Why atheists should quit the 'War on Christmas’
The group American Atheists has placed this billboard in New York City's Times Square.
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.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Christmas • Church and state • Culture wars • Discrimination • God • Health • Holidays • Opinion

soundoff (5,210 Responses)
  1. alyxlili4health

    Atheists or anti-theists always pick on Christianity, yet not other religions. That's why I've come to the conclusion they are actually more anti-Christ than anything. I'm super tired of those billboards. That would be the day I'd ever have the rude balls to put up an anti-Islam or anti-Judaism or anti-Buddhist slogan on a billboard. It's disgusting in this day and age when we've fought for women, gay and other rights to see something so slanderous against an entire religion.

    December 22, 2013 at 5:23 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      I think they are focused on Christians because Christians do all the anti-muslim, anti-buddhist, anti-mormon, anti-jehovah's witness, anti-hindu, anti-wiccan, etc. work for them.

      Plus, haven't heard of a Wiccan trying to get a ban placed on funding for god-hating public progams such as PBS and the like.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:26 am |
      • lol??

        Ungrateful, they are after the Christians do all the softening up on the targets in the war.

        December 22, 2013 at 5:43 am |
    • jeremiah dawson

      Christians can not even begin to talk about being "picked on". From a religion founded on blood and political power and mens greed being forced down Non-Christians throats. Like your 500yr holy war. That was really a misuse of men's faith promising a get out of jail free card if you kill a infidels, Your sins will be forgotten. As though Men could dictate what deeds will give you passage to heaven. Overall it was the European Royals plundering the gold and richs of the middle east using faith as a rally card for common men to a fight to fuel Europe's Elite's greed. I personally dont care if we say Merry Christmas or happy holidays. But when Christians start complaining about being picked on. Guess what... Your people have been doing it for well over 1000yrs+ so enjoy a taste of your own medicine.

      December 22, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • Saraswati

      In the US there are 100 Christians to every Muslim, and about the same for Buddhists. Identify a country that is not Christian dominated where you think this is true and we might take you seriously. People are hardly going to fight against groups they don't see threatening them.

      December 22, 2013 at 6:32 am |
  2. Anton

    Religions should give christmas (solstice) back to the pagans (and others) who had it first.

    Chew on that you religious morons.

    December 22, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • Bob

      I'm not religious, but how do you steal a holiday? I think commercialism has more to do with our traditions than paganism.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:23 am |
    • billbfit

      Hopefully one of your fellow pagans will throw you in a pit of fire and we will all be done with you. You are truly an evil and worthless POS.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:45 am |
      • S-3B Viking

        Praise Jesus! billbfit....preach it brother!

        December 22, 2013 at 5:47 am |
      • Paula Kramer

        Do you consider yourself a Christian? If you do, when do you practice the Golden Rule?

        December 22, 2013 at 5:48 am |
        • TV1

          Some trolls steal other's names and post crappy things. 🙁

          December 22, 2013 at 5:51 am |
      • Pretending to be a holy roller

        Nice try

        December 22, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • Rett

      You mean pagans don't celebrate the season any more?

      December 22, 2013 at 6:16 am |
  3. WhatDidYouSay

    There are two different types of Atheist. The comfortable kind who do not become upset at something they do not believe in, and then there are the uncomfortable Atheist. The uncomfortable Atheist should evaluate why words like "Christ", "God", "Christmas" upset them. The root of their discomfort is that somewhere, unbeknownst to them, there is a fear which exists inside of them that they do not understand. At the root of this fear is the possibility that they could be wrong. That maybe there is a God and they may be held accountable. These types of Atheist will not acknowledge their fear because it goes opposite of what their brain is trying to tell them: There is no God. So to justify their anger without acknowledging their fear, they will rely on statements like: Christians are forcing their way of life on me, religion is dangerous to humanity, or separation of church and state (as if the gov't is forcing them to believe).

