Dear American Atheists: This is What You Can Do With Your Anti-Church Billboards

american atheists

Dear American Atheists,

I am hearing a lot online today about the two billboards you put up in North Carolina and Colorado, and I’m a smidge confused. Your website says that you are “the premier organization fighting for the civil liberties of atheists and the total, absolute separation of government and religion.” And actually, I am totally cool with and supportive of separation of church and state. In the United States, we have the freedom to believe (or in your case, believe to not believe) whatever we want as far as religion goes, and I think religious freedom is the bee’s knees. That being said, I’m not confused about your organization’s stated purpose, but I AM confused as to why you put up two snarky anti-church billboards.

It seems to me like telling people it’s ok to not to go to church on Christmas has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. Seems to me you like you’re just pulling a publicity stunt and sorry but..not being very nice.

I mean…your billboards have Santa Claus on them. While many Christians disagree about how much Santa should play into the Christmas holiday, the fact is he is based on a real live hero of the Christian faith, St. Nicholas. Since I am guessing you guys probably study up on the enemy pretty well, methinks you already knew that. But hey, feel free to insert religion into your advertising when it serves your purposes! And I’ll feel free to point out the hypocrisy. It’s a win-win!

Speaking of things I want to point out: How about this interview with your program director Nick Fish on Fox 8. I’m just going to quote Fox 8 here, to prove that you REALLY cannot even make this stuff up:

Nick Fish, the program director for the American Atheists, said that the billboard is meant to help get rid of atheist stereotypes.

“We want it to be either a little funny, or edgy, or provocative in some way, so when people see it, they stop and go, ‘Hey, wait a second, what did that just say?’” Fish told WCNC.

Fish said the group specifically targets certain areas, and that is why they chose North Carolina and Colorado this year.

“We always do this in areas where we think our message may not be heard as often,” Fish said. “So we try to go to places where they’re extremely religious, or there’s some sort of connection to evangelical Christianity.”

(Bold is my emphasis)

Get rid of atheist stereotypes? If the stereotype you wanted to get rid of is that you’re just nice non-believing people minding your own business (which is kind of what I thought atheists were), GOOD JOB. Now I think you’ve made a new stereotype of being an unkind group, trying to irritate the crap out of people who believe in God…just because they believe in God. So if that was your intent, please give each other a hearty round of fist-bumps at your next non-religious gathering!

The Bible (which, if I wasn’t clear, I believe in) tells me in Romans 3:23 that I CANNOT be good for goodness’ sake, even if I really, really want to. But it actually also tells me I don’t have to go to church to be good, either. So basically, your messages is mean-spirited AND pretty inaccurate as far as evangelicals go. (I’m inferring that because you specifically said in the news interview above that you wanted to target evangelicals. Way to show your hand, dudes.)

Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, American Atheists. The rest of America—from the agnostics to the Christians to the Muslims and everyone in between—are going to go back to literally never thinking about you, ever.

Well, after they share this article, that is.

Merry Christmas!


Oh wait, I forgot to tell you what you can do with your billboards! Leave them up. I don’t think they’re helping  your cause.

P.S. Now I’m praying that you come to know Jesus. Talk about your all-time backfires!

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.