Religious Liberty Group Compares Flying Spaghetti Monster Display in Wisconsin State Capitol to honoring the KKK

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is clearly run by a bunch of people who failed the Analogy section of the old SATs.

Case in point: The legal defense group just bestowed its annual “Ebenezer Award” (awarded to the “most ridiculous affront to Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations”) to the state of Wisconsin for allowing non-Christian displays in their state capitol building.

Because you can’t have Christmas without Christ. (Or Jews, I guess, just to give off the vibe of not being complete assholes.)

They’re referring to the fact that the state capitol has a Flying Spaghetti Monster display (along with other atheist signs) right alongside a Nativity scene.

Here’s what the Becket people write:

Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re all for free speech. We think everyone should be allowed to speak their mind when the government opens up a forum for speech.

The problem here is that government bureaucrats have forgotten that there is a difference between government speech and private speech. The government is allowed to speak in its own voice and communicate its own message. When it recognizes important aspects of human history or culture, it is not required to include every possible competing message. The postal service can issue a stamp honoring Martin Luther King Jr. without also honoring the Ku Klux Klan. Congress can celebrate Veterans’ Day without also celebrating Pacifists’ Day. And Wisconsin can recognize Christmas and Hanukkah without also recognizing the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Yeah! They’re all for free speech. Except speech that they don’t like. As Religion News Service’s Brian Pellot put it so well, that means “an organization that claims to champion religious freedom for all [says] that inclusivity is the most egregious offense in this year’s fabled War on Christmas.”

And did you catch the bad analogy? In their mind, allowing an atheist display is like the postal service honoring the KKK. Even though the KKK represents hate and the atheists are merely taking advantage of an open forum that shouldn’t be limited to just Christians. The fact that the Becket folks assume non-Christian speech automatically amounts to the opposite of everything they stand for just shows how little they understand church/state separation.

In case you’re curious, the group’s 2012 Ebenezer award was given to Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee for announcing the lighting of the “holiday tree” only 30 minutes ahead of time so that Christians couldn’t organize a protest in time. Because Christians would want to protest the lighting of a tree for some reason.

The group also defended the city of Cranston in Jessica Ahlquist‘s battle, a fight they famously lost, costing the city a hell of a lot of money in legal fees.

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  • paulalovescats

    Wait…the SATs don’t have an analogy section any more? Dumber and dumber.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    An analogy section would require an understanding of metaphor and therefore would discriminate against Creationists.

    .

  • randomfactor

    Creationists understand metaphor just fine. It’s those parts of the Bible they’re embarassed about taking literally.

  • Randay

    From memory, Mark Twain said, “It’s ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”

    Funny how the Beckett Fund preempted everyone by starting out with a Godwin. In this case substituting the KKK.

  • Garstor

    The unfortunate nearsightedness of linked Ebeneezer Scrooge to (perceived) evil or otherwise distasteful behaviour always gets a head-shake from me. The whole point of Dickens’ story is that Ebeneezer reforms and becomes a good guy.

  • UWIR

    And perhaps they hope atheists will “reform” as well?

  • TVG

    They already have. That doesn’t mean everyone is ready to see it.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    Atheist means either reformed religious person or someone who was never religious.

    .

  • Sven2547

    I fail to see why you’re calling the Beckett Fund a “religious liberty group”. Clearly their intentions are the exact opposite.

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    ………………..

  • TVG

    Another example with which to illustrate the meaning of the term ‘oxymoron’.

  • A3Kr0n

    This is just my opinion, but I think comparing anyone or group to the KKK is synomonous with comparing them to Nazis, so I should be able to declare Godwin’s Law on The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

  • TCC

    Call it the Elwood Corollary.

  • UWIR

    I’m afraid you’re the one who fails analogies, by asserting that an analogy of the form a:b::c:d constitutes comparing b to d.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Not sure why you do not get it. The analogy states that the FSM display in response to Xian holiday displays is as offensive to Xians as a stamp honoring the Klan in response to a stamp honoring King would be to Americans who love civil rights. The two cases are in no way similar, as has been stated, and yet the analogy is posed by this group.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    The FSM represents reason, doubt, and the inevitable response to doubt – curiosity, as would Russell’s Teapot.

    These are noble traits.

    Christian displays represent superstition, suppression of doubt, and coercion against curiosity, as would the Christian KKK.

    These are tragic flaws.

