Dump the myth billboard

The holiday season is in full swing, and while folks are out decking the halls, secular group American Atheists is back with yet another controversial holiday billboard.

This year, the group funded a two-story Times Square billboard in New York City that urged passersby to “Keep the Merry” of Christmas, but “Dump the Myth” of Jesus Christ.

American Atheists raised $25,000 for the billboard, which will run through the entire Holiday season. And while some wonder why the group has taken a jab at Christianity, while excluding other religions that celebrate around this time of year, a spokesman for American Atheists told Fox News that’s it’s time people to celebrate Christmas without feeling pressured to believe in Christ.

“Most Christians are really atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion,” David Silverman, American Atheists president, told Fox News. “They need not be Christian to enjoy the holiday season.

The group’s website gives more details:

“The true beauty of the season—family, friends, and love—have nothing to do with the gods of yesteryear.  Indeed, the season is far more enjoyable without the religious baggage of guilt and judgmentalism. Dump the myth and have a happy holiday season.”

Predictably, Christians aren’t too keen on the group’s billboard. The Catholic League, one of American Atheists biggest critics, have been outspoken about the billboard.

“This year it’s different,” Bill Donohue, the Catholic League spokesman, said. “This is vile. When you depict Jesus on the cross with a crown of thorns, this is exploitative. We as Christians never harass, intimidate or insult atheists. But they can’t seem to say, ‘We simply disagree with you.’ They have to insult us.”

While American Atheists have the right to share their views, it seems a bit disingenuous that they are critical of those want to incorporate their religious view into their holiday celebrations simply because they don’t.

What do you think of the billboard?  

Source: Times Square Atheist Billboard Says ‘Dump The Myth’ With A Picture Of Jesus Christ [Inquisitr]

104 Comments

  1. Christians do not force their beliefs on others. It is in the belief of spreading the gospel, if a person chooses to accept it or not, it’s on them. It may seem as if it’s being “forced” to those who don’t really follow the faith. They are more vocal about their faith & beliefs or anything that goes contrary to it. Freedom of religion, right?
    And people have been celebrating Christmas without Christ for years. If you’re going to try to open people’s minds, do it in a way that is open minded & not offensive to others. live & let live & don’t poke fun at things you may disagree with. Atheist are more arrogant than the religious. They should have used that $25,000 to give to charity to help those less fortunate have a “Merry” Christmas

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  2. If they want to pay whatever thousands of dollars to spout their theories…let them, someone who practiced and truly believed Christianity would not be woefully offended.

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    • This! I’ am not offended personally if that is how they feel then that is how they feel…shrugs but I do agree with B who mention why does it seems like Christianity is their target? If you are truly atheist as they say why not go for broke and challenge everybody religious belief who celebrate around this time of year? And as an atheist would the beauty of ANY season be “family, friends and love… “so why solely focus on the “Holiday” season if you don’t believe in the holiday mantra…again “thou protests too much…” but whatever

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    • This is exactly what I always say about Atheists who do stuff like this… if you were TRULY an Atheist then you would attack everyone’s religion- but the only one you ever hear them talking about is Christianity.

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    • SAMURAI36

      @BINKS:

      Because, by definition, an “atheist” (re: not theistic) is someone that questions the Theistic religions, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, & Islam. Those are the 3 main religions that believe in a theistic representation of a Creator.

      Most other religion (ex: Hinduism, Spiritual beliefs, etc) are Deistic, & not Theistic.

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  3. I do not have a problem with the signs, either. The freedom of speech provided by the First Amendment pretty much guarantees that sometimes people will make states we find to be personally offensive. It also means we have the right to make statements others may find personally offensive. *shrugs*

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  4. Just Me

    As an atheist, I definitely agree with the message, but I think it was very distasteful to disrespect someone else’s religion by including such a sacred image in their billboard. Being atheists, this group should know what it feels like to be mistreated for your beliefs, so it shocks me that they would chose to do this to another group. They could have gotten their message across without being jerks.

    But I guess the shock-value is the reason they did it in the first place, and it worked! I mean, thousands of people all over the country, including you and I, are seeing this billboard (on blogs, the news, etc) who otherwise wouldn’t have, because of the controversy it created. So apparently it’s working or this blog post wouldn’t exist.

    As for the guy who said Christians never harass or insult Atheists, that is complete BS. Atheists are talked about like we’re some kind of terrible immoral monsters who go around eating babies and kicking puppies for fun. We’re sometimes disowned by our Christian family members and friends when we “come out”. We’re often shunned, told we’re going to hell (which we don’t believe in, but it’s still a mean thing to say because of its intent). So whoever said Christians don’t insult or harass Atheists must be blind or in denial. Sure they don’t have billboards saying “you’re non-beliefs are stupid” because they don’t need to. Christians are the majority in this country. Atheists are a very small, numerically insignificant minority.

    That being said, two wrongs DON’T make a right. Just because we’ve been mistreated by others doesn’t mean we have to return that mistreatment. It does more harm than good. And in the end it just reinforces the negative stereotypes many religions already have about Atheists.

    So just like those crazy radical Christian groups with the “death to f*gs” signs, this Atheist group is just looking for attention any way they can get it. The more we give them, the more they’ll do it. Just ignore them and they’ll go away.

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  5. Starla

    I do not appreciate this billboard whatsoever. I am not a practising member of any religion. But how can they criticize Christmas when the very word has its root in the word Christ. Obviously Christmas will always be associated with Christ. Why didn’t they take the money and distribute it to the needy and express their love for the havenots? Useless people!

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