Billboard is classic hate-mongering

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It must be dehumanizing to belong to an organization that has no identity of its own, one that is defined by what it is not. To makes matters worse, it is a sad commentary for any organization to be founded on hate. But that’s exactly what American Atheists is — an organization that is known for what it doesn’t believe in, and for its unabiding hatred of religion.

American Atheists has a special hatred of Christianity, and that is why it seizes on the Christmas season — it would take too much courage to focus on Ramadan — to sell its anti-Christian message. Their latest assault is their billboard outside the Lincoln Tunnel that takes direct aim at Christmas.

The Catholic League has responded with a billboard of its own. On the New York side of the Lincoln Tunnel, we have a pro-Christmas statement. To counter the American Atheists’ billboard, “You Know It’s a Myth: This Season, Celebrate Reason,” ours reads, “You Know It’s Real: This Season, Celebrate Jesus.”

We are very proud of the fact that Advertising Age credited the Catholic League, along with the American Family Association, for the pro-Christmas turn-around this year: more retail outlets are saying “Merry Christmas” this year than has been true in a long time.

We are also happy to note that American Atheists put out a news release condemning the Catholic League’s initiative of sending a nativity scene to all 50 governors; we have asked that it be placed in a public spot, such as in the Capitol Rotunda. The response has been very encouraging.

Moreover, we have purchased a brand new life-size nativity scene that will be erected in Central Park on Dec. 16. Every year, we get a permit from the Parks Department to erect our crèche, and this year we have a new one that will be displayed on the corner of 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

In other words, the Catholic League is taking the moral high road, offering a pro-Christmas message. The difference between us and American Atheists could not be more stark. Our approach is to contribute to the common good, while their approach is to sow division.

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Catholic League!

Bill Donohue is president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I find it unbelievable that when Donahue loudly proclaims Hinduism, Buddhism, and countless other religions "myths" he calls it "religious freedom," but when someone goes one further and says the same about Christianity, it's "hate mongering." This guy is a joke.
Dec. 3, 2010, 8:18 am
Joseph from Brooklyn Heights says:
I would define this act from these atheists as ignorance and ignorance is bliss. They don't have to worry about faith and or religion. I don't attack them but to place a sign up indicating that someones's belief as a useless myth and a mistake is in reality a full frontal attack on not just the Catholic religion but all religions in general. Faith is something that cannot be negotiated or traded for something else. If they accuse the Catholic religion of "owning" winter Solstice blame it on the commercialism of selling blatently to consumers by stores that do not really share in the faith but rather use Christmas as a tool to drum up sales. One should not be happy because the are using Merry Christmas instead of Xmas. To the stores they have the same meaning and are exchangeable. As long as the message is out to sell, that is their only point. As for Catholics and other Religious faiths, we take no regard to this as the stores have nothing to do with faith and more to do with sales.
Dec. 3, 2010, 8:19 am
Scottilla from Midwood says:
Look at his face, and look at the tone of the article. Who is preaching hate?
Dec. 3, 2010, 9:21 am
K. from Arkady says:
I am familiar enough with the New Testament to know that there is exactly one recorded instance of Jesus getting seriously angry, as in smashing stuff and kicking peoples asses ( and other things besides their donkeys ). This was when the moneylenders took over the temple. When buying and selling became the religion of the people. That's ArKadys Christmas message to you all. Matthew 21:12
Dec. 3, 2010, 12:45 pm
Harry from Bed-Stuy says:
I could point out all the nasty stuff that Donahue has supported in the past, as the L Magazine just did, or I could wonder why you guys couldn't find a more tolerant spokesman for belief, but instead I'll just point out this hilariously contradictory bit:

"The difference between us and American Atheists could not be more stark. Our approach is to contribute to the common good, while their approach is to sow division."
Dec. 3, 2010, 3:28 pm
The Dude from Dyker Heights says:
One thing's for certain, Christians never hate monger. Isn't that right gays, Jews, and Muslims?

I'm reminded of the teachings of my favorite radical Palestinian cleric. He said "if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

And "do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

I don't see any atheists traveling to Uganda and preaching that homosexuals should be hung in the public square. I don't see atheists threatening to burn the Koran on TV. I don't see atheists burning crosses in peoples yards. I don't see atheists protesting dead soldiers funerals. I don't see atheists pushing for legislation that denies basic rights to segments of the American population.

But I sure as s*** see a lot of "Christians" doing it.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are."

