Atheists are bringing their annual war on Christmas to the south, where a new billboard campaign takes direct aim at the Christian holiday.
American Atheists, an activist group based in Cranford, New Jersey, launched numerous billboards Monday featuring a little girl and her mock letter to Santa. It reads, "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairy tales."
At first glance, the text appears to be a direct response to vast majority of American Christians who embrace at least some of what the Bible recounts about Christ's purported divinity.
Consider that a 2013 poll found that 77 percent of U.S. citizens believe that Jesus was resurrected, with a separate poll finding that nearly 70 percent of the nation believes Christ is God or God's son.
American Atheists claims, though, that the billboards — on display from December 1-December 24 — targets "in the closet atheists who are pressured to observe religious traditions during the holidays."
"Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don’t want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead," American Atheists president David Silverman said in a statement. "Today’s adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed."
The billboard appears in numerous southern cities, including Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, St. Louis, Missouri, Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin — locations intentionally selected "to be near schools and churches," according to the press release.
During past Christmas seasons, American Atheists has taken its anti-Christmas message to New York City's Times Square, among other locations. Last year's Times Square billboard asked, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?" then answered: “Nobody.”
And American Atheists' 2012 “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!” featured an image of Santa with a photo of Jesus suffering on the cross. The “merry” corresponded to the traditional Christmas mascot, with “myth" presented beneath the Christian savior’s picture, clearly in reference to Jesus’ death.