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. George Kamburoff

    Republicans NEED "wars", and conflict and violence. They NEED it, and invent warts against drugs, against Muslims, against EVERYTHING, thinking that violence and rigid self-righteousness are all they require.

    December 22, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • tallulah13

      Yep. Fear, especially irrational fear, is a marvelous way to control people.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  2. Brandon

    The "war" isn't on Christmas, it's on religion. Atheists love Christmas, there just isn't any reason to inject religion into it. The whole point of the December holiday is to give people something to look forward to during winter (Winter Solstice is the origin).

    December 22, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  3. Steve Ward

    I agree, we should completely end the war on Christmas. Just as soon as we get around to starting it (which we never have).

    December 22, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  4. ed dugan

    As an athiest I have to tell my fellow travelors to lighten up. Jesus Christ was a person who, like it or not, changed the world. If Christians want to celebrate the fact that he was born they have every right to do so. Don't like it??Just shut up and go home!!! No one forces you to observe Christmas, Hanakka, Thanksgiving, Easter or your damned birthday. In the case of athiests and Christmas, no one is interested in your viewpoint so, from a fellow athiest, just SHUT UP!

    December 22, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Baconstrip

      Thank you.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Maleficent

      I would say the same to the "keep Christ in Christmas" crowd. Celebrate how you want – no need to get in anyone's face about it. The nativity magnet on your car is not changing anyone's minds, but like atheist bumper stickers, it is probably helping someone make up their mind about the kind of person you are (and no, it's not a positive impression).

      December 22, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • bostontola

      No valid idea should fear free speech. Defend with reason, not suppression.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:24 am |
      • Baconstrip

        You can't reason with children.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • bostontola

          Of course you can. Why do you assert factually erroneous things?

          December 22, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • no

      I'm forced to take off 2 days work for this religious holiday. I just proved you wrong; because you said nobody was being forced to observe this holiday. My regular schedule is interrupted. It doesn't matter what you think of that; it happens and it happens every year to millions of Atheists. Owned.

      December 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Maleficent

    They are just as obnoxious as the "keep Christ in Christmas" crowd.

    December 22, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  6. Marti

    My opinion about atheists is that they like being seen as "quirky", like the odd guy or girl at a party, speaking of which, I've noticed that they have to get the fact across to you within the first 5 minutes of meeting them. It would be like me introducing myself as a non-practicing Catholic to everyone I meet. I think they searched for a long time to find a look at me! label for themselves. Its annoying to me that they (the proclaimed atheists) only attack Christianity, but not any other religion. Very cowardly and pretentious. They are people who deliberately go to the mall a week before Christmas, just so they can rant about how it is in their faces. Big phonies. One will never know but can only wonder how many of them try to backtrack in their final hours to try to bargain with God for a little more time.

    December 22, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Maleficent

      From your comment, you clearly do not know any atheists. Most atheists never bring up religion at all. I know two atheists who actually love Christmas.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Saraswati

      " Its annoying to me that they (the proclaimed atheists) only attack Christianity, but not any other religion. Very cowardly and pretentious. "

      This is the silliest thing ever. Do you really think atheists in Israel are going after Christianity and not Judaism? You are looking at discussions in a country where 75% of the population is Christian and less than 1% Muslim. If people feel immediately oppressed by a religion what do you think it is? The Christians in the US are the ones fighting against evolution education, which half of them oppose. Over 90% of Jews and Hindus support evolution....and both groups are less than 2% of the population. Seriously, get a grip on your paranoia and some perspective on the discussion.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Kevin

      I'm an atheist, but I don't try to be quirky. In fact, less than 10 people in the world know I'm one. I don't mention it on Facebook or in conversation with others. I was in the vocational ministry for many years, sharing and swapping stories about those days with others, without feeling any compulsion whatsoever to mention I'm no longer a believer. I also don't feel the need to tell a person they have a big nose or their kids are ugly. In this day of social media, Americans seem to have forgotten the art of keeping their thoughts and opinions to themselves. It's also nice to remember that, if one has the choice of being right or being kind, it is always best to be kind.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Kevin

