A newly unveiled billboard campaign from the Catholic League is taking aim at Christian persecution, but atheists are readying their own response that they say will poke fun at the controversial message.
"Not all Christian haters are equal: Abroad we're beheaded. At home we're bashed," reads the Catholic League billboard. "The differences are profound; so are the similarities."
It concludes, "Have a peaceful and joyous Christmas."
Rather than placing the message in the heart of New York City as the organization typically does each holiday season, the billboard has intentionally been erected near Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.
The central message of the illuminated sign — which is on display through December 28 — is that, while there are different forms and levels of anti-Christian persecution, the general sentiment is motivated by the same emotion: hatred.
"No, the Hollywood moguls who disrespect Christians are not the same as radical Muslims who behead us, but both are full of hate. Moreover, both need to be challenged," read a Catholic League statement. "Christians are fed up with the barbarians abroad and the bigots at home. It’s time all these bullies learned to practice the virtue of tolerance and the meaning of diversity."
The Catholic League traditionally ends up in a war of words — and dueling billboards — with American Atheists, a secular activist group; this year will be no exception to their ongoing public spat.
A representative for American Atheists told the Los Angeles Business Journal that the organization plans to respond with a "meme and hashtag" campaign waged in an effort to tease the Catholic League's Los Angeles billboard.
"It will be a series of memes to parody their billboard, using the same design, with the green and red, something along the line of, ‘Not all religious extremists are equal, abroad they use the law to force their beliefs on everyone, and then here …oh, wait," Danielle Muscato told the outlet.
American Atheists has already launched a billboard in numerous midwestern and southern cities, taking aim at Christmas.
The groups have a four-year history of battling back and forth at Christmastime. This year will clearly be no exception.
(H/T: Friendly Atheist)