magaxmas

American Atheists Unveil Holiday Billboard Messages

Hemant Mehta reports at the Friendly Atheist:

American Atheists just revealed their 2016 holiday billboard campaign. Once again, they’re urging people who are on the fence about religion to skip church. The first sign, riffing on Donald Trump‘s campaign slogan, says “Make Christmas Great Again — Skip Church!” The billboard will be up throughout December in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Shreveport, Louisiana, two Republican strongholds. It’s also a way to push back against Trump’s campaign promise to force stores to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” The other billboard features a conversation between two people, one telling the other that she plans to skip church this Christmas and her parents will just “get over it.” That billboard will be up during December in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lynchburg, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Georgetown, South Carolina.

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  • AtticusP

    The One Million Moms will probably think that Skip Church is the name of a Christian graphic artist…

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      lol

    • EweTaw

      Didn’t he appear in Titan Media’s early films? He did everything in a church and skipped the foreplay, going straight for betting boinked hard and fast?

      • m_lp_ql_m

        He skipped the sermons and went right into receiving communion.

        • Stephen Elliot Phillips

          Jesus gave up his body to the lord!

        • Wilberforce

          No. None of this is insulting. And it begs the question.
          Did atheists’ self-righteousness replace their manners? Or did they not have any in the first place?

    • Jude Newton

      With 6-pack abs…. You know they want it.

    • Mark

      Ya made me laugh cuz in my little group of friends up in Denver we had a guy we all called Skippy……for two reasons. First reason was his pickup. It was the exact color of peanut butter. Secondly, yes, like good creamy peanut butter – he was easy to spread….

    • gaymex1

      AtticusP…that is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long, long time.

    • Nic Peterson

      Hubby and I attend St. Mattress. Sometimes it’s penance, sometimes communion, sometimes both.

  • another_steve

    Let’s all stop being militants in this arena. Militant theists. Militant atheists.

    Let people be. Let people believe or not believe whatever the fuck they want to believe or not believe.

    Judge people by what they do, not by what they believe.

    • Silver Badger

      I will if they well. The problem is, they usually won’t.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      I agree. But I wish they would leave us alone in return. kinda hard to not have some animosity toward religion when most of the big ones want us burned at the stake

      • another_steve

        My enemy has a right to believe that gay people should be burned at the stake. I support their right to speak that.

        If, however, they say, “Now let us go get them, and burn them,” I want them arrested.

        • Stephen Elliot Phillips

          eh. theres kind of a fine line in believing and preaching that we should be put to death and the actual deed. Its a very fine line.
          Its really what all this end of PC rhetoric is about. freedom to bully and harm those perceived as inferior

          • another_steve

            The line is often difficult to discern. A caring, compassionate people look, always, to see if the line is being crossed.

            When it is crossed, they take action.

          • And their big complaint (if you ask follow-up questions) is that people give them stern looks when they say racist/sexist/homophobic things. That to them is a violation of their rights!

          • Jerry

            There’s enough crazy people in the world that, when you demonize a minority group, someone will take eventually take action. Happens all the time to people who have a contrary opinion to right-wing nuts (or christian fundamentalists) on the internet.

        • NZArtist

          ‘Saying’ is ‘doing’. It’s empowering the idea and giving legitimacy to other people who think the same.

        • gaymex1

          Steve, believing that gay people should burn at the stake is not what healthy people believe. Believing in a god is not what healthy people believe. We have a right to try to change their minds. It is a mental illness to think that way. We need to speak up and pull them into the modern world.

          • another_steve

            Gaymex, in the realm of metaphysics, it is only our egos that purport to know “truth.”

          • gaymex1

            not saying I know “truth”, just saying that belief in the existence of god is a difficult position to support. It is irrational.

          • another_steve

            Well, the discerning among us understand the human need/drive to believe in a “supernatural controller.”

            Call upon your inherent compassion, gaymex.

            Your reservoir of intuitive insight.

          • gaymex1

            lol. the discerning among us.
            Steve, please. One can be in awe of the universe without the need for supernatural controllers. One can have compassion without a belief in a god. One can have intuitive insight without the crutch of a magic man somewhere above controlling our lives.

          • another_steve

            Absolutely, gaymex. Everything you say there — absolutely.

            My only point is/was that the discerning among us understand why some of our fellow-travelers might feel/believe otherwise.

          • gaymex1

            Well, I agree with that.

