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. neved

    to Dandintac,the ultimate proof of His existence ,although to you is not the absolute proof ,is the big bang.Its a matter of semantics,no one can refute the origin of everything with in the bounds of science and logic that this was the origin of everything billions of years ago.To assume that He is the cause of this can be questioned by any one,any alternative reason or cause can be attributed only to Him,no matter whats the reason or explaination or who he is,Its Him ,GOD. unless the alternative explaination borders idiosyncracy

    December 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • ven

      yes ,i conform with you in the argument of God as the creator of the universe through the big bang ,that particle physics had confirmed it lately leading to the awarding of the Nobel prize in physics to Dr.Higgs.My question is suppose reality exist even before the big bang,and if the theory of multi universe is also proven to be true,then is it possible that the existence of Multi God is also possible.?or maybe it will the next cycle of religious evolution.I will name it Multiple Panthrotheism !

      December 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  2. Sam Yaza

    we need to put the Lámhfhada back in christmass.

    December 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Austin


      December 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  3. KAM

    No amount of belief can make something a fact. Atheism and theism are NOT simply 2 belief systems. One is based on science and the real world as it is. The other is based on self delusion, suspension of disbelief, wishful thinking ingratiating kowtowing to a mythical deity. If parents did not evangelize their kids (commonly known as child abuse), religion would be gone in 2-3 generations. See WHAT SHALL WE TELL THE CHILDREN? Amnesty Lecture, Oxford, 21st February 1997
    By Nicholas Humphrey a quote "In short, children have a right not to have their minds addled by nonsense."

    December 25, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Kimberlee

      Check out the Baha'i Faith. Science and religion in harmony. Independent investigation of truth. Children taught all major religions are part of God's progressive revelation to mankind, but that each person should accept a religion not because it was the faith of their parents but because he or she independently searched, researched, reflected, studied, thought, meditated, etc, and came to their own spiritual belief.

      December 26, 2013 at 6:01 am |
  4. Monica Y

    I completely agree with this article. I and other atheists I know feel the same as many Christians do about not wanting to be lumped in with all the stereotypes about being close minded and hateful. It is wrong to say that nobody needs Christ during Christmas. I respect your beliefs if you respect mine.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Kimberlee

      Excellent point, Monica!

      December 26, 2013 at 6:08 am |
  5. CNN troll

    Okay atheists it's "X" mas day, where are you guys? Let me guess, opening presents? Drinking egg nog? Hanging out with those C-word people you pick on all year? Fire side carols getting in the way.

    Come on guys don't leave me here by myself.



    December 25, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      You are aware that it is a Federal holiday? Else I for one would be working.

      December 25, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Reality # 2

      I toasted to Mythmas all night and enjoyed all the trimmings. Tis an evolutionary thing !!!

      December 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Actually, we celebrated our Christmas last night. Our girls have grown up, and they are spending Christmas day with their significant other's families. Just the same, we had a gift exchange, and a large buffet instead of a sit-down feast. We had eggnog, hot cocoa. We had made a huge load of Christmas cookies also, and gave some away in tins to our neighbors. The grandkids had stockings. We had Christmas music playing. Later we watched the timeless classic–a Charlie Brown Christmas.

      I am an atheist. That means I do not believe any of the god claims I have heard, because there is never, ever, any hard, verifiable, logical, objective evidence to support them.

      I still celebrate Christmas. I understand that the Jesus Story and God is mythical, but it doesn't stop me from having fun and spending time with my family in fun activities. It's part of our culture too. One can celebrate Halloween as well, without the need to believe in ghost, goblins, or the Great Pumpkin.

      Thanks for asking.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • CNN troll

      Well I'm glad you're all back it was the slowest comment reading session ever.

      December 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  6. hearties

    They didn't attack Santa, because everyone knows Santa is not real, so it would be silly to attack Santa.

    December 25, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • CNN troll

      Oh come ON atheists that one's been sitting wide open for hours!
      Too easy?

