Atheists.org, be honest. It’s just Christians you have issue with, not religion in general…

… I’m not one to typically get all bent out of shape over the phrase “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. I also don’t take it as a personal slight to hear the former over the latter. I have high blood pressure and I’m not about to let that one little thing kill me. How ever I’ll take the risk for this…

I think the word they’re looking for is “anti-theist”, not atheist.

From their website:

David Silverman, President of American Atheists stated, “We know that a large population of ‘Christians’ are actually atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion. If you know god is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself ‘Christian’ in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should.”

Mr. Silverman continued, “We encourage people to be honest with themselves and their families this year. If you don’t believe in god, tell your family—honesty is the greatest gift, and they deserve it.”

Teresa MacBain, Communications Director and a former pastor stated, “The true beauty of the season—family, friends, and love—have nothing to do with the gods of yesteryear. Indeed, the season is far more enjoyable without the religious baggage of guilt and judgmentalism. Dump the myth and have a happy holiday season.”

Truly, this is a sniveling cowardice “campaign” they’ve got going and it’s hidden behind false concern for poor suffering closet atheists living in fear of retribution from their Christian families. I think they’re confused. They have Christianity mistaken for something else.

Where is their sense of concern for large populations of Muslims “who feel trapped”? Namely, women beaten for not wearing burqas and young girls being given away as child brides to fifty year old men. Where’s the “Mohamed was a pedophile” billboard encouraging Muslims to come out the closet to their families during Ramadan? Allah is a “MYTH”? My, oh my. Can you imagine. But that would require an ounce of testicular fortitude on their part and an admission that they aren’t in fact targeting Christians for discrimination during the second holiest time of the year. Someone alert the ACLU! [I just made myself laugh.]

And if you want to get down to technicalities, your billboard is false. For an organization lauding itself on “truth” this anti-Christian campaign of yours is loaded with hilarious inaccuracies. The word “myth” should actually be under the Thomas Nast version of Santa Claus. He would be the one responsible for creating the modern image of Santa you stuck up there in Times Square. Thomas Nast, you know him right? The notorious anti-Catholic responsible for cartoons like this…

No, he certainly wouldn’t have any ulterior motive to altar the Catholic traditions associated with the very real St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.

If you wanted to run an accurate advertisement for your organization there, might I suggest you flip things around. Santa is the myth, and Christ is the source of merriment.

And finally, a party without all the “religious baggage of guilt and judgmentalism” is commonly referred to by most normal thinking people as a typical Saturday night. Get your own damn holiday. Just make something up. I hear your pretty good at that.

/endrant

PS- what’s an atheist post without a little Steve Martin. Courtesy of Dwij.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Josh Uniewski

    Not to mention the whole idea of a holiday to begin with. Wonder if they’ve looked up the etymology of that word.

  • Beth F

    In our local healthy foods/living group there is an atheist. I was bummed to find this out because we live 10 minutes from each other and our kids are the same age plus she homeschools. Upon meeting a few times (one on one play dates and one group discussion setting) I realized that we weren’t going to be friends. Probably all for the best.

    I had to laugh though, when she posted “santa sightings” on the webpage for the group. Uh, no, you don’t want Christ, do you don’t get Santa.

    • Kristen inDallas

      Although, Santa sans Christ bugs me far less than the folks who want to celebrate Mardis Gras with no intention of giving anything up for Lent…

    • megookin

      Saint Nikolaos, the original Santa was a Bishop of the church, so how can you have Santa with out St. Nikolaos?

  • Ashley

    “Truly, this is a sniveling cowardice “campaign” they’ve got going and it’s hidden behind false concern for poor suffering closet atheists living in fear of retribution from their Christian families. I think they’re confused. They have Christianity mistaken for something else.”

    When I was in high school, one of my close friends lived with us for several weeks after his parents kicked him out of their house for being an atheist. Around the same time, I was thrown out of my creative writing class for saying I was an atheist (in response to a question about my religious beliefs). About a year later, a former friend of mine who was angry that I was an atheist killed my family’s kitten by crushing its skull with his boot. When I confronted him, he admitted it and said he wanted to give me an early taste of hell.

    I had several friends in college who not only hid their atheism from their parents, but pretended to go to services regularly because they knew their parents would at the very least cut them off financially.

