Many on the left contest that conservatives have pulled the idea that there is a "War on Christmas" out of thin air. But even if American liberals deny that such a war is being waged, the country's leading atheist group, American Atheists has no qualms about firing a shot right across the bough of American Christians.
The group has bought and ad on an electronic billboard in Times Square that asks passers-by: "Who need Christ during Christmas? Nobody."
The billboard also list activities which it claims represent the "true" meaning of Christmas. These include "food," "gifts," and "movies."
The message runs on the billboard for fifteen seconds three times an hour. This week the group will also unveil three billboards at Penn Station with the same message.
In a press release from last week, American Atheist President David Silverman argued that for years Christians have been unjustified in claiming that the focus on the holiday season should be on the birth of Christ.
"We all love this time of year," said Silverman. "Christianity has been trying to claim ownership of the season for hundreds of years. But the winter solstice came first and so did its traditions. The season belongs to everybody."
This is not the first time that American Atheists have sparked controversy during the Christmas season. Last year the group erected a billboard in Times Square comparing Jesus Christ to Santa Claus and dubbing the story of Christmas to be a "myth."