I’ve gotten quite a few emails today about a American Humanist Association press release about a new bus campaign they’ve launched in Washington D.C.. Here’s one news item on the topic from HometownAnnapolis.com:
You better watch out. There is a new combatant in the Christmas wars.
Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.
[…] “We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you,” said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”
To that end, the ads and posters will include a link to a Web site that will seek to connect and organize like-minded thinkers in the D.C. area, Edwords said.
Edwords said the purpose isn’t to argue that God doesn’t exist or change minds about a deity, although “we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people’s minds.”
Needless to say, various Christian groups, particularly those involved in the annual War!On!Christmas! nonsense, aren’t too impressed with these ads. Take AFA president Tim Wildmon’s reaction for example:
“It’s a stupid ad,” he said. “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”
Hate to break the news to you, Tom, but everyone already defines what’s good individually. Some of you just use God as a lame rationalization for your opinion on what is good.
Also on Tuesday, the Orlando, Fla.-based Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal group, launched its sixth annual “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign.” Liberty Counsel has intervened in disputes over nativity scenes and government bans on Christmas decorations, among other things.
“It’s the ultimate grinch to say there is no God at a time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Christ,” said Mathew Staver, the group’s chairman and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “Certainly, they have the right to believe what they want but this is insulting.”
What’s insulting is your insistence that Christmas has anything to do with Christ’s birth when there’s not a credible Biblical scholar around who thinks Christ was born anywhere near December 25th.
Both of those responses pale in comparison to Fox News’ own Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Alisyn Camerota as they discussed the ad campaign in mocking terms:
That whole thing is so full of idiotic assumptions that it would take multiple entries just to address them all. Take for example that Atheists don’t celebrate Christmas when, in fact, quite a few of us do. There’s a whole secular side to Christmas and plenty of customs that have nothing to do with the religious aspects that have been forced on the holiday by Christians. You may have noticed that I make use of the word “Krismas” to indicate the difference. What’s really annoying, however, is that rather than discuss the message of the ad—which suggests that belief in a God isn’t a requirement for being good—they opted to simply mock atheists with a lot of strawman arguments and then suggest that we shouldn’t be allowed to put up messages such as this one on public buses.