The Christmas season is revealing a growing rift among American atheists when it comes to the question of how to deal with religion.Some atheist activists are trying to seize the holidays as a time to build bridges with faith groups,Ugg noir paillette while other active unbelievers increasingly see Christmas as a central front in the war on religious faith. With the dramatic growth of the nonreligious in the last few decades, more atheist leaders are emerging as spokespeople for atheism, but the Christmas rift speaks to growing disagreement over how atheists should treat religion.
On the religion-bashing side, there’s David Silverman, president of the group American Atheists, which raised one of its provocative trademark billboards in New York’s Times Square last week. “Keep the MERRY!” it says. “Dump the MYTH!”The sign features a picture of a jolly Santa Clause and another of Jesus dying on the cross – a not-so-subtle attack on Christianity.“Christianity stole Christmas in the first place and they don’t own the season, they don’t own the Christmas season,”Ugg noir paillette Silverman said, pointing to pagan winter solstice celebrations that predated Jesus Christ. “When they say keep Christ in Christmas, they are actually saying put Christ back in Christmas.”
The New York billboard, which will be up until early January and is costing the group at least $25,000, is the latest in a long line of provocative American Atheists signs, which attacked then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s religion during this year’s presidential campaign.
It’s not the only way Silverman is using Christmas to attack Christianity.Ugg noir paillette In a recent TV interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, he said the American Atheist office be open on Christmas Day andcalled for an end to Christmas as a federal holiday.O’Reilly, in turn, called Silverman a fascist.