29 December 2008

Small Town Dumb

Disturbing things afoot in small town America--imagine that! Vjack at Atheist Revolution commented on this apparent fiasco in-waiting last week (links provided later--I am not home and am having technical difficulties at the moment), and I guess it's not going away. In fact, for the poor guy who complained (and rightly so), it's gotten much worse.

It seems a man did what any citizen who gives two shits about what is and is not legal, and the separation of church and state, had the audacity to seek a dialog regarding a nativity scene displayed in a public library.

There's been a dialog, alright--on the library's public forum (again, I'll get links up as soon as I am able). Here's a taste:
that is just so stupid.... what do people think Christmas is???? the celebration of Christ's birth.... HJ, if you want to take God out of the Government, man there are alot of things that are going to have to go...... including your money which states in God we trust...... nancy has a right to her beliefs.... so do the other employee's there.... and people wonder what is wrong with this country.... no tolerance.
Right on! Uh...wait a tick. 'Tolerance.' I'm wondering if my specially patented atheist dictionary has a different meaning of the word than this commentor's specially patented Christian dictionary. I'm leaning toward that assumption, because I've come across so many instances of serious discrepancies. So, Nancy and the library's employees have a right to their beliefs, but not this guy. How dare he? We agree on one thing, though--they are absolutely right, a lot has to go, and I'm perfectly happy starting with 'In God We Trust' on the currency. We can then move on to 'Under God' in the pledge. I'm ready to remove these when you are.

And this:
As I tried to point out in my first post, the nativity isn't an offensive display, except to religious bigots (that may not be a term you hear much, but there are people that believe that any belief in a higher power of any sort is a lie, and therefore they actively fight all mention of religion).
'Relious Bigots.' Read: Atheists. Specifically, atheists who open their mouths and dare to speak reason to the unreasonable. This fellow might also do well to seriously think about the terms 'belief,' and 'unbleif' and what those things mean in this existential argument and specifically to an atheist and what that moniker actually denotes. Somehow, I think these things will be lost on him, but, whatchagonnado?

And this:
This is another sign of the war on christmas and Christianity. This guy is a loser with nothing better to do.
Hey, baby, war is over, if you want it. But then, the guy who said that was a flaming atheist. So, pointing out disparity and the role of government to not involve itself with things religious is what people with nothing better to do with their time do. Well, I surely hope there are a lot of us with nothing better to do with our time. We should be so lucky. No, sweets, the fact is that we all have many other, much better things to do with our time, but you jackasses force us to take time out of our busy schedules to step up and do what's right. So, thank you...no really, thank you for providing us with opportunity after opportunity to waste our precious time, when we could be doing other things, like, I dunno, volunteering at soup kitchens. I suppose you could be doing the same, but you're too busy getting your Hanes in a twist over some decorations. I mean, that's what folks claim, right? They're just decorations, while at the same time screaming bloody murder out of the other side of their mouths about the birth of Baby-Flippin-Jesus. Man, we just want to get through the holiday season without watching our tax dollars (I know, it's shocking to think that atheists both pay taxes and care about where they go) spent on mangers and wise men.

There have been a number of suggestions to include displays from all religions (good luck with that, I hope you have room), including atheism, which is not a religion, but people seem happy enough to throw it in there. They suggest this because, still, they just don't get it. Atheists, as far as I can tell, do not want a display of their own. Atheists only put up displays to draw attention to the fact that no displays should be up in the first place--not on public property, paid for by all tax-payers. This is rightly seen as an endorsement of religion, particularly or not. And, I'm sorry folks, religion just has no place in our government, and people of no-faith should not have to foot the bill to promote any religion, whether it's one, or all of them.

I think it's probably safe to say that we would be perfectly content to never have to mention our atheism. We don't want displays, or billboards, or anything that expresses what is really, merely, a lack of god-belief. We could be just going through our lives, doing good, loving our loved ones, helping here and there, without ever having to bring it up. But, here's the hassle: if we don't, we are overrun with religion, and it affects us in every way, especially when it is filtered through government expression, be in a nativity scene or legislation that, say, doesn't allow gays and lesbians to adopt or form meaningful, legal relationships with all the perks included therein. Or, when women are forced to turn over their bodies to someone else's moral beliefs. It's bad enough when the folks affected by these things are religious themselves, you can imagine how galling it is to be a gay or lesbian atheist, or an atheist woman. Yeah, you can just imagine. You Christians are good at imagining things, so why don't you try that hat on for size?

We don't have a choice but to express our atheism. You don't give us a choice.

