December 21st, 2013
10:22 AM ET
Why atheists should quit the 'War on Christmas’
Opinion by Chris Stedman, special to CNN
(CNN) - The “War on Christmas:” what — or who—is it good for?
In recent years, one organization, American Atheists, has claimed the mantle of prime atheist promoter of the tired “War on Christmas” narrative.
This year, they ushered in the season with an electronic billboard in New York City’s Times Square carrying the message: “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody.” The word "Christ" is crossed out, just in case their message wasn't clear enough.
The American Atheists maintain that their latest entry in the annual “War on Christmas” saga is a message to other atheists that they are not alone.
In a recent Fox News appearance, American Atheists President Dave Silverman said, “The point that we’re trying to make is that there’s a whole bunch of people out there for whom religion is the worst part of Christmas, but they go to church anyways, and we’re here to tell them they don’t have to.”
While that intention is important and admirable, very few people—atheist or theist—seem to interpret the message as welcoming to anyone. Many of the responses I’ve seen have been vitriolic and disturbingly anti-atheist.
Which raises the question: If the goal truly is to reach isolated atheists, why does the advertisement read as a dig at Christians? A better billboard for American Atheists’s stated aim might read: “Don’t celebrate Christmas? You’re not alone.”
As atheists become more visible in our society, the entire “War on Christmas” back-and-forth feels ugly and unnecessary. Worse still, it seems to do little more than offer ammunition to those claiming atheists are just mean-spirited grinches. Bill O’Reilly—one of the major “War on Christmas” soldiers—made that clear when he and I discussed the “War on Christmas” a couple of weeks ago.
Let’s not kid ourselves: There is no war on Christmas.
We live in a culture that privileges stories of conflict, so it’s understandable that this narrative would gain traction—with or without billboards. Much of this narrative is a manifestation of religious fears about our increasingly secular society, and it reflects widespread anxieties about atheists and religious differences. But it doesn’t reflect reality.
Rather, as religious diversity in the U.S. has become more recognizable, Americans have largely broadened their approach to this time of year. According to new data from the Public Religion Research Institute, the percentage of Americans who prefer the inclusive “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” has now exceeded the percentage that prefers “Merry Christmas.”
It’s not that Christmas is under attack; instead, our society is becoming better at embracing its religious diversity and challenging the notion that a single majority religion should dominate public expressions of belief.
So why does the “War on Christmas” narrative persist?
Based on how much play they give it each December, the “War on Christmas” narrative seems to be good for Fox News ratings. And American Atheists has openly admitted that it is good for their pocketbooks, as their talk show appearances bring in a swell of donations.
Consider this from a recent profile of Silverman:
“Silverman’s notorious anti-Christmas billboards and subsequent TV appearances have breathed new life into American Atheists and are often followed by an uptick in subscribers and donations. ... According to Silverman, the primary objective of the billboards is to get invitations to talk shows.”
In other words: American Atheists and Fox News - alongside conservatives like Sarah Palin - seem to have discovered a mutually beneficial relationship.
But does this relationship benefit atheists more broadly? Does it accurately represent the sentiments of nontheists in this country? Does it improve atheist-theist relations?
Does it lessen the widespread stigma and distrust that exists between atheists and theists, which enables atheist marginalization across the U.S.? Does it invite Christians to think critically about religious privilege?
Many atheists, myself included, suspect that there are more effective approaches to tackling these important issues.
To start, atheists can build positive relationships with believers to humanize our communities and educate one another about our differences. That’s something that billboards, for all of their flash and fundraising capabilities, likely won’t accomplish.
Atheists face real marginalization in the U.S., and it should be robustly challenged.
But we also have good tidings and great joy to offer—important contributions to the public square that are currently being drowned out by attention-grabbing billboards claiming “nobody” needs Christ in Christmas.
In the spirit of generosity, compassion, and kindness so often associated with this time of year, let’s ditch the billboards and build relationships of goodwill.
Chris Stedman is the Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, Coordinator of Humanist Life for the Yale Humanist Community, and author of "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious." You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDStedman.
