American Atheists put up a new billboard.by Don Lacey on Dec. 12, 2012, under Atheism, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Faith, Freethought, God & Bible, History, Logic, Materialism, Question of the Day!, Reason, Religion, Separation of Church & State, That's Life!
Merry Solstice, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year!
Atheists like Americans in general are a diverse group of folks. Having a position of leadership in the Atheist community is a difficult job because there is so much diversity and every action taken WILL receive criticism. During the Christmas season, dissension among the ranks of the community of free thinkers is very apparent. Normally, the American Atheists, the self proclaimed “Marines of the Atheist movement”, is on the front lines of controversy with their seasonal billboards. This year the message is simple and less controversial. It simply states, “Keep the Merry, Drop the Myth.” It shows a jolly picture of Santa Clause juxtaposed with the forlorn image of a crucified Jesus. No doubt, the billboard will have its detractors and they’ll have plenty of time to comment since the message will be up in Times Square in New York until the 10th of January.
During the last couple of the Tucson Atheists events, I’ve heard the following comment, “If we want to change people’s minds and recruit more Atheists, we should…” The fact is that the Atheist community is doing fine without evangelizing believers. The goal of the Tucson Atheists, like the goal of the Times Square American Atheists bulletin board, is to reach closeted Atheists and those that have doubts. Tucson Atheists and the American Atheists are hoping to show that closeted Atheists don’t need to hide behind myths. We are here to provide support so that Atheists can be honest and come out as an Atheist to join with others that have made the break from religious indoctrination. Christmas is better without Christ as it allows us to accentuate the positive aspects of the season such as family, friends, love for one another, and giving of gifts and time. The myths have negative aspects such as the idea of an original sin—the sin that dooms us and requires the birth of a savior to redeem us. By chucking out the Christian myths of the season we are more able to appreciate the varied history of the season and embrace other cultural traditions without prejudice.
Below is the content of the Times Square American Atheists billboard along with the press release from www.atheists.org.
Atheists Share the True Meaning of the Holidays with Times Square Billboard
Cranford, NJ—American Atheists’ latest billboard, located in the heart of New York City, is set to launch on December 11, 2012. Strategically positioned in Times Square (across from the M&M store), the billboard will display images of Santa and Jesus with the message, “Keep the merry! Dump the myth!”
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.”
The billboard will remain in Times Square from December 11 through January 10, 2013.