Atheist organizations have been using billboards to spread their message in Colorado for years, as witnessed by this post from 2008.
This time, however, the American Atheists group has a new recruit: Santa Claus.
Two billboards in the Colorado Springs area feature Saint Nick and the slogan "Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness' sake. Happy Holidays!"
But if the folks behind the billboard launch expected the populace to be livid over the appropriation of a beloved Christmas symbol to persuade locals to forgo visiting houses of worship, they're bound for disappointment judging by the responses on a story about the campaign shared by Fox21 in the Springs.
First of all, here's a closer look at the art for the billboards, which are up in the Springs as well in as the Winston-Salem, North Carolina area:
An American Atheists press release points out that last year's billboard alluded to Santa without actually picturing him.
Not that Springs residents would have known that.
The cities chosen in 2014 were Memphis, Nashville, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Springdale, Arkansas.
Here's the previous billboard art.
As for why Colorado Springs was picked this year, Fox21 quotes the organization as citing the community's close ties to the evangelical community.
But of the many locals who weighed in about the billboards on the station's piece, few expressed outrage.
Indeed, the majority either supported the message or dismissed it.
Here are several examples:
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I keep hearing about the war on Christmas but I can't find a recruiting station to signup?
It's a good billboard with an appropriate message for the season. There is no insult or offense about it.
What's offensive about this? Are they so insecure in their beliefs a billboard is going to threaten them?
Welcome to my hell Christians. I see your jesus welcomes you bulls#it and Jesus saves billboards daily. I find it insulting to my intelligence.... take it down.
But its ok for religious groups to put up billboards of their beliefs. Especially those that show Jesus all bloody and I have to explain to my 8 year old Why humans hung up a man and drove huge nails in his hands and feet. Not something I like to have to explain to my child especially when we don't believe in this religion. I have a very open mind and respect ALL religons but what's good for 1 is good for ALL!!!
If you're only good because of your religion you're not very moral at all. Just be good for goodness sake... that's real morality.
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Sorry, Santa. If you were hoping to piss people off, better luck next time. Here's the aforementioned Fox21 package.