    December 22, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      Just "two"? You live in a pretty boring world...sad for you.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:17 am |
    • Bob

      Yes, some atheists are definitely living in fear. Most atheists I personally know aren't worried about religion. Our country is doing a pretty good job at allowing religious and non-religious freedom.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:19 am |
      • Saraswati

        The atheists I know who are living in fear are usually afraid that the Christian right are going to impose a theocracy in the US, which is not an unreasonable fear given that creating a Christian nation is the stated goal of many of these groups. This is no different from someone in Lebanon or Indonesia fearing Muslims will impose Sharia. Unreasonable?

        December 22, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • Chip Smith


      December 22, 2013 at 5:53 am |
    • nybrit

      As an atheist, I have no objection to religion or religious belief but only to ignorance it spreads. The mentioned of god makes me 'uncomfortable' because it does not answer anything, it is a way of avoiding difficult questions. When someone evokes god they give up reason and logic to fables. Religion answers nothing never has and never well, faith is not a path to truth, it does not explain life, the universe or death yet is given credit for doing so.

      I have no objection to religion or religious belief but only to ignorance it spreads.

      December 22, 2013 at 6:36 am |
      • Chikkipop

        "I have no objection to religion or religious belief but only to ignorance it spreads"

        Uhhh.....you have an objection to religion. Why are you afraid to say it!?

        Your objection is justified; your fear of being straightforward about it is not.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  4. Is this Fox News?

    The only people claiming a war on Christmas is Fox News. Has CNN turned into Fox News?

    I'm a Atheist, I enjoy Christmas, not because it's some claimed to be Christian holiday, but because it's a PAGAN holiday with PAGAN decorations. Being said that, I don't say Merry Christians, I say Happy Holidays, it's the proper term. I wish only for Christians to open a book that isn't fictional and learn some history.

    December 22, 2013 at 5:10 am |
    • Bob

      In America Christmas has its roots in Christianity. That is why Jews, Muslims and Hindus don't celebrate it. And most likely you are descended from Christians who celebrated Christmas for Jesus Christ, not Pagan gods.
      Pagan is too generic of a term to use. They represented a variety of people, holidays and traditions.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:22 am |
      • Saraswati

        In the US Christmas is dominated by Christianity, something very different than where its roots lie. Christmas came over from Europe and its roots lie there.

        Many Hindus, btw, celebrate Christmas as Hinduism is a non-exclusive religion and Christmas is largely seen as secular anyway. Many do not, but that is more a cultural preservation than religion issue. Christmas is also very popular among Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists and secularists in Asia where the secular aspects predominate.

        December 22, 2013 at 6:40 am |
  5. Bob

    "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."


    December 22, 2013 at 5:06 am |
  6. Bob

    Both Christians and atheists make ignorant arguments / comments.

    December 22, 2013 at 4:54 am |
    • Damocles

      Yeah, weird how people will act like... you know... people.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:57 am |
      • Bob

        I know. People are people. Generalizations are a logical fallacy. And yet I see Christians say all atheists are smug and arrogant. And atheists say all Christians are delusional and mentally retarded.
        Most people say internet atheists and internet Christians act a lot alike. Maybe that is why the love going to the same message boards?

        December 22, 2013 at 5:00 am |
        • Damocles

          I try not to slip into name calling, but it happens. My reasons for coming here are varied, but there is a certain fascination in seeing the hoops that some people jump through to reconcile their belief. Truly acrobatic.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:07 am |
        • Bob

          Sure. But on the other side of the coin, I often see non-believers try to dictate why they imagine what a believer believes. And they describe it in less than flattering means.

          Most Christians I know are very reasonable and well adjusted. As are the atheists. On the intenet, not so much. But there are also people arguing about sports, politics, celebrities in the similar ways.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:12 am |
        • Chikkipop

          "I often see non-believers try to dictate why they imagine what a believer believes."

          That's interesting. Not quite sure what it means, though.

          Perhaps you have a better interpretation of what a believer believes? Now that would be interesting!

          December 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Bob, you fail to recognize that many atheists are former believers...or, perhaps you haven't read much on the subject from the atheist POV...

          And what makes you think that your Christian and Atheist friends aren't on a website doing just this in their spare time? Do you really know what goes on behind closed bedroom doors? How 'bout your closed doors, Bob?

