The Christian Post features Zaimov’s (2014) article “American Atheists’ Billboard Campaign in Bible Belt: “Skip Church” This Christmas and Stop Listening to “Fairytales”. This article looks at a current billboard campaign that promotes atheist views on Christmas. It claims that Christmas, an originally Christian created holiday, no longer needs to include church going or God.
The campaign is one of controversy as it directly attacks the Christian teaching of the bible. Brining children into the argument, the campaign pairs the slogan, “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairytales” with that of a little girl. The Atheist president encourages children to stand up to their parents, to let them know that they do not believe in God, and that is okay.
I found this article particularly interesting because as it claims that the Christian Christmas story is just a bunch of fairytales, it does not make any reference or acknowledgment to the fact that, Santa, is another fictional character. The campaign is quick to criticize religion but ignores the issues that occur when teaching kids about a mystical man who brings the world presents while they sleep on Christmas Eve, if there is any. This article is taking away from the spirituality of the Christmas holiday and making it solely a Westernized day. I can’t help but think that this campaign is promoting a materialistic motive. For without God and Jesus, the holiday becomes one centered around a Christmas tree with presents all around.
The other interesting element of this campaign is that the Atheist campaign is trying to become an addition in Southern countries where, “discrimination and mistrust of atheists is especially pronounced”. Whether or not the Atheist community is going about this issue in the right way, the campaign does seem to take a different light knowing this. It becomes an ad that is not meant to put down the Christian religion but instead promote the acceptance of those who do not practice this religion and have been discriminated against because of it.
So it becomes a question of who are the holidays for? There are many people of different religions, religions that do not have a Christmas story, who still continue to celebrate the day. Should they be judged and persecuted because they do so? Or are the holidays for everyone and anyone who chooses to take part? And if they do choose to take part, should they feel obligated to take part in the religious traditions that encompass it?