I have a book for you to read, Mr. Donohue. I've been meaning to send it to you for some time. It's called "The Bible." I've even highlighted select passages for you in red letters.

Next time you decide to speak for Catholics, do me a favor. Don't.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence... You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

Woe to you blind guides. It sure as s*** seems like a certain someone had nothing but love for everyone. Well, other than you religious leaders. Good luck!
Dec. 3, 2010, 3:45 pm
FitShaced from Downtown says:
God is an atheist. Faith is "Belief in things that aren't based on fact." Since God knows everything, he can't have faith. And, because he's already the highest power, he doesn't believe in a higher power! And so, God is an atheist.
Dec. 3, 2010, 9:30 pm
jay from pslope says:
Hate mongering? What? How? This is a total crock of B.S. there is no hate mongering here in the atheist billboard and non-believers are not hate mongers either.
To call someone a hate monger simply because they don't believe what you believe is straight up efing fascist
Dec. 3, 2010, 9:36 pm
Sams from Brooklyn Home says:
Christians have long had the Christmas holiday. So now some people want to take the "Christian" out of Christmas and call it just "The Holidays". I'd like it if non-Christians would make their own "Holiday" gift-giving season, if that is aspect of the Christian holiday they especially like. No one has to celebrate the December Christian holiday season if they don't want to. Atheists can make their own atheist holiday, and agnostics the same, whenever they like. There are many calendar dates from which to choose. Just leave the Christmas Season to Christians, as it has been for centuries.

Dec. 4, 2010, 3:13 pm
Midnight from Brooklyn says:
quote 12:45 pm: "When buying and selling became the religion of the people."

Yes, ArKady at 12:45, has deep message, I believe. Jesus would not like buying and selling (at Christmas) to take over His meaning to the world. Buying and selling would be material idolatry, which He disdained. Jesus didn't want anything else to take His place in our hearts, no idols. Owning the latest glass condo, or the oldest gut-renovated Brownstone would not bring us peace, nor lasting happiness. That doesn't mean we cannot have those things, just that we must not idolize them.

Jesus, Himself, is God's "Unspeakable Gift" of Christmas (2 Cor 9:15). Jesus is God's Gift to a troubled and suffering world. Jesus said, "come unto me, ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:24).

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights." (James 1:7).
Dec. 4, 2010, 11:03 pm
Jack from Bay Ridge says:
Uh, Sams, varied "winter holidays" -- solstice, yule, Saturnalia -- long, LONG preceded Christmas in Europe and the British Isles.

Christians had no idea when Jesus was born. They plopped "Christmas" directly on top of the pre-Christian holidays -- in order to displace them -- and incorporated so-called "pagan" traditions (decorated trees, yule logs, lights, gifts) into Christmas observance.

The Pilgrims actually BANNED Christmas as pagan and un-Christian -- since it was a "fake" date, an excuse to continue a pagan holiday, and Christian scriptures didn't mandate celebrating it at all. Some Christian groups still don't celebrate it, for the same reason.

And in the U.S. and much of the British Isles (outside of Ireland), it was celebrated as a secular-type Yule until well into the 19th century -- despite the "Christmas" name.
Dec. 5, 2010, 2:20 pm
Jack from Bay Ridge says:
Also: Donahue is a joke. His "organization" consists of Bill Donahue, and he's one of the most divisive people out there.

On the plus side, at least he now acknowledges the rest of Christianity. For years, he described every Jesus-related criticism (or image, film, etc.) that he didn't like as "anti-Catholic" and "Catholic-bashing" -- even if it wasn't at all about Catholicism.
Maybe someone clued him in that other Christians exist and have the same Jesus.
Dec. 5, 2010, 2:33 pm
nancy from coneyisland says:
people everyone has the right 2 beleive what they want
but it is unfair that the media and extremeist always bashes catholics
u never see them blaming other religion or making movies or putting up posters bashing non christian religions
id love 2 see them put up a sign bashing the other religions
why dont the athetist go after all other religions y cause theyd not get away with it
Dec. 5, 2010, 9:31 pm
nancy from coneyisland says:
merry CHISTmas everyone not happy holidays
and if u dont like what i said 2 bad
Dec. 5, 2010, 9:42 pm
Jack from Bay Ridge says:
nancy from coneyisland says: "it is unfair that the media and extremeist always bashes catholics
u never see them blaming other religion or making movies or putting up posters bashing non christian religions"

Uh, nancy, Catholicism isn't a "religion": It's PART of a religion known as Christianity. And the billboard says nothing specifically about Catholics.
That is NOT Catholic-bashing.
Dec. 7, 2010, 2:09 pm
NANCY from coney says:
Dec. 7, 2010, 10:51 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Nancy, please learn to type and spell English properly before you start disploving your own point. (Seriously, this kind of tinybopper txting makes your eyelashes hurt).