          December 22, 2013 at 5:16 am |
        • Damocles

          Heh, it would be interesting to know if some of these well adjusted friends of yours got on here and acted less than well adjusted.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:19 am |
        • Bob

          If you are a well adjusted Christian or atheist you shouldn't take offense of my opinions.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:25 am |
        • Bob

          I know many atheists are former believers. Most have parents that are still Christians. I hope they treat their parents better than they treat others online.

          I'm a former believer. Yay!

          December 22, 2013 at 5:27 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Oh so subtle, Bob..."well adjusted"...and he's so upset by atheists calling Christians delusional.

          Bravo! Bob! You are a perfect fit for this blog.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:28 am |
        • Bob

          I'm saying they act like decent and kind human beings.

          I'm sure you might be right. In real life they act well. But then they get online and start acting like you.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:35 am |
        • Bob

          Whoops, sorry, that was Damocles theory that they act cool in real life/jerky online. Not yours.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:36 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          No, I said that too...I'm hurt that you aren't reading my full posts...tears are just coming now from my right eye. I'm glad you're just like me with that lovely smug comment about being well adjusted...just put a lil' more force in it and you'll be one of us, Bob.

          Come to the Darkside, Luke!

          December 22, 2013 at 5:39 am |
        • Bob

          I'm saying atheists are not as arrogant as Christians make them out to be.

          And Christians are not as delusional as atheists make them out to be.

          I have to admit there are atheists and Christians who know more about logic and science than me. Don't you realize there are Christians that could school you on physics, biology, chemistry, logic? They just aren't as dumb as most internet atheists try to make you believe.

          Holy crap, some Christians are brain surgeons. And we aren't.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:39 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      Says Wisdom's fount – Bob....who just can't seem to live, much less let live.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:02 am |
      • Bob

        I'm doing the same thing you are doing.

        December 22, 2013 at 5:04 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          I know...great, ain't it?

          December 22, 2013 at 5:05 am |
        • Bob

          "In other words: American Atheists and Fox News – alongside conservatives like Sarah Palin – seem to have discovered a mutually beneficial relationship."

          I'm trying to not fit into either of those groups. I think that is the point of this article. I think many internet christians and internet atheists have discovered a mutually beneficial relationship. The love to hate each other.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:08 am |
    • Zen Jew

      I am tired of religious zealots who insist on using every singe discussion to push their beliefs.

      You know, Christians and atheists.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:47 am |
      • Bob

        I sometimes have trouble keeping them apart.

        December 22, 2013 at 5:52 am |
      • Chikkipop

        I'm tired of ignoramuses who think expressing opinions is a bad thing.

        Debate is good. Beliefs matter.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Chikkipop

      Care to tell us about any ignorant arguments atheists make?

      December 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  7. diamonion

    atheists don't engage in your fake war on Christmas because atheists don't care about your stupid holiday. it's cute that you think we do though.

    December 22, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • diamonion

      I say keep Chist in Christmas and out of everything else.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • Bob

      This article was written by an actual atheist who implies the exact opposite of what you are saying.
      You make my head hurt.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:43 am |
  8. Agnostic Al

    When did the atheists decide to get as annoying and as pushy as the Christians. These posts from so called atheists are sad.

    December 22, 2013 at 4:36 am |
    • igaftr

      since at least 1961...reversal of Torcaso v. Watkins by SCOTUS. That's when real progress against the christian attacks on atheists started to gain momentum.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Lori

    This comment is absurd. Real everyday Christians are about giving back, praying for those who they want to have healed or give strength too. Moral code is not harming anyone. The fact that you suggest that any non extremist grps put up billboards condemning others is false, the word of God teaches is that He is the only real judge. All these billboards are, are another way of bullying people. I challenge you to ask God to show himself to you, to speak to you in a way that will reveal His existence. I have no doubt He's up for the challenge. God bless you!

    December 22, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • DB Cooper

      Here's the problem: real, everyday Christians are whatever the ruling class says they are. No one agrees on what that means.

