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Atheist Group Introduces Billboard Designed to Provoke Christmas Believers

American Atheists Inc

A billboard debuted in Milwaukee on Monday that might raise eyebrows. It’s called “Skip Church” and is intended to coincide with the holidays.

The billboard is located in Milwaukee - just west of downtown near the interstate. The ad features a young girl writing a letter to Santa Claus. It reads “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is to skip church – I’m too old for fairy tales.”

The group that purchased the billboard is American Atheists Inc. Spokesperson Danielle Muscato says it traditionally puts up provocative messages at Christmastime.

“We’re speaking to in-the-closet atheists and I think for those people, it will resonate with them, saying that this is a fairy tale and it’s okay to acknowledge that,” Muscato says. "For people who are not atheists, it has the potential to cause some issues for them."

Muscato says Milwaukee was one of five cities the group picked this year for its “Skip Church” campaign, because the area is home to a local atheist group. The other four cities are located in the south.

“The point of these billboards is partially to criticize belief in fairy tales and Christmas, but also to promote our national convention," she says.

Bishop Steven Miller of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee defends Christmas believers. “There is plenty of evidence outside the Christian Scriptures for the existence of Jesus and Christians by faith believe that God has done something unique and significant in His life and birth,” Miller says.

Miller says the atheist group has a right to exercise free speech, yet he will encourage his congregation to ignore the message.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.