      The second sentence of my post was incoherent! It should have read: I was in the vocational ministry for many years and still enjoy sharing and swapping stories about those days with others without feeling any compulsion whatsoever to mention I'm no longer a believer.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • visitor

      That was a cartoon in your head and reflects how you think atheists act, rather than your actual experience, unless your parties are all on the Internet.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • Marti

        Here again is the stupid mocking you feel you have to do because ooh you are so quirky and different! I know plenty of non-religion-practicing Christians, and I know 3 "atheists" very well, and two of them have blogs, ONLY making fun of Christianity but never Judaism, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • Saraswati

          Do your friends live in predominantly Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist countries?

          Wow...according to your sample 2/3 of all atheists have blogs! Must be highly representative.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • visitor

          stay off the quirky blogs

          December 22, 2013 at 9:48 am |
        • Marti

          Repeat, I know two people who have to let everyone know immediately that they are atheists. I know many people who do not practice the religion they were born into. I know two people who have blogs sprinkled with anti-Christian only sentiment. You can do the statistics any way you want.

          December 22, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • Maleficent

          Those two people do not represent everyone who doesn't believe in god. Perhaps you should refrain from judging all atheists based on the actions of a few?

          December 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      You have your opinion and I have mine. As an atheist I reject all god claims not only those of Christianity. But then again I'm not tripping over Baha'i or Krishna or even Islamic followers at every turn. Churches, graveyards full of crucifixes, billboards and Christian icons dominate the landscape. It's inescapable. Yet anything that challenges the status quo is met with precisely the vehemence you just demonstrated.
      A recent article about a Christian billboard "To all our atheist friends...Thank god you're wrong" was equally direct at challenging my view. Was I hurt or upset that my beliefs were being challenged? No. It was simply another in a lifetime of similar insinuations. Just another of those "there go those silly Christians again" moments. I can laugh it off as easily as someone who watches a child regale the merits of Santa Claus on Christmas morning.
      But not so for stout believers in Christ. Any challenge is an attack, a blasphemy, an audacious taboo to be countered with anger and condemnation. Why is it so unbearable that some would wish to celebrate Christmas without Christ? Reinforcement of Christian belief, fellowship and community is everywhere. Reinforcement of atheist belief, fellowship and community a mere drop in the bucket by comparison. Why deny us the same privileges you enjoy? Is your faith so weak that you are incapable of turning the other cheek? Isn't that one of your core values?

      December 22, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Chikkipop

      What god?

      December 23, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • tallulah13

      My friends know that I am an atheist. If the topic comes up in conversation I will tell a stranger I am speaking with that I am an atheist. I don't advertise, but I'm not ashamed of my atheism. When I go to the mall at Christmas, I do so to buy gifts for my family members who celebrate Christmas.

      I have a catholic sister and a jewish sister. I get along great with both. I don't honestly care what people believe unless they use that belief as an excuse to harm others. Sadly, some christians in this country feel the need to use their faith as an excuse for discrimination against gays and women. Sorry. I won't sit silent for that.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  7. louenglish

    In a way I admire Atheist. These are people that are so certain of their "beliefs" that while they struggle to gasp their last breath, they still will not admit in a purpose to our lives other than random DNA evolution. Where they get this certainty I do not know. After all 100 years ago we didn't know galaxies existed. The one thing they will not do is acknowledge "something" more powerful beyond themselves and they certainly won't experiment and ask this "something" for help in their puny, short, meaningless lives. Too bad they don't have the courage to try.

    December 22, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • noone

      I guess you haven't realized that this "something" is an impersonal being (if you can even call it that). It doesn't/can't care about you, your family, your country, your planet, your solar system, or even your galaxy. It has destroyed countless stars and their planets, galaxies, possibly even universes. It has killed innumerable living beings and caused suffering beyond comprehension. And you think it's going to help you because you ask nicely with your dying breath? Good luck with that.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Chikkipop

      It's revoltingly ignorant comments like yours that give us a wonderful example of the theist's mindset.