      Real Christian is a myth and comes in 30,000 flavors.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      Lori, I'm interested in discovering where you've been for the last 10-15 years.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • Leggy Mountbatten

      Uh, you do know that Christian anti-atheist billboards massively outnumber these across the U.S., right?

      December 22, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • Damocles

      So, ask a deity to reveal itself and then spend time trying to interpret whatever omens may or may not appear during that time. Sounds rather haphazard to me. Do you ask once, twice, thirty times? Enough times to where you just finally say 'look, I'm just going to say a deity spoke to me and be done with it because I'm growing rather bored with receiving no answer'?

      December 22, 2013 at 4:12 am |
      • Martin Believer

        Explaining the experience of God is like trying to explain the taste of chocolate to someone who has never tasted it. It's entirely subjective, absolutely personal and to be discovered only by those who really seek the experience of God in their lives.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:42 am |
        • Damocles

          Really? I can describe the chocolate in great detail, describe its texture and sweetness, how it melts in your mouth. I'm sure you can describe your deity in rich detail, as well. The key difference is that I can produce an actual piece of chocolate and let the person taste for themselves and decide whether or not they like chocolate.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:55 am |
        • Chikkipop

          Entirely subjective.


          December 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Match

      Seek humility. Find God. Churches do a lot of good this time a year for those in need.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:14 am |
      • Damocles

        Eh, people do a lot of good, at this time of year and any other time of year. It doesn't take a building, or a particular belief, to do good.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:18 am |
        • Match

          Really? Did I say it did? No. Go help someone and stop criticizing those who already are helping.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:28 am |
        • Damocles

          Whoa, whoa, whoa, calm down, take a breath, I wasn't attacking you. Sheesh. I was just saying that people do good things every day of the year and regardless of what they believe.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:33 am |
        • Match

          Still. Duh. Who said differently. Did you really need to tell me that. I know plenty of people who help. Most who just critique believer's posts aren't that helpful.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:42 am |
  10. conoclast

    As a nation we seem to be turning the corner on accepting gays; now if we could only accept that Freedom of Religion includes freedom FROM religion. Fear not, there's no "war on christmas" - but there is a war on religious arrogance.

    December 22, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • DB Cooper

      I agree, man.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:59 am |
  11. Bob

    1st world problems. Live and let live.

    December 22, 2013 at 3:44 am |
  12. miscreantsall

    The author makes some good and valid points and I concur.

    However, that's not how our current world works. I understand (but don"t agree) how the atheists feel and their approach. When "Christians" are hell bent in infusing religion in all parts of our life (government, school, business, etc). including the unwanted and presumptuous "God bless", then this is the kind of reaction that will manifest.

    I myself am neither religious, atheist nor agnostic (not easy to explain in this setting) and I find these Christian religious zealots intolerable.

    December 22, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • Bob

      Some of the atheists are just as intolerable. The extreme religious and extreme atheists have so much in common!

      December 22, 2013 at 3:46 am |
  13. Luke

    I am personally not religious. However, the vitriol directed at those that are, particularly Christians, is over the top. If it is OK to lambast someone for sincerely held religious beliefs, then it must be OK to say anything derogatory about anyone, whether it be minorities, gays, mentally retarded, crippled, etc.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Why do you say it's over the top? There are plenty of signs that tell non-believers that they are going to burn in hell. There are plenty of believers on this site arguing their side and making very rude comments. One poster even went to far as to say that if he/she saw an atheist at the side of the road, he/she would run them down with their car. Non-believers have had centuries of poor treatment from believers. I think that a sign or two is not going to kill christians.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:57 am |
      • Idontthinkso

        My question for you is where are these billboards christian put up that your going to hell? you speak of? The only people i know who do such a thing is west buro church. And everyone know those people are just lunatics.... People act like Christians do most the the attacking, but in reality were are the ones attacks, and if we retaliate we become the bad guy. This hasn't become a war on Christmas, its become a war on Christians.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:23 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          When was the last time you sat in an Assembly of God church service...the war is on the "sinner." But nice of you to conveniently look the other way.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:25 am |
        • Observer


          No one is collecting millions of dollars like Christians do in their "wars" on gays and pro-choice supporters.

