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Atheist group says “skip church” message on billboard is aimed at people who don’t believe

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A billboard displayed in Milwaukee is getting some extra attention over its strong and some might say, controversial message.

"The message is ironic and it's sarcastic and it's clever," said Rob Moore from Southeast Wisconsin Free Thinkers, a local atheist organization that partially funded the billboard seen near 14th and St. Paul in Milwaukee.

"Atheist simply means a lack of belief of any supreme being. No supernatural deity," said Moore.

The message on the billboard reads as follows:

"Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church. I'm too old for fairy tales."

"People who believe are going to believe. We are aiming this at people who don't believe but are under pressure from their families to involve themselves in religious traditions every year that they don't necessarily agree with but are scared to come out," said Moore.

That might be a good thing because Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki says as far as he knows, the message hasn't been received.

"Those who are believers will take a look at it and say it's a pity that someone has to take a stance like this," said Listecki. "I wonder why so much energy is put into that billboard. It would have been nicer if the organization maybe put more time and effort into maybe collecting gifts for the needy at that time then to spend it on a billboard."

The group American Atheists takes part in billboard campaigns every year. This is just the first year the local group decided to take part.


    • vivandiere88

      Actually Tychabrahe, I’m Christian but… I also can go to a Christmas Party, Hanukkah Party, and Kwanzaa party all in the same week. Who said Christians can’t go to all those parties as well? The only think I can think is that we can both go to the same parties, but there will only be a missing element in them for you since you don’t believe in God. You can enjoy the pretty decorations, and the human fellowship the same as the believes, but you will be missing the spiritual element for those who believe in God.

  • Gregg Michael

    They are quite right. He willing took the punishment, which we deserved as a convicted criminal. If he had not done that, we would have received the conviction intstead.

  • Tes

    How much $ does a billboard like that cost… I can think of many positive ways to spend that money. It’s not like churches make billboards telling anyone to go to church…

    • Kevin Bruce

      Billboard vary in price by location and is based off of traffic load. this one cost a few thousand to run for a week.

      “It’s not like churches make billboards telling anyone to go to church…”
      Oh I hope your joking. Churches run billboard ads all the time, I have seen some that call me a traitor because I can force myself to believe in a god, or simply telling me i am going to burn in hell

  • What!

    Hey rob moore people, it’s not clever it’s said hundreds if not thousands of times on the internet daily. What’s clever is hiding who else funded this. My guess is the lgbt, some union or mary burke and her liberal followers

  • Shannon

    The amount of inane religious billboards I see and people here say how these atheists should have spent THEIR money on charity….well I’m pleased and relieved to see this billboard and hope that fellow atheists won’t feel the need to pretend to adhere to scientifically obsolete myths any more.

    • Kevin Bruce

      Well, i am one of those atheist that chipped in for this sign, we do a good deal of charity work. we are very community minded. SWiFT runs a highway clean up, donates to children’s hospital every year and holds several food drives.

      i actually live a bit to the south and wanted something closer to home so a few of us started Kenosha Racine Area Freethinkers, one of the first things we did was adopt our own section of highway.

  • Kevin Bruce

    Its a bit of all of the above i should know i am a member of SWiFT.
    Atheists believe in a lot of things sadly people out of ignorance think because we dont believe in any gods that we believe in nothing at all.
    And yes perhaps when we die we are akin to dead leaves, this does not mean we cant enjoy our moment in the sun.
    ” So if you are nothing then your message is invalid and meaningless”
    This is what is known as a straw man argument it happens when people misscharacterize an opposing view and deal with that misscharacteization rather than the opposing view.

  • Marcus

    “…too old for fairy tales?” try “athieism.” try evolution. In order to be a “free thinker” you must believe:
    that nothing existed, then exploded and created life.
    that you started out as pre-mordial slime, turned into a fish, then grew legs to walk on land, then a monkey, then lost your tail, and now a man….all with zero evidence.
    that you are basically a biological accident
    that somehow based on the above, you are a perfectly “good” person
    that there is no objective truth standard
    that you create your own truth
    that you can decide what is moral or not, according to your low standards
    that two truth claims that are opposite can both be true
    that you can mock the God of the Bible who gave you life
    that you can lie, cheat, steal, lust, fornicate, support abortion, homosexuality, greed, selfishness… all without consequence.
    Sounds like a belief system, right? Welcome to athiesm, the ultimate idolitrous religion…the worship of self.
    All that’s required is that you love and worship yourself more than anything and you are in their intellectual club!
    Now that is a fairy tale!

