Faith

American Atheists: 'Make Christmas Great Again' by skipping church

A design of one of the new billboards.

A design of one of the new billboards.  (American Atheists)

American Atheists, one of the nation's largest secular groups, has released its Christmas 2016 billboard ad campaigns in which it uses President-elect Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan to encourage young people to skip church.

The group explained in a press release that its two billboards have been launched nationwide, and aim to celebrate an "atheist Christmas" and tackle what it called the stigma that nonbelievers face in America.

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"It is important for people to know religion has nothing to do with being a good person, and that being open and honest about what you believe — and don't believe — is the best gift you can give this holiday season," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists. "More and more Americans are leaving religion, but we still have work to do when it comes to fighting the stigma many atheists face."

The first billboard, which will be displayed throughout December in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Lynchburg, Virginia; Augusta, Georgia; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Georgetown, South Carolina, depicts a text message exchange between two young women, with one declaring that she "no longer believes" in going to church, and that her parents will "get over it."

The group pointed to a survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute in September which showed that nearly one in four, or 39 percent of young people aged 18–29 in the U.S. are now religiously unaffiliated.

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