UNCOMMON SENSE: Atheists can enjoy Christmas regardless of Christ

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I don’t believe in God. Never have, never will.

I could go into a long-winded explanation of how I came to this conclusion, but there’s no need.

Everybody who has lived more than a few moments on this planet has heard the religion argument and nothing I could say would make a difference at this point. In many ways we atheists are a lot like most of our religious neighbours. We go about quietly doing our thing and we don’t try and convert anybody else to our point of view.

Few people know I’m an atheist because I don’t go about telling people. And that’s the way it should be, really. Your beliefs are your own and you don’t need to force them on others.

Which is why it bothers me that an atheist group in Vancouver is trying so desperately to post up anti-religious billboards to convert the believers and agnostics. The Centre for Inquiry Canada is complaining that their ads for Pattison Outdoor billboards were rejected recently and are considering filing a human rights complaint in response.

The rejected advert shows a stock photo of a smiling woman holding a cup of coffee with a biblical font reading, “Jenn 13:1. Praying won’t help. Doing will.”

You know what doesn’t help? Self-righteous billboards plastered around Vancouver during a Christian season of celebration.

The only thing worse than somebody foisting their religion in your face like some kind of telemarketer calling just as your hot dinner is on the table is an atheist trying to turn unbelief into a belief system.

Atheism is anti-theism. We don’t know what others think about God, and frankly we don’t care.

Not caring frees up our time to invest our energies in the pursuits we actually enjoy.

By taking atheism and turning it into an organization that accepts donations and plasters up billboards and tries to convert other people into accepting “the truth,” this group is becoming the thing it claims not to be: A religion.

It isn’t for me to convince others to believe or not believe in God. That’s their own journey and choice. Leave each person to find God or the infinite nothingness on their own and save the preaching for the fundamentalists in Alabama and Afghanistan.

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