The American Atheists insist they're not trying to anger anyone with their billboard calling Christmas a "myth" outside the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey, but emblazoning the word "myth" over a nativity scene has ruffled a few feathers. Among the angry is the Catholic League, who have countered with their own billboard on the New York side of the tunnel, theirs reading, "You know it's real. This season celebrate Jesus." The league writes in a statement, "Our approach is positive, and services the common good. Theirs is negative, and is designed to sow division. It's what they do...So after Christian motorists have had their sensibilities assaulted as they exit New Jersey, they will experience a sense of joy, and satisfaction, as they enter New York City." Sorry, but the joy of leaving Jersey has nothing to do with the billboards.
The Post found a few motorists who actually paid attention to billboards enough to have an opinion. One woman said, "We agree, Jesus is the reason for the season," but a Catholic man said he wishes the Catholic League didn't get into this pissing contest. "It doesn’t need to be plastered on a billboard," said Michael Gerber. "I should be able to celebrate in my own way. And if it’s tit for tat, it defeats the spirit of Christmas."
American Atheists president David Silverman found the irony in the Catholic League's new billboard. He told NorthJersey.com, “They stole our scene and copied what we’re doing, and that’s fine. Once again, the Catholic Church is co-opting something that isn’t theirs, just like they did to Christmas. It’s a great analogy, and I love it.” Catholic League president Bill Donohue insists he has nothing against atheists, but "I have something against militant, in-your-face atheists that use our season to make their statements." Unlike equally in-your-face Catholics that claim the season is theirs and theirs alone. And considering we've actually seen this billboard in New Jersey, perhaps it's time to give the atheists a fair shot at ad space.