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Why American Atheists Aim To Make Christmas Great Again

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In Louisiana, the American Atheists (AA) organization is encouraging highway drivers to skip going to church this holiday season with a billboard riding on the coattails of President-elect Donald Trump’s signature campaign slogan: "Make Christmas Great Again…Skip Church."

In addition to posting a Make Christmas Great Again billboard for the entire month of December in Shreveport, Louisiana, AA will post a comparable billboard in Lynchburg, Virginia, according to the group’s announcement. "In the communities where we put up the billboards, there are too many people who think they don't know any atheists and too many atheists who think they're alone," Nick Fish, national program director at AA, told Sputnik News.

"The goal of the billboard campaign," Fish said, "is to spark a conversation."

© American Atheists/WBTVMake Christmas Great Again...Skip Church
Make Christmas Great Again...Skip Church - Sputnik International
Make Christmas Great Again...Skip Church

The group’s mission includes championing the separation of church and state, along with the promotion of free speech. But insofar as the 1st Amendment calls for the defense of one’s right to speak freely, it also provides for people to practice their faith freely, too. 

Fish's concern is that the government may "go around giving special treatment to one particular religious version of the holiday." And while the group thought that appropriating the Trump campaign slogan for the billboard might be a ways to get people to laugh, Trump's "telling businesses that they should only acknowledge Christians," he said, "is bad business," referring to Trump's comment that stores should stop saying "Happy Holidays" and say "Merry Christmas" instead. 

Transparency and honesty about what one's beliefs is one of the best gifts you can give this holiday season, AA president David Silverman said in the announcement. Silverman added that the campaign is intended to reverse the stigma behind being an atheist in America, specifically in regions where the label carries pejorative connotations. 

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