Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

Lock and Load! It’s the War on Christmas!!!

Posted by Jeff on December 17, 2008

So apparently another atheist sign was stolen from a holiday display, this time in IL. I think all this shit is pretty funny, actually. Christians everywhere are bitching a la Fox News and Bill O’Reilly and apparently some of them find larceny to be the best approach to solving the matter. Face the facts people, if you allow such a thing as a nativity scene to be displayed on government property then you open yourself up to have OTHER views displayed as well. Maybe even ones you disagree with! Suck it the hell up! Atheists are not waging a War on Christmas®. They just want to call attention to the fact that the government is and should be kept secular. The exact same response would be found if it was a Ramadan or a Hanukkah display in the Capitol Building!

One thing that does bug me about this article, though, is this quote from Annie Laurie Gaylor:

“Atheists never engage in vandalism. We don’t go around stealing the Baby Jesus. They don’t follow their own commandments.”

Really Gaylor? Really??? What an outrageous blanket statement. Who the hell is she to say what all atheists never do? I know for a fact thatbaby Jesuses (Jesusees? Jesi? Jesees?) do go missing from nativity scenes. It’s awfully presumptuous to assume that NONE of them were taken by even one atheist.

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12 Responses to “Lock and Load! It’s the War on Christmas!!!”

  1. Jack Wheaton said

    Your hate-filled brain is leaking through your mouth! So, you don’t like Christians? Whoopee doo! Do you think most of us care? We couldn’t give a rat’s a**. Why? Did you try to date a Christian girl whose father prevented her from dating scum like you? You can wage a war on Christmas but those of your ilk WILL lose the war! What a waste of bandwidth! Christmas and Christians will survive long after your cadaver will be lowered 6 feet under! It has survived such moronic treatment for 2000 years and will never lose the war. The problem with Christians is they are more likely to take drivel from the likes of you uncomplainingly!

  2. Jeff said

    Wow. It doesn’t even sound like you bothered to read what I wrote. I have nothing against christians per se, but it’s the ones like you who make it increasingly hard to be fair in my judgement of ‘your ilk’. Come back when you have something intelligent to contribute.

  3. Jeff said

    You know, it’s funny. I’ve noticed a trend in that whenever a christian accuses an atheist of being ‘hateful’ or anything similar, it’s usually followed up by that same christian reveling in the idea of the atheist’s death. Yet we’re the ones who are hateful? I don’t think I’ve ever wished death on anyone and have certainly never cherished the idea of another’s demise. Guess I have a lot to learn about being ‘good’ and ‘moral’.

    =oP

  4. Brad said

    Amen brother!

  5. Cherenow said

    Then where does that put me–an atheist who celebrates Christmas? I enjoy the secular aspects of the festival. But in my opinion you do not have to “believe” in order to revel in the richness of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, or the simple beauties of a Christmas carol like “The Holly and the Ivy” or “Ding Dong, Merrily on High”. I simply see The Christmas Story as a charming bit of folklore, and Nativity scenes in any location don’t really bother me. It’s all part of Western culture and civilization and no more offensive than an Italian renaissance depiction of the Madonna hanging on the wall of a museum. It’s too bad we have these dogmatists from all sides of the spectrum who would spoil the season for all of us.

  6. Jeff said

    I’m not really sure what you are asking. I don’t know any atheists who are intent on ‘spoiling the season’ for anyone. I do think that it’s inappopriate for a government building to display one view of the holidays rather than another, especially when it is of religious nature. How is that spoiling anything? No one is trying to take away anyone’s right to practice or celebrate any way they like, we just don’t want it endorsed by our government.

  7. Cherenow said

    The problem is with taking the religion too seriously. Secularists have already pretty much won the “War on Christmas” in America. The vestiges of Christmas that remain (at least in comparison to what was common in the 1950s–I’m old enough to remember) are not worth bothering about. If people would stop screaming about too much Christmas, not enough Christmas, or no Christmas at all, we would have enough energy to solve the global warming crisis, or start single-payer universal health care. Secular leftists should be more exercised about the injection of religion into political campaigns. I would rather be spared from the endless “God bless America”s and the idea that God is on “our” side than complain about the rather quaint scene of a Nativity in December. Europeans are ahead of America here (as they are in so many other ways now). Many of them are skeptics, agnostics and even atheists, and yet they understand Christmas as a tradition to be savored and enjoyed, and yes, treasured.

