Jingle bells. Mistletoe and holly. Christmas carols. It's that time of year! No, not the celebration of Christ's birth but the launch of the American Atheists' annual campaign to mock Christmas.
As predictable as the seasons, this year's billboard campaign depicts a young girl writing a letter to Santa Claus. Her request: "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales."
But religion and culture expert Dr. Alex McFarland says this year's campaign not only shows the desperation of the atheists' efforts to debunk the historically substantiated reality of Jesus' life but also presents a deceptive portrayal of churchgoers.
"What my atheist friends are doing is resorting to sarcasm in lieu of facts," McFarland said. "It's well-proven that the life of Christ ranks among the most historically documented facts of the ancient world. And data shows that the average worshipper in the United States is not someone grasping at fairy tales but actually a well-educated person. Atheists would have us think that only the ignorant could believe in a man called Jesus. But once again, truth is not on the atheists' side."
McFarland pointed to a U.S. Congregational Life Survey, which found that higher education is more widespread among worshippers than among non-worshippers. The study notes that according to the U.S. Census report, approximately 27 percent of Americans have a college degree or higher. Among worshippers, however, the number climbs to 47 percent. Meanwhile, 94 percent of worshippers have completed high school, while the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Education, is 80 percent.
In announcing the billboards, American Atheists David Silverman said, "Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don't want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead. Today's adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed. It's OK to admit that your parents were wrong about God, and it's definitely OK to tell your children the truth."
McFarland said, however, that it's both baffling and telling that atheists would spend so much energy and effort fighting a God they don't believe exists.
"No one is forcing atheists to believe in God, and no one is forcing them to go to church," McFarland said. "But why invest so much time and energy opposing something you don't even believe is real? Atheists build their philosophy on the rejection of God, but they're unable to shoulder any burden of proof for their position. So they resort to trying to undermine those who know and believe the reality of Jesus. Sadly, when truth fails to support their claims, insults are the only weapon atheists have left."
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