Gosh, I guess Eric Hovind issued a challenge to all atheists. I didn’t even notice! The only reason I know about it now is that Rebecca Watson answered it:
Hovind accuses atheists of being hypocrites for not protesting against Christmas displays of Santa Claus, because we don’t get as upset about public demonstrations of ‘belief’ in all non-existent beings. That’s because he doesn’t understand the nature of our concerns.
We have no problem with people believing in Jesus or Santa Claus, or Mohammed or Batman for that matter. There are no atheist police who will knock on your door, ask what you are thinking right now, and then arrest you for pious thoughts. We all should only care about what our neighbors do that affects us, not what they dream about.
So I’ll start protesting Santa Claus when belief affects public policy. There doesn’t seem to be any big push to advertise that Santa won’t bring you any presents if you gay-marry someone, and if there were, people would laugh at anyone who thought that was a serious worry.
I am kind of outraged at the status quo in this country, in which essentially wearing Jesus on your sleeve is a requirement to get elected to public office — that’s something we need to see changed. But no one gets elected by fervently declaring their love and devotion to Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick, and any candidate who made Santa the center of their platform would be regarded as a loon. This is not true for the many Republicans who campaign almost entirely on a Guns, Jesus, and No Gubmint platform. Replace Jesus with Santa and the response dissolves into laughter.
So no, Eric, I’m not at all worried about imaginary beings. I get worried when I see people taking imaginary beings so seriously that they lose all perspective on reality. As seems to be really taken to an extreme by a certain family named Hovind.