      December 25, 2013 at 6:43 am |
      • hearties

        The atheists struggle against the Son of God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They don't bother with made up cartoons like Santa. Else the sign would have said:

        "Who needs Santa (crossed out) in Christmas? Nobody"

        December 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Hearties–if lots of people–adults–actually believed Santa was real, then yes, I WOULD be attacking that belief.

      Especially, if belief in Santa was affecting their behavior–like demanding that my kids pray to Santa in the public schools, and that certain people's rights must be curtailed because of their belief in Santa. Or if they were flying planes into buildings, praising Santa the whole way in, and believing that they were carrying out his will.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • hearties

        NORAD tracks Santa and publicly announces his where abouts. Why aren't you concerned about it? You don't care at all that Santas stand outside stores asking for money for the poor. But the minute someone asks for money for the poor and mentions Jesus, you become overwhelmed with concern, and post here about it, saying it's wrong.

        It's because Jesus Christ of Nazareth is who he said he is, the Son of God, sent by God to die for others sins, those that would repent of their sins and do the will of God. That is what concerns you and others that want to attack Jesus Christ, rather than a cartoon, Santa.

        December 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Sigh. No Hearties–I explained above why I speak out against religion. It's not because they help the poor–many people do that–regardless of their religion or lack thereof. I contribute myself.

          If I thought Jesus were real, why would I be speaking out against it? People take this myth way too seriously, and act on it to our collective detriment.

          Merry Christmas to you. Now it's time for me to sign off and clean up after last night's party.

          December 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
        • cacarr

          I could just flat assert all sorts of things: The Invisible Purple Monkey who Lives in my Colon is Lord!!! Why do you hate the Monkey??? !!

          December 26, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • cacarr

          Yahweh and Jesus aren't special.

          December 26, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • sam stone

      no one is proposing codifying santa's rules into our secular laws

      December 26, 2013 at 7:21 am |
      • Harry Pancake


        December 26, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  7. Reality # 2

    And Merry Mythmas to all and to all a goodnight !!!

    December 25, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • CNN troll

      Happy Holidays R2

      December 25, 2013 at 6:44 am |
  8. Genius

    today you will know the true reality from a me ,true GENIUS,The real purpose of God is the evolution process for Him to Exist.we are just part of the process especially you Theists.Science explains everything soo you will understand that The Ultimate purpose is for Him to Exist.In the very far future He will be as He Willed and you today is just part of that process and just forgotten to oblivion.the proof of that is that you are just a living IDIOT today.your idiocity is the proof of all of this.

    December 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • moron

      is it possible that He will be a non biological supercomputer,or that stage of existence will just be part of a process of a very complex future reality?

      December 25, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • idiot

        I just realized that I am an idiot,i have to argue as a theist christian that god created us so we will fill the almost empty heaven when we will die,and laugh at those sinners who are languishing and crying in hell,maybe thats why there sadist and masochist in us idiots.

        December 25, 2013 at 1:52 am |
        • capitalist

          I am the real genius,Im getting richer every day,to hell with you poors,im rich and when time of judgement comes I will just bribe the keepers,is it St.Peter?

          December 25, 2013 at 2:07 am |
        • CNN troll

          I hear they take Discover now, it used to be cash only then American express.

          December 25, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • ven

      it does not require a genius to understand Gods will,Scientific discoveries like the big bang is already proven,quantum and particle physics beyond reasonable doubts is also the foundation of almost all modern science and technology advances.Electricity and electronic technologies progressed because of understanding its physics.Radio,television ,radars ,cell pons,computers and all modern electronic devices is here because of this,so therefore unless you are an idiot or moron you cannot say that science is wrong.The big bang or conversion of pure energy to matter is the foundation of scientific theology,the challenge through the scientific theology is how to connect the Christian dogmas and doctrines to his facts.quantum discoveries is nearest to christian beliefs,thats the real challenge

      December 25, 2013 at 6:08 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        There is no evidence that it is the will of a god. The scientific knowledge you point out shows that the creation myth recorded in the bible is incorrect. No personal gods exist.