    Christians appear to be offended by any comparison with reason, doubt, or curiosity.

    Curiosity is an everlasting flame that burns in everyone’s mind. It makes me get out of bed in the morning and wonder what surprises life will throw at me that day. Curiosity is such a powerful force. Without it, we wouldn’t be who we are today. When I was younger, I wondered, ‘Why is the sky blue?’, ‘Why do the stars twinkle?’, ‘Why am I me?’, and I still do. I had so many questions, and America is the place where I want to find my answers. Curiosity is the passion that drives us through our everyday lives. We have become explorers and scientists with our need to ask questions and to wonder. Sure, there are many risks and dangers, but despite that, we still continue to wonder and dream and create and hope. We have discovered so much about the world, but still so little. We will never know everything there is to know, but with our burning curiosity, we have learned so much.

    NASA
    Name the Rover Contest
    Winning entry by Clara Ma.

    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/namerover/WinnerAnnouncedEssay/

    .

  • UWIR

    “The analogy states that the FSM display in response to Xian holiday displays is as offensive to Xians as a stamp honoring the Klan in response to a stamp honoring King would be to Americans who love civil rights.”

    It says no such thing. You fail analogies as well.

  • indorri

    The analogy is of the relation (good thing | bad thing), and the contrast between two categories on the moral spectrum.

  • UWIR

    The only aspect being compared is the ability of the government to not participate in the speech. The claim is that the government can refuse to issue a KKK stamp as much as it can refuse to host a FSM monument. It’s not even really an analogy. There was NO CLAIM that the FSM monument is AS BAD as the KKK, the only claim was that it’s AS REFUSABLE. You people really need some remedial reading comprehension.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    But it is not AS REFUSABLE.

    The government has two choices with regard to religious displays – all or nothing.

    If Christians want their religious display on government property, then they should welcome all others to do the same – including those who mock their religion.

    Why should the government only allow one religion to have displays?

    Why should the government only allow positive displays?

    Where does the Constitution state that the government should approve of religion in any way?

    .

  • indorri

    So you’re claiming the choice of using the KKK as an example of something refusable is context-free, and that it could have easily been replaced with, for example, the government refusing to issue stamps based on Jamaican independence day or something.

  • UWIR

    It’s a reductio ad absurdum argument: present the most extreme example and argue that there is no essential difference.

  • indorri

    Actually, I could see it like that, so I concede that we may have read those words uncharitably.

  • LesterBallard

    I bet they can neither spell nor define hyperbole.

  • allein

    A very excitable tree trunk?

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bole

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    *snerk*

  • http://atheist-faq.com Jasper

    To those who say that this isn’t religion, and that it’s clearly just made up (and thus, the 1st amendment doesn’t count)… do I need to point out Scientology, Mormonism, etc?

  • I’mRightYerWrong

    Don’t forget Christianity. That’s a made up religion as well.

  • TVG

    Except that it was made up earlier. Didn’t they tell you the early book gets the room?

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Good point! We should all go back to our true religious roots.

    http://www.ancient.eu.com/religion/

  • Tor

    ….Christianity…..

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    ……

  • Jeff

    I am well aware that you don’t make your point with ad hominem attacks, but if the folks in the photo are the members of this group, I think it’s a bunch of hipsters trying to be too hip for their own good.

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

    way to judge people by your opinion of what they look like! such a valuable contribution. did i mention how i know with absolute certainty you’re an idiot because of the hat you’re wearing and the fact that your neck is red? it’s true! really.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    That is funny.

    :-)

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    Well, there does tend to be a correlation between red necks and low intelligence. Not saying there’s causation there, but…

  • Tor

    Hi Chicago Dyke – I see you at the best blogs. The folks in the photo look like nice young people to me. What cultural clue(s) am I missing?

  • Kengi

    Just because they are wearing shirts with sleeves doesn’t make them hipsters. All kinds of people do that in the big city.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    You’re right, you don’t make your point with ad hominem attacks. …Unless your point is to demonstrate that you don’t have a point, but you just want to vaguely declare your unexplained superiority.

    I’m sure that those young people in the photo are very grateful for your sage advice that they should not give any appearance or impression of being “hipsters,” whatever the fuck that is. It seems that lately one of the hip things to do is to express one’s disdain for “hipsters,” but of course that’s just going along with whatever is hip, isn’t it?

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    I clearly do not understand what a hipster is.

    Please explain what is hipster about these kids.

