Liberal Atheists* Are Basically Giant Babies

MjAxMy1lNTZlZThjZmE1MzIyZDMwActually they’re much worse, because babies don’t troll through popular culture, the internet, and day time TV for things to get offended by.

Why do I compare atheists to giant babies? It’s simple, they take everything so personally and they try to force people to change their personal thoughts to make them more palatable for Atheists.

They are also wimps. I have heard them complain about how “bad” someone’s opinion of Atheism makes them “feel” and I can’t help laughing.

How thin is your skin? Not everyone is going to like you, especially when you constantly attack their religion and beliefs.

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The Passion of Clark Kent

Okay, the lens flare here might have been a bit over-dramatic.

Someone is going to get pissed off because of that title, just watch.

There will probably be spoilers for Man of Steel in this post. I warned you.

I’m not the most religious person in the world. I classify myself as a Deist, half because I think it’s a rational view of things and it fits with my own spirituality and half because I’m just really lazy about religion.

But I do know my Bible (won first prize in Bible trivia at my Christian school, 2 years in a row…in elementary school) and while I may not be a Biblical scholar, I do pride myself in recognizing Biblical references a lot more often than your average schmuck in a movie theater. Especially after seeing how little my peers (even the religious ones) knew about Biblical symbolism when reading The Scarlet Letter.

So upon my 3rd viewing of Man of Steel last night, I noticed a few things. (Yes, I’ve seen it 3 times and yes I’m aware it’s only been out for 3.5 days).

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Professor At State University Pressures Students to Stomp on Paper with “Mohammed” Written on it, White House Expresses Outrage at this “Horrible Assault of First Amendment”

A Muslim student in a class at a state university was horribly perturbed when, last week, one of his professor’s gave an assignment to his class that involved writing the name of Mohammed on a sheet of paper in large letters. The professor then requested that they put the paper on the floor and stomp on it.

The student refused to take part in the assignment and lodged a complaint with the school against the professor.

The professor, who has claimed that the assignment was only being used as an exercise in critical thinking and was not intended to be offensive toward Muslim students, has been place on administrative leave until the case can be looked at further and a formal apology on the behalf of the University has been given to the student who lodged the complaint.

The leader of the organization CAIR (The Council for Islamic-American Relations) has filed a lawsuit against the university and openly called them out for hiring such a blatantly Islamophobic professor.

Meanwhile the President and Secretary of State personally called the student in question to apologize for their 1st Amendment rights being so horribly violated and swore that they would “get” the person who published this horrible lesson plan that was so disrespectful to Islam.

Burning of the American flag has gone up in the Middle East and many fear that more riots will be occur in the Middle East as result of this culturally insensitive action taken by a professor.

_______________

Oh wait, no…that’s not the actual story. The actual story is that a Christian student was almost thrown out of his university for refusing to take part in a lesson that involved writing “JESUS” on a sheet of paper and then stomping on it.

The professor hasn’t been punished, the incident hasn’t been investigated, there has CERTAINLY not been any calls made to the student from the President or the Secretary of State (they save that kind of time for people like Sandra Fluke and blaming youtube videos for inciting riots) and the student was only recently allowed to come back to school because of several lawyers offering to take the case pro bono and the extreme amount of public outrage on the issue.

The scenario I laid out would be realistic if the professor had chosen Islam as his example for a lesson on “critical thinking”, but when it happens to Christianity the person who files the complaint nearly gets kicked out of school.

Yeah, that’s some equality we got here.

Spoiler alert: Don’t Read This if You Believe in Santa Claus (AKA if you are a member of American Atheists, turn around now)

Apparently Santa is real…or atheists are just confused and trying to be witty.

I wasn’t home last night, and even when I am I rarely turn on Fox News for anything other than The Five or Red Eye, but when I got in it was to hear from my dad that Hannity had been talking to the President of American Atheists on his show, about a billboard they have put in in Times Square.

Thanks to The Blaze for putting up this photo.
Credit goes to American Atheists for the photo itself.

Apparently atheists are operating under the idea that Santa is a real person or something.

Technically I suppose they were trying to be witty and reference how the secular trappings of Christmas are a-okay with them, but cut out the religion right this very minute because they can’t stand one myth being talked about…but the other myth of the jolly fat man in a red suit is perfectly fine.

