U.S. atheists and Catholics in holiday billboard fight
(Image: Atheist holiday billboard/American Atheists)
U.S. Catholics and atheists are doing battle over the holiday season with dueling billboards on opposite sides of the Hudson River separating New York and New Jersey.
The American Atheists organization fired the opening shot the Monday before Thanksgiving with its billboard on Route 495 in North Bergen, New Jersey. It tells drivers: “You Know It’s a MYTH,” a slogan set against a traditional nativity scene with three wise men and two figures in a manger.
The Catholic League fired back with its own billboard on the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel saying: “You Know it’s Real. This Season, Celebrate Jesus,” set against a picture of the infant Christ with his parents, Mary and Joseph. The league, a Catholic civil rights organization, said it responded to the atheists’ billboard because it wanted to counteract what it sees as a negative view of Christmas.
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said its billboard, costing $20,000 for about a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the organization’s first to directly challenge what it believes are many atheists who go to church at Christmas but don’t believe in God. Jeff Field, a spokesman for the League, said its billboard is designed to counteract any doubts raised by its opponent on the other side of the Hudson.