The holidays are upon us and so are the yearly traditions: drinking eggnog, sending greetings, decorating trees, watching “Rudolph” and putting up controversial billboards. The latter is at least a tradition for the organization known as American Atheists. For the rest of us it’s an opportune time to raise our glasses of eggnog, roll our eyes and say “whatever”. These billboards have become so old hat, most people briefly glance at them and say “ho hum”.
This year’s billboard kind of made me chuckle:
First of all, the kid depicted in this photo looks devious. Secondly, I believe the statement “I’m too old for fairy tales” could be considered an oxymoron. Too old for fairy tales? Yet in the billboard the child is “writing” a letter to Santa and is wearing a Santa hat! Dear child, which fairy tale are you too old for?
I feel skipping church is perfectly fine. I haven’t been to church in years but I still believe in God. My belief is that you don’t need to go to a church to believe in God, to pray to God or to practice your religion. Just as it is my belief that atheists don’t need to spend their money on putting up billboards to let others know they don’t believe in God. We know you don’t believe in God. You don’t need to throw it at us.
I’m not letting any religious groups off the hook either. I know some of them spend money on a yearly billboard or advertisement of some sort pushing the real “reason for the season”. The believers know what the reason for the season is. Again, we don’t need you to throw it at us.
Here’s an idea for both of these groups of people: take the goddamn money you spend on the billboard, the newspaper ads, the commercials, etc. and give it to a worthy cause. All that money you waste telling people what they already know about your belief or non-belief could be used to feed the hungry, clothe the needy or care for the sick.
Kindness towards your fellow human being: THAT is what Christmas is REALLY about!