Article wrote:'You know it's a myth': Atheist billboard causes a storm at entrance to New York tunnel
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 1:15 PM on 29th November 2010
The religious message of Christmas is often forgotten amid all the partying and gift-giving at this time of year.
So church leaders will be horrified to see their efforts further undermined by an atheist billboard which has gone up in New York.
A traditional nativity scene features a silhouette of a traditional nativity scene with manger, donkey and the Three Wise Men has been unveiled on a bridge tunnel.
But thanks to a group called American Atheists it comes with the message: 'You KNOW it's a Myth... This Season Celebrate REASON'.
'Celebrate REASON': The billboard, commissioned by the American Atheists, is looking to target 'closet' non-believers
The sponsors hope the provocative anti-Christian message will convince 'closet' non-believers who are ‘praying to air’ to join their cause.
It is located on Route 495 outside the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen, on the New Jersey side.
David Silverman, the president of the organisation, said he was hoping to 'attract atheists who are currently in the closet' with the billboard, which went up last Tuesday and is expected to remain up throughout the Christmas period.
‘I don’t think it’s any good for the kids,’ he said about Christmas.
Mr Silverman said atheists were unfairly targeted in the ‘war on Christmas’, a phrase often related to the public display of Christmas imagery on government funded property.
Controversial: The sign went up last Tuesday on Route 495 outside the Lincoln Tunnel, pictured here, and is expected to remain there for the duration of Christmas
He said: ‘We get blamed for a war on Christmas every year. This time we’re actually going to pay attention to that. We’re actually going to earn a little bit of that.
‘We have been blamed repeatedly for being unpatriotic, we have been told that there are not atheists in fox holes, we have been told that we are immoral.
‘Nobody has ever cared if we would be offended.’
While acknowledging ‘everybody has the right to believe as they see fit’, Mr Silverman said his group believed there were ‘a lot more people’ who were atheists, but feared publicly admitting it.
‘A lot of people in church, a lot of people in the mosque, a lot of people in the synagogue know they’re praying to air.’
Mr Silverman said despite the fact that the billboard has only been up for a few days, he and his group are calling the campaign a success.
‘We’re getting a lot of response from closeted atheists saying: “Thank you for putting it up.”’
I think the ad is pretty cool