Christmas is near and that means it’s time for American Atheists to reveal their next billboard campaign! (The War on Christmas begins earlier each year, doesn’t it?)
First, some background. Last year, AA President Dave Silverman put up this billboard on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel:
That caused all sorts of controversy. (I mean, he called Christianity and the Christmas Story a myth! And he said we all KNOW it! With capital letters! Can you believe it?!)
Bill Donohue and the Catholic League responded (and capitalized on the publicity) by paying for a billboard of their own on the New York side of the tunnel:
Of course, those billboards were the source of countless segments on FOX News and they received plenty of coverage in print media across the country.
If you’re AA, how do you top what you did last year? How do you get more exposure for your group, create more conversations about what’s reality and what’s mythology, and find more opportunities to talk about atheism in front of the cameras in the weeks leading up to Christmas?
Well, you can’t do things too differently. Keep the same designers as before. (AA doesn’t do flashy, “professional” looking billboards. They do billboards designed to get your attention — and it works.) Make a bold statement — one that speaks to the closeted atheists out there. Then, sit back and watch people with religious sensibilities get offended over nothing.
Inevitably, someone will ask you to go on the air to talk about your message — and others will follow. It snowballs quickly.
With all that in mind, here’s the billboard that’s about to go up at the foot of the Lincoln Tunnel (click to enlarge):
37 Million Americans know MYTHS when they see them. What myths do you see?
After three weeks, that billboard will be replaced by a new one — a “call to action” — specifically for the closeted atheists out there. (I’ve seen it and the message is great!) Silverman will announce that billboard in an appearance on — where else? — Mike Huckabee‘s show on FOX News Channel on the night of December 10th.
For now, that Lincoln Tunnel billboard will be joined by similar ones in other states.
(Nice touch with the plural form of “god” there — A lot of atheists are going to appreciate that.)
And there’s this one going up in Ohio (PDF), because… well… why not?
It’s not often you see the images of Poseidon, Jesus, Santa, and Satan all in the same place.
What’ll cause more controversy? Putting Jesus and Satan in the same context as Poseidon… or the Christmas-time revelation that Santa is a myth?
(I don’t know if anyone would make the latter argument. If you’re old enough to read, you probably already know the truth about Santa.)
What do you think of the new images?