American Atheists have a new animated Times Square billboard that says “Nobody Needs Christ at Christmas.” The 50-year old organization suggests that instead of going to church, Americans should spend more time with friends, or volunteer, and touts “family, friends, charity, food, music, gifts, snow, lights, decorations, stockings, fun, ice skating, Rockettes®, parties, movies, Chinese food, human life, and hot chocolate” as the “true meaning of Xmas.”
“This season is a great time of year for a hundred reasons—none of them having to do with religion,” American Atheists President David Silverman says via 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.”
“We all love this time of year,” Silverman continued. “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.”
“Most people don’t care about any religious ties to the season because church and religion are not what Americans care about during this time of year—they care about family and friends and giving presents and food and having fun,” added Public Relations Director Dave Muscato. “Many so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions celebrated by Americans have nothing to do with Christianity. 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.”
Over at New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, Dan Amira said the billboard “seems specifically crafted to make Palin’s head explode into a million pieces.”
“If Sarah Palin is under the impression that Christmastime is about Jesus,” Dave Muscato, spokesman for American Atheists, tells Daily Intelligencer, “I invite her to take a look at any shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving. Christmastime is, and has been for a long time, about giving gifts, spending time with family and friends, eating, drinking, and being merry; volunteering or giving to charity, and a hundred other things that have nothing to do with religion.”
Last week American Atheists took the IRS to court over what they say is the preferential treatment the tax-collection agency gives to religious organizations. The group also launched a campaign denouncing so-called aid from religious organizations that includes spending money on prayer and bibles for victims of natural disasters.
Image and video via American Atheists
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