          Get real.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:27 am |
        • Larry Bob

          No, I've seen quite a few, and they weren't by Westboro. Atheists are constantly threatened with hell . Heck, If you go through the pages of comments on this, you'll find many.

          Maybe if you were an pretended you were an atheist for a few days, told the people you ran into that, you would find out just how what comes out of the mouths of Christians. It's not the love Christians pretend.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:32 am |
        • wxnut

          Larry Bob, so you are threatened by Christians saying you will go to a place that doesn't exist?

          December 22, 2013 at 3:43 am |
        • Bob

          If you choose to come to a religion blog, you'll probably see people talk about religion. Now, where is a post that says I'm going to hell? Or where did somebody say that to you? I'm searching...

          December 22, 2013 at 3:48 am |
        • Bob

          Searched 5 pages.

          I found one post saying atheists would go to hell, but it seemed like a troll posting. I don't think it was serious.

          I saw 7 posts by atheists complaining that Christians always say they are going to hell. But nobody actually said it.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:51 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Bob...you're new here. You've not met Topher, lol??, prayer bot, Catholic Bill, variations of Chad, (even Robert Brown is feeling the lustful power of knowing those that disagree with him are going to spend eternity at their own special time-share on the shore of the Lake of Fire). You might have to dig in the archives a-bit, but it was rich at the beginning of the year through the summer into fall.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:54 am |
        • wxnut

          Bob, in the comment by Larry Bob (is that you also?), he (or you) stated: "Atheists are constantly threatened with hell ."

          December 22, 2013 at 3:55 am |
        • Bob

          I'm not Larry Bob.
          He said atheists are constantly threatened with hell. I did a quick search and didn't see that. But I saw atheists whining about christians saying that.
          I'm not Christian and have never had one say that to me. I don't go to religion blogs much, though.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:59 am |
        • Bob

          S-3B Viking

          Yea, I would avoid those people if you don't like their posts.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:02 am |
        • Larry Bob

          Okay, try this some morning on a story that is getting a lot of posts:

          "I don't believe in Jesus. What will happen to me after I die?"

          December 22, 2013 at 4:05 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Thanks for the advice, Bob. Quite entertaining actually...having been one of them for the first 3 decades of my life. Now, just enjoy calling them liars, unkind, uncaring, etc...great human sport.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:06 am |
        • Bob

          I just read this in regards to internet atheists: "the central philosophy is little more than "the opposite of whatever religion says, 'cause religion's for idiots." Atheism is the ant farm of beliefs; there's no queen but the workers still follow, digging their own tunnels of meaning and getting extremely pssed off if you shake their tiny world."

          That seems so true to me.
          I work and interact with many Christians and atheists. Most are really cool. Few make horrible remarks to each other like the Christians and atheists on this site do. You both need help.

          Live and let live.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:11 am |
        • Bob

          Larry Bob

          Asking that question I would expect they would say that. Not all do. Can you not read their posts? Are they making you come to this site and ask that question?

          December 22, 2013 at 4:13 am |
        • Larry Bob

          Is that the same dumb-ass article on that dumb-ass website that you mentioned below? You really shouldn't expect much respect when you use that as a source.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:14 am |
        • Bob

          "Atheists in the public sphere spend their every tragic waking hour doing little more than mocking the faithful. In the words of Robin Wright, they seem determined “to make it not just uncool to believe, but cool to ridicule believers”. To that end if you ever have the misfortune, as I once did, to step foot into an atheistic get-together, which are now common occurrences in the Western world, patronised by people afflicted with repettive strain injury from so furiously patting themselves on the back for being clever, you will witness unprecedented levels of intellectual smugness and hostility towards hoi polloi."

          So true.


          December 22, 2013 at 4:26 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Bob...for one who appears intelligent, I question your presence here...your conclusions about others when you've not spent any time here...and your conclusions regarding "internet atheists." Neither you nor Robin Wright have spent time with any of the posters here and you know nothing of their personal lives and what they do otherwise.

