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    Posted November 20, 2011 by
    Weehawken, New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    A holiday season without religion?

    More from JoyfulGypsy

    Atheist Billboard Goes Up in Time For the Holidays


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JoyfulGypsy says it's the second year in a row that American Atheists are posting seasonal billboards. She photographed a billboard yesterday on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel. The billboard pictures myths, such as Neptune, right alongside Jesus. 'The most interesting aspect of this story to me is the unexpected reaction I got from the people in my car when we encountered the billboard. I was surprised at how passionate and upset some people get when their faith is challenged. So often we hear about religion (Christianity) during the holidays but when someone mentions a different way of thinking, some people get very upset,' she said.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    For a second year in a row, American Atheists is posting seasonal billboards. One of the billboards is located on the New Jersey side, upper left, just before entering the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan.  The Lincoln Tunnel carries almost 120,000 vehicles per day, making it one of the busiest vehicular tunnels in the world and a prime location for a billboard.


    The controversial billboard is the next stage of the "You KNOW it's a MYTH" campaign, which began last year.


    This year, they are placing myths on the billboard and asking people what they see? The reason is to encourage people to ask themselves why one god is different from gods they call myths. It's up to them to answer.


    According to the American Atheists' website, at www.atheists.org, "there is no effort here to convert theists into atheists, but there IS an attempt to get the church pew atheists to consider what they are doing. If they look at our billboard and see four myths, including Jesus, then why are they going to church and donating money? Why are they going through this ridiculous motion of pretending to believe in a myth, just to please other people?"


    "Some atheists don't even know they are atheists, while others are fully aware but remain closeted. This is why we ask all church-goers to consider honestly their theological beliefs this season and ask if and why they are pretending to believe the unbelievable. It is our hope that these atheists will come out of the closet, come clean to their friends and families and start living an honest life of reason and rationality."


    "Many atheists celebrate some version of Christmas! There is nothing wrong with gifts, trees, singing and (most of all) family togetherness. None of this requires the pretense of a belief in a god. We believe the season should include honesty -- with oneself and loved ones."


    So, take a look at the billboard and ask yourself what you see. Asking that question to the group of people in my car as we came upon the billboard, resulted in some interesting conversation!


    Happy Holidays!


    Photos by Lulis Leal
    November 20, 2011



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