American Atheists to New Jersey: Bah humbug UPDATE: Christian group responds

My latest post for Newsreal.

A fervent group of Dickensonian atheists have plunked down $20,000 in a bid to lure New Jersey commuters out of the holiday spirit and into a morose boycott – all because, as it reads on their billboard outside of the Lincoln Tunnel, Christmas is “a myth.” And that includes Jingle Bells, Silent Night, eggnog, holly, mistletoe and all the rest — leaving the enlightened with nothing but their own aggrieved scowls and wounded petulance.

This reminds me of a yuletide kerfuffle a couple years ago, when Christmas symbols from various faiths coexisted in ecumenical peace and harmony at the Washington State Capitol – that is until the self-ordained “free-thinkers” at Freedom from Religion Foundation came along with their offering — a sign designed solely to belittle and insult the others.

At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.

There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.

There is only our natural world.

Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds

I wrote a piece for the Oregonian that year, defending the centuries-old record of those “hardened hearts and enslaved minds” in improving the human condition through education, science, and humanitarian causes.

Nevertheless, this year it appears to be the American Atheists’ turn to slam the faithful with their Grinchy “You know it’s a myth” billboard. The point, they say, is to encourage other atheists to boycott Christmas; but in an age when most secularists seem to view themselves as spiritual health officers on a crusade to quarantine society from the disease of Christianity, I wasn’t surprised to discover that their goals are broader than that. Take this statement from their website:

American Atheists has been fighting for atheist civil liberties since 1963.  Our goal is equality for atheists. We want laws to be applied evenly (which mandates a total separation of church and state), and the elimination of the societal and political stigmas of being, loving, or representing an atheist.

How are “societal and political stigmas” defined and therefore “eliminated” without rubbernecking on the beliefs of others with the intent to police their thoughts, motives, and actions? And what exactly do they mean by “total separation of church and state?” More perpetually peeved secularists cutting the mikes of valedictorians and censoring flute renditions of Ave Maria? What next, locker searches for religious contraband? Hallway snitches? Demolition of nearly every marble monument constructed prior to 1970?

If so, then these are not free-thinkers. They are just another dogmatic sect, hiding behind a curtain of fake tolerance as seek to interfere and tattle on those who don’t believe as they do.

UPDATE: A Christian counter-message.

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