New York State Senator Petitions For Times Square Boycott As Atheists Fire Back

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On Tuesday, American Atheists released an open letter chastising State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-NY) for abuse of power as an elected official regarding his Friday, December 13 press release attacking the atheist group. The open letter is here.

The press release, published on Lanza’s official government website, calls for the revocation of the fifty-year-old organization’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. The release further announces a petition for the removal of a billboard placed in Times Square by the organization. Lastly, the senator called for his supporters to “send a message” by boycotting Times Square just weeks before Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“This is shockingly wrong,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “An elected official, in his official capacity, is trying to silence us, and hurt local businesses in the process. Why? Because he opposes our message on religious grounds? The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees our right to free speech. Revoking our nonprofit status is an abuse of power and we will not be bullied. He should be ashamed and the people of New York should be ashamed.”

Earlier this month, American Atheists launched a billboard campaign in Times Square with the simple message that nobody needs Jesus in order to have a great Christmas. Many conservatives in the media, including Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, have taken personal offense, calling the billboard an attack.

Written By: American Atheists
continue to source article at news.atheists.org

31 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      This (perceived) War on Xmas does the atheist cause no good; it is not worth challenging the tradition, better leave it alone.

      Except atheists aren’t fighting in the war. It is a PR campaign being fought entirely by right wing Christian groups intent on overturning the US Constitution’s First Amendment. Atheist groups aren’t doing a thing to prevent Christmas being held or celebrated by anyone

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      This (perceived) War on Xmas does the atheist cause no good; it is not worth challenging the tradition, better leave it alone.

      It’s the perception that religious thought is the default position that is being fought here. There isn’t any war on christmas, it’s a war on complacency.

    • In reply to #2 by Mormon Atheist:

      I have seen many stories on the “war on Christmas” but haven’t a clue what the hell that actually means. Who is running this war? and what is goal? get rid of Christmas?

      I’m not in the US but I always assumed it was being run by atheistic, god-hating, pinko, Obama loving, queer loving, gun hating, pot smoking, Democrat voting, greenies. You know the good guys like us!

      Michael

      • If only…
        In reply to #3 by mmurray:

        In reply to #2 by Mormon Atheist:

        I have seen many stories on the “war on Christmas” but haven’t a clue what the hell that actually means. Who is running this war? and what is goal? get rid of Christmas?

        I’m not in the US but I always assumed it was being run by atheistic, god-hating, pinko, Obama…

    • In reply to #2 by Mormon Atheist:

      I have seen many stories on the “war on Christmas” but haven’t a clue what the hell that actually means. Who is running this war? and what is goal? get rid of Christmas?

      and who are in the foxholes?

  1. Of course I side with the principle of separation of church and govenment, and Lanza is clearly a jerk, but I think this is a battle that did not need to be fought. Christmas of certainly a heavily secular holiday, but Baby Jesus is the main character in the Xmas myth and making a fuss about BJ is like making a fuss about singing the Messiah. It’s just part of the annual ritual. Leave it be.

  2. This coming 2 days after that Hodge from AiG was saying atheists shouldn’t be allowed to take time off or celebrate Christmas (I’m doing both incidentally).

    So let me get this straight – we try and join in with Christmas, we get attacked for it. So instead we try and butt out of it and make it clear that’s what we’re doing – and we get attacked for it.

    Make up your bloody minds guys!

  3. He has no right to revoke our nonprofit status and no legitimate justification for even suggesting it. He has no right to hurt thousands and thousands of people’s incomes with his ridiculous sanction on Times Square businesses.

    I must say, that while I agree that Sen. Lanza has no right to ask for the revocation of the non profit status, I’d take issue with the suggestion that a politician cannot call for a boycott on political grounds.

  4. Catholicism is the ghost of the Roman Empire caterwauling on its own tombstone. Lanza’s a catlick so he joins in the caterwauling if he thinks it promotes his politic. Such are the catlicks, what a noise they make!

  5. This “war on Christmas” is done and dusted. It was won by capitalism 50 years ago. People don’t celebrate christmas as a christian holiday. They celebrate it because Santa goes to the shops and buy lots of presents for people and then people eat loads of food, get steaming drunk and sit down and watch a film on the telly.

  6. Earlier this month, American Atheists launched a billboard campaign in Times Square with the simple message that nobody needs Jesus in order to have a great Christmas.

    I would disagree, some people do need Jesus [Christ] in order to have a great Christmas. Mas time just sounds dumb, as well. Just go and steal a Christ from a manger and see how great their Christmas is. This is utter bullshit and the attacks are getting a bit heavy. On a message board like this, attack away. On a billboard, say something. Nobody needs purple underwear to have a great Christmas… oh fuck, I’m wrong. Larry does, he’s autistic and would fucking ruin Christmas if he doesn’t get his purple underwear.

    Whether you believe or not, have a great Mas [Mass]. Actually, it works.

  7. OK, let’s market chocolate baby Jesuses. We can do some white chocolate ones as well.

    On a different note, for those of us in the northern hemisphere who are afflicted with SAD:

    Ave Sol Invictus!

    • “It’s gotta be a chocolate Jesus,

      makes me feel good inside

      only a chocolate Jesus

      keeps me satisfied” – Tom Waits

      In reply to #23 by ZenDruid:

      OK, let’s market chocolate baby Jesuses. We can do some white chocolate ones as well.

      On a different note, for those of us in the northern hemisphere who are afflicted with SAD:

      Ave Sol Invictus!

  8. There is a billboard just as you enter the North of Perth in Scotland, saying “Without Christ, Christmas is pointless”. I presume that it was put up by some kind of church, I haven’t heard any howls of protest as people drive by it into ASDA to pick up yet more food and drink!
    These people need to grow a thicker skin.

    • In reply to #25 by Big Gus:

      There is a billboard just as you enter the North of Perth in Scotland, saying “Without Christ, Christmas is pointless”. I presume that it was put up by some kind of church,

      Are you sure is was not out up by Nectar and the sales departments!

  9. The fuckwit would be better employed directing his fire at the tax breaks enjoyed by organised religions, costing the US taxpayer some $70 billion a year.

    Perhaps if all the religions gave up their tax breaks, atheists would be happy to do so as well.

  10. Good thing the war will be over (for this year) in 5 days. CHRIST (there Jesus is back in x-mas), i haven’t finished my shopping! Damn, I beter take an EXTRA day off to get it done.

    In summary, for my part in the war, i am gonna take MORE TIME OFF than every one else and buy more useless shit for people I love and even those that I marginally care about. I will put Christ back into x-mas by swearing as often as possible.

    Now can i play with all the Christians???? Am i enough “like” them now?

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