Can we just take a moment to recognize how utterly ridiculous this is?

No really, does American Atheist understand how stupid they are for implying that only one of those images is a myth?

Santa and Rudolph and the sleigh with all the toys are a myth. They know that right?

Last year I wrote a post about Nativity scenes on public property and this was part of it.

So why is it that a holiday that is based on some fictional account of a baby being born in a barn, is so offensive to an Athiest or Liberal’s sensibilities?

I know that Star Wars is just a story, completely fictional. However there is an entire religion based on The Force. There are huge groups of a devoted fan base that worship The Force and even those that don’t follow the religion still collect relics, dress in odd clothing, and attend huge gatherings to, essentially, worship the films. Do I ask that Star Wars conventions be shut down? No, absolutely not, because while I’m not a Star Wars fan (I’m a Trekkie okay) I know that it’s just a story, that some people enjoy and maybe put a little too much of their lives into.

So if I don’t demand that Star Wars conventions be shut down (which are both more physically and olfactory offensive than Christmas and probably much less healthy for the convention attendees) why is it that a bunch of plaster fictional characters on a lawn can invoke such irrationality?

Atheists reject one myth, because it’s more popular or believed by more people, but completely accept another myth as socially and politically acceptable in the public forum, simply because they believe it’s secular.

I have news for you. Nothing about Christmas, from it’s name right down to the elements of the celebration, is based on secular ideas.

Okay, possibly Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph are purely secular and capitalistic creations, but the core traditions are religious, whether they are Christian or not.

Let’s break this down shall we. What are some of the key ‘secular’ parts of Christmas.

Christmas Trees: Extreme pagan and Christian religious symbolism.

The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.

The modern Christmas tree, though, originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a “paradise tree,” a fir tree hung with apples, that represented the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of  Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Lights: Lights on the tree and elsewhere came from a Christian practice, as well as pagan practices.

Candles, symbolic of Christ, were often added [to the Christmas tree].

- Encyclopedia Britannica

The Celtic fire festival of Yule was a time of renewal and rebirth, celebrated by lighting fires to welcome back the lengthening days. The remnants of this practice may be found in the charming tradition of the Yule log, still enjoyed by many people at Christmas even today.

The lighting of candles and modern Christmas lights is also a relic of this ancient need to bring light to the darkest time of the year, and even in this era of electric lights that dispel the gloom all year round, many people still enjoy the warming feeling of seeing a beautifully lit tree or an array of lighted candles.

Decorations

The circle of the Yule or Christmas wreath represents the pagan “Wheel of the Year” or “Circle of Life” that marks the annual changes in the seasons at the Festivals celebrated at the solstices and equinoxes.

The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of  Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes.

Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick: Literally a Catholic saint and the basis for the modern Santa Claus that was so wittily placed on a billboard mocking Christianity. Brilliant move American Atheists!

Santa Claus, legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Father Christmas fills the role in many European countries.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Giving gifts:

“The giving of presents at the midwinter feast almost certainly began as a magical more than as merely a social custom. Saturnalia presents included wax dolls, given to children. A charming custom, no doubt, by times of record, but with a macabre past: even contemporaries thought this probably a vestige of human sacrifice, of children, to aid the sowing.”

- History Today

We have many recorded events in history that show the giving and receiving of gifts dates back at least to the 4th century. St. Nicholas, a Christian Bishop, was known for his generosity in giving to those less fortunate than he, as well as giving to children of all backgrounds simply because he felt they needed to savor their childrood, and have joyous times to remember.

- Wiki Answers

These really aren’t that secular after all then. So I guess what your real problem is, is that Christianity is involved (in which case, no Santa for you either, he’s a Catholic Saint).

If you have a problem with religion in general, then keep in mind that those lights you are hanging, that tree you are decorating while singing secular x-mas carols, and those gifts you are giving out, all have religious connotations.

So you should probably ask your job if you can come in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to let other non-Scrooges enjoy a day with their family, since you can’t stand any religions at all. Since you totally reject all religions that believe in “magical sky daddy’s” or whatever mocking phrase atheists are referring to god by these days.

