Because those on Fox are such exemplary Christians, they really hate it when atheists use their 1st Amendment rights to put up billboards which support their world view. This year, Fox unleashed a torrent of agita about signs which encourage "closet" atheists to not be intimidated into attending Christmas religious services - a message seen as part of the "war on Christmas." One of Fox's propaganda points is that these nasty atheists are using the signs to recruit good Christians to the dark side. This ridiculous assertion, that atheists are proselytizing, was advanced this morning on Fox & Friends during which Anna Kooiman pushed all the right propaganda buttons. But interestingly, her guest wasn't really buying it. Propaganda fail?
Kooiman began her "Keeping the Faith" piece by reminding viewers of how Fox informed them about those nasty atheist billboards, in Jesus' very own Bible Belt, that encouraged good Christians to not attend church on Christmas. The chyron framed the "controversial" message: "Anti-Christmas Campaign, Atheist Billboard Sparks Controversy." She introduced the guest who has put up an opposing "Merry Christmas" billboard that has the "Christ" part underlined.
Kooiman asked North Carolina nursery owner, David Johnson, why he was bothered by the billboards. He responded that "maybe they're making a stronger voice than the Christians are." As he spoke, the chyron reinforce the message that Johnson is "Bringing Back Christmas." (Didn't know it was gone?!) Kooiman got to the heart of the patented Fox "war on Christmas" and "war on Christians meme: "Do you ever feel that there is a "war on Christmas and you're able to fight back with a strong message with the big billboard?"
Johnson described how he and his employees felt that "too many people were trying to take Christ out of Christmas." Kooiman asked him what his customers were saying. Not surprisingly, Johnson said it was very positive. More agitprop from Kooiman: "Without a doubt these atheist groups have gotten louder over recent years... and they say that the billboards are needed in the South because discrimination and mistrust of atheists is especially pronounced in that part of the country." Johnson's response was that he is more offended by Christians who put out flyers with the word "holiday" and "season's this and that."
Articulating what was obviously pre-scripted propaganda, Kooiman said that "it's clear that the atheists want to spread their message not to be persecuted themselves but to try to convert Christians into atheists." As she spoke the chyron advanced the Fox Christian message: "The Reason for the Season, Christmas Billboards Resonates With Christians." To her question of whether Johnson saw this as a problem, he agreed but added that he wasn't there to make a controversial statement but "proclaim the great news" about Jesus birthday. He said that Christmas is all about "joy and peace and love and generosity," an ironic comment given that his appearance was intended to spread more hatred towards atheists.Reinforcing Fox's meme that Christians are being prevented from saying "Merry Christmas" because of "PC," the chyron read "Too PC, Biz Owner Says It's OK To Say Christmas." Kooiman praised his "sweet and uplifting message" which "is the true reason for the Season."
Joy and peace and love and generosity - Fox News in a nutshell - ya think!
Only AFTER reading the Bible cover to cover did I become an atheist.
The only proselytizing I do now is to encourage so-called Christians to actually read the book that they themselves push others to believe in.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to correct “believers” that what they were saying is contradicted by, you guessed it, the Bible.
Marco’s post reminded me of one of my father’s pet jokes: an Iroquois warrior is being subjected to torture by a priest who thinks this is a quick way to convert the heathen to Christianity. During a pause in the proceedings, the following exchange takes place:
- The warrior to the priest: “Are there other people like you in this heaven of yours?”
- The Jesuit: “Yes, my son, everybody there is a true Christian”
- The warrior: “Well, no offense, but I’d rather not go there”.
If God is so all-powerful, as these Christian fundamentalist types seem to believe, why doesn’t he just wipe out the atheists? Then they wouldn’t have to get all bent out of shape over billboards.