I hate to interrupt what seems to be an interesting exchange between 2 regular posers on this website, but to get back to the story...that campaign for atheists is a true waste of time, since church attendance has been going down for years, and atheists dominate the mainstream news and entertainment areas of US culture. It is true that churches spends lots of time rehearsing their choirs and money to hire musicians for a special service on the one Sunday (not on Christmas Day, usually, but a week or so in advance, and this time on Dec 14 since Dec 21 is 'too close' to Dec 25) with the intent of increasing attendance among the unsaved. This is as traditional as putting up Christmas decorations at work and at home. Did you know that the Japanese love to put up Christmas lights, yet a very small percentage (less than ten, I think) of their population is Christian. Check it out by searching online for "Japan Christmas Light Show"). What is the result of all these displays, special services, etc? Just look at your own church---does attendance go up after Christmas, with all the people saved from that service?
This story should be a reminder to everyone about how unpredictable a volcano can be. Yet even in a country like Costa Rica, there are hotels virtually across the street from the Arenal volcano, and the locals say, 'oh, it's no problem, it has never erupted on this side!" Of course, the mainstream media has not played up this story that much, certainly not as much as the tsunami/earthquake that hit Japan before, probably because they didn't have cameras in the area, nor could they make their audience more fearful of volcanoes.
I finally figured out that the main objective of the news--any side, whether local or national or international---is not to inform but to make the audience afraid, because then they will keep tuning in and seeing the commercials that pay for their operation.
Instead, when we look into the Bible, whenever a person is confronted with something NEW and STRANGE, like an angel, the message is "FEAR NOT"