        December 25, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • ven

          it is your misconception of Who,what is God in the scientific theology,God is the integral forces,matter,conciousness and all reality that exist in the universe,we humans is just part of Him after the big bang when he willed 13.7 billion years ago to become matter.E= mc2.

          December 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Harry Pancake

          The more we learn, the more you will see the lame attempts of the religious to back pedal their beliefs in mythology into present day reality.

          December 26, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  9. hans

    more than 2000 years men from all nations to search and found faith, american atheist just kids try to make war with these long developed civilizations. American atheis think they are scientist?

    December 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Maddy

      Are you talking about the group American Atheists? Because they in no way are representative of most atheists.

      December 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
      • hans

        yes Maddy...:) I personally understand the way of atheist thinking, because normally, we human since we are kids have no faith concept al all. No problem with that.

        December 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • rud

          its the people whose religion was founded thousands of years ago whose thinking are obsolete and does not conform to reality,christians,muslims,and jews that is giving humanity
          the worst problems

          December 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Observer


      The people who scream the loudest about Muslims and people of other religions are usually the Christians. Try again.

      December 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • genius

      God is evolution in His process of will implementation,humanity change in this process but not necesarily aware because our existence is very limited in time.and we are not as individual the ultimate objective,but God himself,Our existence is just part of the process for Him to become Himself in the future.We exist only in our time of existence.From pure Energy which is Him 13.7 billion years ago,to us humans 200,000 years ago,to what we are now today ,to super humans in the future ,to what He will be in the far Future.THE ULTIMATE HIMSELF Is the objetive,you are just part of the process you IDIOT.

      December 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
      • Observer

        Genius? lol.

        December 24, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
      • Harry Pancake

        "IDIOT" pot, meet kettle.

        December 26, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Reality # 2

      "The Two Universal Sects

      They all err—Moslems, Jews,
      Christians, and Zoroastrians:

      Humanity follows two world-wide sects:
      One, man intelligent without religion,
      The second, religious without intellect. "

      , born AD 973 /, died AD 1058 / .

      Al-Ma’arri was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer.[1][2] He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth."

      December 25, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  10. R.M. Goodswell

    The day the Christian religion leaves the political arena alone completely, when they stop showing up on my doorstep pushing their load of BS at me, when they quit trying to drag my kids off to their various thinly veiled indoctrination events
    (if it wasn't for their religion their kids and mine probably wouldn't interact – and if they did it would be out of true friendship, not some lame recruitment tactic) then ill quit being so vocal in my opposition to their BS.

    Its a massive public display of their religious beliefs – war on Christmas? the Christians hijacked pagan rituals at their whim, including Christmas...and now we re not supposed to mess (make it more inclusive) it?

    December 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Harry Pancake

      Well said!

      December 26, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  11. Glenn

    Genesis 1&2. "By the word of The Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth...For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast"Psalm33:6,9.As the earth came into being from the the hand of its maker, it was unbelievably beautiful. Everywhere the fruitful soil produced luxuriant green vegetation. There no foul swamps nor barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. Evolution is a fairy tale for Adults. Evolution-facts.org. See for yourselves. Also youtube, Privileged planet. Also incredible animals that defy evolution, and the great Controversy movie

    December 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • georgex9

      Glenn, you are an example of why Sunday School lessons should be prefaced with a disclaimer and let the innocent young children know that this is just a story illustrating the glory of God and that it is not literally true. Children are impressed with this 6 day creation story and some think that it is appropriate for them. But as adults we should face the truth that the process took billions of years as scientists now have discovered.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
      • hans

        Atheist try to hijack christian kids too. Why not let alone the christian kids learn about faith? yes science yet do not agree with faith, but it is not fair to say science is above faith, especially about evolution u said. dont try to be superior, because science about evolution still full of story telling according man theory but still far from true.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          If you knew anything about evolution, which you clearly don't, you wouldn't say that. Education works wonders.

          December 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Maddy

          Could you please show me the evidence and links that atheists are targeting children, hans?


