The wonderful folks at American Atheists are at it again with the Christmas billboard campaign that has become something of an annual tradition.
The two new billboards, which will be placed around the country, stick to the previous theme of skipping church on Christmas.
The first billboard, featured above, plays off Donald Trump’s campaign slogan and says, “Make Christmas Great Again,” with “Skip Church,” written underneath.
“The only way to remove the stigma is to show our friends and family that we are the same kind, loving and compassionate people they’ve always known us to be,” said Nick Fish, national program director for American Atheists. “This billboard campaign will be a starting point for that conversation in communities where atheists don’t always have a voice.”
The second is a text conversation in which a teen tells her friend that her parents will “get over” her not going to church this Christmas.“It is important for people to know religion has nothing to do with being a good person, and that being open and honest about what you believe—and don’t believe—is the best gift you can give this holiday season,” said David Silverman, president of American Atheists. “More and more Americans are leaving religion, but we still have work to do when it comes to fighting the stigma many atheists face.”
The billboards will likely be met with controversy from Christians and also atheists who seem to take issue with offending the religious on Christmas.
Yet the billboards actually reach those who have abandoned their faith but may be stuck in families that force them to adhere to religious traditions.
These messages can be a powerful way to speak to those individuals and let them know they are not alone.
The “get over it” billboard will be up all month in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lynchburg, Virginia; Augusta, Georgia; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Georgetown, South Carolina, a short drive from the site of the upcoming convention in Charleston.
The “great again” billboard will be up in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Shreveport, Louisiana.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said the billboard would be in Atlanta, Georgia when it should have read Augusta, Georgia.