    That was twenty-five years ago. Earlier this year I was working with a woman in her early fifties when I mentioned I had attended the Reason Rally. She asked if I was an atheist, and I told her I was. She hesitated, then told me she had been an atheist for thirty years and had never told anyone in her family because she knew they would never speak to her again.

    The parents that kicked my friend out were Christians. The teacher who threw me out of class was a Christian. The boy who murdered my kitten was a Christian. My college friends and the fifty-year woman I met have a Christian families.

    As an adult, I no longer put up with BS from Christians I encounter, but not everyone has that option and kids certainly don’t. I’m sorry you saw a billboard you didn’t like, but lots of atheists do have to hide because of the way Christians react, whether you believe it or not. Religion still dominates the narrative in this country, and hitting back with public messages like this is important for people in tough situations.

    BTW, if you search google you’ll find about 1000000 links to atheist criticisms of Mohammed and Islam.

  • Tom

    I like the division among atheists between “Happy Holidays because not everybody celebrates Christmas” and “Stop pretending you own Christmas, you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy the holiday.”
    Also, I really have to give some of the 19th century anti-Catholics creativity points. I mean, “alligator bishops” is a whole lot better than “lol pedophilia”.

  • ArchaicSteam

    I really wonder what the ACLU would do if an atheist put up a billboard mocking Islam.

    As for the “keep the merry, lose the myth” crowd, you wouldn’t have a “non-Christian Christmas” holiday to celebrate without the Christian version being there first because the Winter Solstice, Yule, Boxing Day, Saturnalia, Festivus etc. do not celebrate their holidays like Christmas is celebrated.

    • westley

      “I really wonder what the ACLU would do if an atheist put up a billboard mocking Islam.”

      Nothing. First, they’ve done that:
      http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-758697

      Second, haven’t you heard about the first amendment? Why on earth do you think the ACLU would do anything about a group erecting a perfectly legal billboard?

    • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

      The ACLU would defend the right to put up that billboard on private property, but fight against it if done by any public agency on public property. Please try to understand our separation of Church and State enough to know why.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

        separation of Church & State does not appear in the constitution But thanks for playing.

    • Nan

      I thought boxing day was a holiday related to Christmas? It’s so hard to remember, is that when we box up the presents we don’t like and exchange them, when tradesmen are given tips or the day servants were given off and given a box of gifts to take home with them?

      • ArchaicSteam

        I’m not sure of the current usage for Boxing Day, I was just listing different December holidays that I have heard of people celebrating.

  • gtharby2

    I am guessing that as far as billboards goes, they are just aiming at the religion which makes up an overwhelming majority of the US population. In the US, Christianity is more than 70% of the population, Muslims make up just over half of 1 percent of the population. If you wanted to target people who were religious in general, which would you spend your money on? More importantly though, no other religion (Jewish, Muslim, etc) has a significant influence on US laws, so for those who feel attacked by those who are religious (for better or worse) they have a clear target.

    I’m not a fan of those trying to take away Christmas to make it a non religious holiday, but the concept of Santa Clause and the commercialization of Christmas is what did that, not atheists. The vast majority of what is associated with Christmas in this country is not holy or religious, it’s commercialism to sell stuff. If one were to look at that billboard, it seems to be someone saying keep the commercialized Christmas stuff, but not associate that stuff with Jesus Christ. What really should happen is the opposite, stuff like Santa Clause and the commercialism associated with Christmas should be associated with some other day, and not Christmas as none of this stuff has much to do with Jesus but rather businesses taking advantage of the Christian holiday to sell truckloads of stuff.

  • westley

    “Atheists.org, be honest. It’s just Christians you have issue with, not religion in general…”

    Was this intended to be ironic, published the same day Egyptian atheist Alber Saber Ayad was sentenced to three years in prison for insulting religion?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      He insulted Islam, not Christianity. The conversation is about Christianity Please try to keep up.

  • Lorraine

    I think this article is highly ignorant of the fact that A) Atheists do target other religions, and B) Christians are the majority in the US and take the most active role in suppressing atheists in America.

    Muslims, Hindis and Jews in the US are not the groups marginalizing others within the nation as a platform for their faith. That would be the Christians.

