There is a bizarre holiday display in Washington. On one side is a Nativity scene and on the other is a atheist display denouncing religion. Tis the season for our endless debate over entanglement of church and state. Yet, here, a Wisconsin group takes an obnoxious approach that secretly should delight those who want to prolong this culture war.
The atheist group could have used this opportunity to create a display espousing the need for good will and brotherhood as a human rather than a divine obligation. Instead, it goes for insulting religion — a curious holiday message. The display reads:
At this season of the winter solstice, 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.”
I am a bit curious how this offensive message was chosen among the many possibilities from atheists. It has been a windfall for those fighting for state-sponsored religious displays like state Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane. Ahern has gleefully launched a protest and insists “We are a Judeo-Christian nation, and we need to honor the different times of year for Christians, Jews and even Muslims. This is bizarre. Atheism is not a religion. It doesn’t belong there. And I would definitely not want to see Satanism up there at all.”
Of course, many believe that religion does not belong in an official display. Yet, the continued struggle in Washington over these displays raises the question of why these sectarian fights have become as regular as tinsel and lights in major cities. Obviously, some politicians love to champion the cause of a nativity scene rather than tackle crime, taxes, or the economy. How about a tasteful display of holiday wreathes and candy canes?
Instead, we have to either adopt Ahern’s chosen “approved religions” (and exclude Islam and various other religions) or go for the “all of the above option” for anyone wishing to express holiday wishes in their own way from Baptists to Baha’i; from Tenrikyo to Wiccans.
Of course, any agnostic display will likely be missed. It is the display case with the card reading “still under consideration.”