Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 22, 2012

Keep the Merry Campaign

It’s Christmas and, once again, atheists have launched their annual holiday evangelism initiative into high gear, hoping to attract like-minded folks into their fold. As in previous years, I have looked forward with interest to the unveiling of their annual anti-Christmas initiative. We live in a country in which people with differing world-views have the right to express those views. As a Christ-follower, I am neither offended nor threatened by their irreverent holiday slogans or rhetoric. Instead, I see these as providing opportunities for healthy dialogue about God and His existence.

My hope every year is that the atheist campaign will prompt both non-theists and theists alike to think a little deeper about their respective world-views. As a Christ-follower, I am called to love God with all of my mind, to own my beliefs, and to be “prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). We live in a post-modern age when we must be prepared to intelligently articulate what we believe and to do so in a respectful manner, even when we are prompted to make that defense by those who demonstrate little regard for what we believe.

In 2009, atheists in the United Kingdom promoted their “Probably No God” campaign by plastering their message on the sides of hundreds of buses. That same year, the American Humanist Association launched a similar campaign titled “No God? No Problem!” in which they appealed to people to just be good for goodness sake. In 2010 billboards in the northeast featured the words “You Know It’s A Myth” emblazoned above a tranquil manger scene. And last year, American atheists stepped up their Myth Campaign — a Sesame Street-esque looking campaign with images of Poseidon, Jesus, Santa, and a devil-like figure with the message “37 million Americans know Myths when they see them.”

Atheist 2012 CampaignThis year’s anti-Christmas campaign — “Keep the Merry. Dump the Myth.” — is less than imaginative. The ad features images of Santa and a crucified Christ (never mind that in last year’s campaign Santa was featured in the myth category). And, as in previous years, this slogan is painted with the broadest of strokes. Atheists claim that they are not trying to “convert” people to atheism but to draw out those who already think this way. And apparently, atheists have some sort of metric for measuring the success of their annual advertising initiative. They report that their membership grows in cities, especially smaller ones, where they run their billboard campaigns. These initiatives illustrate that atheists are very much interested in increasing their ranks. They too have their preachers, pulpits, sermons, and slogans.

Christmas will never be what it was when I was a kid — that wonderful time of the year when the world slowed down enough to acknowledge that God had given mankind an indescribable gift in the person of Jesus Christ. Today, both the Gift and the Giver are objects of doubt and derision. It’s up to those of us who follow Christ to imitate His example and live out the reason why He came, not only at Christmas but throughout the year. And we must remember that the angel announced “a great joy” for all people and not “a great Merry.” So, I am not too concerned about keeping the Merry. I am more interested in keeping the joy, something that I have found in abundance in the Christ of Christmas.


Responses

  1. Have a joyful CHRISTmas Bro. Omar!!! We love y’all ~

    • Thank you, John. Wishing you and yours a joyful Christmas as well.


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