    .

  • Nancy Shrew

    The fact that they are likely Millennials and we all know how much they suck*.

    *I’m being sarcastic. I’m one of those dreaded Millennials. I have a Tumblr and everything.

  • Todd Heath

    I’m Gen X, the generation born prior to the Millennials. Can I please have my teen angst back? Thanks!

    It’s the beard. Young guys with beards are hipsters. Because we know only hipsters have facial hair. /sarcasm

  • Tor

    I’m a simple Baby Boomer, born at the end of that era. Would someone please explain the definitions of Gen X, Gen Y, Millenials, Hipsters?? Is it something like Portlandia? I’m behind the times, catching up on Netflix, and I know they are doing a parody of someone – but who? Everyone born after 1970?

  • TVG

    It’s hard to evaluate your assessment since you don’t explain what hip or hipster is. To repeat old but excellent advice, if you wish to converse with me, define your terms.

  • Jeff

    Wow, sorry, this seems to be a bad case of experience that didn’t translate well. Sorry, I’m in Austin, and we have huge numbers of folks where we get demands to be vegan while wearing that leather vest, send money to people in Tibet while ignoring the local homeless, on and on and on. It is a combination of things that are almost an inside joke here. I do apologize, I didn’t realize either my view of it may be …. a personal disagreement with the behavior….or something that is different here than others may experience (or may not see at all). I do sincerely apologize.

  • Whitney Currie

    I just wanted to mention, if nobody else wants the trophy, I’ve got this spot near my mantle that’s kinda empty. Just, you know, temporarily; until they can put together a nice case for it.

    What do you mean it’s not a burning christmas tree?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Bodhi Day, the day that Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree is observed in December. Imagine if a local Buddhist group had put up a public display celebrating and explaining the significance of Bodhi Day right next to the Nativity scene, and there was no atheist display at all.

    Would the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty still have given the Ebenezer Award to the State of Wisconsin? Their record of who gets the award clearly demonstrates that their idea of “religious liberty” extends only to Christianity, but would they have dared to object against the inclusion of Buddhists? I doubt it, and I doubt that they would have compared the Buddhists to the KKK. Perhaps the atheist display triggered their ire simply because they hate atheists a lot more than they hate Buddhists, and they think they can get away with it.

    They clearly don’t believe in religious liberty. They should change their name to The Becket Fund for the Preservation of Christian Hegemony.

  • kickinitincrick

    Honestly, I don’t think Christians would care if a Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist put up a display honoring whatever holiday. As a conservative Christian – I really wouldn’t care. There’s a difference between that and putting up some sort of anti-display. The former is a person proclaiming their religious heritage the latter is a person proclaiming that they’re an ass.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    So you’re absolutely fine with the Pastafarians putting up a display of the FSM or Satanists putting up Satanist displays. Since those are religious and all.

    Oh wait, there was an FSM display, and you’re pissed about it. Why?

  • TVG

    “There’s a difference between that and putting up some sort of
    anti-display. The former is a person proclaiming their religious
    heritage the latter is a person proclaiming that they’re an ass.” Bollocks. Muslims and Jews consider theirs to be the true faith, implying (if not stating) that Christianity isn’t. Buddhists don’t consider your God to be true either. Therefore representations of their religions would be just as much an anti statement as anything put up by atheists, unless you wave your hands and invoke meaningless waffling to claim they can somehow all be equally real. Your comment says more about your projection onto these non-believers more than it does about any concept of fairness. What bothers you most is not the denial of your ‘truth’ by the competition — after all, you might be able to convert a magic thinker to your flavor of magic — it’s the exercise of reason that shows your unreason for what it is.

  • kickinitincrick

    They would be an anti-statement if they aimed at a Christian holiday – that’s my point. It would be like a Christian putting up some sort of display to detract from a Hindu or Muslim holiday.
    I don’t believe that multiple religions are all true at the same time, although they may share some of the same ideas. Islam is religion that you atheists should be concerned about.
    Religions do have more in common regardless of creed. Atheism is the true exclusionary worldview in that it has no common ground with those who won’t limit their worldview to the natural world (which is what animals do). Therefore, it’s more natural for an atheist to take a striclty “anti” -and exclusionist position rather than a simple proclamation of whatever truth they hold dear.

