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Atheist Group Attacks Christianity with Christmas Billboard Campaign, Urges Kids to 'Skip Church'

( [email protected] ) Dec 06, 2016 10:46 AM EST
Just in time for Christmas, the controversial group "American Atheists" is continuing its trend of attacks on Christianity through billboard advertising with a new campaign encouraging young people to skip church.
American Atheists launched two billboards nationwide urging viewers to celebrate an “atheist Christmas” by skipping church. American Atheists

Just in time for Christmas, the controversial group "American Atheists" is continuing its trend of attacks on Christianity through billboard advertising with a new campaign encouraging young people to skip church.

In a press release, the group said it has launched two billboards nationwide to show support for the "growing population" of non-believers in America.

"It is important for people to know religion has nothing to do with being a good person, and that being open and honest about what you believe - and don't believe - is the best gift you can give this holiday season," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists. "More and more Americans are leaving religion, but we still have work to do when it comes to fighting the stigma many atheists face."

The first billboard is a parody of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign slogan and bears the phrase, "Make Christmas Great Again. Skip Church!". The organization says it will be displayed throughout December in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lynchburg, Virginia; Augusta, Georgia; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Georgetown, South Carolina.

The other billboard - which will be displayed in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Shreveport, Louisiana - shows a text conversation between two friends, with one telling her friend that she's not going to church because "I don't believe that stuff anymore" and that her parents will "get over it."

The group pointed to a survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute in September which showed that nearly one in four, or 39 percent of young people aged 18-29 in the U.S. are now religiously unaffiliated.

While the billboards have caused somewhat of a stir among various media outlets, this isn't the first time the organization has launched such a campaign.

In 2015, the group placed billboards, across the country bearing the phrase,"Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness' sake" next to an image of Santa Claus. In 2014, AA erected billboards with the phrase, "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales," across the country.

Atheist billboard
A new billboard campaign from American Atheists aims to teach children to skip church. Photo: American Atheists

A year earlier, American Atheists ran a billboard campaign in New York City's Times Square until a state senator asked for it to be taken down. The atheist group responded by placing the billboard in the senator's home district. Similar billboards have been placed in major metropolitan areas by the group each holiday season since 2010, calling Christianity a "myth."

On its website, American Atheists says it launches billboard campaigns to "encourage closeted atheists to 'come out' and celebrate their atheism".

It also claims to "critique religious bigotry, the use of religion as a weapon by politicians, and the hypocrisy of all religions. These billboards not only encourage atheists to stand up and be heard, but also raise the profile of atheists and atheism in the media and public discourse."

Tags : Christmas, Christmas 2016, American Atheist, Billboard, Christian, anti-Christian, church