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New York City-bound drivers greeted by positive message

The New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel may show an anti-Christmas billboard sponsored by the American Atheists, but on the New York City side of the tunnel, drivers are greeted by a Christmas message from the Catholic League.

The Catholic League Billboard

The Catholic League Billboard

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Catholic League president Bill Donohue was contacted by a donor soon after the anti-Christmas billboard from American Atheists showed up on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, offering to underwrite a challenge.

Now, on the New York side of the tunnel, drivers are met by a full color image of the Holy Family with the words, "You Know It's Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus. Merry Christmas from the Catholic League."

The battle of the billboards began when an outdoor sign was installed on New Jersey's I-495 near the Lincoln Tunnel. The sign, a traditional nativity scene and the three wise men on their journey in silhouette against a blue starry sky, featured the message, "You KNOW it's a Myth - This Season, Celebrate REASON!"

When asked why they decided to put up a billboard in response, League president Bill Donohue stated, "We decided to counterpunch after a donor came forward seeking to challenge the anti-Christmas statement by American Atheists. Our approach is positive, and services the common good. Theirs is negative, and is designed to sow division. It's what they do.

"So after Christian motorists have had their sensibilities assaulted as they exit New Jersey, they will experience a sense of joy, and satisfaction, as they enter New York City. It's what we do. "

Atheists believe "'tis the season" to advertise. This billboard is only a part of what we may be seeing this year.  The American Humanist Association and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation are intending to challenge the credibility of Christianity through a $200,000 media blitz using national television, newspaper and magazine advertising.

Jim Goodness, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, put things in perspective when contacted by for a comment. He had seen the billboard as he returned from a Thanksgiving meal last Thursday and said he wasn't impressed.

Goodness told that the Archdiocese was not planning a billboard of their own and that the message of Christmas was too resilient to be threatened by a sign.

"We're looking at well over 2,000 years of this message being part of humanity," Goodness stated. "One message on a billboard that's going to be there for a month isn't going to change that."

The big push this year by these groups is toward urging closet atheists to "come out" to their friends and constituents. They see this as a way to remove a perceived support system that people of faith may think they have. Once out of the closet, the assumption is that their opposition to Christianity - or actually any religion - will cause those who embrace it to falter.

Such a move on the part of atheists and agnostics may, in fact, cause the issues of faith to be more public and discussed in the marketplace, a perfect forum for sharing the good news. This could actually be a blessing to the Church.

Should atheists really want to challenge their constituency to have the courage to step out and be counted as really possessing a superior reason, I would suggest their next billboard take on the Koran.


Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online ( He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.

Keywords: billboard, atheists, catholic league, bill donohue, lincoln tunnel


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1 - 10 of 10 Comments

  1. alan parle
    4 years ago

    MikeTheInfedel, is your comment directed at my post? If so you have misread what I have written. I was simply trying to interpret what the author is trying to convey about this group regarding Michael Angels comment. Sure they are anti-religion in general, but the author is trying to say that they will not for instance erect blasphemous billboards concerning islam out of a "fear" of "insulting them" with community and state organizations crying "intolerance" and "hate speech". Once again Christianity is fair game. I live in a country (Ireland) that has suffered religious intolerance for 1500 years, I surely have been paying attention, Peace, Amen

  2. MikeTheInfidel
    4 years ago

    If you think atheists aren't taking on Islam, you have not been paying attention.

  3. alan Parle
    4 years ago

    To Michael, I believe what the author is attempting to convey about "Islam" and the "Koran" is not for the "enlightened movement" to take on Islam, but rather to make the point that this particular atheist organization is not one founded in reason and objective materialism, but rather an anti-christian group. I love your words on evangelization though, there is too much negativity that clouds the mind and soul, a heart guided with cynicism is a blind man in the dark. What strikes me so much about the anti-christian message all over the world in ever sphere of life, is that it invigorates peoples faith in Jesus, results in conversion and brings great peace to individual hearts. Unwittingly these movements are doing great service to the Church. So never curse your suffering or cross, it is essentially what transforms the human person into the image of God. In these times people should be so excited in Jesus, the winner has already won, so do not fear, have faith, live hope and act in charity, Amen

  4. Rita
    4 years ago

    There is so much hate in the world today it is good to send the message of Jesus and the Holy Family. We all need to be thankful for a religion of love, truth, and eternity.

    Thanks to the Catholic League for giving motorists a more positive and perfect subject to dwell on.

  5. Jo
    4 years ago

    I've noticed that, too. They don't attack other faiths and their strongest beef is with the Roman Catholic Church. Good on you, Catholic League and Bill Donohue. We could do with a Catholic League here in the UK!!!!!!!!

    Atheists won't spout the same strength of vitriol and bilge at other religions because they are bullies and are too cowardly to put their money where their mouths are to give it a try.

    Are these atheists willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs? No.

  6. Paul Rup
    4 years ago

    Ihave noticed that atheists only attack Christianity. Let them attack the Koran or the prophet Mohammed. They won't because Christianity teaches love and forgivness so there won't be any reprocussions. On the other hand Muslims will come after them. Go ahead atheists I dare you to put up a billboard by a mosque demeaning Islam.

  7. MrCee2
    4 years ago

    "Should atheists really want to challenge their constituency to have the courage to step out and be counted as really possessing a superior reason, I would suggest their next billboard take on the Koran."

    Lol. Good show sir, good show.

  8. Michael Angel
    4 years ago

    Great Story! I like the positive aspect. Bill Donahue is a Master at channeling justified anger

    Rather than attack anyone or anything, (i.e. the Koran) we should be evangelizing to the public, which consists of Aetheists, Mohamedans, Hindus, Jews, Protestants, fallen-away Catholics, etc. in a positive way. With respect to Randy Sly's excellent article I think taking on the Koran is not too postive and that is exactly what the Islamists would want. Better we fill up our adversaries with good evangelisation, it might crowd out some of the negativity.

    Let's get more on billboards all over the country all during the year. Plant those Mustard Seeds!

  9. Karen
    4 years ago

    This has made my Christmas! Thank you to the Catholic League and the donors that made this possible. God bless you.

  10. John
    4 years ago

    Ditto, regarding the final sentence. But we all know that most "atheists" are better described by the term "anti-Christian."

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