  8. Jeff said

    I agree with you in principle, Cherenow, but I think you over-dramatizing things. There is, in actuality, no such thing as a ‘War on Christmas’. The very term was made up by christians seeking to preserve an unfair position of privilege that their own beliefs have enjoyed in the public sphere for too long. You’re right in that we shouldn’t take religion too seriously, but the actions of religious people should be taken very seriously. As a professed atheist yourself, I’m assuming that you see the virtue in a secular government which treats members of all faiths (or lack thereof) equally. The only way for this to happen is for the state to make no endorsement of any one religion over any other.

    The entire point of my original post was to point out that while no one wants to cheapen or take away from what people get out of the holiday season, it’s crucial that any government recognition of any holiday must remain secular. A nativity scene, no matter what anyone says, is most definitely not secular.

  9. Cherenow said

    I do not think I am over-dramatizing. I am trying, if anything, to UNDER-dramatize. Over-dramatizing is what has made this controversy so foolish and unpleasant. Yes, I am an atheist, but not a dogmatic one. Please do not accuse me of not conforming to some kind of ideological or atheist “purity”. I am amazed and somewhat bemused to see secular leftists like yourself saying there is no war on Christmas, that it was invented by Christians, and yet you don’t recoil from participating in it. Yes, a nativity scene IS a sacred symbol of Christmas. But I just don’t see that many of them around on public property anymore. Those I see in my area are on church property or on private property. I trust that this would pass muster with people such as yourself, so I don’t see any reason for griping in this department. I think much of this problem could be defused if more people were educated about one another’s religions and cultures; let the majority learn some respect for minority beliefs and practices, but also the minority must have respect for the majority’s persuasions as well. If you think there is no war on Christmas, then don’t keep stirring the pot!

  10. Jeff said

    Why exactly should I refrain from ‘stirring the pot’ only when it concerns Christmas? The entire point of my post is that religious iconography does not belong in the public sphere since it’s not a good thing for a supposedly secular government to be seen to endorse a particular religious view. The fact that Christmas is involved is purely incidental. I have exactly the same issue with a nativity scene as I have with a statue of the Ten Commandments. Neither belongs on public property.

    I must confess that I’m puzzled by your stance on this. Or at least by your hostile tone toward me. I have accused you of nothing other than holding a rational viewpoint, yet you respond by implying that ‘secular leftists’ like myself are dogmatic and are making a fuss over nothing. Do you really think that I am even talking about nativity scenes at churches and in peoples’ yards? Maybe you should actually read what I’ve written instead of building strawmen and declaring me guilty by association with whatever your conception of the ‘secular left’ might be. My stance is simply that religious materials do not belong on government/public property. It’s as simple as that. If said religious materials happen to deal with a holiday you like, I’m sorry, but what I’m going for here is consistency.

  11. Cherenow said

    Okay, cool down. I think we agree on more than we disagree on. I did read what you wrote–but did you read what I wrote? I don’t know what part of the country you are writing from. Are you an atheist living in a “red” state where the fundies hold sway? I am from one of the “blueist” states in the Union and no town around here would DARE put up a Nativity scene on municipal property. So from where I am, the point is moot. I stand by my point that tolerance must be practiced by all if these silly “wars” are to be avoided. I was reading a Canadian blog on this theme and was struck by how calm, rational and unemotional the debate was. Just like Canadian politics. Makes me want to move there!

  12. Jeff said

    Fair enough. I actually live in California now, but have spent most of my life in the Southeast (i.e. the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia) and have had all too much experience living under the thumb of fundies. I definitely agree that tolerance is key. What raises my ire over the whole situation, however, is that there are too many people who don’t realize that tolerance is a two-way street. Where I grew up you see that type of thing all too often (not to mention in the popular media today). Whenever someone attempts to make a point about tolerance that happens to go against the popular view they are labelled as intolerant or hateful. Hence the “War on Christmas”.

    I sometimes envy the Canadians too.

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