This isn't that hard to figure out, and really, atheists have been pretty clear on the argument. But, again, Christians with their aforementioned (repeatedly mentioned) Persecution Complex just absolutely refuse to hear. They are waaaaay to busy stomping their feet and balling up their fists to squinty, tearful eyes to listen.

They are also too busy calling this poor, unsuspecting guy a 'jerk' and an 'asshole.' Great.

Well I doubt that anyone in Elwood will believe this!!! Some jerk... and believe me I'm being king (sic) in my adjective.... the jerk comes
into the library and DEMANDS that the Library's Christmas nativity display be taken down!!! It violates HIS rights and because it is
in a public building he DEMANDS that it be removed from the display case!!!

What an asshole!!!!
I love Christians. You always have to be alert with them, because no matter how much kindness and tolerance they preach, they are sure to throw you for a loop at every possible opportunity. No one can accuse them for not being...um...complex. Believe me, I am also being king (sic) in my adjective. That's nothing to say of the very serious abuse of the use of the exclamation point here. I would also like to point out that she doubts anyone in Elwood would believe this (!!!) I know, right? This, to me, speaks volumes of the little town of Elwood, Indiana--a place where everyone believes in a sky-fairy, but no one would believe that anyone else might not believe in the sky-fairy (shock!), or worse, that anyone might care about fairness in governmental representation and what that means. Yes. Lots of deep-thinkers there in Elwood.

Point: This guy's life has become difficult, just because he rightly and admirably chose to step up and attempt a dialog with people who have no experience in dialog (if you read the info provided by Vjack, you will see that the man did not just barge in, foaming at his baby-eating mouth, demanding the display be removed). And now he's being harassed for it:
I am the Elwood Public Library patron who complained about the nativity scene. I need help here – these people do not think the law applies to them. Please share this information with your readers. There is now a witch hunt against me, and I am seriously fearful of someone hurting me and my family. Please take a look at this link: http://www.elwoodindiana.org/elwood-library-nativity-display If you notice the signing of the name, this is a library employee that started this. If you read the comments, you will see what I am dealing with here. This is the PG version of what people are saying about me. There are other sites that people are posting to that you must have a membership to view, which are definitely rated R.
Oh, hey, thank Fingaaz for intact links through cut & paste! Please do go to Atheist Revolution, whose link can be easily found at the top, to the right, of this blog. Read the bullshit. Write to the board. This guy is in a small town and we all know that this is exactly the place that this sort of bullying and intolerance...yes, intolerance...breeds and inbreeds. The mutations that result are no less than ugly, destructive monsters.
It's got tentacles, and we know how bad they are. Let's rally folks. Let's save this guy, his immediate surroundings, and the rest of the country from this freakish, genetically mutated monster--the one I will call Real Religious Bigotry.


  1. Thanks Latin. I hope you resolve your technical difficulties soon. I know what a pain that can be!

  2. This is really sad. The "jerk", although she would not recognize it, is Nancy, the library employee.

    Just because religious intolerance and bigotry have been celebrated for years it does not make it right to continue to do so, especially when the community has enlarged to include people who do not hold the particular set of beliefs and who feel anything from irritated to disgusted by a display which assumes that a particular type of outlook on the Silly Season is the only possible one.

    Whether Nancy is aware of it or not, and I suspect that she is not, the "Christmas" season had nothing to do with the Christian religion until church prelates and government officials tried to hijack the winter solstice celebration for their own selfish reasons. It is extremely unlikely that Jesus of Nazareth was born on this day. He most certainly was NOT born in the middle of the snow or within sight of pine trees and holly.

    It is time that the Christian religion stopped behaving in such a religiously intolerant fashion. After all these centuries of forcibly imposing themselves on other traditions it should at last act in a tolerant manner and move its main religious ceremonies (I include both Christmas and Easter) away from the traditional celebrations of mid-Winter and Spring.

    I can see nothing wrong with a public library displaying treasured displays which have historical significance, especially when the pieces are a work of art. What is wrong is that the library failed to put this in the context of a multi-cultural community who are no longer exclusively of one, or even of any, religion.

    The problem could probably be fairly easily fixed by the very simple expedient of adding a printed sign to the display which describes it as a display of the way in which the season has been traditionally celebrated by the some sections of the American Christian community.

    An even nicer touch would be to provide a display of the way in which the American Jewish community and the American Muslim communities have traditionally celebrated this season. In line with the educational role of a publicly funded library, it would be in keeping to have displays consistent with the way in which the original festival (Winter Solstice) was celebrated in Europe and a some printed information which outlines the way in which this was modified by other religions, especially the Christian tradition, throughout the ages.

    That, Nancy, is how to have your religious cake and still be a good citizen and educationist. Learning is good. Following tradition for the sake of tradition is bad.