          December 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
      • Glenn

        Was anyone there to witness that event over millions or is it billions of years? Evolution is a religion. Evolution-facts.org

        December 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • hans

          atheist and evolutionist are like religion, full of illusion and dogmas. U two have the same credo to combat Christian. While christianity move forward to find civilizations and hope.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • EvolvedDNA

          Glenn ..its billions of years.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Were do quacks like you come from.
      Look...evolution could be proved tomorrow to be 100% wrong(don't hold your breath) and it still wouldn't get you one iota closer to demonstrating that God exists. Proving any science wrong merely means that we need to work harder and more diligently to find the real answers. Proving God is real would take an entirely separate set of evidence. One that reveals the supernatural. Which is kind of weird because if we could actually observe the supernatural then it would have to become part of our reality and thus be natural.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • hans

        American atheist are trying to show that religious things are not american. Atheist always try to hijack everything including science and history. Atheist said that they are scientist (eventhoug real scientist just ackonowledge that they just inventing the existing law(not a creator of law)) and try to tell that faith is irasional

        December 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • Maddy

          I don't think hijack means what you think it means, Hans.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          I'll grant you that English probably isn't your native tongue but that doesn't alter the fact that you're still ignorant. If you don't understand something as fundamental as the scientific method and it's value. Science quantifies, classifies and models our observations of reality. We use it to define what "is". It's the best and only system we have for modeling reality. You can personally perform a repeat of any experiment to confirm someone else's results. Repeatable, predictable results. Results that become data points for bigger and more elaborate experiments. Time is a variable in all experiments. Therefore in a scientific model you can run the clock forward or back to model the future or the past and make predictions. To test the accuracy of your model for the future...well you just have to wait and see. But for examining the past we can search for evidence. I wont go into detail but one example is where one fossil species at a certain older geological strata was compared to another much younger geological specimen. The physical characteristics were markedly different even though they were of a common species. The prediction was made that an intermediate specimen where characteristics of both, or transitional specimen, could be found in a rock layer that was middle aged between the other two. And it was. Real data, real evidence and another confirmation point among millions supporting the theory of evolution.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • neved

        our existence as a conscious and material being is the proof that He exist.We are an integral part of reality,He and we is the reality .It is called Panentheism,pantheism or panthrotheism.It is the next evolutionary step after the present religion we have which is monotheism will become obsolete in the forthcoming generations

        December 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
        • devent

          evolution in religion though parallels biological process follows a similar pattern but differs in input parameters.Just as the theory of The great philisopher Hegel had postulated and was proven in countless events in history,the present informal but global debate on religion will hasten its resolution but still will take generations.Evolution and improvement in Information technology and education is a major factor in this process,and of course the aggresive participation of the Netizens

          December 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Our existence or the existence of the universe is certainly NOT proof of any god's existence. There are many possible explanations for existence. Indeed, we can see existence unfolding before us on an ongoing basis through natural processes–when we observe distant suns starting to coalesce through telescopes, with dusty accretion disks around them which will form planets, or when we look under the microscope, and observe cells splitting. Why would you assume that some sort of invisible hand is needed? And such a being is in no way demonstrated. No evidence. It is merely asserted by believers, without any hard evidence.

          December 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
        • neved

          to dandintac,the evolution of stars or solar systems or life forms to different species takes billons of years to complete.,that we in our lifetime cant comprehend its teleology or purposefullness.At the University of Illinois, a super computer called The nautilus ,predicts the future by analysing through computational methods mathematical algorithim the historical inputs for hundreds of years and discovered that it has a direction or intepreted as has a purpose.Someday in the future when we will be technologically advanced ,Gods will will be clearly reveald to us.All of this will be part of his will,at this time beyond our comprehension ,but will be in the future,The next generation of quantum computers which are tens of thousands more powerfull and faster than todays will provide us the informations to solidify the future religious faith based in science.

          December 26, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • igaftr

          "our existence as a conscious and material being is the proof that He exist"

          No it most certainly is not.

          By all means show your logic chain, and I shall show you exactly where you went off track into the ridiculous.

