Ok, Atheists, You Win the War on Christmas… Now Move Aside So We Can Put Up Another Nativity Scene

There’s been a change over the past few years in the way atheists handle Nativity Scenes on public property. Instead of doing what we’ve always done and sue local governments (something that costs time and money), atheist groups have been requesting their own displays on the same property.

It puts the local governments in a beautiful damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation: They can allow all religions to share the space (which hurts Christians’ privileged feelings) or they can just promote a Christian display and get hit with a lawsuit. (Or they can avoid all the controversy and not allow any displays whatsoever.)

An atheist holiday display at Palisades Park in Santa Monica, California

In a piece for the Washington Post, the director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, Charles C. Haynes, acknowledges what the “savvy” atheists have done to fight back, but his suggestion for where we should go from here is baffling:

So now that we all understand that a right for one is a right for all, maybe it’s time for atheist groups to declare victory and stay home for the holidays. Let Christian groups set up Nativity displays in public spaces unanswered in December — and save the atheist messages for another time of year.

Yes, I understand why atheists want to make sure that religion isn’t privileged by government in the public square (as it has been for much of our history). But at some point (and Santa Monica has surely reached that point) in-your-face tactics become counter-productive and needlessly divisive.

After all, whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice or none of the above, we can all benefit from a more civil and peaceful public square.

Absolutely not.

Don’t pat our heads like we’ve done a nice job proving our point and then tell us to go away. We’ve fought for our displays on government property and we have no intention of backing down. As long as Christians believe they have a special right to put up a Nativity Scene on government-owned land, we will continue to fight them… or show up right beside them.

Haynes makes it sound like if we lay off on the Nativity displays, then Christians will be totally fine with atheist billboards and other advertisements the rest of the year. That’s complete bullshit and he should know it. The most innocuous billboards get tons of complaints no matter what time of year they’re displayed.

The Christian displays are, in many cases, illegal.

The atheists displays are always legal.

Why should we play by the rules all the time and then let Christians get away with breaking them for months at a time?

This isn’t really about being in-your-face, even though some of the atheist signs aren’t exactly in the “holiday spirit.” It’s all about making a point: If you get to use government property to promote your beliefs, we can use them to promote ours — even if that means saying something you don’t like. The only way change in the system will come about is if the atheists’ messages are so provocative that people are moved to make a decision about whether or not to allow the displays at all.

The truth is, if Christians didn’t take over public space every year and then complain every time anyone else showed up, none of this would be an issue. They brought this on themselves.

We’re the ones fighting for free speech, equal access, and separation of church and state. The Christian groups that want their religious displays — and only their religious displays — at city halls and local courthouses want everyone to bow down to them and their god.

Forget “staying home for the holidays.” We’re not backing down now that we’ve come so far.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Robert Freid

    //”We’re the ones fighting for free speech, equal access, and separation of church and state. The Christian groups that want their religious displays.”//

    With respect-somehow, I highly disagree on that. The atheists/secularists are fighting for what they define as “free speech, equal access, and separation of church and state” just as any “Christian Fundementalist” (or any religious group for that matter) does the same for theirs. It is the perception that differs the religious from the irreligious…

  • Rainydayjess

     No. The religious want their own speech heard and everyone else silenced. The non-religious want equal access and free speech for all. There is a tremendous gulf between these positions.

  • Sparky43

     Robert, you must be brand new to the U.S. of A. to make that statement without a sarcasm hashtag. 

    For the most part, when a Christian says, “I support freedom of speech and religion.”, he or she doesn’t add, but certainly thinks, “for me and my religion.  Everyone else should shut their mouths, take their posters down and go home.”  It’s called Christian Privilege, and it’s the default assumption in a lot of  Xtians in Red States

  • Octoberfurst

     It really bugs me that many Christians have this attitude that they should be able to  put their nativity displays on any bit of government property they want and that it should not be an issue. They don’t seem to get the whole “seperation of church and State” thing. (Ok—they do get it but they are so arrogant they think they can ignore it.)  Then when we ask for it to be removed or have equal time they scream that they are being persecuted and that we are just being evil for wanting to follow the Constitution.  It just makes me roll my eyes in frustration.
      All they have to do is NOT put their displays on public property and the problem is solved. Why is that so hard to understand?  Put nativity scenes on every lawn in every neighborhood if you want. I couldn’t care less frankly. Have a nativity scene in front of every church in the land. Fine by me.  Just don’t put it up on the courthouse lawn or in the middle of a public park.

