Mary Elizabeth Williams at salon.com has a lot to say about the American Atheists’ billboard in NYC, and all of what she has to say is the same old anti-atheist tripe we’ve all heard before. Atheists are know-it-alls, they think they have all the answers, the have no respect for the beliefs of others.
She spends the entire article complaining about how atheists are once again trying to ruin the season of love and giving while only making one brief mention about what American Atheists actually have to say about their billboard. She quotes Dave Silverman as saying that the intent is not to convert Christians, but that, “The intent is to get atheists who are going through the motions to stop.”
Given the stated intent of the billboard, Ms. Williams protestations about why the Atheists are picking on Christians and not also putting up billboards aimed at Hanukkah or Ramadan, are particulars obtuse. After all, you don’t see most average Americans singing Hanukkah songs or rushing out to buy their Eid ul-Fitr gifts. Christmas is celebrated by the vast majority of Americans, irregardless of their faith (or lack thereof). Reminding non-believers that they don’t have to go through the motions just because everyone else is doing it has nothing at all to do with wanting, or trying, to ruin the holiday for everyone else.
She ends with more of the same and adds a good dose of illogic thrown in for good measure, “If you don’t want to get your ho ho hos out, by all means, abstain. But in a season of love and generosity, it’s good to remember that a “We’re right and you’re wrong” bah humbug message to the bridge and tunnel crowd doesn’t exactly sound like tolerance. And even if you don’t believe in Christmas, an open mind is a gift that’s worth sharing any time of year.”
Using reason is all about having an open mind. Parroting old, worn-out arguments for why atheists are bad people and using them to try to create an artificial media sensation ala “The Atheists War On Christmas” is about as closed minded as you can get.