Chik-Fil-A: The Great Flap (Via Gay Conservative/Mel Maguire)

If you’re listening to the hard left, you’d believe that the boycott of chicken chain Chick-Fil-A is working and the brand is being dealt an irreparable blow.

Unfortunately for them, this is pure fantasy. There’s a CFA restaurant right next to my loft, and these days the place is absolutely packed. The dining room is stuffed to the gills and the drive-thru line quickly wraps around the building. Every CFA in the country seems to be getting more business these days.

We all know what the kerfuffle is about. Dan Cathy, the company’s CEO and the son of founder S. Truett Cathy, recently said “guilty as charged” when asked by the Baptist Press if he supported traditional family values. He never specifically singled out gay marriage; he did single out divorce quite specifically, but the way things have gone you’d think Cathy held a forum in support of Fred Phelps and called for us all to be rounded up and herded into concentration camps.

Roseanne Barr said that everyone who eats at CFA deserves to get cancer. After then saying that people who feed their kids at CFA are guilty of child abuse, she went on another nazi-cursing tirade against the chain. Non-celebs went completely bats as well, commenting that CFA sandwiches are “deep fried in hate” and called traditional marriage “a sacred bond between two consenting bigots”.

The really frightening thing about all of this, however, is what elected government officials are doing now.

via Chik-Fil-A: The Great Flap.

Read the rest of the post at the above link.

Great stuff, as usual, from the Gay Conservative blog.

 

On a personal note, I apologize for the lack up updates. My life is in a bit of an upheaval at the moment.

Fresh from her high school prayer banner victory, Jessica Ahlquist throws her hat into another ring.

I would like to start this post by saying two things.

First, I absolutely hate the cruel and violent words that have been used against Jessica Ahlquist. You will not find me on friendly terms with anyone who I find have insulted her.

Secondly, I would like to note that I have read her blog and it reads like the blog I kept at the age of 16.* I was also a very adamant atheist at the age of 16 and I believed I would never change my mind on the subject. I regularly sought out Christians to argue with and reading over the old posts I offered in arguments with Christians is actually an embarrassment to myself. I give age and overabundance of zeal, though not knowledge, as an excuse for my words at the time.** I did not remain in my atheism, not that I claim Ahlquist will change her mind on that, and my ignorance and need to change other people’s minds or even to police the public expressions of religion.

Now I want to address what this post is actually about.

Jessica Ahlquist and her fellow atheists who are extremely talented at making mountains out of molehills.

I will admit that, constitutionally, she had a case when it came to the school prayer at her school in Rhode Island. This isn’t about that.

I can empathize with some of what Atheist’s do, especially when it comes to say…the Ten Commandments being placed on courthouses. After all, I’m not a Christian and I don’t want to be judged by the Ten Commandments in court, neither does anyone else of other religions in this country.

But then there are things like this. Where atheists, who Jessica Ahlquist has thrown her hat in with, are protesting the existence of a WWI/WWII memorial in Woonsocket, R.I. which has a cross on top of it.

As previously reported, the Christian cross, which was built in Woonsocket back in 1921, is causing a great deal of angst among secularists who stand firmly opposed to its presence on public property. Taking on even more significance beyond WWI, the monument was re-dedicated back in 1952 to honor three fallen WWII soldiers who lived in the area and has since been a public statement of remembrance.

In a April 13 letter sent from the FFRF to Leo Fontaine, the city’s mayor, FFRF staff attorney Rebecca Markert called the presence of the cross “unconstitutional” and claimed that a concerned citizen made the group aware of its presence.

- The Blaze

Jessica threw in her hat by tweeting, recently, that she supported the removal.

My question is…why?

Sure it’s on public property.

Sure, it’s a war memorial.

But it’s not like they are using current tax money to put the memorial up.*** In fact, I’m quite sure that if the issue was that the state was using tax money for upkeep of the statue, that the more than 1,000 people who have gathered to support it would be willing to pay for the cleaning and upkeep of the memorial.

But that isn’t what the Atheist organizations want. They want the monument gone.

Why?

Is it causing them undue emotional distress to even see a cross or walk past one? In which case, why aren’t they trying to sue every church they walk past for pain and suffering?

Is it uncomfortable for them to have to explain what that strange T shaped object on top of that stone is to their children?

Does the idea of Christianity just offend them so much that historical monuments and memorials to our service men just have to go?