  • Buckley

    Thanks for the warning about Islam, in case you haven’t noticed – but I doubt you would considering you are conservative Xian – but us atheists are concerned about ALL religions creating problems. I love the little warning, as though we approve of Islam because it’s not Christianity. Sorry, but it’s all mythology – including the nonsense you believe in. There are some Xians that are no better than some of the Islamic fundies. All religion has a tendency to lean toward hegemony if the religious think they can get away with it.

  • kickinitincrick

    In case you haven’t noticed most countries that are predominately Christian are safe places for atheists. You should be thanking the Christian worldview. Interestingly, the most dangerous place for Christians in the world is intrinsically atheistic. Islam is much more politically charged than Christianity or even the caricature that you have of Christianity. You atheists are making mountains out of Christian mole hills. And I think that’s what you crave in order to feel relevant.
    Humans in general have a tendency to lean toward hegemony – Christian doctrine does not, Islamic doctrine does. Secularists have also had their hand in ruthless hegemony especially when they get their hands all bloody Marxist red. Please avoid your simplistic categorizing and hasty generalizations. I tire of having to write about the obvious – but when atheists lean on emotive rhetoric rather than logic it forces these types of discussions.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    In case you haven’t noticed most countries that are predominately Christian are safe places for atheists. You should be thanking the Christian worldview.

    That safety is because Christians have been behaving themselves lately.

    However, there is significant privilege extended to those who promote the approved religion of Christianity in those countries.

    Christianity has also supported the torture and killing of people for not being Christian, or for not being the right kind of Christian.

    We Christians are so proud that we don’t kill people who disagree with us, any more.

    There are exceptions, but Christians do appear to be developing better ethics.

    .

  • Spuddie

    “There are exceptions, but Christians do appear to be developing better ethics.”

    Nah, they just get away with less than they used to.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    I think they are improving.

    How many people did Christians burn last year?

    Compare that with 100 years ago.

    Compare that with 500 years ago.

    Compare that with 1,000 years ago.

    I think there is progress.

    I think that Christians are becoming more moral.

    .

  • ShoeUnited

    Or atheists are getting too damp to burn.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    Clearly, I had not considered all of the evidence.

    :-)

  • Spuddie

    But you forgot to count how many witches did they kill this year. They burn like dry tinder and only weight as much as a duck.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=witch+killed&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

  • Tor

    No. we thank the non-christian, possibly deist, founding fathers of our nation. And as one who has been on the receiving end of christian “love,” (Big O Homo here), I can simply say you are full of christian love-shit.

  • kickinitincrik

    The non-Christian founding father scenario is a myth and you know it. These men understood that they weren’t founding a Christian Theocracy but they also understood the value and the necessity of the Judeo-Christian framework and appreciated it, even if they were anti-clerical. Also, you shouldn’t measure truth claims by your sexual preferences. Although it sometimes seems that a person’s draw to atheism has more to do with their genitals than with their mind – gay or straight. Unleash God if you want to unleash the genitals.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    /sigh. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Payne, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were all deists who explicitly rejected Christianity. The Jefferson Bible explicitly took out all the magicky stuff. This is not to say that none of the founders were Christian- many of them clearly were. But those six, considered head and shoulders above the rest, were Enlightenment deists. They didn’t have very nice things to say about Christianity or religion in general, either.

    Madison-“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”

    Jefferson-“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.”

    Adams-“This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it”

    Franklin-“In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it.”

    Payne-“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.”

    Washington liked religion rather better than the others, though he himself was a deist. However, he wasn’t down with the “Christian nation” thing either. He was, instead, in favor of religious neutrality in government; that is, entirely secular government.

    I’d say that arguing that the founding fathers were Christian is the myth, given all the evidence we have to the contrary for many of them.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    The non-Christian founding father scenario is a myth and you know it.

    Enough of the Founding Fathers wanted to keep the corruption that is government out of religion and the corruption that is religion out of government that they enacted the First Amendment.

    Their personal beliefs were intended to be kept separate from the actions of the government.

    they also understood the value and the necessity of the Judeo-Christian framework and appreciated it

    And if they were alive today, they would probably be even more insistent on a separation of church and state.

    Although it sometimes seems that a person’s draw to atheism has more to do with their genitals than with their mind – gay or straight.

    Are you suggesting that anyone could be as sex-obsessed as fundies?

    My draw to atheism was simply that religion is just self-deception.

    There is no need for a sales pitch with atheism.

    Atheism is just the realization that the sales pitches of all of the superstitions are nonsense.