      December 23, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  8. GoTellIt

    Oh please. Without Christ, there IS no Christmas really, but the holiday has already degraded to a mostly pagan celebration anyway. The merchants have taken over the day, extended it into and pierced the heart of Thanksgiving and will not rest until they separate you from more of your money each year – in the name of Christ? Hardly. In the name of the real idol – money. Mature Christians may participate in some or most of the "traditions" of the holiday but know the real meaning of the day, contrived to be Dec. 25. It's not the arbitrary day or the gift giving or the merriment and the lemmings who line up behind church and state issues. In the end, it's about what matters to each individual...whether Christ has touched your heart or not and if so, to celebrate and observe the birth. If not, then at least go by the Dickens version and be nice to each other and lend a helping hand if you want to be useful.

    December 22, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Maleficent

      The fact is that it was originally a pagan holiday, then it was christianized, and then it was commercialized. Celebrate whatever part of its history you want – and yes we should all be kind to each other. The atheists I know are two of the most generous, loving people you will ever meet, and they would never bash someone for their religious beliefs.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • noone

      It was ALWAYS a "pagan" celebration. You Christians simply stole the solstice celebrations of other cultures to more easily assimilate them into Christianity when you conquered them and forced you religion upon them. Personally, I'm glad the see Christmas returning to its roots. I can't wait until they bring back the parties like we used to have. Now those were a good time.

      December 22, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • Noyb

        The only reason you celebrate any winter holiday is because Christians kept it going for two thousand years. It probably would have been long erased by now otherwise.

        December 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm |

    "Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe - dare I dream it? - maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively." —Jon Stewart CA

    December 22, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  10. T

    ......THIS country was first founded and guarantees the FREEDOM OF RELIGION.......Now, I am a Christian, and think that others can practice whatever they wish, or NOT........The supposition that anyone quoting the BIBLE has a full pass........better remember that goes for the Torah, Quran, or Bob's Pizza menu , as well.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  11. Reality # 2

    The War on "Mythmas" continues:

    So what are a few of the conclusions of some of the top contemporary NT scholars?

    Matt 1:18-25: From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

    "Lüdemann [Jesus], (pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

    Professor Bruce Chilton

    "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a m-amzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

    Professor John Dominic Crossan –

    "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

    "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

    I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

    "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:

    Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)

    Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]

    Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]

    Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

    And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    "And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    December 22, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  12. Colin

    That the birth of Jesus is largely mythological is not doubted by serious historians. Serious historians deal in probabilities. They evaluate the likelihood that a particular event took place based on the material they have to support it. To take a simple example, it is known with, essentially, 100% certainty that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. It is less certain that Julius Caesar was. The further back in time one goes, the less surviving written material there is to support a version of history.

    Material either copied from earlier material, written decades or centuries after the event and/or written by people who weren’t even there is obviously of very limited historical worth.

    This is the core problem with the entire Jesus saga, including the stories about his birth. In the entire World, in any language, we have only two surviving accounts of his birth written within 100 years of its happening. Later accounts can obviously only be based on earlier accounts anyway, or fabricated.

    The two versions are those found in Matthew and Luke (nowhere else in the gospels, or indeed the entire Bible, is his birth recorded). They are both written about 80 years after the event by people who do not even claim to have been witnesses, or to have even ever met Jesus! Not only that, but they are hopelessly inconsistent with each other.

    But for the fact that they are considered “holy scripture” by so many, those who believe them as being historically accurate would be dismissed as being every bit as crazy as the 9-11 or Area 51 conspiracy nuts. The (only) two accounts are simply that unreliable.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:53 am |

      Most of the stories in the Bible were taken from older Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek mythologies.

