Atheists Exploit Jesus Crucified – OpEd

Bill Donohue

Hanukkah is currently being celebrated, but fortunately for Jews they are not being attacked by David Silverman. No, like other haters in the atheist community, the president of American Atheists saves his vitriol for Christians.

Silverman’s latest assault is a huge billboard in New York’s Times Square. The message is neither new nor particularly offensive: “Keep the merry! Dump the myth!” What is offensive is the photo below a picture of Santa—it depicts Jesus with a Crown of Thorns on the Cross [click here].

The decision by Silverman to exploit Jesus crucified as part of his annual attack on Christmas is not hard to explain. Two years ago, he ran a billboard on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel that said, “You Know It’s a Myth: This Season Celebrate Reason.” I answered with a billboard on the New York side of the Lincoln Tunnel which read, “You Know It’s Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus.” We both actually had some fun with that exchange.

Last year Silverman’s billboard outside the Lincoln Tunnel featured a picture of a statue of the Roman god Neptune, a classical portrait of Jesus, a depiction of Santa, and a guy in a devil’s mask. It said they were all myths. When asked by the New York Times why I wasn’t upset, I said, “It’s inane. Nobody knows what this means. I mean, Neptune? Over here, we just looked at each other in puzzlement.”

This year Silverman wanted to make a big splash, so he decided to draw blood. It shows what he is made of. He and his supporters do not want to be left alone—they want to inflame the passions of those with whom they disagree. Unlike Christians who do not provoke, harass or otherwise mock atheists, Silverman and his ilk want nothing more than to stick it to Christians at Christmastime. It’s who they are.

Contact: dsilverman@atheists.org

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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