The views expressed in this column belong to Stedman.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
I think a deeper purpose of this billboard to let nonbelievers understand that they are not alone during the Christmas season when before many may have been a bit depressed. This particular message may abrupt to some but the repression of nonbeliever messages has been more than repressed and more to silenced in the past. Some ostracism towards them continues. In the more distant past views that contradicted the Catholic Church for centuries was met with harsh criticism, torture, imprisonment and even death. So let them express their view and enjoy your Christmas or Holiday Season or whatever.
I think all too many Christians are over-reacting to this kind of sign. Please think people–are you so insecure in your faith that you cannot stand to see a single billboard like this? Really?
Please put this in perspective, and imagine that the tables were turned–and this sort of billboard were as commonplace as Christian signs and crosses all around the country–and you were the ones in the minority. I think you can live with an occasional billboard like this.
You can breathe a sigh of relief on one issue though–we atheists will never tell you that you are going to burn in Hell for all eternity if you don't share our beliefs. I can't say the same for Christians.
Having said all that–I agree with the author that there are more effective ways of getting out our message.
Ya, post a sign opposite to every church in the nation. They'll be more than satisfied to go back (revert) to having just one out in public.
Balanced thought II
The difference between the Regilious and the Atheists
The Athiests are blind–do not inquire and maintain the simple viewpoint 'ther is no God". Brainwashed. Weak thinkers
The Religious are independent thinkers–They have researched and questioned and have become convinced there is a God.
The Athiest, as seen–remain blind and threatened when challenged
The Religious are enlightened–know God–and are secure in their futures
Do you agree that Westboro Baptist Church is representative of all Christians?
This has GOT to be the stupidest generalization of atheists I have ever seen.
You absolutely have that turned around, as evidenced by the FACT that higher intelligence and higher educated people, tend to be atheists and agnostics.
Just wishful thinking on your part, but flat out reversed.
In these constant religion versus atheism debates, that has got to be one of the funniest statements I have ever read. Atheists are the brainwashed and weak thinkers?? That is absolutely hilarious. Please keep posting. Stuff like that will entertain me for the rest of the day. Thanks.
If you're wussy enough to be bullied into going to church even though you don't want to, there's TWO problems. First, you need to cut the passive-aggressive Atheist nonsense and say, "I don't share your beliefs, leave me alone" – that's freedom of speech, and you should exercise it.
Second, you have Christian friends who are @s$hole$, and if they're bullying you into going, tell them to f-off.
But don't decide for everyone that they cannot enjoy Christmas just because you're a wuss with @s$hole friends.
And...if you notice, it doesn't say anything about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or even Ramadan, simply because you can't attack blacks, Jews, or Muslims. It's only Christians that are fair game.
Great advice, if you are trying to get someone beaten up "loving christian" neighbors and family.
Around christians, it is not healthy to out yourself as an atheist in many circu.mstances.
Carefully pick you battles.
Saturnalia is the basis for Christmas even down to the consuming of human shaped biscuits (gingerbread men cookies) and singing drunk and naked in the streets (which became caroling), almost every holiday custom can be traced to a previous custom of Saturnalia....decorated trees, and gift giving included.
Legalize hemp farming, medicinal marijuana uses and tax the doggie do-do out of recreational usages...
Father Christmas belongs to Coke, they invented him. Gift giving is a pagan tradition, as an offering for the winter solstice. The 25th of December is also the 'birth' date of Mythmas, an Egyptian god who also died and was raised. So where exactly is Christ in any of this?
Those are facts.. and that is why the christians don't want to hear them.
That noisy sucking sound you hear is the sound of Beast gubmints taking control. Of everything.
Ya sure.. whatever.
It's time for you, to give, your mom's nipples, a break. Freak.
Absolutely true. The modern version of Santa Claus is a creation of advertising for Coca Cola. (So I guess we should actually ask Coca Cola if he is white or not.)
While yer at it ask em what happened to the original coke in da coke. This should hold you over:
Bruder bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had anudder one she paid it for de lime
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank 'em bot' up
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank 'em bot' up
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank 'em bot' up
She put de lime in de coconut, she call de doctor, woke 'im up
Read more: Harry Nilsson – Coconut Lyrics | MetroLyrics
As a christian, first to other christians. The pursuit of political power (that has a lot to do with all of this) is very unbecoming of a true christianity. Second, to atheist, stop attacking religions, because you have become one.