    .

  • Spuddie

    You cannot even describe what a “Judeo-Christian framework” is supposed to be. It is a nonsense term. I defy you to come up with something that isn’t defined in circular terms or completely fictional.

    There is nothing about Christianity which lends itself to democracy. A form of government originally envisioned centuries before Christ’s existence. Throughout the history of pre-revolution America people used Christianity as the motivation for persecuting people of various sects and faiths. The framework which the founders adopted came from a century and a half of people saying, ENOUGH ALREADY!!

    Our religious freedoms come from a group of people of various faiths who distrusted all religious authority. From states which provided refuge from people fleeing persecution both in Europe and in the other colonies. Like William Penn and Roger Williams. People who thought the apparatus of state had no business being entangled with religion.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    U.S. Constitution Article VI –

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    No religious test.

    U.S. Constitution Amendment I –

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    No establishment or prohibition, no matter how repulsive Christians think the alternative to their religion may be.

    It is as if they did not think that religion was important in government.

    It appears to be because they did not think that the corruption of government belongs in religion or that the corruption of religion belongs in government.

    You can practice your religion corruption anywhere outside of government, but that is not enough for you – you need your corruption everywhere.

    .

  • duke_of_omnium

    Christianity did not become tolerant because it wanted to. Christianity had tolerance thrust upon it. And no, Christian doctrine does NOT lean away from hegemony (that’s either a very stinky lie, or a charming bit of naivete from a christian who doesn’t know his or her religion’s bloody history).

    It’s more that christians no longer have the option of exercising their doctrine — at least, not to the point of burning heretics or hanging blasphemers.

  • kickinitincrick

    Christian history does not equate with Christian doctrine. In fact, the dark periods you like to think of were times in which the Bible was lost upon most Christians. Please enlighten me as to which Christian doctrines encourage hegemony. Was it when Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world?” Please don’t cherry pick historical anecdotes to make a point.

  • duke_of_omnium

    Yes, we know. When in doubt, disavow embarrassing co-religionists. Dishonest? Sure. But very, very christian

  • Spuddie

    No True Christian? Really? That is the route you were going with?

    Hegemonic terms are inherent to Christianity.

    Everyone else talks of “The Kingdom of Heaven” (A kingdom is a dictatorship). God is referred to using monarchical terms. The LORD. Jesus is the PRINCE of Peace.

  • Spuddie

    In case you haven’t noticed, countries which are safe from atheists are not ones where ANY religion is entangled with government. We owe our liberties to people saying that we are not a nation of Christians, we are a nation of people.

    People like yourself do not respect religious freedom. They only see it in terms of what kind of privileges they can extract from society. Your “Christian worldview” is purely sectarian and no different from any other religious zealotry.

    The only form of Christianity which we can be thankful for in the development of democracy are the Anabaptists (Quakers, Seekers…) People who proudly proclaimed that the state and religion must always be separate if both are to survive. You would hate them.

    There is absolutely nothing inherent to Christianity as a religion which supports democracy and liberties. Fundamentalists are no better than each other, no matter what religion they are. The only differences being how much access to power they may have given the political structure of a given nation.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    It would be like a Christian putting up some sort of display to detract from a Hindu or Muslim holiday.

    Christmas is an anti-Solstice (the Reason for the Season) statement.

    Christmas is an anti-Saturnalia statement.

    Christmas is an anti-Dies Natalis Solis Invicti statement.

    Christmas is an anti-Soyal statement.

    Christmas is an anti-Pancha Ganapati statement.

    Christmas is an anti-Mōdraniht statement.

    Atheism is the true exclusionary worldview in that it has no common ground with those who won’t limit their worldview to the natural world (which is what animals do).

    How do you know?

    What non-human animals have told you this?

    You do not seem to understand the prejudice inherent in your religious privilege.

    .

  • Tor

    So, it’s the timing you have a problem with. I think you and your kind would be screeching just as loud at an atheist display in the capitol building on, say, March 12 or November 15.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    Go ahead, expose all of his hypocrisy.

    However, we might want the FSM to stay away from the Senate on March 15.

    😉

  • kickinitincrik

    April 1st would be a good day for an atheist display.

  • Tor

    Yes, it would. I just chose one date randomly and the other is my birthday.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    April 1st would be perfect for a display on religion, whether by atheists or anyone else.

    .