      The Egyptians of every period in which they are known to us believed that Osiris was of divine origin, that he suffered death and mutilation at the hands of the powers of evil, that after a great struggle with these powers he rose again, that he became henceforth the king of the underworld and judge of the dead, and that because he had conquered death the righteous also might conquer death...In Osiris the Christian Egyptians found the prototype of Christ, and in the pictures and statues of Isis suckling her son Horus

      December 22, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • guest

      If what you stated, “Material either copied from earlier material, written decades or centuries after the event and/or written by people who weren’t even there is obviously of very limited historical worth.” were true, then maybe all the history professors had better “hang it up and go home”, because that describes most of written (pre-modern, i.e. anything before electronic recording devices) history; even if the writer were there it would be only his/her perspective.
      By the way, granted that Matthew’s and Luke’s recording of the birth of Jesus are different: one recording certain events that the other has omitted, how is it that you say that they: “…are hopelessly inconsistent with each other.”? What do you want—carbon copies?

      December 22, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • Colin

        First, the limitations on our ability to know historical facts, as I briefly outlined them are hard facts. There is no way around them. Now, they might be inconvenient facts for those who want to base their religious belief in Jesus as the son of God, but a fact is a fact. Yes, all historical events are subject to the same limitations, but that is a hard, unavoidable limit on the discipline. Just like a paucity of fossils is a limitation on paleontology. It is only religious people who want to ignore it. Serious historians do not.

        Second, the differences are huge and fundamental. Where were MAry and Joesph from – the two are inconsistent; why were they in Bat Lahm (Bethlehem) when Jesus was born – again the two are inconsistent; did a star come from the east – inconsistent; 3 wise men? -inconsistnet; shephards and a chorus of angels – inconsistent; all infants under 2 slaughtered – inconsistent; gold, frankincense and myrrh – inconsistnet; flight to Egypt – inconsistent; birth in a manger – inconsistent.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  13. Notme-us

    If I am reading this article correctly, it is about building bridges between those of faith and those without. Then, the majority of the comments written below are full of angst for one side or the other. Did you read the full article(which was good, I thought) before you came down here? Perhaps offering the written equivalent of handshake would have been more appropriate. That being said, you all seem very passionate, and good can come of that if you direct it into something productive.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Baconstrip

      This was exactly my point earlier. They aren't trying to save souls or enlighten each other. They are using their beliefs to make themselves feel superior by bashing other people over the head with them.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  14. Tom

    Atheism is abhorrent. There is a war on Christmas. But in spite of faulty beliefs, the ends of which have obviously not been analyzed, the author is correct that atheists' time would be better spent in kindness rather than bitterness and provocation. Or is that the mantra of the modern atheist?

    December 22, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Colin

      Are only atheists who do not believe in your god abhorrent, or does this also apply to those who do not believe in, say the Hindu gods? Aren't we all atheists? Isn't it just that pure atheists just go one god further than all believers?

      December 22, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • Tom

        You tell me. Atheists don't seem to believe in any God but Christ and attack him mercilessly.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:01 am |
        • JJ

          "Atheists don't seem to believe in any God but Christ and attack him mercilessly." I don't know whether to laugh or cry over this most brain damaged statement.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Colin

          Little point in arguing against Hinudism in a country where 99% of the population are not Hindus and know nothing of the faith. Second, I am yet to have a Hindu try to pass laws that impact my life base on his or her particular supernatural belief.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:19 am |
        • Chikkipop

          You might want to rethink what you said here.

          (Among other things.)

          December 23, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • Tom

        Oh, and notice I said atheism, not atheists, is abhorrent.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:03 am |
        • Colin

          And would you see a distinction between calling Christianity abhorrent and Christians abhorrent?

          December 22, 2013 at 9:17 am |
        • Chikkipop

          Either way, your ignorance is abhorrent.

