Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The War on... Saturnilia?

The Freedom From Religion Foundation bought a billboard in Pitman, New Jersey. It features the message "Keep Saturn in Saturnilia." What's Saturnilia? Oh, just the Roman festival to honor the deity, Saturn. Just like many Pagan celebrations this time of the year, it took place right around the Winter Solstice. And it should be no surprise that Saturnilia is one of the older festivals that the Christians plagiarized from when they created Christmas.

So the "Keep Saturn in Saturnilia" is both a reference to the familiar "Keep Christ in Christmas", as well as the fact that Christmas is built on a foundation of much older traditions. Additionally it's telling atheist's that don't already know that there's no reason to be ashamed with continuing to celebrate this festive time of year, even though they aren't Christian anymore. After all, Christmas isn't really truly Christian to begin with.

As atheist billboards go, this one is about as benign as you can get. But one Christian family somehow took offense to it. So much so that they attempted to vandalize the billboard by covering it with a picture of Jesus. Vandalism... How very Christian of them.

Personally, I'm surprised that they were even aware of what the billboard was saying. When I mention Saturnalia to a believer, probably only 2% don't respond with a blank and confused stare. So I give them credit for that. But if you don't like a billboard, don't vandalize it. If you feel that strongly about it, buy the ad space of the billboard right next to it.

Probably the best part is that this whole vandalism attempt was caught on tape! I sure hope that the offenders can be identified, and that they will be dully charged.

-Brain Hulk

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