        • Buford

          i think you’re guilty of being smugly proud of an over-simplification that you somehow consider to be profound. It’s not.

          But, I’ll exercise your model… if a governmental body officially declares their stance to be that children raised by gay couples are ‘disadvantaged’, how would your silly binary system categorize that situation – ‘just words’, or ‘arrest them’?

          • another_steve

            Well, girlfriend, you’ve chosen to attack me personally, and not my ideas. That, fyi, is called “ad hominem argument.”

            Fear not.

            We won’t be communicating again on this blog.

          • gaymex1

            lol.
            You sure showed that son-of-a-bitch.
            ROFLMAO

          • Buford

            Wrong… again. My criticism was not an ‘ad hominem’. I very clearly stated that your silly binary framing is a flawed over-simplification that does nothing to help anyone understand or address these issues. My criticism of your smug arrogance was just icing.

            That aside, I see that you also refused to defend your simplified framing by answering my fairly straightforward question. That sorta bolsters my criticism that your stance is more bluster than strategy.

      • Gianni

        I’m with you on that. I can’t help feeling the animosity toward the christianista when that’s all we keep getting from them. For whatever reason, they believe that God will shower them with blessings and entry to heaven if they just smash us down and make sure we will never be looked at as ordinary human beings equally worthy of all that they want for themselves. Not going to turn the other cheek after all the years of that degradation.

      • And the rest would feel really bad while they watched us burn but wouldn’t say anything because they wouldn’t want to create any controversy.

        • Stephen Elliot Phillips

          Its a depressingly heterosexual world we live in.

      • witch

        Or try like hell to interfere with your life

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Um, we do judge people by what they do, not what they believe or say. Is it such a coincidence that what they do and what they believe frequently align?

      • another_steve

        There is a coinciding there, often, of course.

        I’m not denying that.

    • MichaelJ

      I agree that atheists (and I’m one of them) shouldn’t be telling others what to believe or do, so I don’t particularly like the sign telling people to skip church. If they believe in Christianity, and I know a good many good people that do, they should go to church. Better I think would be a billboard that conveys the message to folks that they are hardly alone if they don’t believe in a supreme being and publicizes the existence of atheist groups.

      • another_steve

        I’m all for free speech. Theists and atheists alike.

        All must be allowed to speak, provided there is no overt incitement to violence.

    • NZArtist

      Sure thing. Seen what religious people do? It’s a disease that makes people do crazy things.
      But, hey, you wanna fill your head with that garbage – go for it. It’s your head. I don’t mind if you believe the moon is full of marmalade, or that there’s a giant purple hamster 400 miles under Australia.
      But, see, the moment you start talking about your crazy ideas, well, you are *doing*. So I’m going to judge you (thanks for your permission).
      You say you have an imaginary friend? Cool. I judge you’re a complete loon. There are no pixies or ghosties, ghoulies or goddies, demons or elves. But if you want to have a head full of crazy ideas, you go right ahead and think Mars is made of cheese. I really don’t care.
      Just, you know, if you’re going to talk about it I’m going to call you a loon.

      • gaymex1

        Can’t be said enough.

      • Alex in Idaho

        I rather like the idea of the giant purple hamster under Australia, and as an ordained Pastafarian, I’d consider her a worthy addition to our pantheon.

    • Alex in Idaho

      I live in a state where parents can murder their children by withholding medical treatment on religious grounds. I’m not so tolerant.

      • another_steve

        That crosses the “belief/deed” line, Alex.

        Those parents need to be arrested.

        • Alex in Idaho

          Of course they do, but our state legislators are so afraid of trampling people’s “religious freedoms” that they won’t criminalize this behavior (they’ve held several sessions to debate this, and still won’t do anything).

          And remember: our infamous Aryan Nations is a church.

        • gaymex1

          …and what if we could have prevented the deaths of innocent children by intervening and showing the parents how their belief system was faulty. Do we not bear part of the guilt associated with the children’s deaths?

          • another_steve

            I’m quite fascist when it comes to the suppression of belief.

            No. We should never suppress belief.

            Harmful deeds, yes.

            But never belief.

          • gaymex1

            Yes, you are.

          • Alex in Idaho

            Just convict them of murder and let them mull over their belief system in prison on their own. Think, teaching a pig to sing.

          • gaymex1

            Well, first you try to convince them, but if that fails I’m not interested in leniency when it comes to killing your own children (or any children) because of some archaic belief system. It is a mental illness and the children need to be protected.

