The billboard wars are on in Tennessee.
First, American Atheists put up this controversial holiday billboard in several religious cities around the country, including Memphis:
Eric Hart, a Christian in the area, decided to respond with a sign of his own. So he did some online fundraising and ended up with the following digital ad, which has all the design finesse of a Christmas sweater:
Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is for families to be able to keep Christmas sacred and celebrate with being bullied. With Respect To All
I know, I know. I shouldn’t be complaining about someone else’s graphic design when atheist billboards get mocked repeatedly for that reason. I should also note that I’ve seen two different versions of that Christian billboard with the same message, but this is the one that looked more professional, so I’m assuming it’s the one they went with.
But let’s talk about that message for a second. No one’s stopping him from keeping Christmas “sacred” if that’s what he chooses to do. And if you consider a billboard message bullying, then your tolerance for criticism is way too low.
Hart also added in his fundraising note:
[The atheists] are entitled to believe what they want but using children for their Godless message is pretty low.
Cherish our beloved CHRISTmas holiday with your loved ones and without any regret or second guessing. Even take the opportunity to explore the questions our Atheist friends propose and find the answers that will surely deepen your faith.
The moment Christians stop using children in their own marketing campaigns, we can have that discussion. Until then, it’s an irrelevant concern to me.
American Atheists, never backing down from a challenge, has responded to Hart’s sign by putting up another two billboards in Tennessee (using the same girl as in the first ad, just to rub it in):
American Atheists posted new billboards in Memphis and Nashville on Friday that read “Dear Christians, I share my toys. Why won’t you share the season? Happy Holidays for all!”
“The hypocrisy is unbelievable,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “Millions of American children are forced to go to church under the threat of being denied meals, losing household privileges, having their college tuition cut off, or being kicked out of their homes. Many atheist adults are forced to go to church under threat of divorce or lose custody of their children. We must ask the question, who are the real bullies? Those who are unafraid to stand up for our views on billboards, or those who destroy families from the inside out?”
Strong words, but they’re true in some cases. One man’s sacred cow is another man’s albatross.
Your move, Hart.