There are crosses and religious symbols on many of the historic monuments in this country. Should we tear down every single one of those as well, because atheist just can’t handle the stress.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that cross on a historic monument is creating a situation where you can’t live comfortably. Nor do I think it is making you a second class citizen, nor do I honestly believe it is constitutionally wrong.

There are many issues in this country that you could be starting useful fights about, but this is not one of them.

Teen Atheist Jessica Ahlquist Supports Removing Woonsocket Cross | Rhode Island

Image Credit: ABC6

Jessica, I fully believe that, no matter what your religious beliefs in the future, you will regret getting involved in this fight at such a young age. No matter how mature you think you are, or you actually are, you will not keep the same 16 year old beliefs, all your life.

_____________________________________________________________

*No, I can’t show it to you. I cleaned out the old posts on my old blog a long time ago…because most of them, quite frankly, embarrassed me.

**Though I must admit that the Christians I debated often had an overabundance of zeal and an underabundance of knowledge on their side.

***In which case I would understand their upset and even support their case.

I’d pay good money to see what happens when a Christian wants to be President of the Muslim Student Association.

I’d like to thank Mel, from Gay Conservative for posting the link to this article, that I’m about to write about, on facebook.

The only ever time that I’ve mentioned Vanderbilt University on this blog was when I was doing a review of Ky Dickens documentary, Fish Out Of Water. Vanderbilt was her university.

Now they’ve just reached a level of stupidity that is hard to match…unless your part of the Obama administration that is.

Vanderbilt’s new nondiscrimination policy requires all groups, including religious groups, to accept members of different sexual orientations or faiths and allows them to seek leadership roles.

As a result of the change, Vanderbilt reviewed the constitutions of every registered student organization to make sure they were in compliance with the policy after a dispute between the university and a Christian fraternity that expelled a homosexual member.

Student groups now have a choice – they can either revise their membership requirements or they will not be recognized as an official student group. That means the groups will not receive funding and they will not be allowed on campus.

- Todd Starnes, Fox News & Commentary

Do I find the practice of banning homosexuals from certain organizations to be utterly stupid? Yes, I do. After all, at the very least, if you are trying to reach out to them, the last thing you want to do is tell them they can’t be part of your club because they are gay.

However, that should be up to the clubs to decide.

Luckily there are groups on the campus who have decided that this change in policy is…well…bullshit. They aren’t just going to change their constitutions.

The student religious groups have formed an organization called “Vanderbilt Solidarity.” They said they could not in good faith alter their constitutions to comply with the university’s new policy.

However, the groups represented by Vanderbilt Solidarity have submitted their applications without making any changes to their constitutions – an act of defiance said spokesman Pieter Valk.

“We don’t want to cause trouble,” Valk told Fox News. “We want to make it clear where we are coming from. We want to be back on campus next year but there are certain principles we cannot move from.”

- Same article as above

The absolutely ludicrous part of this law is in two parts.

First of all, if the group doesn’t want homosexuals or people of other faith in it, it will not matter if they are forced to change their constitutions, they are not going to be any more welcoming to the new students.

And why would you want to join a group where you aren’t welcome? I make a concerted effort to not go places where I’m not wanted if I don’t have to. Case-in-point, avoiding the “Mexican” Wal-Mart on the west side of town. I don’t have a problem with the people who shop there and, in fact, there is a lot of great Hispanic food and spices that I’d like to buy there, however the people who work there and the majority of the people who shop there are not altogether pleased with the pale, Irish, red haired, white girl shopping in their store.

I also don’t intentionally interject myself into debates on Christian forums (anymore) or go attend church services at my parent’s Southern Baptist church. They don’t want me there and I have better things to do with my time than make myself, and others, feel uncomfortable just to stir up trouble.

Other than the gay student kicked out of the fraternity, I’d like to hear how many other students of different faiths or sexual orientations have been ejected from clubs.

****

The second problem is this.

Vanderbilt’s new nondiscrimination policy requires all groups, including religious groups, to accept members of different sexual orientations or faiths and allows them to seek leadership roles.

So…wait. Let’s take the least horrible way this could go and look at this from that angle.