  • FunPolice

    Why are you lecturing atheists about what our natures are? You obviously have no clue how or what an atheist thinks.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    FunPolice,

    Isn’t that what it means for some people to be religious?

    No understanding of what it means to not have to ad superfluous, but very limited, explanations for what is not understood.

    While to be religious can be many things.

    foe example, Einstein’s belief appears to be that the order (natural laws) of the universe is God.

    .

  • Spuddie

    Except Christians always claim that any display which praises someone besides Jesus detracts from Christian celebration. In this case a group was decrying inclusionary activities.

    You admitted you have no real respect other religions and consider them in only a condescending manner in relation to your own faith.

    Your own religion, as all forms of monotheism, is exclusionary by nature. Its the 1st Commandment of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Atheism merely means the absence of a religious view. It is as justifiable as any religious view culturally. .

  • damocles

    Why does anyone need any public scene of any sort? Why do we make it a big deal that we dont believe?. I hate the stupid flying spaghetti monster. It exists for no good reason, just like most religion imo.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    damocles,

    That is the point.

    .

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    It is OK as long as the display is religious?

    A non-religious display on government land is what you consider to be the problem?

    The government should not be involved in religion.

    Religion corrupts government and government corrupts religion.

    That is why we have a First Amendment to keep them separate.

    .

  • Tor

    Good statement. Let me make one clarification:

    The government SHALL not be involved in religion.

  • http://atheist-faq.com Jasper

    So I take it you’re not one of those who would say “Atheism is a religion”. It could be that one religion’s doctrine/dogma is to be opposed to other religions, after all.

    The constitution says nothing about “Only religions or religious preferences that don’t say anything mean about other religions count”

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Honestly, I don’t think Christians would care if a Jew, Muslim, or Buddhist put up a display honoring whatever holiday.

    Honestly, I don’t think you read the news, ever. I think Muslims doing anything public would cause a panic. I am prepared to cite many examples.

  • Todd Heath

    I can cite one in three words. Ground Zero Mosque.

  • Tor

    Excuse me, but Atheism is my heritage – non-religious by definition – but no less worthy under the US constitution.

    PS. Religious heritage displays have no place on public property, as they violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Remember, the constitution protects you and your beliefs, as well as mine.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    As a citizen of America, protected by a Godless Constitution, an absence of God in my government is the heritage the Constitution provides for.

    .

  • Spuddie

    Except in the case with Oklahoma City where they intentionally stonewalled a monument to a religion comprising over a billion people. Or if there is any recognition of a religion besides Christianity in a public setting.

  • baal

    Hey folks, The Becket Fund is clearly not just another right wing nut job group. They are worth paying attention to since their legal strategies are driving much of the right wing legal change via the court system.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    a stamp honoring Martin Luther King Jr. is not a religious stamp, so there is no establishment of religion to be considered.

    Congress can celebrate Veterans’ Day without any establishment of religion to be considered.

    When the government honors a religion on government property, there is establishment of religion to be considered.

    To avoid establishment of religion, the Founding Fathers set up rules for fair play.

    Why do so many Christians hate fair play?

    Why do so many Christians feel the need to violate the law?

    Why do so many Christians hate America?

    .

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    Christian Nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bible!!!
    JESUS AND USING ALL CAPS DEFEATS ALL OTHER ARGUMENTS!!!!!
    .
    .
    .
    And you are a COMMIE that will burn in HELL!!!!!!

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    I am not a Commie, but I would prefer Hell to the place where they celebrate rape, slavery, murder, and genocide.

    .

  • Bad_homonym

    Since so many free thinkers and rationalists will be there, I wonder if god is in fact the bad guy, who wrote a book to enslave and truly destroy as much of humanity as possible and hell will actually be a utopia. It makes much more sense. Of course the alternative is that I’m correct in assuming its all bunk! And this is the only chance we get. Right here right now!

  • Nancy Shrew

    There just seems to be more evidence that God is the supreme asshole of the universe than for Satan.

  • Bad_homonym

    Exactly. ;-). If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck….

  • Tor

    I’ll take Hell. The other place would be eternally boring. Can you imagine sitting around, doing nothing but praising Jesus all day long for the rest of eternity? Eternity, by definition never ends. Oy.

  • Tor

    The transcendent image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is so powerful, that a Christian will suddenly turn atheist upon seeing it. Christians are simply afraid of the image.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    Exactly.

    I don’t even like spaghetti.

