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Atheistsí ad blitz calls Christmas a myth
northjersey.com ^ | 11.26.10 | stephanie akin

Posted on 11/27/2010 9:05:56 PM PST by Coleus

Drivers approaching the Lincoln Tunnel this holiday season will be the targets of an atheist advertisement that its sponsors describe as a strike against Christmas. A billboard sponsored by the American Atheists and posted in North Bergen, on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, reads: 'You KNOW it's a Myth. This season, celebrate REASON.' A billboard scheduled to be displayed near the New Jersey entrance to the tunnel until the end of the holidays shows a silhouetted manger scene with the message, “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON.”

The $20,000 campaign, sponsored by a national organization called American Atheists, is timed to preempt annual accusations that liberal groups are waging war on Christmas by asking church adherents to question their holiday traditions, American Atheists President David Silverman said.  “If the religious right wants a war on Christmas, this is what they’re going to get,” he said. “If they want a war on Christmas, we’re going to make sure they know what one looks like.”  The campaign is one of several atheist media blitzes scheduled this holiday season.  It joins a $200,000 national television, newspaper and magazine advertising campaign sponsored by the American Humanist Association and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation meant to challenge biblical morality and fundamentalist Christianity.

Those ads juxtapose passages from religious texts selected because they appear to advocate for “fear, hatred and intolerance,” with quotations from humanist scholars that promote “love, equality, peace, freedom and reason,” according to a press release.  The American Humanist Association sponsored a 48-foot sign erected on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2008 that read, “Don’t Believe in God? You are not alone.”  The campaigns come on the heels of studies reporting that rising numbers of Americans identify themselves as non-religious — 15 percent in 2008 compared with 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the Trinity College American Religious Identification Survey.  The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life reported in April, however, that of the 5 percent of its survey respondents who said they do not believe in God or a universal spirit, only 24 percent actually identified themselves as atheists.

Silverman said his group interprets such numbers as a sign that the country is on the verge of an explosive growth in secularism.  Many of those potential secularists live in the New York-New Jersey area, Silverman said. The Lincoln Tunnel billboard, one of several the organization plans in the next year, was placed where it thinks generally affluent and highly educated commuters will have plenty of time to think about it as they inch their way through one of the most chronically clogged roadways in the region.  The message is meant to address what Silverman described as closet atheists: people who attend religious services during the holidays without believing in them.  “Stay home,” Silverman said. “Don’t give the church money. Don’t give the church power. Tell the truth to your friends and families.”

Such campaigns have already received one public response from a prominent Christian organization. The New York-based Catholic League reportedly sent statues of Nativity scenes to the governors of all 50 states, asking them to place them in their rotundas in response to atheists “out in force this year trying to neuter Christmas.”  Catholic League spokesman Bill Donohue could not be reached for comment.  Newark Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said he is aware of the billboard — his son passed it on his way home from a family Thanksgiving meal Thursday night — and that he isn’t impressed.  He added that the archdiocese declined an offer to buy a rival billboard, stating that it has more constructive ways to spend its money. The message of Christmas is too resilient to be threatened by a sign, Goodness said.

“We’re looking at well over 2,000 years of this message being part of humanity,” Goodness said. “One message on a billboard that’s going to be there for a month isn’t going to change that.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New Jersey; US: New York
KEYWORDS: atheist; atheists; billboard; christmas; hudsoncounty; lincolntunnel; moralabsolutes; nj; northbergen; waronchristmas; waronchristmas2010
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There are 140 comments on the article link.  The most I've seen.  I see that some NJ freepers commented too.

alt

1 posted on 11/27/2010 9:05:59 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus

I’ll bet these cowardly bass turds wouldn’t say things like this about Islam. They’d have their heads handed to them. Yellow cowards!


2 posted on 11/27/2010 9:08:54 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Don't touch my junk!!!)
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To: Coleus

All I can say is they are missing out on life’s purpose and power and spiritual fulfillment.


3 posted on 11/27/2010 9:10:31 PM PST by FlyingEagle
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To: Coleus

Well I am offended!
Offended to the very depths of my soul!
Indeed, the youngsters in my vast family are bewildered and offended too!

Can I file a law suit and get this offending Ad taken down?


