Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Or, One of These Things is Not Like the Other)

In the name of inclusiveness and free speech, the Washington State Capitol has three displays up for the holiday season - all paid for and set up by non-government people or groups.

The first is the expected: the Nativity Scene. The second is becoming more visible in our culture: a menorah.

The third is the one raising both cheers and consternation from the locals: a sign set up by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Now, understand this. The folks at the FFR have as much right to voice their opinion in public as anybody else. The state can't choose favorites, allowing one group to set up shop while leaving the other out in the cold. Personally, while I disagree with the folks at the FFR over foundational worldview issues, and while I won't hesitate to say that I believe their atheism is wrong (since, as you know, I'm pretty certain there is a God), I believe that in America the FFR has the right to publicly declare their belief that they do not, in fact, believe there is a God. So count me among those who don't really care that the FFR set up their sign.

Except for this - This is the content of the sign:

Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Which is not the same as simply stating "Hey! We don't believe in God!" See, they've gone beyond "I" language and turned instead to judgmental language - the very same thing they claim they're tired of religious people doing to them. The other two displays are artistic symbols and representations of deeply-held religious sentiments. Both are positive: there is Life here! There is Hope here!

Whereas the FFR folks have essentially set up a combative, over-and-against signpost, a denigrating, insulting, "we're better than everybody else," snide, pompous sign. A sign that essentially tells 95% of the world that they are feeble-minded sheep, mindlessly following empty books and boorish leaders.

So, I ask you. In the end, which is actually more offensive? The Christian and Jewish displays, or the "we're offended by you all" display from the FFR people? Which better fits the theme of "human love and goodwill toward all?" Which of these three is not like the others?


jake dockter said...

I always wonder at these people who deny the gifts of religion. Yes, the crusades sucked. Yes, Westboro Baptist church are bigotted jerks. Yes, the church has commited heinous crimes and YES! alot of christian are ignorant idiots who make the world a crappier place. BUT....

christians also were instrumental in the womens suffrage movement.
christian faith was instrumental in MLK's civil rights movement.
Christianity has been very involved in civil rights, human rights and political protests in many latin american and african countries.

Religion is often times the culprit, but it often times stands with the victims.
I have friends who went to Iraq at the beginning of the war to stand with IRAQI brothers and sisters in peace.
I know people who have poured out the lives for others, but you never hear about that...
they always interview Falwell or Robertson of other ignorant bigots....and paint the world with one broad brush...

Kim said...

One should never confuse the term "religion" with "belief in God." Athiesm is just as much religion as Christianity.