Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's a veritable frittata of church and state!

Pictured: everyone involved.
Oh shit, we're doing this again? Settle down, I'll explain. A couple of years ago there was this ridiculous fight in Santa Monica, California over some stupid chicken wire boxes in the park. For ages, religious groups had been putting up Christmas displays in the boxes, but then the local Atheist group complained that this was unfair and that they should get to put up their own displays. A big fight ensued, and everyone involved, as in grown-ass adults, threw a huge tantrum until a judge stepped in and said fine, no holiday displays for anyone. Both sides made tremendous asshats out of themselves and now it's happening again, this time in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Every year, a local Christian group called the Thomas More Society has been allowed to set up a nativity scene near the info-desk in the capitol building which, ok, is a questionable frittata of church and state, but whatever, who cares? It's Christmas.
"I don't see what everyones problem is, Christmas is just the time of year for people of all beliefs
to come together and recognize Christianity as the one true faith, and all others as blasphemous lies."

-Martin Cannon, attorney 
for the Thomas More Society 
If your point can't be summed up in Sharpie
on a poster board, you're doing it wrong.
Turns out these guys careSeven Atheist groups from the area got together and booked the official info-desk-adjacent holiday celebration area for the week between the 19th and 26th for their own holiday display. The catchily named Season for Reason will feature a reason tree, a happy humanist statue and, I shit you not, a model of a church next to a model of a federal building with a wall in between them. You know, just in case you were unclear on the concept. Yup, it's just their way of calling everyone who disagrees with them a bunch of stupid idiots which, let's face it, is kind of why people hate these guys.

We agnosto-secular Vulcanologists settle
our arguments the civilized way, with lirpas.
Look, the Atheists aren't wrong here. I mean about the legally dicey practice of putting expressly religious decorations and imagery on state property, not about the there's-no-such-thing as-God thing. As an agnosto-secular Vulcantologist, I don't really have an opinion on that one way or the other. What I am saying is that they're not wrong about the message a nativity scene on state property sends. It is like, super-Christian and having one next to the info desk in the state capitol does lend it the appearance of endorsement.

But is there maybe a better way to make the point than Grinching the shit out of everyones favorite crass, commercial pseudo-religious spend-a-thon?
Above: The true meaning of Christmas. After all, Baby Jesus would
totally want a Dora the Explorer talking backpack and a Chima Lego set.
"Sharing? Compromise? Doesn't
sound like my people..."
Could the Atheists and the Christians maybe have come to some kind of compromise? Perhaps the nativity-fans could have been persuaded to put up a more secular Christmas tree instead of the religiously loaded manger scene. Or, maybe the two groups could have shared the space. The Thomas More Society's attorney even said they would have gone havsies with the display area. After all, there's plenty of info-desk for everybody if they'd just ditch the tourist guides and maps to local points of interest. I mean, it's not like anyone goes on vacation to Lincoln Nebraska.

Or better yet, maybe the Atheists could have started their own holiday. Like, in June or something. We could have a barbecue, it'll be lovely. The point is they're not going to win anyone over by being assholes about Christmas.
"Yup, cold and indifferent. That's how 
I like my universe. Hey, more ribs?"

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