The group American Atheists, Inc. unveiled a billboard with the group’s holiday message on Wednesday, asking why anyone needs “Christ” in their Christmas at all.
“This season is a great time of year for a hundred reasons—none of them having to do with religion,” said American Atheists President David Silverman via press release. “This year, start a new tradition: Don’t go to church. You hate it, it’s boring; you probably only go because you feel guilty or obligated. Instead, spend more time with your family and friends — or volunteer. There are better uses of your time and money.”
People might be better served, said Silverman and American Atheists PR director Dave Muscato, by returning the holiday to its pre-Christian, traditionally pagan roots.
“Many so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions celebrated by Americans have nothing to do with Christianity. For example, the North Pole and Santa traditions come from Nordic and Germanic pagan traditions, and caroling, yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths all pre-date Christianity,” Muscato said.
Silverman continued, “We all love this time of year. Christianity has been trying to claim ownership of the season for hundreds of years. But the winter solstice came first and so did its traditions. The season belongs to everybody.”
The group’s new billboard measures 40 ft. by 40 ft. and is located in New York City’s Times Square. The animation it displays can be viewed below.
Watch video of the animation, embedded below via American Atheists:
[image of David Silverman via American Atheists' Flickr photostream, Creative Commons licensed]