Anyone driving through New Jersey this Thanksgiving break may have seen a billboard that depicts the birth of Jesus according to the Bible. The three wise men, the Star of Bethlehem, Mary, and Joseph; they were all there. The text, however, would probably offend anyone who featured similar images in their homes. “You KNOW it’s a Myth” the billboard reads, “This Season, celebrate REASON.”
American Atheists, an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting atheist beliefs, spent $20,000 dollars to purchase the billboard located outside the Lincoln Tunnel.
The goal of the campaign was to encourage ‘closeted’ atheists to voice their beliefs and to appeal to the logic of those who are unsure. It was also against the commercialization of Christmas and ignorance surrounding the origins of the holiday. The only way I could figure half this out was by looking at the website the billboard referred viewers to.
The group doesn’t feel bad about causing such controversy. In fact they embraced their role as the ‘Marines of atheism’ on the web page that explained the billboard. It’s obvious that they wanted some attention, and didn’t care .
In the past, the group has raised money to hold conventions, publish and collect literature, and protest government entanglement with religion. The organization’s late founder, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, won a Supreme Court case against school prayer in 1959. This is the first time they’ve purchased a billboard.
One of the sentiments express by the organization on their website was that this billboard would help to discredit Bill O’Reilly’s ‘War on Christmas.’ The opposite has proven to be true. They have drawn criticism from various religious leaders and have been featured on local news broadcasts in the tri-state area.
The American Atheists use a billboard to assert that they are right and people who believe in a religion are wrong. The language they used was designed to provoke. That attitude of there being one absolute truth is part of the reason atheists don’t like religion.
The American Atheists aren’t acting like the heroes that separated prayer from schools that they may have once been. They aren’t protecting or supporting atheists who face difficulties due to their lack of belief. They’re preaching. Preaching atheism, but preaching nonetheless.
$20,000 dollars is a lot of money to attack other people’s views. Yes, atheists have been subject to much of the same over the years, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Spend the money on atheists, not attacking the religious who have done nothing wrong.