Right on schedule American Atheists announced this week their annual shots in the war on Christmas by posting images of what will soon be on billboards and in the media for the next several weeks. The fact they launch this campaign at Christmas and at no other time of the year is no accident. They intend to inflict as much offense and garner as much attention as possible.
â€œEvery year groups like The Catholic League and American Family Association told Americans about a war on Christmas that simply did not exist. Last year we thought we would give them what they seemed to want and fired the first shot in the war on Christmas. To both groups we say, â€˜Happy Holidays!â€™â€ said Amerian Atheists Communications Director Blair Scott.
Anticipating the inevitability that their billboard will offend others, Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said, â€œWhen you question someoneâ€™s long-held beliefs and doctrine they are going to be immediately offended and be on the defensive: itâ€™s a known psychological phenomenon.â€
It is likewise a know pschological phenonmenon that recruiting at Christmas during difficult times results not in further recruits for the cause of atheism — whose beliefs are the only ones American Atheists seem to tolerate — but futher cynicism about the political debates surrounding the season of Christmas.
“It’s noise,” said Jeff Westover of My Merry Christmas.com. “It gets them on the news and in their view furthers their cause. In reality, it does a disservice to those like-minded individuals who happen to celebrate Christmas. And they don’t have to do that. We have many, many members of our community who are atheist or agnostic and they happen to celebrate Christmas along side those with other beliefs just fine. They love the season for secular and nostalgic reasons and don’t mind if others see it differently.”
The practical reasons for exploiting the holiday season to advance American Atheists’ agenda is the same that retailers and marketers start their campaigns around Thanksgiving and Christmas: it’s on people’s mind. They are active in their churches and in their communities in the celebration of Christmas.
It seems a bit dishonest to Westover. “I don’t see why the American Atheists have to use the Christmas season as their primary recuiting crutch.” Westover said. “Where are these billboards in January when they are cheaper? Why not promote in the middle of July? Well, that’s pretty simple. The very phony war on Christmas they like to criticize is perpetuated by these antics. It stirs people up and that is their intention. That’s why the so-called war on Christmas will never go away. The bullies in the school yard on both extremes just can’t resist each other. And the vast majority in the middle are growing weary of it.”