          December 26, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  12. Austin

    the birth of Christ is God's war on sin and evil. luckily we live underneath the New Covenant, the New Testament, a promise and fulfillment of the Old Testament law, by the only sinless man, who was God. and He paid the price for the fall of His creation.

    This New Covenant , was the victory of death,and the promise of the Holy Spirit , who will provide the sanctification of the law that we could not keep, supernaturally through the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin, and bears the truth on ones heart.

    December 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yes we all know what they story says. The question, the only question, is why should anyone believe it? I'm no more inclined to accept what Jesus said about his religious faith than I am to accept yours. Less so in fact because I can actually ask you questions directly. Your Jesus character died 2000 years ago and isn't in a position to answer anything. Since your answers remain unconvincing I'm left with the conclusion that you're just blowing smoke.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • hans

        why? learn dont be lazy to find the answer!!!

        December 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Dandintac

      While I do not believe in the concept of "sin"–I do believe in right and wrong, and I will take responsibility for my own transgressions. I do not believe that Jesus, if he actually existed, was divine, or that he "died for our sins", or that a god exists. Just the same, I did not ask for him to take responsibility for any faults that are mine, and if I had been around at the time, and could have stopped his crucifixion, I would have. It would have been my moral duty to do so. I do not accept the concept of scapegoating–that we can pile all our transgressions on someone else and have them die for it.

      I do not believe in a god, but if such a being exists, I will face him with my integrity intact. I believe things, especially big claims, based on hard evidence. I will not be a sycophant, telling people what they want to believe–"sure I believe–really I do!" But the truth is that I just don't buy it. The God claim is an extraordinary, sweeping claim, usually accompanied by many other extraordinary sweeping claims that are needed to explain too many otherwise impossible questions.

      Come back to me when you have some hard, verifiable, testable evidence for your huge claims.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  13. Bruno

    This article seems to read: There is a war on Christmas. No there isn't. Yes there is.

    There's not a war on Christmas (the holiday) but there is a war on Christianity. I'm not even Christian but it's plain as day. Just read these boards. Religion in general but Christianity in particular is under a constant barrage of mudslinging. Say what you will, but the anti-religion fanatics are just as unenlightened and daft as any theist fanatic ever was. You can find an equivalent insane muttering for anything any Christian ever said about atheists. Anyone who really wants to claim to be "enlightened" isn't going to be engaged in this ridiculous back and forth. Prove your enlightenment and rise above it.

    December 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Bah, humbug!

      Cheer up.

      December 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Perhaps the atheists you refer to are the ones that are simply sick and tired of all the doggerel. Endless Bible quotes, arguments chock-a-block with fallacies and claim after unfounded claim can drive anyone to throw their arms up in frustration.
      Christians assert that there is a God, you have a soul, an eternal afterlife awaits and a host of "don't do this or you'll make baby Jesus cry" sins. Atheists ask "How? Why? Where?" with responses like "it's a mystery" or "you need to have faith" or "pray and the answers will be revealed to you". Well I'm sorry but you're going to have to come up with something a tad more concrete if you expect to be taken seriously.
      Let's make something clear. The atheist position isn't elitist. I don't have the answers for the great unknowns. How did the universe come into being? How did life emerge from non-life? How did consciousness come into being etc.? In fact we may never know. But one thing is clear. Christians don't know either. Oh they claim that God did all these things but they can't answer how he did them. All they've managed to do is move the goalpost and worse still end any further search for real answers.
      The Christian God is impossible because the story that details his existence is full of impossible events. People rising from the dead, a virgin birth, a global flood, an array of physics defying miracles and so on. Oh they are quick to point out that anything is possible for their God. Of course they have to say that or no one would any reason to take them seriously. Well I've read stories too and Superman can fly and Spiderman can climb up walls, shoot webs from his wrists and swing from the rooftops but I don't for one second believe such men exist for real. Yet all this baloney in the Bible is accepted carte blanche. Why?

      December 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        oops... forgot to end the bold type.

