A sign reading “Have a safe holiday season,” donated by American Atheists and sponsored by Travis M*A*S*H (an atheist group), can now be seen at the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California:
Staff Sergeant Dan Rawlings had to fight to get that sign up there, despite there already being a Nativity Scene and a Jewish Menorah on the premises. And a day hadn’t even gone by before someone tampered with the setup, moving the light illuminating the atheist message so that it lit up the sign next to it.
(Because, apparently, telling people to have a safe holiday season is blasphemous…)
One other interesting point: California Church IMPACT, “the legislative advocacy arm of the California Council of Churches,” is mad about the displays. Not at the atheists, but at military officials.
The Nativity is a key symbol for the Christian community. Submerged into a putative “secular holiday display” and surrounded it with generic, not religious, icons, means that the Nativity has become no more valuable than Rudolph as part of Christmas.
We do not wish to relinquish the Nativity as something meaningful to us as a specifically religious symbol. It is not décor, it is not a designer motif, it is not a greeting card image, and it should not become a political football. It is important to a lot of us as a critical part of our faith.
Paraphrased: Why are you not giving us more privilege? Don’t you know that we’re Christians, dammit?!