By Joshua Gill
A national atheist organization gave a big “bah humbug” to Jesus with Nativity scene billboards that say “Just Skip Church, It’s All Fake News!”
The American Atheists targeted the billboards for the “the buckle of the Bible Belt,” placing them in Dallas, Texas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., and Albuquerque, N.M., according to NBC.
The group also posted a second series of billboards with the message “Just like Santa Claus, the atheists are comin’ to town!” to advertise their upcoming national convention in Oklahoma City.
— American Atheists (@AmericanAtheist) November 30, 2017
“Everyone knows that the stories we’re told in church aren’t the truth,” said American Atheists president David Silverman, according to a statement from the group’s website. “People ignore that fact because they enjoy the community, the friendship, and the traditions that go along with religion. But we’re here to tell them that churches don’t have a monopoly on any of that.”
Representatives of the group claim the billboards are meant to promote dialogue and to reach atheists in areas where their opinions aren’t popular, but local faith leaders say the message is just offensive.
“I think they’re trying to give a slap in the face to not only the Christian community but people that have faith and people that have hope,” Richard Mansfield, a senior pastor at New Beginnings Church in New Mexico told Christian Times.
Nick Fish, national program director for American Atheists, maintained that the billboards were not meant to offend, but appeared to contradict himself when he admitted to Christian Times that the advertisements were intended to “get a rise” out of religious people.
The group will hold their convention from March 30 to April 1.
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