The $20,000 atheist billboard, which depicts the Nativity scene and reads, “You KNOW it’s a myth. This Season, Celebrate Reason,” is found directly outside of the high traffic Lincoln Tunnel between New York and New Jersey. The Catholic billboard has been strategically placed on the other side of the tunnel.
The $18,500 pro-Christmas message shows Joseph and Mary with Baby Jesus and reads, “You know it’s Real. This Season, Celebrate Jesus.”
Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League, explains, “We decided to counterpunch after a donor came forward seeking to challenge the anti-Christmas statement by American Atheists. Our approach is positive, and services the common good. Theirs is negative, and is designed to sow division. It’s what they do.”
He adds, “So after Christian motorists have had their sensibilities assaulted as they exit New Jersey, they will experience a sense of joy, and satisfaction, as they enter New York City. It’s what we do.”
The erection of the anti-Christmas atheist billboard is not the first to celebrate atheism. According to CNN, “The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based atheist advocacy group, has placed comparable billboards in some 45 cities and 30 states since October 2007, according to the group’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor.”
However, many of those billboards have been relatively innocuous, as they ultimately declared that individuals could be moral without a belief in God. In contrast, atheist groups in England have posted signs on the sides of London buses that seem to encourage immorality. The signs read, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
Donahue believes the American billboards to be antagonistic, particularly the anti-Christmas billboard posted by the American Atheists.
“I’m not Hindu. I’m not Buddhist. I’m not Jewish but I wouldn’t go around denigrating other people’s religions and their gods,” he emphasized.