          Perhaps you should take the advice of a great philosopher who recently wrote: Live and let live.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:36 am |
        • Damocles


          At the end of the day, a person's belief doesn't affect me one way or the other. It's their belief, they are welcome to it and I'd rather a person have an opinion one way or another instead of not having one. However, what they do with that belief, does/can affect me, or those I care about.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:44 am |
        • Bob

          Oh, I'm quite familiar with annoying atheists on the internet. They man who wrote that article, he is cool. And I know plenty of other cool atheists. Some of you guys are acting like internet atheists, in my opinion. That is not good. Good luck, have fun.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:49 am |
        • Chad

          Internet atheists hate the taste of their own medicine. They can dish it out, but they can't take it.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:55 am |
        • Chikkipop

          Can't take what?

          Bad arguments from theists!? They do get a bit stale, but bring it on!

          We have the better position. Facts and reason are more reliable than old stories and "personal experience".

          December 22, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          I was so hoping you were the real Chad...he's far more eloquent at atheist-bashing. Welcome, Pseudo-Chad.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:00 am |
        • Bob

          It is true. And true for Christians, also. They can't stand it when someone says their belief system is the right way. They get just as upset as non-believers.

          December 22, 2013 at 5:03 am |
    • DB Cooper

      Man, when the Christians stop being majority and trying to pass laws making their views permanent, I'd agree.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • Chikkipop

      This is just silly!

      There is nothing wrong with criticizing ideas! Everyone should do it, and if an idea doesn't withstand scrutiny, there is nothing wrong with criticizing those who continue to promote it.

      The notion that we're doing nothing more than being cranky and dumping on people is completely at odds with the facts.

      You're not helping.

      December 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Thomas

    atheists should realize gravity and thought keep them at bay, lol

    merry christmas kids!

    i've got my back of yum yums from treasure island!



    thomas 🙂

    December 22, 2013 at 2:44 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      And the Christian? The need to have someone else do their thinking for them while desperately seeking an escape from the gravity of real life is their lot. It takes far more courage to walk on land than it does to walk on water.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Translation Requested

      Can someone who speaks Moron please translate this for me please: "atheists should realize gravity and thought keep them at bay"

      December 22, 2013 at 3:40 am |
  15. Larrissa

    Aethists say they dont believe in any God, but judging by this article, it sounds like a vendetta against christianity (only)!
    Seriously, no one forced them to celebrate christmas, they are free to ignore it.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • Observer


      Yep. They can ignore it like Christians do with so much of the Bible, like its support for slavery.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      If your faith is so weak that you feel threatened by a sign, maybe it's time for you to reconsider that belief.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:02 am |
      • Idontthinkso

        If the sign didn't attacking Christ, this wouldn't be a problem. We don't care that atheist don't like religion, that's your choice. Noone is forcing you to celebrate it. If its not such a big deal why don't atheist put any other religion on the board? Why are christian being the only ones targeted?

        December 22, 2013 at 3:31 am |
        • Just curious

          How come you don't put an s at the end of words you mean as plurals? Is English not your first language?

          December 22, 2013 at 3:34 am |
        • Observer


          Gays and pro-choice supporters are "targeted" by Christians all the time.

          Get real. Wake up.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • DB Cooper

      It's not a vendeta when folks are just trying to keep so many Christians from telling everyone else how they can live.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:01 am |
  16. devent

