COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — There were new billboards up along Interstate 25 that caught the eyes of drivers Monday.
The billboards were put up by the American Atheists.
They say, “Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness sake. Happy holidays!”
The message caused a stir for some.
“I think it’s a little offensive. When I first saw it I thought ‘what did they mean by that?'” said Alexis Esselman.
The American Atheists insist the signs aren’t an attack on Christmas.
“We’re trying to be inclusive of everyone in Christmas and saying that anyone can celebrate it. It shouldn’t be viewed strictly as a Christian holiday,” said American Atheists spokesman Randy Gotovich.
They realize there is a religious aspect to the holiday.
“People celebrate the birth of Christ and that’s perfectly fine. The other side of it is inherently secular: spending time with family, swapping gifts, having a meal together. That’s not inherently religious,” said Gotovich.
They’re trying to embrace the good things of the holiday without connecting it to religion.
“You don’t need an external reason to be good. Being good is its own reward,” said Gotovich.
“It can be insulting to those who are religious and do celebrate it for Christianity and religion in general,” said Esselman.
“I think their intentions are good, but maybe they could have worded it differently,” said Damara Metrick.
The billboards will be up through December. One is near Stratmoor Hills, and the other is near Exit 128 in Fountain.
The American Atheists said they chose Colorado Springs because of its close ties to the Evangelical movement. They’re also running the billboards in Raleigh, North Carolina.