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    Posted December 21, 2013 by
    New York, New York
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    "Christmas is better without the Christ."


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JoyfulGypsy is an atheist and says she was happy to see a billboard display in New York City that raised awareness and discussion about being an atheist during this holiday season. 'It encourages closeted atheists to "come out" and celebrate their atheism and the holidays without the usual religious pressures,' she said. She says her impression of the billboard was to reach out to closeted atheist and to let them know they are not alone. 'Millions of people don’t care about any religious ties to the season because church and religion are not what many Americans care about during this time of year—they care about family and friends and food and having fun.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    On Tuesday, December 3rd, American Atheists launched a major billboard display that declares Christmas is better without the Christ.


    The huge 40′x40′ digital billboard was first located in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. The billboard sequence ran for fifteen seconds three times each hour.


    Then, as planned, the campaign moved to a dramatic 3-board display at Penn Station. It will continue there through New Year’s Day, only a few months ahead of American Atheists’ 40th National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, over Easter weekend, in April, 2014.


    Using motion graphics, the billboard proclaims, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” A hand crosses out the word “Christ” and the word “NOBODY” appears. The display then says “Celebrate the true meaning of Xmas” and offers a series of cheery words: family, friends, charity, food, snow, and more. The commercial ends with a jovial “Happy Holidays!” from American Atheists and displays the organization’s website, atheists.org.


    American Atheists is a national organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.


    What do you think about American Atheists holiday billboard campaign?


    Photos by Lulis Leal

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