  • http://twitter.com/DarwinSelection Atheist Finch

    Yes, I quite agree that we can “benefit from a more civil and peaceful public square” — so let’s keep the public square neutral to all so it stays civil and peaceful. (Note: “neutral” doesn’t mean “Christian.”)

  • Annie

     I disagree.  From a legal standpoint, our public spaces are supposed to be free from religious paraphernalia… welcome to all.  The Christian fundamentalist has a distorted view of this.  If, you were to say that a Christian fundamentalist was fighting for the rights of a Wiccan display, you might have a point.  They don’t want freedom of speech, they want the freedom to share their religious views and theirs alone. As soon as someone else says, “Oh?  We’re allowed to display our beliefs on public land as well?” they change their tune.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

    With respect-you are completely and utterly wrong. Atheists /secularists are fighting for the only reasonable definition of free speech and equal access; everyone gets to speak and everyone gets access on public property – atheist, Muslim Jew, Hindu, fill in any other religion or spiritual belief here, and Christian alike. On top of displays at their many churches and private homes, the Christians want their and only their views to be spoken or to have access to public space. To call the speech and access of one and only one very specific group in a pluralistic society free and equal is oxymoronic, idiotic and imbecilic. 

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    “So now that we all understand that a right for one is a right for all, maybe it’s time for atheist groups to declare victory and stay home for the holidays. Let Christian groups set up Nativity displays in public spaces unanswered in December — and save the atheist messages for another time of year.”

    If there’s a logical thought here, I’m missing it. This seems to translate thusly: “We were wrong and you were right. Now please go away so we can go back to what we were doing.” 

  • Guest

    I think you’re right that atheists should keep putting up their own displays, but maybe instead of confrontational messages about how there’s no god, it would be better to focus on the joys of a secular Christmas? Family, feasting and presents. They could give out little presents or sweets or maybe cups of mulled wine to people passing by. Christmas means a lot to people, it gives them a warm fuzzy feeling. It might be better to show that atheism can provide that warm fuzzy feeling too, rather than make people think we want to ruin it for them.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Christians seem unable to realize what’s going on here. Those atheist displays they so despise are going up, as a counterpoint to their own religious displays. Atheist displays would stop going up, if they simply stopped putting up nativities on every town hall lawn.

    This is, essentially, a needless “controversy,” one that Christians’ own behavior has led to, and which is entirely within their power to stop. If they truly wished it to stop. My own supposition is, they don’t want it to stop. They want atheist displays to go up, so they can in turn feel persecuted for being Christians.

    They can hardly be blamed for this; after all, theirs is a martyr’s religion, founded by a martyr, in which martyrs are acclaimed as the ultimate Christians.

  • A Portlander

    Great example of  the  “shut up, that’s why” argument a la Greta Christina.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XKEAP7EXF6VEPBK23OYML742TM Bob Dennis
  • Russian Alex

    How utterly condescending. Hey, NAACP, you’ve proved your point, now you can all go back to your room. Hey, ACLU, we get it: human rights are important. Go back to sleep. Hey, NRA, that’s enough… oh, that’s not it, is it?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    xtians don’t understand that there are more than 2 (or 3, maybe 4 if they’re really progressive) religions in world history.

    they don’t want to. to do so causes thinking, and that ‘Hurts their head.’

    they reject science, fact, logic and education in all that because mostly, they aren’t good at any of it and hate anyone who is.

    sexism, heteronormalism, and racism are pillars of their belief. it’s “rude” for any outsider to point this out with fact and example. they really hate being reminded of that even as they want to claim the right to do the same to us.

    also, many of them are self hating closet cases. not just sexually, but intellectually and culturally. they know this, and hate us almost as much as they hate themselves, because we either point this out frankly, or worse, used to be one of them, but got over it.

     cowards hate the brave. 

  • ortcutt

    What really bothers me is that they cry about “being driven from the Public Sphere”.  The Public is not the same as the Governmental.  There are a superabundance of places that are public in the sense that they are publicly visible and publicly accessible but which are not government property.  For example, Pittsburgh has a lifesize creche at a very prominent location downtown on Grant St., but which sits of private property.   No atheist has ever complained about this and has no grounds to do so.  So, why are Christians so insistent on the importance of Christmas displays on government property as opposed to publicly visible and accessible private property?  