          • Alex in Idaho

            Right now, there are no negative consequences for practicing their “faith,” but once they start going to the pen, I would wager that more of them will have a “revelation” and get their kids to a doctor. Funny how that works.

          • gaymex1

            It is a terrible system that allows the religious to call the shots, no matter how terrible the outcome for others. If pen time will change them, then so be it.

          • McSwagg

            “It is a terrible system that allows [SOME of] the religious to call the shots …” [Edited for accuracy].

            Native American and other “non-Abrahamic” religions are routinely suppressed in both belief and actions. Calls for tolerance always apply only to x-stains and sometimes Jews. All other faiths are deemed to be subject to suppression and discrimination. THAT fact is why we must always push back against the “Abrahamic” privilege of assumed supremacy. It’s not just about the rights of atheists to unbelief.

          • gaymex1

            Editing was appropriate. I agree with you.

    • JDS

      Until you have been damaged by religion like many of us here, we will always be militant and anti-religion.

      • another_steve

        I understand that, JDS. Truly. I am not “religious,” btw.

        So the compassionate among us do not condemn, indiscriminately and in a stereotypical manner, people of faith… yes?

    • Nic Peterson

      Hear hear! I believe I will have another drink. I also believe my husband and I will expect to be treated with the same dignity and respect that we provide to others.

    • Do Something Nice

      Yeah, that message doesn’t denigrate and isn’t militant.

    • The_Wretched

      False symmetry/equivalency

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    make christmas great again! Give to liberal charities!

  • Silver Badger

    Happy Holidays!

  • Bared Bear

    Skipping church has been the most sane thing that I’ve ever done… next to coming out.

    • Lazycrockett

      Church happens way to early anyway.

      • Earl

        Midnight mass conflicts with the Xmas Drag show.

        IIRC

        • djcoastermark

          Besides, the nativity production number is a whole lot better at the drag show. The virgin birth scene is just too funny.

        • McSwagg

          The funniest drag act I ever saw was a rendition of “Let it Snow” accompanied by the performer ‘tossing powdered snow’ from a ‘baggy’. The song and act became more and more frenetic as it progressed. I laughed soooooo hard.

    • djcoastermark

      Amen !

    • Jerry

      It conflicts not only with my belief system, but also my need to sleep in on Sundays.

    • Todd20036

      The last time I was in a synagogue it was for one of my niece’s bat mitzvah.

      The last time I was in a church it was to vote democratic (it was a polling place).

      The last time I was in a church and not voting, it was the LimeLight in NYC.

      Which curiously, was the only time I was on my knees in a church.

  • Gianni

    So Trump figures he can somehow force stores to say Merry Christmas? I’m truly curious about how he’ll do that? How about this: Merry Fucking Christmas, Donald!

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      I think if they replace Happy Holidays! with Heil Trumpenfuhrer! donald will be ok with that

      • Gianni

        😀 Likely, so would his loving supporters.

  • PickyPecker
  • PickyPecker
    • Jerry

      Sending “thoughts and prayers” until they pay taxes.

  • PickyPecker
  • PickyPecker
  • Bomer

    I gave up Christianity for Lent.

  • gaymex1

    I got all bent out of shape. I read it as skip “lunch”.
    Skipping church makes much more sense.

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    maybe gays should start their own religion. Hell nobody knows for certain that the apostles didnt have big orgies with jesus.
    It was, after all, an all man team.
    We might get some damn government protection that way

    • joe ho

      We don’t even know for certain that there was an historical jesus to begin with.

      We’re pretty certain there was no jesus with divine powers.

      • MBear

        I met a Jesus with divine powers. Wait, I dunno about “divine”…more like something something chrome off a bumper hitch.

    • The_Wretched

      He had a couple of potentially former whores in his retinue as well. They preached and everything. The early (soon to be catholic) church was much more accepting of women leaders. Paul worked hard to get them out of the control positions.

  • Treant

    I dunno, once a year I kinda like the music, and a Methodist Christmas doesn’t include hellfire and brimstone anyway.

    Also, it’s a “free will” offering night, so if you don’t, nobody says anything. I never do.

    • MBear

      Offering? Like sacrifice? I thought you freaks limited your perversions to ritualised cannibalism.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Crazy cults created millennia ago by folks suffering from schizotypal personality disorder and OCD.

    No thanks. I like reality so much more.

  • NZArtist

    If anyone is amazed that people voted for Trump, remember that there are still people who have an imaginary friend. Apparently in the US there are even more people with imaginary friends than voted for Trump.