So, say that the Lutheran Student Fellowship (one of the groups protesting this change in Vanderbilt policy) suddenly had to deal with an influx of Catholic students. These students skewed the voting and put a Catholic president in charge of the group.

Lutherans and Catholics don’t get along all that well, in case you didn’t know. (How do I know this? I went to a Lutheran private school in middle school, there was a Catholic church down the street. It wasn’t pretty.)

So now there is a Catholic in charge of a Lutheran group…and a significant number of a Catholics in the group. Now, not only do the Lutherans in the group feel like they can’t discuss their Lutheran beliefs because the Catholics don’t like it, but they can’t even get the President of the group to allow Lutheran based activities.

Now here’s another possibility. A group of Atheists performs this same feat with the Vanderbilt chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or some other Christian group, and hobble the group. Even if they did not become President and they simply filled the room with Atheist members at every meeting and derailed every conversation about religion into a debate. That would be just as harmful.

Can you imagine the uproar if a group of Christian students did this to an Atheist group or to the Muslim Student Association?

If I went to Vanderbilt I would be breaking my own rule of not going where I’m not wanted and I’d be doing exactly that. Why? Because it would prove a point.

*****

Now here’s another problem.

This new rule only mentions faith and sexual orientation correct?

Well why is Vanderbilt being so sexist?

What if I wanted to join the “Men Promoting A Solution”?

What if a man wanted to join the “Women Law Students Association”?

Why can’t they join up.

Why can’t a man join a sorority?

Why can’t a woman join a fraternity?

*****

Now here is the final nail in the coffin of this issue.

Vanderbilt may be a private university, but that doesn’t mean they can ignore federal laws or Supreme Court decisions.

What the heck am talking about?

Well I’m talking about the 1995 Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, Supreme Court Case.

[T]he Court ruled that private organizations, even if they were planning on and had permits for a public demonstration, were permitted to exclude groups if those groups presented a message contrary to the one the organizing group wanted to convey. More specific to the case, however, the Court found that private citizens organizing a public demonstration may not be compelled by the state to include groups who impart a message the organizers do not want to be included in their demonstration, even if such a law had been written with the intent of preventing discrimination.

- Wikipedia (Whatever, I know, they have good summaries. You try slogging through a supreme court case brief.)

So, in other words, this new rule at Vanderbilt is violating the Freedom of Association/Assembly of these groups.

[T]he United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others.

Expressive associations are groups that engage in activities protected by the First Amendment—speech, assembly, press, petitioning government for a redress of grievances, and the free exercise of religion.

- Wikipedia

*****

So really, Vanderbilt, what are you thinking?

This is wrong on so many many many levels.

What I want to know is, why did they KEEP the aborted fetuses? And other musings on Abortion.

If you keep up with the news with any sort of regularity, then you have likely heard the story about Dr. Steven Brigham and Dr. Nicola Riley, the two doctors who have been arrested on multiple counts of murder for performing late term abortions in Maryland. The 35 aborted fetuses that were found in a freezer  (Yeah, I’m pretty sure that is not kosher disposal technique so what the hell?) at their clinic have been examined and, according to some reports, at least 13 of the fetuses had reached viability and one of them was at about 36 weeks. Yeah, do that math for me. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine the sort of cruelness could be in the heart and mind of a mother, who would abort her child in the 9th month, mere weeks before the child would be born naturally (not the mention the fact that a C-section or induced labor could have easily been used) and given up for adoption. I cannot imagine the sort of unethical doctor who would willingly perform that abortion either. It boggles the mind.

All in all it’s not the most complicated of stories, though liberals will endeavor to make it so…for some reason.  Oh they cry about women’s rights, but the fact that someone wants to do something and feels it’s the right thing for them doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Psychopathic serial killers want to kill people and feels it’s the right thing for them to do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prosecute them for murder.

So if this is such a simple story, why am I blogging about it?

First, because a friend posted the link to one of the stories and asked what her followers opinions on it were.

Second, because it opened the door for me to explain my ability to be both pro-choice and pro-life at the same time.

I have the maternal instinct in spades and having a child and raising it is something that I feel will be one of the most rewarding parts of my life. I love babies, I love children,…I love teenagers slightly less, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to raise my child to be a less obnoxious teen than others. This is probably an empty hope, but it still springs eternal.

