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'Happy Holidays!': Atheists Unveil Santa-Themed Christmas Billboard — and Here's Why Some Say It's 'Offensive\

“Who needs Christ during Christmas?”

It's that time of year again. Atheist activists have unveiled a Santa-themed billboard that encourages people to "skip church," hoping to drive home the notion that there's no relation between church attendance and being a moral person.

The billboards from American Atheists, a group based in Cranford, New Jersey, include an image of Santa and read, "Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness' sake. Happy holidays!"

"We want people to know that going to church has absolutely nothing to do with being a good person," American Atheists' president David Silverman said in a statement. "The things that are most important during the holiday season — spending time with loved ones, charity, and being merry — have nothing to do with religion."

American Atheists' 2015 billboard (American Atheists)

The billboard is a continuation of last year's holiday message from the atheist group, which featured a little girl writing a faux letter to Santa. It read, "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairy tales."

"Last year’s billboard showed a child writing a letter to Santa, telling him that all she wanted for Christmas was to skip church," Silverman explained. "This year, Santa wrote back."

This year's billboards are currently up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, and will remain on public display through December.

Despite American Atheists' claim that the billboards aren't an attack on Christmas, some are a bit uneasy about the messaging.

"I think it’s a little offensive," Colorado resident Alexis Esselman told WSPA-TV. "When I first saw it I thought ‘what did they mean by that?'"

Damara Metrick added, I think their intentions are good, but maybe they could have worded it differently."

As TheBlaze previously reported, American Atheists has taken its anti-Christmas message to New York City’s Times Square, among other locations, during past Christmas seasons. A 2013 billboard in Times Square asked, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” then answered: “Nobody.”

And American Atheists’ 2012 “Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!” billboard 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.

The 2011 campaign featured Jesus, Satan and Santa and the group’s 2010 message also called the Christmas story “a myth.”

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