Go with the rhetoric that your preachers have banged into you.
Fallacy of equivocation
Please define "religion" and tell us what makes atheism a religion.
Nonsense. Atheism is not a religion. If you're going to make an argument, at least try to make a logical statement.
Nobody hates an atheist more than islam yet you seem silent when it comes to addressing the true intolerant. Scared? Yeah bullies only attack those who will turn the other cheek and take it on the chin. You atheists are so afraid of offending muslims which shows hows hypocritical you really are about your non beliefs.
Afraid to criticize Islam? Try reading Sam Harris' book 'End of Faith'. Please know what you're talking about before joing the conversatiion. Merry Christmas.
Huh? We're afraid of offending Mulsims? What are you ranting about? What does anything in this article have to do with Islam? I've never seen Muslim groups putting up billboards condemning other groups like the Christians have.
Why would people in a country that is about 75% Christian and less than 1% Muslim waste their time talking about Islam? There are approximately 100 Christians to every Muslim in the US. A lot of atheists here have never even met a Muslim. The reality is most atheists will tell you they would choose to live in a Christian rather than Muslim state, but the issue just isn't relevant to most people's lives. Who would we be debating? There's only one regular Muslim commenter here (mzh) and when he comes around people debate him, but at 100 Christians to every Muslim here, no one is going to bother.
It is called a "distraction."
The christians love doing this little stint / trick. To insert another target to pull you away from the matter at hand.
"Please don't attack me; here are some muslims instead.. go after them now."
" to atheist, stop attacking religions, because you have become one." MOST atheists truly don't care what other people believe. We don't attack or challenge your beliefs as long as you don't try to attack or challenge ours. There is no "war on xmas" – atheists don't care what other people choose to believe. This is something that the republican party decided to create to cause controversy and increase their followers. I personally don't agree with how some of those billboards come across – I think there are more tactful ways of saying that you don't have to be christian to celebrate xmas. But honestly, most atheists truly don't care what you choose to believe as long as you don't try to push your beliefs on to others.
Well, I picked my sons up from practice, come back here to this site, and still find some of the most pathetic, name-calling, personal ad-hominem attacks on others I've seen in awhile......It makes me think that I waste time being on here with some of you. Some of you haters, more than likely, appear to just be angry people.....angry at what, or Whom, I don't know......In my personal life, I do my best to avoid those like some of you, who just hate for no reason......Believers are called nasty names, stupid, bigoted, yada yada yada......... Some of you need to look in the mirror at what you have become....Any discussion of a Deity brings out the worst in you.......The question you should ask yourself is: why? As for me, I am done here, I am going to enjoy this beautiful holiday with my family, and hope that some good in this life shines upon some of you......Whatever it is about believers that brings out your hate, I hope you resolve it soon......
That was perfect
Religious freaks can just shut up about their silly god. That will end things really quick.
Oooo you just hate haters, it just fills you with such hate!
Vinster is a known troll. He has dropped his line in the water....hopefully no takers.
Vinster is right and you just can't stand the truth so you resort to trying to make him look bad. This time it just makes you look bad.
I have been called "un-American", "traitor", "monster", "evil", "devil", "child-rapist", "devil-worshiper", and so many more lovely things by your religion of love. Forgive me if others who've experienced the same thing get upset when a holiday gets stretched into MONTHS and then those calling names get so upset and claim they are being assaulted.
Personally, I think Christmas is a fun time. My problems with it are that it is stretching into a half-year event. Pushed so far into the year that it fights with other holidays. The entire country stops for Christmas. But the religious have become so domineering that no one should be allowed to comment on it other than to parrot their own particular set of beliefs.
What War on Christmas? A athesist group puts up a billboard and everyone freaks out. Yet, every Christmas, an atheist like me is bombarded with Christmas – Christmas music everywhere, TV Christmas specials, malls and stores and restaurants decorated for Christmas, Christmas cards, Christmas advertising, Christmas gift-giving, Christmas stories on the news, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, everywhere. And some people think there's a War on Christmas, Really? Get some perspective.