  • ChuckV

    Given the group is called American Atheists, it makes sense they have to deal with religion in the United States. That religion is overwhelmingly Christian. Muslims and Jews aren’t passing laws here. Muslims and Jews aren’t the ones taking government property for their religious purposes. Muslims and Jews didn’t alter the Pledge and the Motto. It’s not Muslim or Jewish prayers at government meetings.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I’ll take your point… but I will ask, which Christians exactly are killing atheists here in the US in recent history?

      I will also note this a lovely straw man argument you have,… turning around the point of this post to make it all about poor persecuted atheists in the US instead of “look! Let’s call Jesus a myth to insult Christians during their 2nd holiest time of the year”

      Please, atheists… try to stay on topic. K. Thanx. Bye.

      • ChuckV

        It’s not a straw man at all. Those things I mentioned are real.The implication of the article and your post is that anything short of murder is OK. In some other country Muslims commit honor killings so atheists cannot speak out against Christian abuses. That is a non sequitor.

        As far as insulting Christians, every day of the year Christians print a book that calls all of us utterly no good people and threatens us with hell. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          LOL! Where exactly in my post did I say that anything short of murder is ok? Hysterical much? I never said your straw man wasn’t real, just that it was a straw man and not pertaining to this post. I think we are done here, as you fail to grasp basic reading comprehension.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004571885806 John Jones

        For over 1,000 years Christians tortured and killed atheists. Even today members of such Christian groups as OneMansBlog have called for the killing of atheists whom they blamed for the World Trade destruction. Just recently in Aprils 2012, U.S. Armed Services member Specialist Jose Ramirez was killed by a Christian named Justin Green. In at least seven states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office. Arkansas has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial. Secular laws in most contries now restrain Christians from following Jesus´ command to kill unbelievers. “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.” Luke 19:27

        • megookin

          Jesus did not command his followers to kill non-believers. You took one verse out of a parable that Jesus spoke and quote it out of context to try and make your point. The parable was demonstrating how earthly rulers treated their subjects at that time who were not loyal. It also demonstrates that God commands loyalty too. Logical fallacies used to try and destroy someone tend to cause the utterer to lose credibility.

          • John Jones

            He is another quote where Jesus approves of putting to death children who do not honor their parents- Or is this also “out of context”.

            Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.

            Why do Christians never quote this commandment in full and leave out the part about the punishment for disobeying?

          • megookin

            Why do atheists try and use the Bible when they don’t understand it? The Old Testament is God’s law, which no one could ever obey all of. Jesus in Matthew 15:3-13 is preaching to the Pharisees about their hypocrisy. Read the whole chapter to get the context of the teaching instead of plucking a verse to try and make your point. So, to answer your question – Yes, again you took one bit out of context to try and make your point, but when looking at the entire picture are proven wrong. I suggest instead of looking for arguments that others have brought up in the past based on tidbits, consider becoming knowledgeable in the subject you wish to debate.

          • John Jones

            Why is it that Christians resort to personal attacks “consider becoming knowledgeable…” instead of answering the point made?

            Did Jesus want children put to death or not? If not than why did He say these words? Please explain the “context”.

            And since when do Christians understand the Bible? There are tens of thousands of Christian religions who disagree on major understandings. Perhaps God hasn’t made his words in the Bible as clear as science has made its theories.

            (Do you really know that I am an atheist? Maybe I am just not a Christian.)

          • megookin

            I find it funny that someone recommending to someone else that they become knowledgeable in a subject before trying to castigate it being considered an attack. If you walk up to your mechanic and start telling him that he is doing his job wrong when you don’t know the internal combustion engine, you would probably get the same advice.

    • wlinden

      Christians changed “E pluribus unum”?

    • wlinden

      I would wager that there are plenty of Jews “passing laws” here in the world’s largest Jewish city.

      And how about trying to take the message that “you don’t have to believe the myth to enjoy the holiday” to the Jews who keep complaining about “Christian symbols”… like Santa Claus, evergreens, and candy canes.

      I would like to lock up some of both groups together with a bunch of neo-pagans in Lazarus Longs’ Klein bottle trap, and see who emerges.

  • Heart

    Do you not remember the billboards American Atheists posted up earlier this year aimed at Jews and Muslims? Just wondering. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/01/atheist-group-targets-muslims-jews-with-myth-billboards-in-arabic-and-hebrew/

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      No I was unaware. Thank you for correcting me.


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