'You Know It's a Myth' Atheist Billboard Campaign Shows Jesus With Santa Claus

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By Brendan Giusti, Christian Post Reporter
December 1, 2011|1:38 pm

Billboard advertisements have once again become a source of ire for special-interest, religious and other groups.

This time it is a series of billboards posted in Florida, Ohio and New Jersey by American Atheists, which question Christian beliefs.

The billboards are the latest step in the group's "You KNOW it's a MYTH" campaign, which also posted similar billboards in 2010.

The signs prominently feature pictures of Jesus, Santa Claus, along with devil images and asks "what myths do you see?"

Another billboard crosses out an image of Jesus in an advertisement for the American Atheists Convention slated to be held Dec. 17-18 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

"The purpose is to encourage people to ask themselves why one god is different from gods they call myths," American Atheists posted on its website. "It's up to them to answer."

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The billboards have spurred anger from Christian groups in the past, even prompting the New York-based Catholic League to send statues of Nativity scenes to the capitals of all 50 states last year.

Atheists say it is not an attack on Christians, but a promotion of alternative views.

"There is no effort here to convert theists into atheists, but there IS an attempt to get the church pew atheists to consider what they are doing," American Atheists said in a statement on its website. "If they look at our billboard and see four myths, including Jesus, then why are they going to church and donating money? Why are they going through this ridiculous motion of pretending to believe in a myth, just to please other people?"

The latest billboards are not the first to draw attention from religious groups this year.

Recently, Wodka Vodka posted a billboard that read "Christmas quality, Hanukkah pricing," in an overt play on Jewish stereotypes.

The advertising was quickly condemned by groups, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

"In a crude and offensive way of trying to make a point that their vodka is high quality and inexpensive, the billboards evoke a Jewish holiday to imply something that is cheap and of lesser value when compared to the higher value of a Christian holiday," Ron Meier, ADL New York regional director said in a release.

The billboard was quickly removed by the company.

Earlier this year church and LGBT groups had a back-and-forth over pro-and anti-gay billboards in suburban Toledo, Ohio, in what has become an annual tradition of promoting messages through billboards during the holiday season.

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