    Cities have come up with this designated public forum lottery idea in order to circumvent Establishment Clause challenges.  Designated public fora must be viewpoint neutral however.  So, Charles Haynes suggests that we just cede this government property to one viewpoint voluntarily.  To do so, would be to allow the circumvention of the Establishment Clause with impunity.  That’s the real issue here.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Interesting that you claim that atheist displays are always legal. That is incorrect . In the context of the constitution and these arguments, atheism is treated as a religion, thus the call for equal access . To use the same logic used by the atheists, if the government promotes atheism to the exclusion of others, it would be equally illegal.

    I for one am all for including an atheist display. I think they look articulately out of place even when they are included and highlight to difference. It’s a good tool to promote Christianity.

  • http://twitter.com/morganducks Paul Morgan

    This atheist will give up in December if Christians give up in any other month of the year. No public displays. No preaching in public. Nothing.  
    Yeah, THAT’S how stupid Haynes’ argument is.

  • http://twitter.com/morganducks Paul Morgan

    Atheism is NOT a religion. It is, by definition, the absence of religion. Atheist displays only exist as a well-deserved finger in the eye to asshats who feel they must place their religion in publicly owned spaces. Are there not enough churches or private homes where you can profess your love for an imaginary sky king?

  • Artor

    I’d like to see a Cthulhu diorama, with Innsmouth priests making blood sacrifices to the Old Ones & the big guy himself, twelve feet high in all his tentacled papier-mache glory.

  • Piet Puk

    Maybe you don’t know RW yet, he has his own definition of atheism.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Mr. Haynes:

    This isn’t about making a point.

    This is about making a change.

  • Jason Horton

    If the displays were available to all faiths and none by default for any group who wished to have one then it might be fine for the atheist groups to not bother. After all there’d be nothing to fight over. 

    Let me know when that’s the case and then we can say that we’ve won.

  • naath

    I really want to be in favour of this because the Christians who seem to think they get to own public spaces annoy me; but the atheist displays often seem to be, well, more targeted at annoying Christians than at affirming atheism and atheists right to celebrate things too.  Like if I put up a “happy birthday John” sign and you went and put up a “John stinks” sign that would be very different to you putting up a “happy birthday Fred” sign because Fred should also get birthday wishes.

    Christmas is an inescapably Christian holiday; but fun fact! also Isaac Newton’s birthday.  I want to see more atheist displays celebrating Newtonmass :-)  Or at other times of year celebrating other secular or explicitly atheist events.

  • Rwlawoffice

    My post indicates that in the context of the constitution and these arguments it is a religion. This has been determined by the Supreme Court and most recently in a Federal court in Wisconsin ruled the same thing. So legally your post us incorrect. The motivation of the atheists may be to mock and insult but their right to do is grounded in the first amendment right to exercise religion, including their right to non belief .

    Just one of the hypocrisies of the activist atheist movement.

  • SeekerLancer

    Nice try Christians but you started this “war.” Now deal with it.

  • CelticWhisper

    Don’t forget, the entire thing must conform to non-Euclidean geometry.

    Probably best to have some psych-ward doctors present at the scene too, in case too many visitors go mad from beholding those truths humanity must never know.

  • Dannyjo62

     The supreme court also considers inserting foreign genes into organism “substantially equivalent ” to selective breeding and using yeast to make beer.  Not much of a track record on logic for the highest court, so your argument is flimsy by using their definition for this case.

  • Grumble F Kitty

    But to be fair, there really isn’t any neutral. There’s Christian, or all-inclusive, or completely secular. All-inclusive is closest, but rarely quite satisfactory for anybody, as we’ve seen. Either other option is a “win” for one side or the other, no two ways about it. When you say “keep the public square neutral”, you mean devoid of religious matter, which is just as un-neutral as the square full of nativity scene. It would be a square full of secularism, which the christians would view as a complete loss for themselves.

  • Aaron

    I’m just going to be honest. As an agnostic, I really don’t care about the Christmas displays at courthouses and such. I don’t know if it’s that I still celebrate Christmas with the rest of my family (who are Christians and know I’m agnostic) or what, but I just don’t see any reason to get up in arms about it. It’s up for a single month out of the year. It’s decoration of something we neither believe in nor care about. What’s the problem? I honestly don’t get why some atheists and agnostics treat their non-belief like a religion and choose to fight insignificant battles like this. There are definitely things we need to fight to keep secular (i.e. making sure that evolution is taught), but I don’t see the point of fighting these insignificant battles over little things that do no real harm to anyone. I also don’t see the point of Atheist counter displays. We don’t believe in anything, why is it so important to make sure that everyone knows we don’t. I walked away from religion because people put it at the center of their lives and overlook the real, physical things in front of them because they had faith that God would fix it. If spiritual belief is so unimportant to us, then why do we need to bother bringing attention to our non-belief? Plus, Atheist displays just tend to come off as smug and mean spirited. They seem to be more about getting under people’s skin than they are about promoting atheism (which again, if it’s the absence of belief, what’s the point of promoting it like it’s a religion?).

