Once again we are in the Christmas season, and the coal-in-your-stocking crowd is back at it. This year the American Humanist Association is putting up bus ads in selected cities that say: No God? No Problem! Be Good for Goodness' Sake.'' The picture accompanying the text shows a group of young people wearing Santa hats. Ho, ho, ho.
The virulently anti-God group Freedom from Religion'' has launched a second front. It is celebrating Christmas in Las Vegas with ads that say: Yes, Virginia, there is no God.''
The question is: Why bother? Why spend money at Christmastime to spread dubious will among men?
The reason, I believe, is that atheists are jealous of the Yuletide season. While Christians have Jesus and Jews have the prophets, nonbelievers have Bill Maher. There are no Christmas carols for atheists, no pagan displays of largesse like Santa Claus. In fact, for the nonbeliever, Christmas is just a day off, a time to consider that Mardi Gras is fewer than two months away.
But there is a serious side to this, and the American Humanists'' should listen up. Christmas is a joyous time for children, the big upside of celebrating the birth of Jesus. Why, then, do people who want to be good'' spend money denigrating a beautiful day? Could it be that the humanists are not really interested in good at all?
The head Humanist, Roy Speckhardt, says the anti-God signs are worthy because they send a message that atheists shouldn't be vilified as immoral. Well, old Roy needs to wise up. The signs actually create resentment and hostility toward atheists. Here's a bulletin: Many parents don't want their children to see bus signs proclaiming that God is a big hoax. That message may be constitutionally protected, but it is not going to engender much good will among believers.
Of course, Speckhardt knows that and is being disingenuous with the just looking out for atheists'' posture. What many nonbelievers enjoy doing is mocking those who embrace theology. I guess that makes some atheists feel better, because there is no other reason to run down Christmas. It is a happy day for most human beings.
The latest Rasmussen poll on the season says that 72 percent of Americans like saying Merry Christmas,'' while just 22 percent prefer the greeting Happy Holidays.'' So the evidence suggests that despite the ACLU, atheist groups and a politically correct media, Christmas is actually gaining in relevance and, perhaps, reverence.
Most folks know a good thing when they see it, and the converse is true, as well. They know these anti-God signs at Christmastime are dumb and unnecessary. Isn't that right, Virginia?
Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News.