Laura Dolan reports from the front line of the atheism-religion war taking place in New Jersey, for CNN:
‘Tis the season to be jolly? Not entirely.
An atheist billboard that calls Christmas “a myth” has sparked a growing controversy near the Lincoln Tunnel, a 1.5-mile-long twin tube that connects New Jersey to New York.
The full message, which appears with a nativity scene, reads: “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason.”
Its $20,000 price tag was paid for by American Atheists, a New Jersey-based atheist advocacy group, David Silverman, the group’s president, told CNN.
“We are addressing the 50 million atheists in this nation,” Silverman said.
He said the group erected the sign in a high-traffic area in an effort to challenge drivers to “think hard about whether or not they actually believe in what is, in reality, an invisible magic man in the sky.”
Silverman said he is uncertain if it will stay through Christmas or come down on December 21.
The sign, located near the tunnel’s New Jersey entrance, has stirred controversy among Christian organizations, prompting one group to erect its own pro-Christmas billboard.
“We decided to counterpunch after a donor came forward seeking to challenge the anti-Christmas statement,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, a New York-based Catholic advocacy group.
The League’s billboard reads: “You Know It’s Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus.”…
[continues at CNN]