Manhattan, NY—American Atheists launched a major billboard display on Tuesday that declares Christmas is better without the Christ. The huge 40’x40′ digital billboard is located in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. Using motion graphics, the billboard proclaims, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” A hand crosses out the word “Christ” and the word “NOBODY” appears. The display then says “Celebrate the true meaning of Xmas” and offers a series of cheery words: family, friends, charity, food, snow, and more. The commercial ends with a jovial “Happy Holidays!” from American Atheists and displays the organization’s website, atheists.org.“This season is a great time of year for a hundred reasons—none of them having to do with religion,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “This year, start a new tradition: Don’t go to church. You hate it, it’s boring; you probably only go because you feel guilty or obligated. Instead, spend more time with your family and friends—or volunteer. There are better uses of your time and money.”
“Most people don’t care about any religious ties to the season because church and religion are not what Americans care about during this time of year—they care about family and friends and giving presents and food and having fun,” said Public Relations Director Dave Muscato. “Many so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions celebrated by Americans have nothing to do with Christianity. For example, the North Pole and Santa traditions come from Nordic and Germanic pagan traditions, and caroling, yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths all pre-date Christianity,”
“We all love this time of year,” Silverman added. “Christianity has been trying to claim ownership of the season for hundreds of years. But the winter solstice came first and so did its traditions. The season belongs to everybody.”
The billboard sequence runs for fifteen seconds three times each hour. The campaign moves to a dramatic 3-board display at Penn Station next week, and continues through New Year’s Day, only a few months ahead of American Atheists’ 40th National Convention in Salt Lake City over Easter weekend in April.
The 2014 National Convention will feature such speakers such as NFL star Chris Kluwe, Survivor®: Philippines grand prizewinner Denise Stapley, Grammy-winning Spin Doctors bass player Mark White, Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Maryam Namazie of the Council of Ex-Muslims, popular bloggers PZ Myers and Greta Christina, and American Atheists President David Silverman. The convention will also feature a costume party, live music, stand-up comedy, an art show and silent auction, national and local exhibitors, and childcare options for attending families. The convention takes place the weekend of April 17-20, 2014.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Still images from the animation:
Video of the animation is available on YouTube here:
and may be reproduced and redistributed by the press under the conditions that no cropping or editing is performed and no overlays cover any part of the video (including the website at the bottom), and that American Atheists is credited for providing it.
Video of the actual board as displayed in Times Square is available on YouTube here:
and may be reproduced and redistributed by the press under the conditions that no cropping or editing is performed and no overlays cover any part of the video (including the website at the bottom), and that American Atheists is credited for providing it.This animation was produced by Seth Andrews, author of Deconverted and founder of TheThinkingAtheist.com.
Footage of the display by Michael Dorian, New York State Director, American Atheists
The entire list of themes celebrated on the billboard reads: family, friends, charity, food, music, gifts, snow, lights, decorations, stockings, fun, ice skating, Rockettes®, parties, movies, Chinese food, human life, hot chocolate.
American Atheists, Inc.
P.O. Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402
For More Information Contact:
Dave Muscato, Public Relations Director 908-276-7300 x7, [email protected]
Keywords: American Atheists, War on Christmas, billboard, Times Square, New York, New York City, Manhattan, Midtown, Christmas, Holidays, Happy Holidays, Xmas, December, atheism, humanism, freethought