A controversial anti-Christian billboard in Times Square has been put up by the secular group American Atheists. It must be Christmas.
For better or worse, the group American Atheists has made a seasonal habit of reminding everyone that our holidays can be more festive without the religious overtones with privately-funded and often controversial billboard displays. In Times Square, one such billboard reads “Keep the Merry!” next to a picture of Santa Claus, and “Dump the Myth!” next to a picture of Jesus Christ.
“Most Christians are really atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion,” American Atheists president David Silverman told Fox News. “They need not be Christian to enjoy the holiday season.”
Silverman said that a private donor ponied-up $25,000 for the display to stay up for one month, ending on January 10. “We chose Times Square because it is a place where people go to shop and be festive, which has nothing to do with religion,” Silverman said.
“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,” Teresa MacBain, Communications Director for American Atheist and a former pastor stated on the group’s website.
Point taken, but Silverman doesn’t do much to address what many perceive as an unnecessary attack on Christianity.
“It’s a damn shame. It’s an insult,” said New Jersey resident Anthony White. “Why did they have to put that up?”
“This year it’s different,” said Catholic League spokesman Bill Donohue, whose group has fought displays by American Atheists before. “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.”