It seems that not everyone is on board with the American Atheist's very public assertion that "Christ" has no place in Christmas. And now, the group is getting the best gift it could ask for: Attention from apoplectic politicians.
State Senator Andrew Lanza last week issued an impassioned statement slamming the group for its 40′x40′ digital billboard, which announces to all of Times Square that "nobody" needs Christ, before encouraging passersby to focus on what really matters in life: Friends, snow and the Rockettes.
The message was quite an affront to Lanza, who referred to American Atheists as an "intolerant and hateful group," before launching into this:
Not only do the people behind this group not believe in God but they obviously don’t believe in decency, civility and kindness to fellow human kind either. This is part of a continued “War on Christmas” and also upon the belief and value system of millions of Christian, Jewish and Muslim people who have faith in God. Religious persecution of the kind that similarly lead to the Holocaust began with small evil baby steps of ridicule and hatred of the religious beliefs of others.
While it's not surprising to me that people who are hateful and malicious of god would endorse such an advertisement, I would have hoped that the people who own this billboard, those who live in Manhattan and around Times Square and the community’s political leaders would have decried this hate speech as something not to be tolerated or allowed.
He then requests that "all decent people" kindly boycott Times Square.
American Atheists responded by taking yet another small evil baby step on Wednesday and planting an identical digital billboard on the Goethals Bridge, its message now broadcast brightly upon Staten Island. "Lanza had no problem calling for a boycott of Times Square because of our message,” American Atheists President David Silverman wrote in a statement.“We stand behind our billboard and we want the people of Staten Island to know that they don’t need religion to have a great Christmas, either. We are putting up this billboard as a challenge to Senator Lanza. Now the question is, was the senator posturing, or does he have the guts to call for a boycott in his own district?”
Lanza has yet to respond to the newly placed sign, though he's undoubtedly troubled. What's next? Will he wake up one day to find a similar billboard glinting on his front porch? In his house? In his bedroom?
[Via Daily Intel]