It’s Christmas time, again, which means that American Atheists (AA), an activist non-profit, is back with yet another overtly-offensive holiday billboard. In 2010, the group posted a message in New Jersey calling the Christmas story “a myth” (The Catholic League erected a response). And in 2011, AA followed that up with another campaign, featuring Jesus, Satan and Santa.
Now, there’s yet another billboard alleging that Christ’s story is a fable — and this time, it’s proudly displayed in New York City’s Time Square.
The new message, which reads, “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!,” elevates the controversy that AA typically seeks to ignite by providing an image of Santa with a photo of Jesus suffering on the cross. The “merry” corresponds to the traditional Christmas mascot, with “myth” (in caps) is presented beneath the Christian savior’s picture, clearly in reference to Jesus’ death.
As is typically the case, representatives from AA have come forward to comment about the billboard, while explaining the organization’s motivations for posting it. Teresa MacBain, who serves as AA’s communications director, said that the holiday season is about “family, friends, and love” and that its beauty has “nothing to do with the gods of yesteryear.”
“Indeed, the season is far more enjoyable without the religious baggage of guilt and judgmentalism,” she added. “Dump the myth and have a happy holiday season.”
David Silverman, president of AA, added his own views on the matter, claiming that a large proportion of Christians are non-believers who are “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,” Silverman said. “You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should.”
While AA would argue that the billboard is intended to inspire atheists to “come out,” others will likely see it as offensive. The message will run through Jan. 10.
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(H/T: Huffington Post)