          December 23, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  15. guest

    I am a Christian, but I too want to see Christmas go away. We do not celebrate Christmas in our house. Why, because ‘Christmas’ is not about Christ. It is pagan; it is all pagan! (As a matter of fact, all so called Christian holidays are pagan.) If all the pagan customs were removed from the Christmas celebration, from gift giving to the Christmas tree, the lights, the wreath, the yule log—everything, there would be nothing left.
    But, unfortunately, Christmas is not about to go away because most retailers depend on Christmas gift buying to get themselves out of the ‘red’. I even believe that if there were signs of the danger of Christmas going away the government would be encouraging [advertising] people to “…get out and buy…”, because the economy of the nation depends on it.
    So forget it you atheists, Christmas, or whatever it may be called, is not going away.
    P.S. I wouldn’t celebrate ‘Winter Solace’ (also pagan), or anything else.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Your Buddy


      is the state senator- NO?

      New York State Senator Peti-tions For Times Square Boycott As Atheists Fire Back

      by American Atheists posted on December 19, 2013 04:50AM GMT

      On Tuesday, American Atheists released an open letter chastising State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-NY) for abuse of power as an elected official regarding his Friday, December 13 press release attacking the atheist group. The open letter is

      Open letter at link below.


      December 22, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • truthprevails1

      "Christmas is not about to go away because most retailers depend on Christmas gift buying to get themselves out of the ‘red'"

      That sadly seems to be exactly what this holiday has turned in to. Halloween stuff isn't off the shelves and the christmas stuff is going up...mighty dollar sadly rules, especially at times like this.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:09 am |
      • guest

        I even noticed that Halloween and Christmas stuff going on shelves at the same time in some stores.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  16. are122

    One amusing thing about atheists is they will always proclaim what isn't but they never say what is. Which is why you will rarely if ever hear a physicist say there is no God...and many infer there is.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Baconstrip

      They believe that the universe was created from a bang from nothing and that life sprang up out of a pool where no life existed prior. Instead of god, they believe in magic.

      December 22, 2013 at 8:55 am |
      • bostontola

        You actually believe you are an agnostic?

        December 22, 2013 at 9:08 am |
        • Baconstrip

          I don't believe I am, I know I am. I suppose you need to look it up to know what it means.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:14 am |
        • bostontola

          So you don't know if there is a god, yet you know atheists believe in magic?

          December 22, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • bostontola

      The may or may not be a god, there is no proof either way. One thing we can be sure of? The Abrahamic religions are false. How? The bibles are rife with factual errors and immoral tenets.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:10 am |
      • Baconstrip

        You are agnostic.

        December 22, 2013 at 9:15 am |
        • bostontola

          Agnostic atheist. No one knows there is no god, I believe there is none.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • Baconstrip

          I fall somewhere in the realm of agnostic theism and agnostic pragmatism. Since everything in modern science leads us to believe you cannot create something from nothing, that is the only way I define god. That which can create something from nothing, whether that be the universe, life, whatever. The heaven/hell good/evil aspect really doesn't figure into it for me.

          December 22, 2013 at 9:32 am |
        • bostontola

          So because you don't understand quantum mechanics it must be magic?

          December 22, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • visitor

      why is that amusing?

      December 22, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Chikkipop

      (Forehead slap)

      If you wonder why atheists get snarky, you have only to look at such wonderful argumentation as this.

      Because of the internet, the average theist is exposed for the ignoramus he is. This is not a good advertizement for the benefits of religion.

      December 23, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • tallulah13

      Could you please cite your reference about physicists and their comments about god?

      December 23, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  17. Noyb

    Exactly.thank you.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  18. ol cranky

    The true "war on Christmas" is being waged by the religious & political right not by atheists who are, understandably, sick and tired of having to endure not only the use of public/government venues for overtly religious displays but are sick of the BS cries that Christians are being oppressed and the accusations that we must "keep Christ in Christmas" via obnoxious commercial consumerism. If these so-called Christians actually had any respect for their religious holiday they wouldn't be pitching fits that it is being undermined by stores who refuse to label everything as Christmas this and Christmas that.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  19. stevie68a

    Even the "peace on earth" is a racket. Because groups that are harmed during the year from "christians", get ready to
    strike back, are DIFFUSED by this message. It is just manipulation.
    "You can fool most of the people, most of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".
    "christians" ought to realize the stinking karma that they have. What goes around, comes around.

    December 22, 2013 at 8:37 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.