4 posted on 11/27/2010 9:10:34 PM PST by J Edgar
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To: Coleus

Atheists only exist if God thinks they do.


5 posted on 11/27/2010 9:11:50 PM PST by TigersEye (Who crashed the markets on 9/28/08 and why?)
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To: Coleus

If they are really atheists, why do they care? And why do they care enough to invest in advertisements? I find that very strange.


6 posted on 11/27/2010 9:14:14 PM PST by La Lydia
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To: Coleus

Doesn’t hurt me. I know the Truth. Lot of good your billboards will do you when you die, atheists. Poor, silly saps.


7 posted on 11/27/2010 9:15:13 PM PST by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: Coleus

8 posted on 11/27/2010 9:17:18 PM PST by massmike (...So this is what happens when OJ's jury elects the president....)
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To: La Lydia

If they are really atheists, why do they care?

Because they are not atheists, they are anti-theists.


9 posted on 11/27/2010 9:17:26 PM PST by hiho hiho
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To: Coleus

Celbrating Reason and celebrating God are vitrually the same thing. Reason, that is actually valid and not just the epiphenomen of blind chemical and electromagnetic forces, cannot exist without God.


10 posted on 11/27/2010 9:20:20 PM PST by HerrBlucher (Defund, repeal, investigate, impeach, convict, jail, celebrate.)
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To: Coleus

It is not that atheists don’t believe, it is that they will believe in anything.


11 posted on 11/27/2010 9:23:03 PM PST by Patrick1 (I'm a soldier of good fortune, I'm guarding the Yucatan.)
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To: HerrBlucher

Indeed, God is the author of reason.


12 posted on 11/27/2010 9:23:53 PM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Coleus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE


13 posted on 11/27/2010 9:25:52 PM PST by TheCause ("that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States")
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To: Coleus

Bet they take Dec 24th, 25th off though....


14 posted on 11/27/2010 9:26:26 PM PST by goodnesswins (You deciding how to spend your health care $, that’s freedom. Govt deciding, thats a death panel)
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To: Coleus
American atheists - another communist front group? Started in 1963? By whom? KGB? GRU?
15 posted on 11/27/2010 9:27:33 PM PST by Art in Idaho (Conservatism is the only hope for Western Civilization.)
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To: Coleus

16 posted on 11/27/2010 9:30:59 PM PST by bigbob
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To: La Lydia

“If they are really atheists, why do they care? And why do they care enough to invest in advertisements? I find that very strange.”

In most cases, they are attention whores. I stress most. I know a couple of atheists that are not like that at all. Virtually all others I have met scream nonsense like this to either appear “smart and enlightened” or “shocking”.


17 posted on 11/27/2010 9:35:02 PM PST by edh (I need a better tagline)
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To: Coleus
Well, I'm going to go with the Schadenfreude approach on this one. Watching these people being miserable and trying to make everyone else miserable makes me laugh.
18 posted on 11/27/2010 9:35:04 PM PST by NurdlyPeon (Sarah Palin: America's last, best hope for survival.)
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To: Coleus

They don’t know the truth: There is a logical case for Christ!

J.S.


19 posted on 11/27/2010 9:37:30 PM PST by JSDude1
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To: La Lydia

They probably feel religion is being shoved at them and they are fighting back by pushing their own views on others. Admittedly some religions do prosletyze (sp?) and it’s up to people to say, “No thanks” if they don’t agree. But atheists should probably just keep it to themselves—they are in effect creating their own religion, their own prosletyzing.
But mostly it’s just “I hate people who shove religion at me” (their opinion) “so I’m shoving back”.

I don’t know if they’re going to work on Christmas Day, if they’re so offended...my own view btw is I tolerate any religion that spreads love, peace, tolerance, etc. but I draw the line at the extremists who use religion to
crash planes into buildings so they can meet Allah and
72 black-eyed virgins. The old “your right to swing a fist ends at my nose” saying. If you love your religion, great. If you love being an atheist, great, but don’t try to push it on me.

And if they don’t like the Christmas celebration they can
do their own thing and let us alone. We are a pluralistic
country and the freedom to believe, or not believe, is within each of us.


20 posted on 11/27/2010 9:38:52 PM PST by raccoonradio
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