  • Annie

     I too am not a fan of the atheist displays, but I do think this is an important issue to fight.  The front lawn of a church is the perfect place for a nativity display, but a courthouse is not. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I want to see a taurobolum rite, as was done in honour of Mithras, whose feast day was in fact December 25th. The celebrant stands underneath a bull who is ritually slaughtered and allows himself to be showered in its blood. 

    Fun for all the family!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JeanetteM.Norman Jeanette Norman

    We don’t have a legal right to put up atheist displays here in Colorado, because many years back the state’s court ruled that tradition is what determines legality. (Yes, there are all kinds of really obvious examples of why that’s a nutty foundation for the law.) We have asked before, but Denver’s mayor’s office will not allow any non-traditional displays, not only no atheist signs, but no menorahs, nothing else, at the city’s display. Santa and elves and that kind of thing are okay, and so are Jesus and everyone else in the manger… though the blatantly Christian display is always in its own box, segregated from reindeer and elves and candy canes. 

    In past years the (now previous) Sheriff of Fort Collins let us put up atheist signs, as well as allowed other religious beliefs to be represented… at his “politically incorrect Christmas” celebration that is based on the idea that Christians are being persecuted any time anyone else is permitted to say things like “happy holidays.” But at least he believed in free speech for everyone, a principle that is not allowed at Denver’s Christmas display. 

    So when you don’t see an atheist sign at the annual Christmas display at the Denver City and County Building, you will know why; it’s not for lack of effort on our part, but because only “traditional” Christmas displays are allowed, since those are the only ones the state is required to recognize under state law. 

    (A few years back a spokesman for Mayor Hickenlooper told me on the phone that the state law specifically prohibited any displays that are not traditional. While I’m not a lawyer, that sounded to me like it might not be an accurate interpretation, though if anyone else knows whether it is, please do explain.)

  • Dguarino

    Christmas, like all “christian” holidays, is merely a co-opted version of the pagan holiday Saturnalia.  There are NO christian holidays, none whatsoever.  I find a belief in the imaginary to be childish, so any christian display is offensive to me as a person with fact-based beliefs.  Rather than tell us Atheists how to build a display that won’t offend you, how about you change YOUR display to get all that fictional BS off the lawn I pay for so I’m not offended?

  • Dguarino

    What nonsense you spew.  An empty square does not somehow represent atheism or exude secularism.  Atheism is no more a religion than bald is a hair color.  Leave the square empty, that’s as neutral as it gets.

  • Dguarino

    Consider the KKK wanting to place a flaming cross on the town hall lawn, would you be so okay with it then?  Or the nazi party placing a huge swastika there?  Those displays are just as offensive to me as any christian display.  No one is promoting atheism as a religion, this isn’t some kind of contest.  It’s about equal treatment under the law and the town hall is as much mine as anyione else’s.  Everyone gets to place a display or no one can, that’s as fair as you can make it.  If the religious folks would keep their graven images and idols in their house or on their own property, no atheist would ever complain.

  • Deven Kale

     Correction, he has his own definition of reality.

  • Dguarino

    So the court has declared atheism a religion?  Please provide a source for that incredible piece of “news” (real sources only please, imaginary, magical, or fox news sources won’t cut the mustard).  You provide a sad, poorly-constructed, strawman argument, so let’s hope legal work is a hobby and not a profession for you.  By your “logic”, people who don’t preach X are somehow magically preaching Y?  Using your “logic”, since you aren’t speaking about racial equality here, you must be a racist.  Since you aren’t speaking about not killing jews, that means you must support killing jews.  Since you aren’t opposing murderers, you must be in support of murderers.  And, that being the case, take your anti-semitic, murderous, and racist comments elsewhere because the grown-ups are talking here.

  • Robert Freid

    Don’t make me laugh, look up any era of history where the “non-religious” have come to power and you will see just the opposite that happens…

  • Deven Kale

     Look up most areas of history before America and you’ll also see the same kinds of things happening when the religious come to power.

  • Robert Freid

    And how many religions can you name off the top of your head?

