Friday, December 5, 2008

'Tis the Season to be Offensive

The holiday season has arrived and so has the contempt for religion. In the land of legal, nude bike riding, there is a new holiday display at the state capitol of Washington that isn't so jolly. Freedom From Religion, an atheist group, put up a display next to a Christian nativity scene and a "holiday" tree in which they make controversial statements about religion in general.

The placard says, "May reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." They go on to also say that the winter solstice is the real reason for the season, and they plea that we need to keep church and state separate. This is offensive to the majority of Americans who believe in one religion or another. No matter if you are a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Scientologist, this an attack on the core beliefs of your religion.

Someone needs to give organizations like Freedom From Religion a copy of the Bill of Rights because I don't think that they have ever read it. It doesn't say "freedom from religion" or "freedom of speech except for religious content". It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech". That means no matter how much they don't like it, we can talk about religion anywhere that we see fit even in schools. I'm not saying that they don't have a right to say what they believe, but they should be tactful. They could have said something like "Just be good for goodness sake". That would have been fine. However, they had to belittle and demean other religions. Why is there such hatred for the religious in this country? We were founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The attacks need to stop.

Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington could have asked them to tone down the offensive rhetoric without trampling on their freedoms of religion and speech. That was not the time or the place for such divisive language. By saying that religion "hardens hearts and enslaves minds", they spew hateful and discriminatory speech against the religious people of this great nation. You wouldn't see a tribute of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, next to a tribute of Martin Luther King on MLK day, nor would you see a NAZI swastika next to a menorah celebrating Hanukkah.

Freedom From Religion co-president, Dan Barker, says, "Our members want equal time not to muscle, not to coerce, but just to have a place at the table." Whatever...They don't just want a place at the table. They, also, want a megaphone to make fun of all those that disagree with them at that table. What the display portrayed wasn't just their beliefs, but an attack on other's beliefs. Even many of the liberals that usually champion atheists and the overblown separation of church and state, like David Goldstein, agree that the way it was worded was way over the top.

Gov. Gregoire needs to take down the display and ask them reapply a display that isn't such a huge embarrassment for the state. Like many left-wing ideas that are said to be made not to offend some, they actually offend many. The state of Washington has become a rising hotbed of left-wing lunacy for some time now. They are starting to rival San Francisco in stupidity. We need to send a letter or call Olympia and tell the governor that such offensive language doesn't belong in the public square.

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