Seattle, Washington will be ground zero for a new attack by Athiests using Christmas to attack belief in God. The Freedom from Religion Foundation launched a press release today touting plans to splatter an image of Santa Claus saying “Yes, Virginia, there is no God” on buses, billboards and public venues:
Starting this week, the Foundation is sponsoring 100 ads on Seattle buses that say “Yes, Virginia, there is no God.” That’s coming straight from the Santa’s mouth on the signs, 100 of which will be king-sized exterior ads, with about 300 smaller ads inside buses.
The interior ads feature six provocative quotations by five famous skeptics of history, plus a quote from perhaps the world’s preeminent atheist, Richard Dawkins, author of the bestselling “The God Delusion.” The ad features Dawkin’s comment from the book: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”
The ads also feature quotes from Emily Dickinson, Butterfly McQueen, Katharine Hepburn and Clarence Darrow, who famously said, “I don’t believe in God, because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.” Actress Butterfly McQueen, who played Prissy in “Gone with the Wind,” said: “As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion.” McQueen was a nearly lifelong atheist.
The FFRF famously made headlines last year when they posted an anti-God message in the guise of “winter soltice decorations” at the Washington State Capitol. They are building on the momentum of national media attention that stunt gave them.
Freethinkers and skeptics have a hard time with the belief thing, which is what’s behind the ads, said Dan Barker, Foundation co-president. “Most people think December is for Christians and view our solstice signs as an intrusion, when actually it’s the other way around,” he said. “People have been celebrating the winter solstice long before Christmas. We see Christianity as the intruder, trying to steal the natural holiday from all of us humans.”
The Foundation, which has more than 14,000 members, asks only that reason may prevail, all year round: “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world,” as the Foundation’s sign said last year in the Washington State Capitol (resulting in a moratorium on all inside displays, per the Foundation’s request).
Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president, said the winter solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years in the Northern Hemisphere, with festivals of light, evergreen trees, feasts and gift exchanges.
“We nonbelievers don’t mind sharing the season with Christians,” Gaylor said, “but we think there should be some acknowledgment that Christians really ‘stole’ the trimmings of Christmas, and the sun-god myths, from pagans.”