I just read a story in The Week “American Atheists: Mounting a real war on Christmas” They’re renting billboards and plastering the message “You KNOW it’s a myth, this season, celebrate REASON!” depicting the 3 wise men and the nativity.
Now this issue is *really* complicated for me. I see myself as an Atheist. Or an agnostic, it depends if I’m reading sci-fi at the time or not.
What really puzzles me about this issue, and is probably a reflection of my up-bringing in the UK, is that I do not understand the absolute need for a group that self identifies themselves as Atheists. One that feels a need to fight against religions spreading myths in a country that really does have much bigger problems, and much scarier myths that need dispelling.
What a group that positions itself against theism does is justify theism’s existence. It justifies Christianities’ allotment in peoples minds as an actual issue which needs to be debated,that it is another line to be drawn in the sand, another position to be adopted to exploit the right vote from the right constituency. In short, overt Atheism and Theism are The Batman and Joker. Without one, the other one has nothing to bounce controversy off of.
Maybe it’s just the idea of an Atheist’s “club” that irritates me, why do people need to justify their positions with an affiliation ? Now, if a full on witch burning domestic holy war kicked off, I’d be in the trenches with Richard Dawkins and the AA’s, but seriously…
All this billboard campaign reinforces in my mind is that the sheep are under an un-ending unconscious message assault that consists of 99% myth, let alone celebrating the myths of the bible once a year, which in my view is utterly harmless, and exactly the wrong angle to attack Christmas from. If you really want to sour the Christmas mood, don’t buy any Christmas presents, wait, atheist America actually gets in on the economic gift buying frenzy in November/December too ? Damn. (if you have to buy gifts stick to the simple rules – buy useful/educational gifts, buy American and local if possible, I know, terribly boring.)
The masses that are looking for myths to be reinforced or trounced one way or another should be ignoring all billboards, television, newspapers, some textbooks and most if not all conversations involving religion.
If people were renting billboards with effective, meaningful myth dispelling messages they might say some things like these:
You don’t actually live in a Democracy, Merry Christmas.
You’re a member of the Empire, not the Rebellion. Get over it and Happy Holidays! (this one is good bumper sticker fodder)
Pick a war, it’s about oil/gas. Go on, buy the wife and kids a Suburban this Christmas. Just ignore the outside world.
Support terrorism, buy Saudi oil every 5th time you fill your tank. Happy Hannakah !
Help the war economy and keep petro-dollars sailing our way vote Republican.
Keep our government indecisive, weak and pandering to the elites vote Democrat.
Our economy will be fine after a die-off. Stuff those stockings !
You’re not being told the truth, and no, we’re not talking about the bloody bible.
In short, messages pro or con on religion are the least important thing that should be appearing on billboards. But hey, that’s just my narrow minded opinion. (which I can pay a few thousand dollars to stick on a billboard, God Bless America .. shit, wait … !)
Worship dogs and sunshine.