    • Marcus

      Really, the flu virus evolves every year? Into what? A frog? A bacteria? Nope, it changes so that it continues to live. It doesn’t change from a virus into another organism. How was “matter…in an infinitely dense state” created? Where are the transitional fossils? How exactly does DNA equate to random chemical processes?
      If there is no God, no amount of science can answer these questions. We end up with theories that constantly change, made by fallible man who love themselves more than God. The truth is, everyone knows God exists, they just suppress the truth about Him in their unrighteousness. Man chose to believe the lie, rather than Him. It makes no difference how many times you say “overwhelming evidence” or “irrefutable.” Research creation scientists and compare their findings to all the secular humanist teachers and professors out there, telling us what to think.

    • tychabrahe

      First of all, there is plenty of evidence for evolution, some for abiogenesis, and quite a lot for Big Bang cosmogeny, which are three entirely different concepts with three entirely different sets of supporting evidence. If you don’t understand how these things are supported, you should read an astronomy book and a biology book. I’m sorry you didn’t get a good education when you were in school, but there’s no need to wallow in ignorance as an adult.

      Frankly, the story of the evidence for the Big Bang is one of my favorite stories in all of science. You have a guy doing pure thought experiments (If the universe was born in a Big Bang-like explosion 17 billion years ago, what temperature should it be now?) and not that far away a group of technicians trying to figure out why they can’t get this sound out of their radio telescope. They seriously tried for four years to figure out why they heard this noise, and from every part of the sky, before they talked to the first guy and realized they were hearing the Cosmic Background Radiation, the echoes of that long ago explosion. Reading Connie Willis’s discussion of it in her book Bellwether is practically a mystical experience.

    • Jakey Jake


      You can see the fossils at the natural history museum, or you can read any of the thousands of peer reviewed articles about them. Creation “scientists” don’t get published in peer reviewed scientific journals and there is a reason for that. The DNA tests I was talking about show commonality between species. Humans and today’s apes share about 99% commonality in Dna. As far as “who” was behind the Big Bang, that is a religious assumption that there was a “who.” I’m not against feligion but I do take issue with people who misconstrue science to fit a religious narrative.

    • Nate Kyng

      You do realize that anyone can make a wikipedia page, right? It’s not the source of truth, kid. lol Irony that an atheist refers on text or scripture as their source of truth.

    • Brian

      I don’t even know where to begin with how illogical your comment is. Atheism is none of those things. At all. I am atheist. I believe in only one fewer god than you do. What makes you right to dismiss the infinite number of possible gods, but claim that YOUR god is the one true god. Do you believe in Zeus? Why not? He was as real to the Greeks as your god is to you.
      To deny evolution is like denying gravity. There is overwhelming evidence to support evolution. So much so that Pope Francis is now backpedaling the story of creation and saying that god created beings that evolve. Sorry pope, but I think the church has been pretty firm on their view of evolution, and your story is starting to change now.
      Yes, I can decide what is moral and what is not. The bible supports slavery, sale of women, and many other acts that are not moral. I don’t need an ancient book to tell me what is moral, and neither should you.
      I’ve never claimed to be able to lie cheat or steal without consequence. since when did atheists support any of that? You just made that up.
      Homosexualty is a fact of life. It has been observed in many animals aside of humans. Get over it. And according to you, God created it that way.
      The exact beginnings of the universe is unknown. The Big Bang Theory was derived out the evidence that is out there. I’d rather admit ignorance than come out saying I have all the answers.
      How old is the Earth according to you?

  • Sherrie

    I believe that there crazy you read in your bibles and these are the times that are true and all is coming true. As Americans we are supposed to honor God and have freedom of Religion. Its that simple!!
    Read your Bible in God we Trust its even on your money………..

  • JBlessed!

    Actually you are more than what you know! You are important! And, you are loved by many including the most High!………. You have free will to believe whatever you want, however, understand by knowing that you have a purpose here. GOD loves all including Atheist!

  • Jim

    Let’s see if I got this right. They don’t believe in God, yet they ask Santa for permission to skip church on the premise they are too old for fairy tales? Oh he irony.

  • Mar

    It’s not cool for Christians or “Believers” to offend other groups these days. Why is this okay? The billboard is offensive by stating what I BELIEVE is just a fairy tale and by showing a child (daughter of an atheist or not) it messes with my family’s right to teach my children about God. I guess if you want to be anti-God I’ll have to deal with it, but picture an atheist adult in billboard with statement not a kid.

  • David worsham

    I like to watch folk argue over this stuff epically when they have no clue as to what they are defending. Such as The Most High is a reference to the Sun at 12 O Clock because it is at the highest point in the sky. Of course they will deny that and create their own definition and that’s why it’s all good entertainment.

  • Malphius

    As an Atheist, this is offensive. It’s not clever. It’s not ironic. It’s just a small sad attack on christianity.

  • Gloria Millard

    I am an Atheist and none of you people here know anything about what you are writing about, dumb dumb dumb all of you, you Christians who live under a rock watch out so you don’t get hit by one-haha!!

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