Why do ya think old people take so many naps?? Hibernation works.
Christmas stopped being a religious celebration a LONG time ago.
You are so right, but the fact is it was a holiday long before the Christians claimed it.
Absolutely. Not just that but stores start putting out Christmas decorations in AUGUST this year! I took pictures because I was in such disbelief.
I don't mind the holiday. I enjoy the time with my family, but the religious right has claimed they are being subjugated and attacked when they are the majority in this country. Ironically, in doing so, they have become the most monstrous of hypocrites.
They are upset about one group's billboard. I see dozens of billboards all over my city with advertisements of Christian radio stations, etc.. If I threw a tantrum every time I see one of those, I'd lose my mind.
Try living in a country that has been trying to demonize you and tell you that you don't belong and that you shouldn't be a citizen because you aren't a believer...
These ~christians~ are always proud of themselves; that they belong to the majority, but they abhor the fact that are minority can bring them to their knees.
Jesus is a minority, the original. You will bow.
You are right, Xmas now is two months long by the time it's all said and done. Some have had their Xmas parties and parades and other events saying merry Xmas to everyone and still have two or more weeks to go before Xmas even arrives, it is just stupid and silly, and of course not one word about God or Jesus, they are embarrassed to even mention his name. More people go into debt at this time of year than any other. There are more alcohol fueled fights, drinking and driving, accidents etc., but merry Xmas, ya right, it really isn't so merry after all for many. Xmas is just a weak excuse to try and feel good because they dont have anything else in their life, but then Xmas day comes and it's all over and the high never came, just another day but now I owe all this money. Xmas sucks, it's not the birth of Christ and that's a fact but they try to make believe it is and don't even mention his name. It is a selfish get time, what did I get, what did you get me, gimme gimme gimme. Two months of anticipating something that never really happens. But, the merchants are happy, they want it to be two months long so the blind can give them their money on so called sales of things they really don't need anyway. Sales that are phony to begin with, just say something is on sale and there will always be someone who will swallow the lie. Xmas for many is not a merry or happy time of year, they hope it is and try to make believe it is, but it isn't, it turns out to be a sad time of year..
How about this? You stop telling people what to think and believe. And while you're at it, if you want to bang your pathetic war on Christmas drum, why don't you set your sghts on the corporations that have commercialized it beyond belief. Christmas is no longer a religious holiday, if it ever was. It's now a shopping event, like George Washington's birthday.
Christians should indeed do as you say.
Absolutely. I don't see the Christian groups in the mall parking lots telling people to be more Christ-like. Their only presence there is ringing bells for money.
"...................May 1st, May Day as it was known, apparently didn't fit with any Christian holiday so it got phased out since it was pure pagan.........................."
Not..............It traditionally is a call for help when gong down the tubes. The socies stole it from the pagans, owing allegiance to their copycat natures.
I am a retired catholic and am sick and tired of having so called religious symbolism jammed down my throat wherever I go. Just driving from New York to Florida, I can count hundreds of roadside crosses. How many reminders do these people need? If they really cared about needy, why don't they actually go out and help them instead of building countless thousands of their little churches?
Simple economics: helping people = cash out, churches = cash in.
If you believe in Christmas, then you celebrate it. If you don't, then don't. Why is it that everything bothers people. You don't like a tv show, don't watch or just change the channel. You people really need to get your lives together. Oh, i'm sorry this is your pathetic life.
Actually quite a number of atheists here say they like and celebrate Christmas. I would be one of them.
As for your hatreds, well, that one is all yours.
The real war on christmas is it's commercialization and that commercialization is gotten so out of hand that it is squeezing out other important holidays.
Thanksgiving,a time to give thanks for what we have is being quickly pushed aside in our desire to buy stuff for Christmas which is certainly not the true meaning of Christmas,who cares about religion when I can get 75% off.
Commercialism amounts for over seventy percent of the annual retail income. Without this boost, the retail infrastructure would collapse.
Atheists unfortunately are helping usher in islamist extremism, because without christianity to offset that, islam just comes right on in, builds some mosques and before you know it, our country will be awash in terror.
Atheists concentrate on christianity but ignore islam and other religions, why?