  • Artor

    Oh yeah! We could have the children of our conquered countries sent to leap over the enraged bulls too, like they did for Minos.

  • Carol Roundtree

    Like it or not, there ARE Christian Holidays. I find the atheist point of view being tit for tat and extremely childish. I am a Christian and no matter what you say or do, it’s not going to change that fact.

  • http://twitter.com/r1944gmailcom ron

    its all find and dandy to think you have it made because you can  get away with banging on CHRISTENS and get away with it. You people seem to blame all the worlds woos on us. Actually its what GOD gave you, free will. Free will has you now see if you look beyond your noses is what happened to create the madness in the world. Free will by every one and the Good Lord watches to see how the we react to it. Christmas is free expression of what we believe, Its your choice not to. Like they say, de nile is not a river in egypt. 

  • David

    I don’t believe in atheists. And as usual, your dogmatic blindness has you so confused about things.  First, Christmas is a federal holiday. Second, Christianity, according to my former Professor Emeritus and renowned Nietzshian  scholar, Laurance Lampert, is derivative from philosophy, ergo not a religion. Third, seasonal displays are permitted on government property. Fourth, there is no explicit separation of church and state.  Indeed, The Declaration of Independence, whose spirit was merged into our customs and law with the Civil War, refers to Nature’s God (I understand that atheists have sued to have the document removed from government property).  Fifth, your ecclesiastical cardinals, the Supreme Court, permits displays.This is a no brainer.  As the displays are to symbolize peace and goodwill towards others, then criteria to this end must and can be established by local, state and federal governments, and space allocated based upon the predominant groups in the jurisdiction.  The messages and symbols displayed cannot disparage or attack the expressions of others in the community during this time. The purpose is not for political speech, but positive expressions.Which atheists should consider adopting instead of acting like the neglected stepchild.

  • JustTom

    Fine, be a Christian. Celebrate Christian holidays. Are you opposed to the idea that nativity scenes should not be allowed to be present in Governmental areas?

  • Taheinds

    I’ll believe you’re serious about countering ALL religions when you show pictures of Mohammed along with Jesus and Abraham.

  • Deven Kale

     Obviously, you haven’t been here very long. Most of what’s posted here is about Christianity, that’s inarguable. Just wait though, we’ll get to Islam again soon enough.

  • Deven Kale

    You’re really trying to say that just because Christianity has philosophical standpoints means it’s not a religion? If that’s true, then the word “religion” is meaningless. Let’s see what the dictionary has to say about the word:

    re·li·gion: noun ri-ˈli-jən

    Definition of RELIGION
    1     a : the state of a religious (a nun in her 20th year of religion)
           b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
    2       : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
    3       archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
    4        : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

    So tell me, which of those definitions is not Christianity? It seems to me they all fit quite nicely. Your problem is that you fail to realize that people know what words actually mean, and so now you’re trying to redefine things and expecting everybody to go, “Oh wow, you really got me there! I’ll forget everything I know and go with yours instead!” It just doesn’t work that way. So yes, while Christianity is a philosophy, it’s also a religion! Yes, it can be both, and sadly for you it is.

  • Deven Kale

     Oh and also, I don’t believe in theists or deists or anything of the sort. I think everybody who describes themselves as such do so out of fear. I can’t say what that fear is, because everybody’s different, but it’s there. Some have a fear of death, and the promise of a life after this one is what draws them in. For others, it’s a fear of making decisions, and a god who makes all of them for you is very appealing, even if it is just a mind trick to allow them to actually make their own decisions without realizing it. Others look at the word and see nothing but crime and decay (even though this is the greatest time to live in recorded history, with the lowest world-wide crime-rates ever) and fear for humanity, and a god who promises to end all suffering and iniquity is exactly what they need. The rest fear something else entirely.

    I don’t know what your fear is, but I have no doubts you have one. I would hope that one day you get over your fear and come back to reality, but I know I can’t force you to. So until that day, I wish you good luck, and please don’t let your fear take complete control over your reason.

  • Deven Kale

     Not all woo, just most. This is anecdotal, so take it as you will, but the people I’ve known who are most likely to fall for woo are theists. And there’s a very strong correlation between strength of their god “belief” and the amount of woo they’ll buy into. Those that buy into this woo stuff always seem to have a bit of the conspiracist in them as well. They’ll try to convince everybody that the mainstream folk are suppressing the truth (I think this is where the connection with religion comes in, since it also says this), and insist that they’re way is the best way. In this way, the religious spread their woo to others. Now I’ll admit that some atheists buy this woo stuff as well, it’s just nowhere near to the same degree as with the religious.

