Loving Christmas By Ignoring Meaningless Billboards

I am a firm believer that for those that understand the meaning of Christmas, the holiday cannot be ruined. The celebration of the coming of Jesus cannot be tarnished by commercialization, Santa, the battle for nativity sets, or billboards put up by atheists.

As you probably have heard by now, the atheist advocacy group, American Atheists put up a billboard on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel stating that Christmas was a myth. When I first heard it, I didn’t really have much of a reaction. These types of things simply don’t bother me and I do not find these attempts to discredit faith threatening.

Not everyone agrees with me and here’s a comment I saw on a Facebook thread:  What about the guy who saw the billboard and stopped believing in the existence of God and the birth of Jesus? Let God be His judge. But this being a blog, I’ll throw out a few other thoughts. One, if a billboard pushed him over the edge in not believing, chances are he was struggling with doubt for a long time. Secondly, I also assume that he ran out to the store and bought the toothpaste that was advertised on the next billboard and is probably watching whatever show the one after that was featuring. I think it’s safe to say that those who formulate their worldviews based on this type of advertising change their minds quite frequently.

Fortunately for him, the Catholic League put up a counter pro-Christmas billboard (which probably only confuses this poor commuter). Unfortunately, I see that as a waste of money. Had this been something that the Catholic League done annually to spread the Christmas cheer, I suppose that would have been their prerogative but using this to fight back against the atheists is lame for a couple reasons.

One, these types of reactive responses only validates the original attack and emboldens the atheists. Second, it demonstrates that many in the Church still actually believe that the way to fight the culture war is through these types of tactics.

If you want to convince atheists that Christmas is real, ignore these feeble “attacks”, pray for them, serve them, engage them relationally and donate the money that you would have used to fight against them to the poor. If you want to enjoy this beautiful Advent season, spend some time in prayer, read the Scriptures, spend less time stressing about gift-giving and spend more time giving and serving others.  I am telling you, Christmas cannot be ruined by these types of things.  It can be missed because we are pre-occupied, or focused on the wrong things but the Incarnation is too powerful a story to be ruined.


  1. I first saw this billboard commuting into the city. I thought it was in poor taste in general, and shrugged it off. I try to not let such things upset me. As the weeks went by and I saw it out of the window each week, it struck me how ironic the billboard actually is. What truly is reasonable is that Christmas in our culture is a myth: one of consumerism, individualism, crushing debt, abundant waste, gluttony and materialism. Yet, of all the images they could have chosen,Christmas dinner, shopping malls, snowmen, jingle bells, Rudolph, Santa Claus, which are all myths, they chose the image of the nativity. They had a plethora of myth to chose from and they chose on their billboard to signify the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany stories. In the end, they really didn’t think this one through.

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