That is pure nonsense.
You dumbfuck don't like the assault that is being waged on you. Tough luck.
You freaks don't even see the other disease that islam poses that are being fought in the same time frame as it is on your religion, but you still whine about it.
Oh, cut the crap. Some of the most hateful anti-Muslim vitriol comes from atheists. They exploit the victims of religious extremism beyond comprehension while at the same time calling those same victims stupid and worthless for embracing their faith – a technique that they probably borrowed from Christian extremists in this country.
I hate to be the one to break it to you but there are mosques in this country already. There's also a fair amount of terrorism already as well, but that's unrelated to the mosques. Pull your head out of the sand once in a while and you'll see what's actually going on.
Christianity, or else Islam–that's what you think? Only you Christians are keeping us safe from the filthy Muslim hordes?
It's not possible for people to simply not believe any gods? Or no other religions–no Buddhists, Hindus, Shinto, Animists, Sikhs, etc.?
I try very hard not to put people down, or be uncivil, or call people names, or say "stupid". But I'm going to here.
This is one of the most stupid, ignorant, bigoted posts I've ever read in my life.
Organized religion has been waging a war against humanity since its inception. Atheism is the only hope for the human race.
No. Not atheism.
The foundations of reason and logic are the keys to our independent future from the disease of religion.
@ Answer: Atheism is a natural product of education and rational thought. The more educated a population is, the less religious it is. Exhibit "A" – many countries in Africa that engage in barbarities as burning people alive for being witches. Exhibit "B" – the Southern United States.
Atheism is only the label that represents the tools, that we should use, to combat the religious freaks.
A non-belief cannot be the basis for life. Civilization must accept a morality based on logic and reason, atheism does not do that by default, in fact, more often that not, blind atheism leads to just a different brutal collectivism.
Atheism as you yourself are pointing out says nothing about ethics. It does not lead to "brutal collectivism" because it is not an ideology. Some atheists may have some world views that would lead to more positive or negative systems, but atheism is just a simole lack of belief is one thing on the universe. It doesn't lead anyone anywhere in particular.
Morality is a natural extension of empathy. You experience pain and you don't want others to hurt. Religion seems to think that morality can not ever be achieved through any other means than by what some book says about it. Empathy is primal. And it can be found in many other species.
Very well said. Empathy – the basis of morality – is an evolved trait.
Dan M., that makes no sense. First, not believing in God or gods is not the lack of belief in ANYTHING. Atheists have all sorts of beliefs. The common denominator of athiests, according to the definition, is "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods." Second, the religious have not cornered the market on morality (let alone logic and reason). The lack of belief in God is no more an indicator of amoral behavior than the belief in God. Religious teachings often DEFY logic and reason (e.g., God is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful and yet He allows someone's husband or wife to die a painful and horrific death from colon cancer)–that's why the religious sometimes must turn to faith (e.g., God works in mysterious ways). In contrast, the atheist ONLY has logic and reason to explain these sorts of situations.
Dan, this is silly. "Brutal collectivism"–you mean Communism? Atheism = Communism? Is this the argument you are trying to make? Silly. There is no logical causal link from one to the other. It's like saying Catholicism must necessarily lead to Fascism/Nazism. Hitler, Mussolini, and most other fascist dictators were Catholic. Is that a fair comparison to make?
Atheism is not really even an "ism". It shouldn't even be a word. It was coined by the Greeks to identify and separate people who did not share their pagan god beliefs. It's a label that describes a single position on a single question–do you believe in a god or gods? That's it. Other than that, there are no doctrines, dogmas, holy books, churches or priests of Atheism. Nothing else that you MUST believe. It's kind of like–do you believe in fairies? If no, then you are an a-fairiest, except that our society feels no need to label people for other things they don't believe in.
You are right about one thing–atheism is no basis for morality. It's merely a "no" answer to the God belief. There are many other secular moral systems and philosophies. Religion is not required for morality.
Oh, oooooohhh, the spirit of the BTK killer.
Sure sure, Dan...
You freaks will lie to yourself about it. It's your job to be ignorant.
Without a kingdom country, religions could not share the wealth of the people with the governing supremacists who control all of most countries' industrial powers...
