Share your link. I’d like to hear what you have to say.

        (This is Redmond, WA that I’m talking about.) The mayor said that the signs were on public right of way (alongside roads, as far as I could tell) and that that was legal. That works for me, as long as the Wiccans and Scientologists and atheists are welcome, too.

  • Bridgeport Guy

    The guy behind this stunt is David Silverman. The clown behind the purge of Christianity in the military is Mikey Weinstein. Who’s trying to destroy faith in Our Lord? See a pattern?

  • The Atheist

    Christmas was stolen by the Christians from the Pagans, its winter solstice, and if you check your history, the 25th was chosen as this was the main day of the pagan holidays and as such the Pope and all the others around him changed “Jebus’s” birthday to that day to make it easier to convert non believers. Look up your facts, stop believing the fiction! And you state its Atheists sticking a foot out, when its Christians forcing religion into schools, public offices and politics when the constitution states a total separation of them all.Keep religion in your churches and you won’t hear anything said from Atheists.

    • kathyschiffer

      Actually, since “facts” are so important, let’s get them straight:

      Winter solstice is December 21 or 22. The pagan feast of Saturnalia was celebrated December 17-23.

      It is true that there are no clues in Scripture as to when Jesus was born, as there are for his crucifixion and death (the Jewish Passover feast); so the date for the commemoration of Christ’s birth was chosen centuries later. So why does that negate the truth of His birth, and our need to worship Him?

      As for “separation of Church and state”, that does not come from the Constitution. Rather, the First Amendment PROTECTED the right to worship. The “separation of Church and state” came from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, written on January 1, 1802.

      • ThereseZ

        It was my understanding that Jesus’ birth is figured sort-of backwards from when He was brought to the temple for dedication and Mary’s purification. Also, when Mary was pregnant and visited Elizabeth. Scripture is fairly clear on when John the Baptist was born, based on his father’s priestly turn at service, and Jesus, his cousin was x number of months behind him in the womb.
        There is logic, quite easily found, for the dates.


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