American Atheists, one of the largest secular organizations in the country, is again urging people to skip church this Christmas in new billboard ads attacking the birth of Jesus Christ, calling it "fake news."
"Everyone knows that the stories we're told in church aren't the truth," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in a press release on Thursday.
"People ignore that fact because they enjoy the community, the friendship, and the traditions that go along with religion. But we're here to tell them that churches don't have a monopoly on any of that. There's a fantastic and vibrant community of atheists all across the country creating their own traditions and lifelong friendships."
The organization has launched two billboard campaigns; one in the Albuquerque and Dallas markets depicting a nativity scene beside the "fake news" slogan.
Another one in Oklahoma City promotes its National Convention there March 29–April 1, 2018, and reads "Just like Santa Claus, the atheists are coming to town!"
Silverman encouraged people to "spend time with your friends and family, give gifts, do charitable work, and enjoy the season."
"You can do all of that while also celebrating the truth," he asserted.
The term "fake news" has often been used by U.S. President Donald Trump when admonishing national media outlets, such as CNN, though the term has also been thrown back at him by critics.
Americans expressed concern over the perceived growth of "fake news" in a December 2016 survey published by the Pew Research Center, with 64 percent of U.S. adults stating that completely made-up stories have caused "a great deal of confusion" about the basic facts of current events.
Nick Fish, national program director for American Atheists, argued that people are "rightly skeptical about some of the news they see on Facebook, hear from their family, or are told by elected officials."
"But too often, they don't extend that skepticism to their religious views and what their religious leaders are telling them," Fish added.
"And right now, we could all use a little more skepticism about the things we're told, no matter the source."
American Atheists has been putting up Christmas-themed displays for years. Its December 2016 billboards also poked fun at Trump and his "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan, calling on people to "Make Christmas Great Again" by skipping church.
Silverman told The Christian Post in an interview back in December 2014 that its billboards at the time, also urging people to skip church as they are "too old for fairy tales," are aimed at atheists who are living with theists in mixed families.
"That little girl on the billboard symbolizes the atheists who go along to get along, attending and possibly tithing a church that preaches a religion in which they don't believe, for no other reason than habit or familial pressure," Silverman told CP back then.
"We are using these billboards to spur intra-family communication, because we believe the communication is desperately needed," he added.