    its very encouraging to know through the comments of the netizens that the exiistense of God is still beyond their comprehension especially tha atheists and those who believed in God who are of different religious affiliations and full of contradictions.This phenomena has already existed centuries or maybe thousands of years ago,but the absence of adequate forums prevented the resolution of this conflict until God willed and the internet evolved to what is today,God provided us the medium where we humans a part of Him,to intellectually resolve our problems,especially religious ones ,which forms the foundation of our evolving,consciousness necessary for the development of our conscience ,knowledge,culture and all what we need fir survival and most of all understanding and knowing Him.Different times or era of the universe's existence has a different agenda,now in our times the evolution of science has come to a stage that scientific approach and methods had to be applied to our understanding of him ,because that is part of his will,Early religions and their derivatives are all His but their time to evolved has arrived ,and we the choosen generation is blessed with the internet and we are now task for this evolution.The main porpose of His will is to arrive to a common faith to unite us all fir the future missions or endeavor that He will task humanity,what will be that,its ennormously beyond our mortal comprehension.But we are lucky and a great honor that we are His choosen people.The new denizens of this planet ,The extraordinary people of this generation.HAIL the New NETIZENS,hail CNN.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:30 am |
    • jels

      I too worship Tim Berners lee

      December 22, 2013 at 3:29 am |
      • Leggy Mountbatten

        When I find myself beset by difficulties and troubles, I ask myself "what would illiterate early Iron Age peasants in a backwater of the Middle East do?" I just can't imagine a better people when searching for wisdom.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:52 am |
        • Marty

          I ask myself, what would some internet atheist who doesn't really know anything about science or logic do? And then I start posting on faith and belief blogs all day long searching out Christian posts and try to get everyone to think they are the delusional ones.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:57 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          You put it in great perspective...where were you when I was in Sunday School, da.mn you!

          December 22, 2013 at 3:57 am |
        • S-3B Viking

          Marty...your comment has already confirmed the average "internet atheist" is wiser, smarter, and prettier than you. Thanks for coming.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:58 am |
        • Bob

          Internet atheism is not a flattering term at all.


          December 22, 2013 at 4:07 am |
        • Larry Bob

          You know Bob, if you like dumb-ass writing on dumb-ass websites, hey go for it. But that was a real dumb-ass piece of writing.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:13 am |
        • Bob

          I know many agnostics and atheists that say internet atheists are annoying


          December 22, 2013 at 4:17 am |
        • Bob

          "Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I'm put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I'm a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes."

          That is a fellow atheist. It is getting bad. The reputation is deserved, that is what sucks about it.
          I'll stay with agnosticism. Don't want to be mistaken for a dumb internet atheist. Yuck.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:20 am |
  17. michaellocher

    Well, he's right about one thing: there is no war on Christmas. A few billboards does not a war make.

    So............ why the article, again?

    December 22, 2013 at 2:21 am |
  18. evdebs

    I'm sorry. I didn't realize that Christmas was under attack, nor was it anything but a marketing tool.

    I need to send a donation to Reverend Billy at the Church of Stop Shopping.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Observer

      Will they also symbolically eat his body and drink his blood like in some church services?

      December 22, 2013 at 2:21 am |
      • Observer

        ooops. This should be the reply to Larry Bob.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:23 am |
        • Larry Bob

          It probably costs more.

          December 22, 2013 at 4:09 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      Your seedfaith will return to you 100 fold...I'll join you and raise you $20

      December 22, 2013 at 2:21 am |
  19. Larry Bob

    For Christmas I'm taking the kids to Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando, where they get to shake hands with Jesus and get his autograph, then watch him get whipped into a bloody mess then executed. It's good family values stuff.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      Christians have been into S&M ever since the Last Supper

      December 22, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • Woody

      ".......where they get to shake hands with Jesus and get his autograph....."

      One has to wonder what an real authentic Jesus autograph would be worth on the open market. But being that Jesus, one third of the alleged god trio that created the entire universe, was most likely illiterate, I guess we'll never know.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:35 am |
  20. Eric

    The "War on Christmas" is a media driven paranoia. It doesn't exist. There IS no "War on Christmas". It is all talk to get right wing religious folks terrified of nothing, to distract people from real issues, and to keep the nation divided.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • John

      Rather like the "War on Women" that is still being fabricated by the left.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:50 am |
      • Observer

        There is more evidence for Christians' "war on gays" or "war on pro-choice supporters".

        December 22, 2013 at 2:53 am |
      • S-3B Viking

        Long before there was a "left" or a "right" history is quite clear that there has been a war against women. Let's start with Genesis.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:55 am |
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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.