War on Christmas?

Are atheists grinches for their war on Christmas?Catholic League president Bill Donohue is hot under the collar about the War on Christmas.  He’s annoyed at some of the requirements of living in a country governed by a secular Constitution.  He laments:

A school counselor at an Arkansas elementary school has been told that she must remove her posting of a nativity scene on her billboard; her decoration was permitted for more than 20 years. Tulsa, Oklahoma has long had a Christmas parade, but this year it was renamed the Holiday parade.

And would it have been a problem if a school counselor had been told to remove public displays of a Wiccan celebration for Samhain or a Satanic celebration for the winter solstice?  Or if city money had been prevented from funding celebrations of the Hindu festivals of Holi or Diwali?

The Constitution demands that public schools and publicly funded celebrations be religion-neutral.  Isn’t that the best for both the Christian and the atheist?

In another article:

There are two ways government can practice neutrality: the tolerant way, which is to allow all world religions a limited period of time to display their wares in the public square; and the intolerant way, favored by liberals, which is to censor everyone.  We vote for the former.

And then you have cases like Santa Monica, in which 21 spots for displays in a public park were distributed by lottery.  Atheist organizations won 18 of them, and some Christians are up in arms.  Sometimes when you play the “allow all religions time to display their wares” game, it backfires.

Here’s a simple solution: avoid using public land or buildings for religious displays.  Easy, right?

Donohue seems to imagine that religions don’t have the opportunity to spread the word or that their existence is a mystery to people.  Or perhaps he fears that Christians are so precarious in their faith that they must be frequently reminded of it.

Either he’s out of touch with reality or he doesn’t trust that Christianity’s message is compelling.  Neither casts him in a good light.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

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About Bob Seidensticker

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