Atheists' billboards urge people to skip church for the holidays
GREENWOOD, LA (KSLA) - If you haven't seen them yet, you probably soon will.
American Atheists has unveiled its holiday billboards, including 2 in the Shreveport area.
They encourage people to "Skip church for a merrier Christmas."
The group is trying to stir the pot. "And part of stirring the pot is getting that conversation going," explained Nick Fish, American Atheists' national program director.
"There are atheists in the community, there are people who don't believe in God."
One of the billboards parodies President-elect Donald Trump's campaign slogan.
"Make Christmas Great Again. ... skip church."
"You don't have to be religious, you don't have to believe in God to be a good person," Fish said. "And we want to use humor, we want to use a little bit of people driving by these billboards and say, 'Wait, what did that just say?,"
American Atheists has its holiday messages on display from Louisiana, to Colorado, even down in Georgia.
"We celebrate Christmas pretty much the same way everyone else does," Fish said. "We have a tree. We give gifts. We have big meal. We hang out with the people that we love.
"Those things have nothing to do with religion. Christianity and religion do not have a monopoly on having a great meal and spending time with people you love," he explained.
Some drivers KSLA News 12 talked to admitted to not seeing the signs.
Some also seemed disgusted with the message, refused to talk on camera and said the group's message is just plain wrong.
"I wouldn't tell anyone that you have to go to church to celebrate Christmas," one motorist said. "But you should have a desire in your heart to know who you're serving. And we just have to pray for those who have that belief that there is no God."
Despite a difference in beliefs, the people KSLA News 12 talked to all agreed everyone has the right to believe what they want.
Another motorist added: "I don't think it should matter what religion you are. People get so offended by saying 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy holidays.' And the proper response should be 'thank you.' It's not anything offensive to say those things."
American Atheists said its billboards will be up through the end of the month.
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