When Sarah Palin speaks, ad nauseam, of the “war on Christmas,” she’s referring not only to attempts to secularize the holiday season in general, but also the secularization of Jesus’ birthday itself.* That’s why this year’s annual anti-Christmas billboard by the atheist advocacy group American Atheists seems specifically crafted to make Palin’s head explode into a million pieces. The fifteen-second digital ad, which is currently running in Times Square, contends that the “true” meaning of Christmas is not Christ, but things like gifts, the Rockettes, and, most provocatively, Chinese food, which is what Jews eat.
“If Sarah Palin is under the impression that Christmastime is about Jesus,” Dave Muscato, spokesman for American Atheists, tells Daily Intelligencer, “I invite her to take a look at any shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving. Christmastime is, and has been for a long time, about giving gifts, spending time with family and friends, eating, drinking, and being merry; volunteering or giving to charity, and a hundred other things that have nothing to do with religion.”
*This sentence has been updated to remove a reference to Palin’s opposition to the commercialization of Christmas, because apparently she likes the commercialization of Christmas, which is confusing.