Stranger than a Manger- Atheist Christmas Displays


During this year's Winter Solctice, our friends the Freedom From Religion Foundation and America Atheists have several campaigns desined to give non-believers a voice in a Christian dominated space.

FFRF places giant “A” for atheism in Daley Plaza in Chicago

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its Metropolitan Chicago chapter are unveiling a unique “winter solstice” display Tuesday morning to balance Daley Plaza’s traditional and divisive, life-sized nativity display. The national state/church watchdog, based in Madison, Wis., and its area chapter, are placing an impressive 8 ½ foot tall, lighted “A,” standing for “atheist,” “agnostic” — an emblem by scientist Richard Dawkins, author of the blockbuster The God Delusion.  Read more about this display!



Nobody Needs 'Christ' in Christmas

American Atheists launched a major billboard display on Tuesday that declares Christmas is better without the Christ. The huge 40′x40′ digital billboard is located in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. Using motion graphics, the billboard proclaims, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” A hand crosses out the word “Christ” and the word “NOBODY” appears. The display then says “Celebrate the true meaning of Xmas” and offers a series of cheery words: family, friends, charity, food, snow, and more.

The commercial ends with a jovial “Happy Holidays!” from American Atheists.  The billboard sequence runs for fifteen seconds three times each hour. The campaign moves to a dramatic 3-board display at Penn Station next week, and continues through New Year’s Day.  Read more about this wonderful campaign!


FFRF sponsors “non-Sacramental” billboard blitz in Sacramento

What do nonbelievers do during the month of December? They “come out of the closet,” at least in Sacramento, in a way that cannot be ignored.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its new Sacramento chapter are unveiling 55 separate billboards in December around California’s capital city and suburbs, featuring the smiling faces and unapologetically forthright views of area nonbelievers.

The motto of the “out of the closet” campaign is: "Many faces make Enlightenment work." Each billboard pictures and features a different local atheist or freethinker, using his or her own words. More than 55 participants are involved, since some of the billboards feature couples, friends or families.

Read more about this uplifting initative and see the slideshow.


Written By: FFRF, American Atheists, RDFRS
continue to source article at


  1. A word of caution here: I am usually very blunt about my atheism, however when we are putting up displays to counter religious displays at Christmas, I think we should be positive. We should emphasize that secular humanists do good all year round because we are human and not for any other reason. In-your-face bright red A’s are fine for the rest of the year, but at this time of year at least make the sign pretty! (I haven’t seen the photo yet, but if it’s not aesthetically pleasing, it won’t work.)

  2. Please have someone change the spelling of ‘solstice’ and destined’ in the opening paragraph of this article. It’s a bit embearrassing. See what I mean. Ha!

  3. This just seems like a bad idea to me. As an atheist, I am not at all offended by holiday displays. I see this as unnecessarily trying to pick a fight.

  4. In reply to #2 by suite144:

    Please have someone change the spelling of ‘solstice’ and destined’ in the opening paragraph of this article. It’s a bit embearrassing. See what I mean. Ha!

    Well the second word was probably supposed to be “designed.”

  5. Why can’t we be tolerant and respectful of those celebrations that are important to others in our communities? I personally have no desire to be the Christmas or Hanukkah or Eid grinch. And from a practical standpoint, raining on these parades does no good to the reputation of the humanist community. Live and let live and be kind.

  6. I think of myself as a quiet non believer, I don’t believe in gods or religions despite being indoctrinated by those around me throughout my childhood. However I am not sure I would want to be identified as a member of an anti theist power movement or a missionary for such,If asked or challenged, I talk openly and freely to anyone about my views and the reasons why I hold them, I believe in time many more people will become enlightened by scientific progress and via the internet through people like Christopher Hitchens,
    Richard Dawkins,Sam Harris and others and the fine thought provoking debates held by them. But! for those who feel bitter for all the lies and deception given to them in the name of religion, power to you! we have had religion stuffed down our throats for long enough and suffered the social controls it puts us all under, the sooner we are all free of it the better for mankind. But I am not sure whether anti Christ-mas slogans are the answer, I think a little patience may well be a virtue here, too much too soon could spark an anti atheist movement. Just my thoughts 🙂