    Oh, and what’s got the world so messed up? You’re partially right in that it’s free will, but not in the way you think. The world is so messed up because of people who endeavor to control the actions of others: those who would force what is best for themselves onto those for whom it’s a poor fit. If more people would simply be tolerant of others with lifestyles different than their own, as long as their actions do no harm to others, the world would be a much happier place.

  • Dragonwytch

    I can think of 13 right off hand and, I’m sure, if I thought about it I could come up with several more. …. Of course, I’m not a christian, either!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001785204101 Marcie Maximo-Monroe

    Please allow me a moment of your time, and a bit of your patience. I live in Santa Monica, and I am a non-practicing Jew (except for holidays, which for me is more about the traditions, than religious adherence). I watched what was done over time to the Atheist displays last year in Pacific Park, and was appalled by the lack of respect and seemingly pure hatred by those who defiled them. To be clear, yes some of the signs displayed seemed to be making a mockery of Christians and Christmas, yet some were simple well wishes for a pleasant solstice.  I was deeply saddened to learn that the SM City Counsel decided this year that there would be no displays, hence no lottery for a display space by any group. This is a tradition, though not mine, and it is sad to see it be prohibited on city land (though I am sure there are literally hundreds of private venues where it could easily have been displayed) as we are a tourist city, and many come here to see the displays.  Earlier this week, while walking to the store, I also noticed that the corner of the parking lot of a local Von’s grocery store was minus the usual display of the menorah.  It seems that now this display has too disappeared, though it was on private land.  I felt like crying , that the spirit of the holidays is quickly disappearing, that we can no longer accept one another for what we believe or do not believe, and that our need to be right  is now the focal point. This evening was the first night of Hanukkah, I could not locate my menorah, it is packed away with all the Winter decorations I usually display outside my apartment. Yet this year, I am not feeling festive, hence there are no snow flakes hanging from the ceiling of the patio, no penguins dressed with scarfs and silly hats, not a twinkling purple, blue and white light covering my plants. There is a sad blue stocking on my door, not the usual purple and silver ball wreath or gingerbread house decals.  Just a sad stocking.  I am sad. I am sad because we are allowing each other to fight with one another over who is right. There is no right or wrong in this situation (though I DO agree that religious displays of any sort do not belong in or on government property), as these are beliefs, not proven facts. It is my wish for this December that we all put our differences aside, stop claiming there is a  war upon Christmas (which honestly, I am sick of hearing. It seems to me that Christmas has waged a war on Thanksgiving, and soon Halloween will be taken over as well), stop being victims and stand together to wish each other a happy December. It is the end of the year, a time to reflect upon how we treated others and to spend time with those we love. Let us stop this make believe war (Christians, I’m speaking to you), and express love and gratitude for our fellow men and women of this Earth, accept that though we may not all believe the same, but that we all feel love and pain, and we all want nothing more than to show more love to one another and receive it, in whatever manner we may chose to express. I prefer a secular holiday season that expresses respect and love, and wish everyone a very happy December and a wonderful New Year. 

  • Moebius

    Huh??!! How about Christians refraining from their confrontational messages about how there is god? And focus on family, feasting or whatever?

  • Charles Eldredge

    Love the comment about bowing down. God is God. Nothing or no one can ever change that. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. They sound so petty. Get a life!

  • Charles Eldredge

    Love the comment about bowing down. God is God. Nothing or no one can ever change that. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. They sound so petty. Get a life!

  • Garyz

    How utterly pointless. Seriously. Alright, I understand the point that religions shouldn’t shove their beliefs in other people’s faces with government backing, but come on. This is part of a festival. Whether the nativity story happened or not, whether it is an embellishment of real events or total fiction, a nativity scene is a celebration of that story. Are you going to object to Santa’s grotto? An Easter Bunny display? A movie poster? When the new Star Wars film comes out is this guy going to be standing outside movie theaters with a sign saying “this didn’t happen long ago in a galaxy far away?” This is not about free speech or religious belief, it’s about a group celebrating a festival and someone else being petty about it.

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

    Easter bunnies and Santas grottoes are not religious symbols, but both probably should not be put up at the courthouse either. You can put up all the nativity scenes at your church and at your home that you want, and we won’t care. Celebrate your festivals all you want, but don’t try to hijack government spaces to do it in. Unless you are OK with every religion being given the same access.