This is why atheism will a fad: fear-driven divisiveness and exclusion that energizes the bitter base but makes sensible people want to have nothing to do with you. If you use Tea Party methods, you will get Tea Party results: a big splash followed by a long decline into nothingness. Good luck with that.
Ya keep on using logic and reason because in your opinion "that will fail."
The christians want their little delusions and are always willing to tell everyone else "that you will fail." So don't even start because you will fail. don't even have an opinion opposite to a religious freaks because you will fail.
~~The freak and their mentality:
"As long as you come over to being a religious freak then you can accomplish anything because our delusions are always successes!"
War on Christmas? What about the War on Advent? In the historical Christian Church's liturgical calendar, the four weeks before Christmas are Advent – the Christmas season runs from Christmas Eve until January 6 (the 12 days of Christmas). I don't like it when atheists want to secularize our culture and shut out any public mention of religion... But I also don't like it when modern evangelical fundamentalists are so ignorant of the Christian Church's teachings and traditions of two thousand years. America is not inherently Christian, nor is Christianity inherently American – it might surprise many people, but there are faithful Christians around the world and across the centuries who had nothing to do with our modern style of Christmas celebration.
That noisy giant sucking sound you hear is the original gubmint church.
The atheists didn't pay for a sign to cross out the name of the "nothing god" either.
They only crossed out the name of the Christ, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the one sent by God to die for others sins, those that believe him, repent, and do the will of God.
Fucktard christians just don't know how to troll. Ask your god for assistance.
Christians should stop their war on atheist. It is not Christmas it is Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, and several other December holidays celebrated by pagan religions.
Guess who's getting a lump of coal?
I will repeat what I posted to another. What war are Christians waging against atheists? Please explain that. I believe that from everything I see, read, and hear show the exact opposite. Atheists are waging a war against Christians.
If atheists are so "secure in themselves" as atheists boast, then why should it matter if Christians celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus? Why should having a cross displayed anywhere bother an atheist? Why do many atheists claim that going to the museum in New York City honoring the events and people of 911 say they get headaches, get nausious, rashes, etc. when they pass by the two steel beams left over from one of the twin towers, that form a cross. Why should it matter how many churches there are? Why does it matter to you what Christians believe? What they teach? What they preach from the pulpits? If atheists are so secure, then nothing religious, from any religion should affect them at all.
If an atheist finds religion offensive to themselves, why? And how? Ignore what is there. Don't look. Don't read. Don't listen. It's pretty simple don't you think? Shouldn't those who believe be allowed to believe, to have holidays that are exclusively theirs? Do atheists protest loudly when Islamic holidays come up like Ramadan? In fact if atheists did wage a war of words or legal fights against Islam, it could get ugly for atheists. Jihad would be waged back against atheists and they would be labeled by most as pure haters and be charged with a hate crime minimally, unless Islam declared a Jihad back at them which might be really bad. That's why atheists don't attact muslims or Islam. They are afraid of them and rightfully so.
It's easy to pick on Christians, cause we don't "fight" back except in legal courts and a war of words. We are easy targets. I don't see atheists complaining about their holidays. I don't see atheists protesting Hanukkah. I don't see them upset at pagan holidays. It seems all their efforts are in confronting an enemy that doesn't consider atheists as an enemy. Atheists aren't enemies of Christianity. We pray for atheists. We show love to atheists. We endeavor to preach the Gospel to atheists so they can have a relationship with Christ, but we don't target them specifically like atheists solely target Christians. Do we defend the Gospel, the Bible, Jesus, God? Yes. No different than you defending your unbelief which is your right. No one forces you to believe. You have the freedom to believe or reject God. But make no mistake, atheists are waging a war against Christianity and Christians.
If atheists don't believe, they believe that no one else should believe or have the right to believe. Why do atheists, if indeed, they are truly "secure in themselves" feel they have to specifically attack Christians? For that is what you are doing as I said, because you attack no other religion other than Christianity from what I have observed in my 67 years upon this planet. I have never seen news headlines or seen anything on any news network where atheists have gone up against any other religion other than Christianity. Care to elaborate intellectually all all that I have mentioned and asked? Please feel free.