American Atheists are taking their annual billboard campaign against Christmas to the Bible Belt this year. Billboards have gone up in Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis and Fort Smith, Arkansas with a fifth planned in Milwaukee. The sign features a young girl writing a letter to Santa Claus that says, "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales." The billboards have been positioned in residential areas near schools and churches. The new billboards are a departure from the previous campaigns which targeted areas such as Times Square.
Last year, American Atheists' billboards claimed no one needed Christ for Christmas. The signs read, "Who needs Christ for Christmas?" with Christ crossed out and replaced by the word "nobody". According to the Washington Post, a New York state senator objected to the prominent billboard in Times Square and requested the group take the sign down. American Atheists responded by saying they would place a similar sign in his Staten Island district.
The Christian Post reports the latest campaign ad was rejected in Jackson, Mississippi where lessors refused to lease billboards due to the content. American Atheists Public Relations Director Danielle Muscato said the billboards are needed in the South, where "discrimination and mistrust of atheists is especially pronounced."
Many observers say the most controversial aspect, about the new billboard, is using a child writing a letter to Santa Claus to project their message. According to David Silverman, American Atheists president, "Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don't want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead. Today's adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed. It's OK to admit that your parents were wrong about God, and it's definitely OK to tell your children the truth."
As reported previously in the Inquisitr, American Atheists are no strangers to using controversial billboards to promote their cause.
Many of the states targeted have a lower percentage of people who don't believe in God. The Washington Post refers to a Pew study which indicated only 2 percent of respondents in Tennessee don't believe in God. Tennessee, along with seven other states, has laws on the books which prohibit atheists from holding public office. These laws are basically in name only due to a Supreme Court decision which made them unenforceable.
American Atheists launched the first-ever atheist television station in July of this year, on Roku, which they state is an alternative to other television stations that "kowtow" to religious preferences.