However I also understand science and I understand that, before a certain point, a fetus is not viable and is only surviving by, essentially, feeding off the energy of the mother. I also can understand that, during that period of the first 12 to 15 weeks, a person may decide, for various reasons, to not bring that child into the world.

I don’t support it, but I understand it. As always, I stand for individual liberty, even when that liberty allows people to do things that I wish they would rather not.

However, restrictions are a necessary part of life. Individual liberty only goes so far and we can’t allow people to run around, doing any thing they want, all the time, regardless of who they hurt. That way lies anarchy and most people would agree that anarchy is bad.

That is why we have drawn the, rather fuzzy, line of viability of fetus vs. non-viability.

The definition of viability is as follows.

Capable of living; especially: having attained such form and development as to be normally capable of surviving outside the mother’s womb.

- Websters

Of course viability isn’t a black and white issue.

The later a baby is born, the more likely he is to survive. Almost 30 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of pregnancy survive, while about 50 to 60 percent of babies born at 24 weeks, about 75 percent born at 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 27 to 28 weeks, survive (3,4,5).

- March of Dimes

Still, a 30% chance is quite significant and leaves a chance for adoption and life for that child, even if the mother in question does not want to (or cannot, for some reason) raise the child herself.

Abortion at that point is, in my opinion, murder. As far as science is concerned, the fetus is a viable human and killing  a human in cold blood is murder.

What Brigham and Riley were doing was murder and they should be prosecuted as such. Late-term and partial birth abortion are simply not ethical and it would, quite honestly, take a sociopath of extreme caliber to believe that they were. The absolute only time I can see an even slightly ethical need for either would be if the only possible way to save the mother’s life and even then the decision must be made with utmost care and thought. To my, admittedly limited, knowledge of medicine, I do not know of any situation in which a partial birth or late-term abortion would be less dangerous to the mother.

Now, as for early term abortion. While I support individual liberty of the mother, I also have a personal opinion on the topic. The only reasonable excuse for an abortion, the only one that doesn’t show an inordinate amount of callousness and selfishness on the part of the woman, is when the child is the product of rape or incest, the health of the mother is endangered, or the child will suffer from a disorder that will make their life, ultimately, short and painful or long and torturous. The concept of an abortion because birth control failed, or no birth control was used, is simply heinous to my own morals and the ethical and moral codes of many.

There, I feel better for having explained my views on the subject. Feel free to share your views in the comments.

Christmas, Nativity Scenes, Federal Holidays, and the First Amendment…oh my.

Ah Christmas, the time for family to gather together and…get into arguments about whether Nativity scenes can be placed on public property?

What? You’re family doesn’t do that? Mine does, or at least my brother and I do…sometimes my parents come along for the ride, but my brother and I are the most vocal about it and it doesn’t look like either of our opinions are going to change any time soon.

However our argument made me think about something and so I decided to devote and entire post to discussing just what I put in the title.*

I certainly don’t claim that Christmas doesn’t mean different things to different people and, as this is a free country, you may celebrate the winter holidays in any way that you choose. You may even call it Christmas and be completely secular and atheist.

That, however, is not what this post is about. This is about legal definitions and whether Nativity scenes on public property, such as a courthouse, is legal according to the First Amendment.

The United States of America there are 11 Federal Holidays, usually these are a chance for businesses to close, banks to shut down, and for people to have a day off…or to get paid time and a half if they do work.

Most of these, such as President’s Day and the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day, are completely secular and related to historical or political or cultural norms.

However there is one very different holiday on the Federal books.

Christmas.

What is Christmas?

Well here are a few definitions.

A Christian feast on December 25 or among some Eastern Orthodox Christians on January 7 that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday

- Webster’s Dictionary

Christmas, Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice. The corresponding terms in other languages—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French—all probably denote nativity. The German word Weihnachten denotes “hallowed night.” Since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday, observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts. In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, literally “Christ’s mass”) is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ,[5][6] celebrated generally on December 25[2][3][4] as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide.[7] Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nations,[8][9][10] is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians,[1][11][12] and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

- Wikipedia

Two of these 3 definitions do address what I mentioned earlier, that any number of secular of pagan traditions have become part of the traditional celebration of Christmas and many secular and non-Christian people still celebrate “Christmas” as a gift giving holiday in mid-winter, however all three have something in common.

