Fox News host Sean Hannity had a heated debate with the president of the group American Atheists on Friday and advised people offended by Nativity scenes on federal property to “lighten up and get some perspective in life."
The group recently placed a 40 by 40-foot digital billboard in New York’s Times Square that says “Who Needs Christ During Christmas? Nobody.”
Hannity accused the group’s president, David Silverman, of “waging a war against Christmas” and trying to “stick it to people” by erecting the billboard.
“When you do that, it seems to me very obvious, that the main thing you want to do is you want to poke people in the eye,” he told Silverman.
“No,” Silverman objected.
“You have the right to do it,” Hannity continued. “You want to stick it to people. You want to make people upset - when it’s obviously gotten attention for you - but that’s your intention."
“No, the intent was to raise awareness of the fact that Christmas is better without the religion,” Silverman argued.
“Christmas isn’t Christmas without religion,” Hannity interrupted.
“Christmas is absolutely Christmas without relgion,” Silverman said.
He argued that the pagan aspects celebrating the Winter Solstice are “fun, but the going to church is not fun [sic]. Nobody likes it. Nobody enjoys it.”
“I like going to church. I get a lot out of it,” Hannity said. “There’s somebody greater than me in the world.”
“The point that we’re trying to make is that there’s a whole bunch of people out there for whom religion is the worst part of Christmas, but they go to church anyways," Silverman said. "And we’re here to tell them they don’t have to.”
“I think you think too much of yourself,” Hannity told him.
When he asked Silverman if he found it offensive to see a Nativity on federal land, like the one removed from Shaw Air Force base at the behest of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Silverman agreed. The MRFF said it received complaints over the Christian scene from 41 Shaw Airmen.
“You’re offended,” Hannity repeatedly shouted. “You need to lighten up and get some perspective in life.”
“Oh, you poor victim," Hannity continued. "You poor innocent victim. You poor atheist!”