    • MichaelJ

      There are plenty of non-believers who voted for Trump and plenty of believers who didn’t. Exit polls indicated that people who regularly attend church were much more likely to vote for Trump, but there are plenty of people who believe in some sort of supreme being (for the record, I’m not one of them) who do not attend church regularly.

      • NZArtist

        Of course – there are some stupid people who don’t have an imaginary friend, and there are some people with imaginary friends who realized Trump was lying about everything. As a trend:
        The most religious people voted Trump, the least voted Clinton. (There are some exceptions as a block – catholics, for example, mostly voted for Clinton.)

        http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/how-the-faithful-voted-a-preliminary-2016-analysis/ft_16-11-09_relig_exitpoll_religrace/
        But that wasn’t actually my point. I was saying that we shouldn’t be amazed that people are stupid enough to vote Trump, because there are people stupid enough to have an imaginary friend. I wasn’t implying correlation or causation, just that there are many stupid people in the world.

        • MichaelJ

          I wish the Pew Center research you linked to would have broken down the Protestant vote by race, and by whether or not the voters are Evangelical Christian. From what information is provided about Catholics and people of other faiths, it seems race and type of religion has as much to do with how people voted as being religious itself.

          I agree that there are plenty of stupid people in the world, but a better measure of how stupid people are is whether they believed Trump was telling the truth about anything rather than whether they believe in something you or I can’t imagine believing it.

          • NZArtist

            Like, the moon being full of marmalade.
            I guess I should just respect people’s belief of a giant hamster under Australia. It’s a perfectly normal state of mind.

          • MichaelJ

            Poor analogies. One can disprove notions that the moon is full or marmalade, or that there is a giant hamster under Australia. The existence of a god or gods can’t be proven or disproven.

          • NZArtist

            Yknow, I’ve always wanted to take up someone on the idea that you could prove, to a true believer, the moon isn’t full of marmalade. See, you personally would have enormous difficulty proving the moon isn’t full of marmalade. You could argue about relative densities, seismic propagation studies, and whatever. But the True Believer is going to discount any proofs you could come up with anyway. I think it’s a perfect analogy because it’s quite mad, seems falsifiable, but is fertile ground for saying hinge like “Ah, it’s super-dense marmalade. Obviously not near the surface. And takes on the characteristics of rock when exposed to vacuum…”
            Same with the hamster, or the china teapot orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Uranus. They sound like falsifiable things but in practice you personally wouldn’t actually be able to prove. And the True Believer would always come up with mad excuses why your current proof is wrong and hide their deity in another hard-to-reach hole.
            So, exactly like religion.

  • TexasBoy

    Make the Yuletide Pagan Again!!!

    • witch

      The look on people’s faces when they ask what I’m going to do on christmas, answer “nothing”, telling them as Pagan we don’t do christmas… you would think I kicked their puppy

  • marshlc

    Time for a favourite seasonal song, I think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNvZqpa-7Q

  • joe ho

    Religious belief in the US and especially Xtianity have been declining steadily since 1950. Even the Reagan years, which legitimized Falwell and saw the rise of the Moral Majority, couldn’t stop the erosion.

    It will be interesting to see how the rate of this decline will be affected by a president who is in debt to the religious right. Will they be successful in linking white nationalistic identity with Jesus and get young people back groveling in the churches?

    • Alex in Idaho

      The young people I know will not be groveling in churches, I’m happy to say.

    • There has been a growth of Christian Evangelicalism among the under 30-years-of-age crowd in Seattle. It’s rather odd.

  • Marc

    Nothing like Friday dinner at Miss Temple’s or Sunday brunch at Skip Church’s. Do not order the Skip’s Scramble.
    http://assets0.ordienetworks.com/images/user_photos/1342061/3cc036afb82bb4c51af2ec7dfb6cb875_width_640x.jpg

  • Mark

    I luv that its up in Shreveport cuz on any Sunday afternoon you can cruise the parking garages of every casino and town….and its a school of Texas trunk-lid fishies…

  • karmanot
  • David From Canada

    The whole thing looks like something that a bunch of angry kids put together. This type of atheism is too counter-culture and won’t make an impact on the masses.

    • Do Something Nice

      Oh shut up.

    • The_Wretched

      You do know that the “truth” anti-smoking campaign worked and the tobacco industry funded (please don’t smoke, pretty person smoking picture) didn’t?