This past week, a new billboard showed up in my hometown of Memphis. It immediately set tongues wagging in this Buckle of the Bible Belt.
And, not in a good way.
ChristianPost.com reports that
American Atheists President David Silverman has said that his group’s holiday billboards this year, with a message to “skip church” this Christmas, are aimed at atheists who are living with theists in mixed families and are under pressure to participate in religious activities.
“That little girl on the billboard symbolizes the atheists who go along to get along, attending and possibly tithing a church that preaches a religion in which they don’t believe, for no other reason than habit or familial pressure,” Silverman told The Christian Post in an email on Thursday.
“We are using these billboards to spur intra-family communication, because we believe the communication is desperately needed,” he asserted.
The billboards have gone up in Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, while a fifth billboard in Milwaukee is co-sponsored by the Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers. Silverman said the ads were priced at approximately $20,000, which was paid for by donors.
The billboards, which feature a young girl writing a message to Santa Claus reading: “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairy tales,” have attracted various media attention.
While previous AA holiday billboards have been erected in notable urban areas, such as at Times Square in New York City, Silverman explained that this year’s ads are the first ones to be placed in residential areas.
“The target market is anyone old enough to read the board, understand the message, and realize that it rings true with them, which we figure is young teens and up,” Silverman told CP.
“Nobody seriously thinks little kids are reading billboards and having religious epiphanies from them, but older kids are statistically the most likely to be atheists, and we hope this billboard spurs them to talk about it with their parents,” he added.
The secular group’s press release on Monday noted that it was denied billboard advertising space in Jackson, Mississippi, because area lessors rejected the content of the ads. The AA president said that the group often experiences such problems, since billboard owners fear repercussions from Christian customers.
“Billboard owners have received death threats, and more often boycott threats, from Christians, just because they put up our ads,” he said. “In Salt Lake City, for example, none of the local billboard companies would do business with us for fear of losing other business. This is legal, but it’s not moral, and it’s a clear symptom of the bigotry atheists face from Christians on a regular basis, further emphasizing the need for communication and activism.”
When asked if there is any way to measure the success of billboard campaigns, Silverman said that, as a result of the media coverage, the group has seen “a huge uptick” in ticket sales for its upcoming national convention, set to take place in 2015 during Easter weekend in Memphis.
As for the number of atheists living in households where they cannot share their beliefs with close ones, Silverman pointed to a 2008 USA Today poll which showed that atheism has been growing across the U.S., including in the Bible Belt states. The survey found that close to 15 percent of Americans say they have no religion, which was up from 8 percent in 1990.
In reality, a 2012 study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reports that just 6% of the US population are atheists even though the number of religiously unaffiliated has grown since the USA Today Survey from 15% to just under 20%.
However, if you listen to radical Atheists, they will tell you that they are the most enlightened and intelligent human beings on this terrestrial ball.
And,, that they have nothing to be worried about from the 76% of Americans, like me, who proclaim Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior.
So, why are they coming out with this national billboard campaign, using a child as their spokesperson, in this Holy Season in which we honor and celebrating the arrival of the Son of God?
It is all a part of a pattern that has been going on for some time now.
For years, School Administrators have been attempting to block Christmas Songs which reference Christianity and the Triune God in any way from school programs.
Retail stores, who, in years past, joyfully wished customers a “Merry Christmas”, now instead, air commercials, which sing “That’s my kind of holiday.” and greet you in their stores with “Happy Holidays!”
So, why this full-blown attack on the Faith which our Founding Fathers wrote so eloquently about, and which has sustained this “shining city on a hill” through times of internal and external strife?
In other words, why are activist Atheists (and Progressives) so intent to either limit or completely eliminate Christianity’s influence on everyday American Life?
Why don’t they attack the political/religious ideology of Islam with the same fervor?
The answer to this question is simple: Cowards will always tell you whom they are afraid of. They will avoid them, like one avoids a child with Chicken Pox.
Additionally, they expect Christians to allow them to take control by “turning the other cheek.” Evidently, they never read the scriptures which describe Jesus running the “money lenders” out of the temple, overturning tables and expressing his righteous indignation in a way in which no one con mistake it for anything else.
Or, perhaps, it’s their overwhelming overestimation in their own intelligence, which results from ignoring the influence of the God of Abraham in their life.
So, what drives them in this “Unholy Crusade”?
Bitterness, emptiness, and an unfulfilled hungering in their soul which they cannot put a finger on, is the only explanation.
Otherwise, why would you fight so hard against the influence of and worship of Someone you don’t personally believe in?
Until He Comes,