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Atheist Group Launches Holiday Billboard: 'Who Needs Christ During Christmas?'

Posted by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 4:12 AM
  • 143 Replies

American Atheists, a national non-profit advocacy organization for atheists, launched a new digital holiday billboard in Manhattan’s Times Square on Tuesday asking the provocative question, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?"

The 40′ x 40′ billboard displays a series of motion graphics that begins with that query before an animated hand crosses out the word “Christ” and the word “NOBODY” is displayed below the question. The ad then promotes alternative “true” meanings of Christmas as an array of words, including “family,” “charity,” “human life” and “friends,” each of which appears on the screen before the message ends with “Happy Holidays!”

“This season is a great time of year for a hundred reasons -- none of them having to do with religion,” said American Atheists President David Silverman in a press release. “This year, start a new tradition: Don’t go to church. You hate it, it’s boring; you probably only go because you feel guilty or obligated. Instead, spend more time with your family and friends -- or volunteer. There are better uses of your time and money.”

The organization’s public relations director, Dave Muscato, argued that the majority of people care more about being with family and friends and “giving presents and food and having fun” than the religious aspects of the holidays. Muscato also said that many Christmas traditions associated with Christianity pre-date the religion itself.

“For example, the North Pole and Santa traditions come from Nordic and Germanic pagan traditions, and caroling, yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths all pre-date Christianity,” Muscato said in Tuesday’s press release.

Silverman echoed those sentiments, adding, “Christianity has been trying to claim ownership of the season for hundreds of years. But the winter solstice came first and so did its traditions. The season belongs to everybody.”

In November, American Atheists also introduced six “disaster victim” billboards in New Jersey promoting tangible aid and relief supplies over prayers and bibles in response to Typhoon Haiyan’s destruction in the Philippines.

“While at least $300 million has been pledged by nations around the world to help survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines, a billion-dollar non-government organization, has responded to the disaster by sending 1,000 bibles and 12,000 rosaries to survivors,” an American Atheists November press release explains. “Additionally, the Pope tweeted for Catholics to pray for the typhoon victims. His message was retweeted 30,000 times.”

“Imagine if the Pope had asked for people to send money to victims or to send needed supplies. How much more useful would that have been to the people of the Philippines?” said Silverman in November's press release.

by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 4:12 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Mahinaarangi on Dec. 6, 2013 at 4:25 AM
4 moms liked this

the word christmas has been in my december holidays my entire is part of our traditions.

Where it originate does not matter as long as the origins didnt include death, torture and the taking of culture, like thanksgiving.  The people who are so adamant about holding onto those holidays bemuse me.

christianity want to hold onto it for financial reasons.....I mean really christ wasnt even born on the day...why they keep celebrating it as his birthday is beyond me.

I like the thoughts behind atheism....they make sense to me.  But a word...its just a word.

by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 6:33 AM

How does he know what the majority of people feel?

by Ruby Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 7:20 AM
5 moms liked this
While he is complaining about Catholics and the Pope, how much did he send to the Tuphoon victims?? How much did his group send?
As Catholics, we are not only instructed to pray, but to give what we can. But many did it without the instruction.

He gives Atheists a very bad name. He seems hateful. And this is why many of us think there is a War on Christmas.
by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 7:47 AM
15 moms liked this

I am an atheist. I very much dislike the notion of proselytizing or shoving one's religion down anothers' throat. That is EXACTLY what American Atheists are dong with their advertising.  

Yet again, another example of the pot calling the kettle black. 

by Gold Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 7:52 AM
10 moms liked this

Meh, who cares. He can think what he wants, I'll continue to think what I want and continue to keep Christ in my life and my Christmas. This man does not affect me, my faith or my life. 

by Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 7:53 AM
3 moms liked this
I'm a pagan and I can't stand crap like this. My husband is an atheist, and agrees with me. I was raised catholic and I loved going to church when I was a kid-especially midnight mass.
by on Dec. 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM
3 moms liked this


They are all about getting religion out of the government and not about being ugly.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 8:38 AM

The sign's wrong.  There are thousands of churches whose income depends on Christ being in generally everything, including the lives of their parishioners.

by Gold Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM
3 moms liked this
So the majority doesn't place emphasis on family, friends and charity during the holiday season?

I do. And so does everyone else I know...

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

How does he know what the majority of people feel?

by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM
5 moms liked this
They are just expressing themselves I don't see an issue.
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