Atheist group says "skip church" message on billboard is aimed at people who don't believe

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.