        December 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Bruno

        Being sick and tired of something doesn't justify anything. It's just a pathetic excuse for their hypocrisy in exhibiting the same tendencies as those they denounce.

        December 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • The Grinch

          Relax. It's Christmas.

          December 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Dandintac

        Well put Steve.

        December 25, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • genetic

        your brain is relatvely soo simple and therefore its comprehension is also very limited,you believe in evolution so religion itself is an evolutionary process.Even atheism also evolved,The arguments today is just part of the evolutionary process of change through dialectecal methods.The moment humans begin to understand and appreciate the dialectics then the solution to the problems argued is near .

        December 25, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • lol??

          Appreciate the dialectic?? Might just as well build a temple to satan.

          December 25, 2013 at 3:04 am |
        • lol??

          Oh wait!! You already did. They're called inst*itutions of higher learning. Gotta watch out for temples made with human hands.

          December 25, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • Dandintac

      If these few billboard consti tute a "War on Christianity"–then what about the vastly larger number of Christian billboards that try to get people to believe? Do those const ittute a "War on Atheism"? Why not? The same logic applies. If your religion can not withstand this challenge–if this freaks you out so much that you have to call it a "war"–then your religion is in terrible shape, and believers like you apparently lack security in your beliefs.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  14. jj

    Christianity is an unbelievably untolerant religion, other religions and non-believers are much more tolerant. How about Christians stop making war on everyone else and insisting we believe in its deities to be saved?

    December 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Noyb

      Honey, by far most Christians, who by the way are not fundamentalists, do not care if you beleive or not. Truth.

      December 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Bruno

        There are extremist fanatics in any group, atheists included. They just never believe that's what they are.

        December 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Dandintac

          I would never argue that any given group of human beings is exempt from extremism. Sure, atheists are human beings, so certainly, we can have extremists in our ranks. Apparently, many people, even many atheists, see those members of Atheists.org as extreme for the billboard that is the subject of this article.

          Please consider this though. Our extremists? They put up billboards with messages saying that people can enjoy Christmas without belief in Christ. Oh the horror.

          What do Christian extremists do?

          December 25, 2013 at 3:48 am |
        • Ernest T Bass

          @dan............. exactly... I mean who's actually being harmed in this supposed war??

          December 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  15. Ed

    No… People may now more commonly USE "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" let's not go so far as to make a blanket statement that they PREFER it… Political correctness has been pounded people to such an extent that they avoid "Merry Christmas" at all cost. I personally could care less if someone tells me "Merry Christmas" because quite frankly I don't care. But, make no mistake that this holiday season is primarily driven by Christmas (Apologoes to Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc), so to basically hijack the Christian holiday, and then boot their reason for celebrating is pretty messed up. That is like taking Gay Pride month, using it as a major holiday period, then decide to boot and marginalize gays from their own time to celebrate. Then it is no longer Gay Pride month, because it may be offensive… It becomes Human Diversity month.

    December 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Bruno

      Agreed. Granted people should prefer it because it is inclusive, but you are right that PC is being "pounded" into us (which I'm not a fan of). Many jobs were even requiring their employees to use these PC greeting at peril of their own jobs. Let's not pretend we don't know which holiday is bringing customers to the stores though.

      December 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Larry

      I used to work in retail and have been snapped at by people, for using all of the various greetings...I finally ended it all by just saying "Thank you" after every transaction.

      It costs nothing to be polite to people waiting on you, instead of perceiving some slight because a clerk gave you the wrong salutation.

      December 24, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Dandintac

      I think the "war on Christmas" PC nonsense is EXTREMELY exaggerated. I say "Merry Christmas" all the time, and always have. Even though I live in a coastal blue state, never once–repeat–never once, has anyone ever complained about it.

      I think the whole "PC" whining is generally exaggerated anyway. I think the PC thing peaked in the 90s and has backed off some. I don't hear handicapped people complain that they should be called "differently-abled" for example. I no longer hear anyone say blacks should be called "people of color". And even if they did–so what?

