Cranford, NJ—American Atheists posted new billboards in Memphis and Nashville on Friday that read “Dear Christians, I share my toys. Why won’t you share the season? Happy Holidays for all!” The new message is in response to an anti-atheist billboard placed by a group of Christians on Thursday evening in Memphis that parodies the atheists’ first billboard that launched Monday and that accuses atheists of sacrilege and claims Christians are being bullied.
The Christian campaign’s spokesperson Marshall Hart also accused American Atheists of “using children” to spread its message, despite using the photo of a three-year-old girl on its own billboard.
“The hypocrisy is unbelievable,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “Millions of American children are forced to go to church under the threat of being denied meals, losing household privileges, having their college tuition cut off, or being kicked out of their homes. Many atheist adults are forced to go to church under threat of divorce or lose custody of their children. We must ask the question, who are the real bullies? Those who are unafraid to stand up for our views on billboards, or those who destroy families from the inside out?”
The new American Atheists billboard designs replace the ones launched Monday in the same locations: in Memphis it is located on I-240 and Getwell and in Nashville on I-24 and Waldron Road.
The original American Atheists billboard design, the model for the anti-atheist billboard parody, was aimed at in-the-closet atheists who are pressured to observe religious traditions during the holidays, and who might also want to attend the annual American Atheists National Convention in Memphis in April. The original Monday-launched atheist billboards are still on display in St Louis, Milwaukee, and Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
American Atheists is bringing the billboards and its national convention to the Mid-South, where discrimination and distrust of atheists is especially pronounced.
The billboards will be on display until December 24. There is additional information about the American Atheists 2015 National Convention during Easter weekend, April 2-5 at www.atheists.org/convention. The convention will take place at the Peabody Hotel, just off of Beale Street.
The convention will feature keynote speaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a costume party, an art show, a Cards Against Humanity charity tournament, workshops, and talks by more than 20 of the atheist community’s greatest speakers, including Bangladeshi atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin, Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple, HowStuffWorks.com founder Marshall Brain, renowned debater Matt Dillahunty, author and memeticist Dr. Susan Blackmore, historian and poet Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht, and Fade zu Grau, a celebrity fashion designer (as seen on Lifetime’s Project Runway), and more.
Images of the original American Atheists billboards and the newly launched designs are available at atheists.org/news
Please note: At the time of this release, 4:10 PM Central, the Nashville board is live and the Memphis artwork has been submitted to the billboard company but is still pending upload from the billboard company to the leased space. Since it is a digital billboard, the switch will be instantaneous once it has been uploaded.
For More Information Contact:
David Silverman, President 908-276-7300 x5, [email protected]
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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 was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
American Atheists, Inc.
P.O. Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402