    I lead a life beyond chastity – deprived of his noodly goodness.

    😉

  • diogeneslamp0

    The KKK, like the Nazi Party, was a Christian organization. Every chapter of the Klan had a Protestant pastor assigned to it, perhaps 40,000 total; many Klokards [Klan lecturers] were pastors, and they burned crosses and marched around under “Jesus Saves” banners. See this image: http://longshotsblues.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/jesus_saves.jpg.

    As usual, when religious people really want to portray you as horrible, they compare you to religious people.

    As for Martin Luther King Jr., he was a theological liberal who believed in evolution, opposed fundamentalism, called himself a liberal, and was and is denounced by any fundamentalists who take a second to study his actual theology.

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    Don’t forget they where all Democrats too. Rush loves to remind everyone of that fact during his show.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    And I was thinking that might be a Ditto Head ball.

    O_o

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    If you ever need to stay awake while driving, tune into Rush. It is hard to fall asleep when you are laughing so hard.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    I will stick to caffeine and audio books.

    I also don’y watch reality TV.

    These things just make me sad.

    .

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou.com

    I always laugh when folks haul out the old gambit that government is recognizing ‘history” or perhaps ‘culture’ as they put it here when in fact they are absolutely endorsing a religious message. If they don’t want the Pastafarians putting things in government buildings, then they should drop the pretense and admit that the nativity scene simply has no place on a government building.

  • Cato

    “When it recognizes important aspects of human history or culture, it is not required to include every possible competing message.”
    I wonder, do the people at the Becket Fund extend that philosophy to things like evolution?

    Oh wait, I don’t wonder. I’m pretty sure what the answer to that will be.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Actually, since they are Catholics, they will at least doctrinally be OK with evolutionary theory. They may personally be unreconstructed on this matter, but their church is OK with evolution.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    It is ironic that Catholic politicians have condemned evolution to appeal to an ignorant political base.

    Rick Santorum wanted to require the teaching of Incompetent Design.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorum_Amendment

    Sam Brownback is a devout proponent of Incompetent Design.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Brownback#Evolution

    John Boehner supported the Santorum amendment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorum_Amendment

    Newt Gingrich has supported Creationism, while he campaigns as pro-science.

    http://evolution.about.com/od/Overview/tp/2012-Gop-Presidential-Candidates-On-Evolution.htm

    The irony is that even the Vatican does not consider ID to be science.

    Father Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, a professor of theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, said, “No evolutionary mechanism is opposed to the affirmation that God wanted and, therefore, created humankind.”

    “Basically, evolution is the way in which God created” the cosmos, he added.

    http://www.americancatholic.org/news/report.aspx?id=686

    .

  • Tor

    Back when I was trying to be a Christian, I decided that God created the world through evolution. Then I realized God was not involved in anything.

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    God is not involved in anything, but his henchmen have their tentacles in everything.

    .

  • Tor

    “When it recognizes important aspects of human history or culture, it is not required to include every possible competing message.”

    I’m no constitutional scholar, but maybe it is required to do so. Remember the Nazi march in Skokie? Did I spell that correctly?

  • http://roguemedic.com/ Rogue Medic

    Skokie was a First Amendment issue, but it was Free Speech, not about preference of any religious message.

    The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the use of the swastika is a symbolic form of free speech entitled to First Amendment protections and determined that the swastika itself did not constitute “fighting words.” Its ruling allowed the National Socialist Party of America to march.[5]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Party_of_America_v._Village_of_Skokie

    This is one case where the Wikipedia links are not helpful.

    Essentially, there is no right to not be offended, not even by Illinois Nazis.

    .

  • GubbaBumpkin

    just bestowed its annual “Ebenezer Award” (awarded to the “most ridiculous affront to Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations”)

    Is anyone impressed by their attempt to appear broad-minded by including Hannukah? The old “Judeo-Christian” dodge seems unlikely to fool anyone.

  • SeekerLancer

    Christian groups are all for free speech as long as it’s coming from the Duck Dynasty guy.

    Seriously, it’s almost a bad parody to watch them complain about somebody whose freedom of speech wasn’t even violated while being pissed that we have the gall to use that same right.

  • Tor

    The State has no business displaying holiday decorations of any type. It’s the government, not a church or retail establishment.

  • Patricia Magicia

    I think “like the KKK” is the American Godwin’s Law.

  • Spuddie

    Except when it takes your baby away!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-4EZyPIsSY