Atheists Get 'Shared Time' with Nativity Scene

For not celebrating any “holy” days, atheist organizations seem especially vocal during the 2008 Christmas season.

The most recent in a series of anti-Christmas efforts is a campaign in Washington state, where a sign stating “There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds” appears near a nativity scene in the state Capitol.1 The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) put the ad up, along with a billboard in downtown Olympia that proclaims, “Reason’s Greetings.”

FFRF co-president Dan Barker told the Associated Press, “Our members want equal time. Not to muscle, not to coerce, but just to have a place at the table.”2

Barker also told The Seattle Times that books such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, combined with other developments, have made atheists and agnostics “feel emboldened to come out.”3 The Times also interviewed FFRF member Terry Stock, 69, who pirated a line from the Old Testament book of Isaiah when he said, “For a long time, we’ve been just a voice in the wilderness.”3

But while they demand “equal time” in the public square, FFRF members and others like them are absolutely adamant that no other belief system besides atheistic naturalism should have “equal time” in American public schools. It begs the question, who are the ones who have the hardened hearts and enslaved minds?

Like the American Humanist Association4 and the British Humanist Association5 campaigns, the FFRF ads will come down in a matter of weeks. But God delivered on His promise of redemption over 2,000 years ago in the form of His only begotten Son, and that will remain forever.6


  1. The full text of the white sign with green letters in Washington state’s Capitol rotunda reads: “At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
  2. Woodward, C. Atheist sign joins nativity scene, tree at Capitol. Associated Press, December 1, 2008.
  3. Tu, J. Nonbelievers’ sign at Capitol counters Nativity. The Seattle Times. Posted on December 2, 2008, accessed December 3, 2008.
  4. Dao, C. Dawkins Supports ‘No God’ Ads. ICR News. Posted on October 23, 2008, accessed December 3, 2008.
  5. Dao, C. Atheists’ Christmas Campaign: ‘Yes’ to Goodness, ‘No’ to God. ICR News. Posted on November 18, 2008, accessed December 3, 2008.
  6. Luke 2:10-11: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

* Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor.

Article posted on December 8, 2008.

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