Shopping and baby Jesus

So American Atheists’ Times Square billboard was specifically intended to make Sarah Palin’s head explode?

When Sarah Palin speaks, ad nauseam, of the “war on Christmas,” she’s referring not only to attempts to secularize the holiday season in general, but also the secularization of Jesus’ birthday itself.*

*This sentence has been updated to remove a reference to Palin’s opposition to the commercialization of Christmas, because apparently she likes the commercialization of Christmas, which is confusing. 

Hmm. Maybe she likes it provided it goes hand in hand with lots of baby Jesus and his birthday? Because Jesus loved capitalism and people who get rich by paying low wages, and because if God didn’t want the planet to melt then we wouldn’t have been intelligently designed to design them. Do I have that right?

That’s why this year’s annual anti-Christmas billboard by the atheist advocacy group American Atheists seems specifically crafted to make Palin’s head explode into a million pieces. The fifteen-second digital ad, which is currently running in Times Square, contends that the “true” meaning of Christmas is not Christ, but things like gifts, the Rockettes, and, most provocatively, Chinese food, which is what Jews eat.

“If Sarah Palin is under the impression that Christmastime is about Jesus,” Dave Muscato, spokesman for American Atheists, tells Daily Intelligencer, “I invite her to take a look at any shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving. Christmastime is, and has been for a long time, about giving gifts, spending time with family and friends, eating, drinking, and being merry; volunteering or giving to charity, and a hundred other things that have nothing to do with religion.”

But Daaaaaaaaaaave – a shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving is not Christmas. It’s black Friday! Everybody knows that.

They forgot to say chocolate mince pie.



  1. says

    Oops! Here: “chocolate” 🙂

    Just to clarify, we did not have Sarah Palin specifically in mind when we put together this board. We had a meeting that lasted several hours trying out all sorts of ideas, which we further tweaked over the course of a few weeks. Her name never came up once.

    While it is true that Palin has a new book out about the ” war on Christmas,” our message with this board is that you don’t need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas because Christmas is not really about Jesus anyway. In America in 2013, even Christians don’t list “going to church” as something they look forward to as a Christmas tradition. They say things like—you guessed it—spending time with their families, having a nice big dinner, giving presents to people they love, giving to charity, etc.

    The quote from me about Sarah Palin was in response to a reporter asking me if the board was designed to make her head explode.

  2. says

    Heh – I invoke Dave and he arrives.

    Well shucks, there goes New York mag’s fun story – not that I actually believed it, but I liked the idea of it.

    Thanks for the mince pie Dave! Xmas all complete now.

  3. Cuttlefish says

    From the Cape of Good Hope to the Newfoundland islands,
    The sands of Iran to the Panama isthmus;
    From Outback Australia to Inverness Highlands
    It’s time to take arms in the War Against Christmas!

    My weapons are mistletoe, Christmas trees, holly,
    A yule-log, and caroling out in the snow;
    Sleigh-rides and snowball-fights, eggnog and Jolly
    Old Santa Claus, laughing his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

    We’ll make them forget all the Truth of the season—
    The sacrifice planned by a god up above—
    And have them believing some bastardized reason
    Like giving, or kindness, or caring or love!

    I’ll cruelly and callously help out a stranger
    Who’s down on his luck or has suffered some loss,
    I won’t even speak of the babe in the manger
    Whom God sent to Earth to get nailed to a cross;

    When the winds of December conspire to freeze us
    I’ll help collect sweaters and coats for the poor,
    Neglecting to make any mention of Jesus,
    Whose torture is really what Christmas is for.

    My hatred of Christmas will focus my labors
    On weaving an atheist fabric of lies—
    For instance, I’m giving to all of my neighbors
    Gift baskets, cookies, and fruitcakes and pies!

    I’ll say “Merry Christmas!” I’ll say “Season’s Greetings!”
    I’ll say “Happy Holidays—Joyous Noel!”
    Intending of course, that with each of these meetings
    The Truth About Christmas can just go to hell.

    The truth is that Christmas is not about presents
    It’s no time for songs, It’s not time to be nice
    It’s not time for feasting on turkeys or pheasants—
    It’s sin, and redemption by blood sacrifice.

    No time to be jolly; no time to be merry
    It’s time to be solemn, and grim, and devout!
    The heathens might find it depressing or scary
    But that is what Christmas is truly about.

    Yes, Jesus is really the ultimate reason
    And Christmas is really redemption and sin;
    The war against Christmas is early this season—
    For God’s sake, let’s hope that the atheists win!

  4. Cuttlefish says

    In theory, I have a facebook presence; in practice, I don’t know how to use it, nor how to navigate the landscape there (like finding them). But any reader here who wants to post it, and the link, has my permission and my encouragement to do so!

  5. chigau (違う) says

    re: Cuttlefish #10
    Please please please

    any Facebook savvy person
    post the poem and the link

    That cries out for a wider audience.

  6. John Morales says


    Cuttlefish @10, log into Facebook.

    See the search field on the blue top bar on your screen, prominently displaying “Search for people, places and things”.

    Type American Atheists therein and press enter or click the search icon.


    (Or: I find your excuse is unconvincing)

  7. says

    John Morales, I wouldn’t have known that without having to take the time to investigate, so I can easily believe that someone with a lot more going on in their life and the same “meh” attitude to Facebook I have could not be arsed to faff about looking for how their bizarre mutant GUI is going to work…:)

    Cuttlefish – poetically done, gentlebeing, thank you. 🙂

  8. Cuttlefish says

    John Morales–

    I haven’t logged into Facebook in months, having given up trying quite some time ago when I decided it wasn’t worth whatever I needed to do to reset a password. You could probably (I won’t) find out the last time I posted something there, and decide to be convinced or not.

  9. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    most provocatively, Chinese food, which is what Jews eat.

    Oh, New York Magazine, how you make me cringe.

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