As for calling "Anybodies" (cringe) religion a myth, don't you do that every day as a Catholic when you wholy profess that Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and countless other religions are non-valid and yours is the only legitimate one? You are almost an athiest, you just have one more religion left to stop believing in.
Dec. 8, 2010, 9:01 am
Ed from B Hts says:
Nancy, you'd make more sense if you wrote in an actual human language.

As others said, your post clearly implied that it was _Catholic_ bashing to knock Christmas or Christianity. That's nuts.

And Christians _do_ attack atheists and others.

When any sect claims to have the exclusive Truth, it's attacking everyone else, even other divisions of the very same religion.
TV preachers condemn atheists, non-Christians and the not born-again every day. (Remember 9/11, when Jerry Falwell said that pagans, feminists and etc "made this happen"??)
A lot of churches regularly post signs that ridicule atheists or nonbelievers or say they're going to hell.
Atheists-agnostics and nonfundamentalists are publicly attacked _regularly_ by fundamentalist Christians who want to push religion - _their_ kind of religion - in schools and gov't.

If you don't see this, you either think it's acceptable, don't get out much, or have blinders on.
Dec. 8, 2010, 12:43 pm
Ed from B Hts says:
If Donohue really viewed the original msg as "hate mongering," he wouldn't have responded in kind - imitating the original to push his own viewpoint.

Because if the original was "hate mongering," so is Donohue's: It changes just two words of the original, claims that anyone reading it "knows" that Christianity is "real," and tells them to celebrate a deity they don't necessarily believe in.
Dec. 8, 2010, 1:11 pm
nancy from coney says:
I abbreviate because I just want 2 get my point out there if if theres a typo so what you can understand plus I dont have all day 2 sit at a computer like you guys do and blab I believe a=in live and let live believe what you want but to put up a billboard saying any one religion is a myth is not nice.Just because somecatholics might view other religions as whatever dont lump me in i said live andlet live i would neversay someones reilgion is a myth hey jack/jim/ed what jobs do u guys have that you can be surfing the web at those hours instead of working if i did that i wouldnt have a job you can say all you want 2 me but ill go right back at you.
Dec. 8, 2010, 4:18 pm
Ed from B Hts says:
nancy, if you feel strongly enough to type your opinion, it's worth making it readable. Too much abbreviation plus too many typos = a jumble puzzle.

Christians and other believers knock atheists and unbelief regularly and publicly.

And not everyone has your particular work hours, needs to surf from work, or is someone's else's employee. (I mean, sheesh! This is NYC! )
Dec. 9, 2010, 10:26 am
nancy from coney says:
oh please
want 2 pick a fight with me youll never win
have a merry christmas every 1 even u ed
dont 4get2 —— about my non captials and abbreviating
Dec. 9, 2010, 5:42 pm
Ed from B Hts says:
nancy -- merry Christmas?? It's not Christmas yet.

For Catholics (and other Christians), Christmas and the "Christmas season" just _begin_ at midnight on Dec. 24 and end on Jan. 6.
Until Dec. 24, it's Advent -- which isn't Christmas, any more than Lent is Easter.

So for all of your "religious" arguing: What you're really celebrating is $hopping $eason, which begins right after the pie on Thanksgiving.
Dec. 10, 2010, 10:02 am
Moonlight from Brooklyn says:
I don't know about all of the above, but stumbled upon this article titled: "Was Jesus Born on December 25?"

One of the sentences reads thusly: "... the early Jews believed that your birthdate was your date of conception; not your date of physical birth."

Perhaps the actual birthdate of Jesus isn't as important as His Message to the world. Perhaps it is as important. These are deep mysteries.

Certainly, people who celebrate the winter solstice are free and welcome to do so.

Christmas, broken into two words, means roughly the anointed one; and "mas" is a feast. Christians celebrate the richness of the feast of the Christ. Again, it is a mystery.
Jan. 1, 2011, 9:22 pm
Yvonne Fischer from Rojales Spain says:
Every day of the year before Jesus was born was a pagan
day.Since He was born,every day of the year is a Holy Day.Praise Him. I am a Protestant Christian.
Feb. 15, 2011, 9:54 am

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