The Christmas season is a lonely time of year for those who believe in nothing. Most, however, manage to get by without having to lash out at believers. But not the Freedom from Religion Foundation. In 2008, this group took its campaign to Olympia, Washington, and this past year, the religion haters took their show on the road to Springfield, Illinois. Here is what their sign said:
There are no gods / No devils / no angels / No heaven or hell. / There is only our natural world. / Religion is but / Myth and superstition / That hardens hearts / And enslaves minds.
By contrast the American Humanist Association’s campaign was not anti-religion; it was simply pro-atheism. Nonetheless, its timing was clearly designed to compete with Christmas. It said, “No God…No Problem!”
It is not clear how many believers, if any, would be persuaded to change their minds and start to believe in nothing. It seems more likely that these anti-Christmas campaigns were directed at fellow atheists: they functioned as a collective psychological massage.
We suggested that they stop at the nearest saloon for a few pints—it’s cheaper and promises to be the best feel-good exercise imaginable. But here’s the hitch: it wouldn’t offend anyone.