ATHEISTS CHALLENGE ''MYTH OF CHRISTMAS' WITH GIANT BILLBOARD
AT LINCOLN TUNNEL
An atheist group intends to get an early start on the holiday season with plans to erect a huge billboard near the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City inviting people to examine their beliefs about Christmas.
The sign will start catching the attention of motorists on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, and remain in place for approximately one month. It will depict the so-called "Christian" nativity and the message:
"You KNOW it's a myth! This season celebrate reason!
American Atheists Reasonable since 1963. atheists.org"
Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists, said that the billboard will target people who "go through the motions" of celebrating the holiday but don't believe in the Christ myth.
"Many people follow religions and observe rituals in which they do not believe," said Mr. Silverman. "They go along to get along, which simply leads to more prejudice and bigotry. Closeted atheists hurt themselves and others like them by remaining silent about what they know to be true."
Silverman added, " None of the traditional Christmas seasonal practices originate with Christianity. What we call Christmas has its origins in secular events like the Winter Solstice and the change of seasons, as well as Pagan holidays like Yule. This season was celebrated long before Christianity usurped it."
The billboard is an invitation to everyone to learn more about the real origins of the so-called "Christmas" season, said Silverman, and to spur discussion of what we know to be true, and what we know to be myth.
"We are encouraging everyone to be honest with themselves and each other about what they truly believe, and to celebrate reason and truth this season. Unlike gods and saviors, reason and truth actually exist."
(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights
for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total
separation of church, mosque, temple and State; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)