  7. I agree, but would like to add that religion has and does contribute a great deal of “evil” in the world. It is difficult to get believers to “believe” that their particular religion does harm. Part of the belief I guess is that they see no evil in their religions. One of the greatest evils of all religions is the subjugation of women, and therefore men in their pursuit of their greater good. At some point we must stand up, and there will probably be a backlash, but as long as we are quiet, which we have always been they will continue to dominate our world. In reply to #8 by robbie7:

    I think of myself as a quiet non believer, I don’t believe in gods or religions despite being indoctrinated by those around me throughout my childhood. However I am not sure I would want to be identified as a member of an anti theist power movement or a missionary for such,If asked or challenged, I…

  8. I would point out that this display is apparently on public property. This is unacceptable in the US. Religious organizations have the right to construct displays on their own property as they see fit. They do not have the right to clutter up town halls, schools, and public streets with mangers, camels, sheep, wise men, pregnant saint ladies etc. In my New England town there are at least 10 churches of different denominations. If they want to decorate them with sparkles and dodads and every type of spangles and glitz, no one gives a damn. Just please leave the town hall in its unadorned, business like simplicity. Don’t bother school kids with frippery, especially when it’s not even their own religion. Let them stick to studies and celebrate religion when they get home.

    We’re not trying to kill Christmas. We’re just defending a few spaces where we don’t get smacked in the head with baubles, candles, sparkly bulbs, sicky sweet songs at deafening volume, harassment for donations to santas with bells, and leaping, spinning psychotic elves. AAAGGGGHHH! Help me! I just want peace in the month of December, is it too much to ask?

  9. I agree with mimi.I. While it is critically important to stand up for our particular (correct) belief, we have to realize that Christmas is a special day with strong emotion to the typical American Christian. No one wants something shoved in their face, and especially if it is something that goes against lifelong religious convictions. Most any other time of the year a more direct approach can be taken, but on a day that is wrapped up in tradition and a lifetime of familial and church memories it might be counter-productive (if not outright futile) to administer a full frontal assault on religion, regardless how ridiculous. Although a rational lesson in truth and science might be the best present a person could receive, perhaps this time of year might not be the best time to give that gift. Just sayin’ . . .

  10. I like the billboard ok, but the other stuff. No.

    We just seem the same as them IMHO. Unless these displays are at a courthouse or in a government building, we shouldn’t care. Let hem have their displays and lights…it’s beginning to mean less and less anyway.

  11. I am a member of the Chicago Metropolitan Chapter of FFRF. Our purpose in that display is not to prevent the churches/synagogues etc. from having their religious freedom on their own property, nor are we trying to, as Susan R in Comment 5 says, rain on their parade. We very definitely are not seeking power or a fight, but they have had it all their own way for too long. Let us be heard too! All we want is to prevent their engulfing that whole public (governmental) area for their propaganda, as though “faith” is the only thing that ought to be given a place. We would like nothing better than to see the whole area cleared completely and permanently so that we could put our own display in mothballs or sell it for scrap.

  12. I am a bit confused about it all !! so an “X” makes a difference ?
    Richard believes there was a Jesus .. so he had to have a birthday !!
    To be honest , how many people REALLY think about Jesus at Xmas in 2013?
    Its all about shopping for bargains ..running up ya credit cards ,stacking presents so high ya can hardly see the tree.. and stuffing our bellies …
    and everyone knows when they see Xmas it still means Christmas SMILE

  13. I find myself in the “Is this really necessary?” camp. Perhaps it’s another of those issues that’s it’s hard to quite understand from outside the US. Are religious displays so prevalent that they need a response? And these responses do seem a bit antagonistic for the season and, as such, will do nothing to further the cause of atheism. I’d much rather see signs wishing people a Merry Yule or Happy Saturnalia, along with some details about the pagan roots of Christmas. Of course, it could be argued that displays of Santa, elves and Rudolph – essentially secular imagery regardless of St. Nick – already more than make up for nativity scenes on church property.

Leave a Reply