All three note that the origin of the Christmas holiday is Christian in origin and it is a religious celebration at it’s core. I, as a non-Christian though not an atheist, have no problem with this. I listen to religious Christmas carols and listen to the story of the Nativity every year before I open presents with my family. These aspects are not particularly important to my enjoyment (well the carols are, I prefer them to most secular carols), but they certainly don’t offend me or make me feel marginalized or an outsider in my own family. It’s part of Christmas, always has been, always will be. If I chose to celebrate solstice the situation would be different, but I don’t, I choose to celebrate the Federal and religious holiday that is Christmas.

Now that we have established the Christmas is both a Federal and religious holiday, we can talk about how ridiculous it is for people to demand that nativity scenes be removed from Public Property.

First, as Pat Condell said, it does not actually physically or emotionally harm anyone to see a Nativity scene. If it does cause you emotional harm…well I hate to be rude, but stop being a wimp and grow the fuck up. It’s a plaster and plastic cast of shepherds, sheep, Wisemen, parents, and a baby in a manger. Even if certain church or denomination has hurt you grievously in the past and caused to irreparable emotional scarring, I highly doubt the nativity is going to be the object that brings back debilitating flashbacks of horror.

Second, should there be secular displays and displays of other religions as well as the Nativity? If the display is maintained by a public organization, such as the city or state government, then absolutely. If taxes are going to maintain it, then we should put up displays that show the belief systems of the other holidays that are celebrated at this time of the year. This is not because those are Federal holidays, which Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Solstice are not, but because we are a country that has many diverse religions and traditions and we should show that proudly. However, if the display is paid for and maintained by a private entity, which many are even when they are placed on public property, then that entity is under no obligation to put up other displays to represent any other faith.

Third, is it a violation of church and state? No, it is not. ‘Huh?’ you say, ‘but isn’t a Nativity scene favoring one religion over another?’ Well, yes, I guess you can put it that way, if the only display is the Nativity. However it isn’t really, because it is a Christmas decoration and Christmas is the Federal Holiday so the display is honoring a specific holiday. The Nativity is just as much a Christmas decoration as a Jolly Old Saint Nick or a Red Nosed Reindeer and tiny little elves and snow flakes.

The actual question you should be asking is. Is Christmas as a federal holiday a violation of church state separation? Possibly, but do you really want to take Christmas out as a Holiday? Is it really hurting you so much to be surrounded by holiday cheer and Angels singing on high and peace on earth, goodwill toward men? If so, then I have one thing to say to you. Hello there, Scrooge, I hope you get a few visits from some ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Fourth. I know quite a few atheists, or did once upon a time when I considered myself an atheist as well. Now I basically just know my brother. However one of the key things that I heard a lot of things about how the Bible was really just a fictional story that (depending on the person) was very poorly written, very well written, interesting, boring, morally reprehensible, had a few good things to teach about morality. Just a story. So why is it that a holiday that is based on some fictional account of a baby being born in a barn, is so offensive to an Athiest or Liberal’s sensibilities?

I know that Star Wars is just a story, completely fictional. However there is an entire religion based on The Force. There are huge groups of a devoted fan base that worship The Force and even those that don’t follow the religion still collect relics, dress in odd clothing, and attend huge gatherings to, essentially, worship the films. Do I ask that Star Wars conventions be shut down? No, absolutely not, because while I’m not a Star Wars fan (I’m a Trekky okay) I know that it’s just a story, that some people enjoy and maybe put a little too much of their lives into.

So if I don’t demand that Star Wars conventions be shut down (which are both more physically and olfactory offensive than Christmas and probably much less healthy for the convention attendees) why is it that a bunch of plaster fictional characters on a lawn can invoke such irrationality?

Sure, almost all religions have their problems and almost all have done bad and harmful things to society at one time or another and I fully support stopping harm done to society by religion, but how is Christmas and Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus hurting society? I’d say the story of Christmas, redemption and hope, are one of the best things imparted by Christianity.

I just don’t get it.

 

*Mostly because the presents are wrapped already, baking is in the oven, my family (minus the brother) are all at Christmas Eve services, and I still have several hours before I can start unwrapping the ones with my name on them.