      The worst PC I encounter now is a sort of anti-PC. It seems to be the new political-correct that you can never point out blatant, openly racism without someone whining that you are being "PC". Someone could be wearing a sheet with a pointed hood and if you pointed out their racism, they would complain that you are "being PC".

      December 25, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      I like happy holidays because the end of the year has a lot of holidays in it. With one statement I can cover Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Boxing Day and New Years. And probably more that I don't even know about. So why not say "happy holidays" and include everyone? Why just limit the happy to one group?

      December 25, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  16. 1968 Earthrising 24 Dec.

    Happy Holidays.

    Published on Dec 20, 2013

    In December of 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to leave our home planet and travel to another body in space. But as crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders all later recalled, the most important thing they discovered was Earth.


    December 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  17. Roger that

    Do most of you wait until after New Years to take down your Festivus pole?

    December 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Captain Wolff

      Personally, my christmas tree always goes down on January 6th (Twelve days of christmas thing) Depending on when festivus is, and if there are any traditions (twelve days of festivus?) the pole may or may not go down after new year's

      December 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  18. Elmer Fudd

    (Shhh... Im hunt chwisitan. im goign to lay my cleverly desgined trap right here and see who falls for it)
    Christ is a copy of Mithra pagan zombie virgin, no atheist has ever fought it a war or committed a crime, only deluded religies do that.
    (hehehehe, let's see who fall for it.. Shhhhhh...)

    December 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jeffrey Dahmer


      December 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Elmer Fudd


        December 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  19. Austin


    controversial separdic jews meet with ahmedinejad and call for the dismantiling of the jewish state of talmudic jews.

    very controversial!!!!

    December 24, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • igaftr

      Is there some point to this post?

      December 24, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • Austin

        the wh.ore that rides the beast.

        December 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          What are you talking about? Don't be cryptic.

          December 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • Austin

          ok, well the reason all this is pertinent has to do with peace treaty that involves israel and the antichrist, that will be broken by the antichrist. this all marks the return of Christ.

          THe wh.ore that rides the beast refers to a world wide false religious system, which refers to any world movement that is devoted to worship outside of the authentic ministry of Jesus. this is from the book of revelation. I also advise you to read Daniel Ch 11 vs 36-the end of the chapter. it talks about egypt, libya and cush (north africa) written about 700 BC

          December 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • sam stone

          ah, the much predicted return of christ

          the christian's wet dream

          December 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Candiano

        He doesn't like Israel?

        December 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • Austin

          that is what I gathered!

          December 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Piccolo

          There are still people around that like Israel, even after they got caught spying on us?

          December 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • Honest Abe Hypocritical Abe

          Is there anyone that likes us.. after we got spying on EVERYONE ELSE?

          December 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • Candiano

          So, Austin, you don't like Israel? Because I was talking to you.

          Explain who the antichrist is.

          December 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    You mean to tell me,
    that a Jewish zombie can make me live forever,
    if I telepathically accept him as my master…
    all because a talking snake convinced a woman created by one rib
    to eat from a magical tree?

    - Rainer Braendlein

    December 24, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Did Jesus ever bite anyone after he rose from the dead? If not, how can we be sure zombie is the correct descriptive term.

      December 24, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • UncleBenny

        Well, he did tell his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood. It got sanitized into bread and wine, but that's pretty conclusive evidence for his zombieness.

        December 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Dandintac

          But Benny–you don't eat the zombies, they eat you! Or at least your brains. Maybe JC was the anti-zombie?

          December 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Or create the planets from hell


      December 24, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • hearties

        SPOILER ALERT: In the video above, God made the universe, and he sent Jesus to die for others sins, those that believe him, repent of their sins, and do the will of God. Jesus also rose again after 3 days and nights in the hands of sinful men.

        December 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • dwight

      idiot remarks like this makes atheism look trolly. thanks, troll!

      December 24, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • jim

        ddoG = American Atheists= pandering to the Fox News crowd

        December 24, 2013 at 11:56 am |
      • Candiano

        He was quoting Rainer Braendlein.

        December 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
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.