Humanists launch a godless holiday campaign

As the calendar goes, December tends to be a winning month for God.

Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. Jews mark the story of Hanukkah. Muslims this year will observe the start of Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year.

And the American Humanist Assn. has decided to join the festivities with an alternative celebration in mind.

The group, consisting of atheists and others who say they embrace reason over religion, has launched a national godless holiday campaign, with ads appearing inside or on 250 buses in five U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco starting today. The placards depict smiling people wearing red Santa hats with the slogan: “No God? . . . No problem!”

Humanist leaders say the $40,000 ad campaign, funded by contributions from association members, is meant to counter a barrage of religious messages during the holiday season, letting free-thinking atheists and agnostics know that they are not alone.

Morality, the humanists argue, is possible without faith in a higher power.

“It’s OK to not believe in God,” said Roy Speckhardt, the association’s executive director in Washington, where ads began appearing on 220 buses and in 50 rail cars over the Thanksgiving holiday. “There shouldn’t be a stigma that those folks aren’t going to be upstanding good citizens.”

But some faith groups see the “No God? . . . No Problem!” message as an assault on religion. Others say they are disturbed by the campaign’s timing during the holy weeks leading up to Christmas.

“It’s not as if we are condemning religion,” said Lois Lyons, co-president of the Humanist Assn. of Los Angeles. “We are simply saying that there is another way of looking at things. Some people seem to take offense at that. I think we should let our point be made publicly.”

– Source / Full Story: Humanists launch a godless holiday campaign, Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday December 9, 2009.
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