A group called American Atheists has posted a high-profile billboard in New York City's Times Square depicting Christianity as a “myth,” apparently mocking Jesus Christ on the cross. The group, which first launched its Christmas “myth” campaign in 2010, ramped up its campaign with a giant sign that features an image of Santa Claus, an equally large picture portraying a suffering Jesus on the cross, along with the phrase, "Keep the Merry — Dump the Myth!”
David Silverman, president of the atheist club, claimed in a press release that his group thinks “a large population of Christians are actually 'atheists' who feel trapped in their family's religion.” He declared that “you do not have to lie and call yourself Christian in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should.”
Silverman justified the latest controversial sign by stating that his club was trying to “encourage people to be honest with themselves and their families this year. If you don't believe in God, tell your family — honesty is the greatest gift, and they deserve it.”
The anti-Christmas billboard campaign the atheist group came up with last year, which debuted on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, was nearly as offensive to many Christians, with pictures of Jesus, Santa Claus, the Greek god Poseidon, and a Satan-like figure in a business suit, along with the slogan: “37 Million Americans know myths when they see them,” followed by, “What myths do you see?”
That billboard received almost universally negative response, with the comments of one mainline pastor from New Jersey summing up the public perception. The minister told the Christian Post that not only was the sign “ignorant and vulgar,” but it demonstrated a lack of understanding on the part of the American Atheists about the meaning of the term “myth” in relation to classical literature.
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