New billboards from American Atheists just went up in Raleigh, North Carolina and Colorado Springs, Colorado — two cities known for their religiosity.
Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness’ sake. Happy holidays!
As far as messages go, it’s a continuation of the billboard message AA put up in several cities last December:
“Last year’s billboard showed a child writing a letter to Santa, telling him that all she wanted for Christmas was to skip church. This year, Santa wrote back,” Silverman added.
“It is important for these folks who are on the fence about their beliefs to know that they can take that first big step and leave church,” said Nick Fish, national program director of American Atheists. “There are tens of millions of atheists in this country. We’re everywhere. And we don’t need church or gods to tell us how to be good people.”
The new message is also a far cry from the “You KNOW It’s a Myth” in-your-face signs AA put up in 2010. That slogan generated a lot of publicity, but also provoked a lot of backlash. It’s hard to think people will get as bent out of shape this year.
I’m a fan of the new sign. Rather than telling people why they’re wrong to go to church, it simply gives them permission to skip it. They’re not bad people if they find better uses of their time on Sunday morning. That may be what some people need to hear since they’re been told otherwise their entire lives.
Of course, if not believing in religious superstition is all it took for people to stay home from church, the pews would be much emptier. People go to church for the community, the purpose and meaning they get from being part of a group, and the friends they have there. I’m sure a lot of closeted atheists attend church for reasons that have nothing to do with their belief in God.
But that probably wouldn’t fit on a billboard.