NEW YORK – American Atheists, the leading secular organization in the U.S., has launched its Christmas billboard campaign in New York City, urging people to abandon the Jesus Christ "myth."
"Keep the merry! Dump the myth!" the billboard reads, which features a jolly image of Santa Clause above a solemn wooden figure of the crucified Christ. A press release shared with The Christian Post by Teresa MacBain, Public Relations Director at American Atheists, notes that the billboard is strategically placed at the popular Times Square tourist location.
"We know that a large population of 'Christians' are actually atheists who feel trapped in their family's religion. If you know god is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself 'Christian' in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should," said David Silverman, President of American Atheists. more >>
Liberty Counsel, a civil liberties legal defense organization, recently came to the aid of senior citizens in Los Angeles who protested the threatened removal of their Christmas tree from their home at The Willows, a senior assisted living apartment complex located in Newhall, Calif.
The complex's management, however, ultimately argued that the discrepancy involving the complex's Christmas tree came about from a misunderstanding between management and the apartment's staff, and there was never an intention to remove the holiday decorations from the communal room at The Willows.
"If holiday decorations are permitted in the facility, then they cannot be restricted or prohibited based upon their religious content," Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast said in a Dec. 7 statement. more >>
Last December I heard a song once that I couldn't forget, One Last Christmas by Matthew West. The title really makes one think. What if you knew you only had one last Christmas? What would you do?
What if this Christmas was your last Christmas to come back to the Church?
What if this was your last opportunity to tell people you loved them? more >>
The Christmas season is once again upon us and with it overwhelming encouragement from Madison Avenue to spend what we have not earned to buy what we cannot afford. The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday (indicating the point at which retailers are in the black-or at least hope to be), signaled the start of the "holiday shopping season." That phrase in and of itself reveals the commercialized emphasis that has unfortunately come to define Christmas for many Americans.
The thrust of this consumerist message is that the holiday is best enjoyed or most fully realized through the acquisition of "things." Advertisements bombard us with images of bountiful Christmas scenes in which beautiful packages surround the tree, and "happiness" is realized upon the receipt of this or that consumer product. Credit card issuers alone (those most interested in seeing you spend what you don't have) spend more than $150 million on holiday advertising and promotions. Evidence that these messages work is found in the fact that, according to financial advisor Dave Ramsey, "over 50 percent of Christmas shoppers will spend well over what they planned to and will go further into debt."
As to the severity of this debt, Ramsey points out that "more than $70 billion, over half of what was charged last year, ended up as revolving debt and the interest on last year's gifts are still being paid today." On average, "two-thirds (65 percent) of shoppers overspent their budget by $100–$500 and 75 percent overspent by $50–$100." more >>
Evangelist pastor Greg Laurie tackled the question of whether it's acceptable for Christians to drink in a recent blog post by pointing out that John the Baptist is a good role model – he drank neither wine nor strong drink.
"John gives us a good model for life: he drank neither wine nor strong drink. Personally, I don't drink at all," Laurie states. "That is due, to some degree, to coming from an alcoholic home and seeing the devastation that drinking can bring."
A church in Little Rock, Ark., canceled one performance of "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" after an atheist organization complained and said students should not be exposed to a show with Christian themes as part of a school field trip.
Happy Caldwell, pastor of Agape Church, issued a statement on the church's website on Wednesday, stating that while he believes the school was within its constitutional rights to bring students to the production, the church has nevertheless decided to cancel a Friday showing for students.
"It is not our desire to put hard working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harm's way," wrote Caldwell. "What we want said is that we love our city, our schools, parents and families. People are at the heart of the matter to us." more >>