The local Fox News channel did a story on the situation in Dorr, Michigan, where my friend Jeremiah Bannister has been asking uncomfortable questions about a nativity scene that just showed up in a public park. The station did the usual lazy job of covering the story:
“West Michigan Man Outraged Over Public Nativity Scene,” the headline screams. And this is pretty much the only narrative any mainstream news outlet ever offers in such situations. The person questioning the display is always “outraged” or “furious” or terribly offended. They simply cannot conceive of any other reason why someone would challenge these examples of Christian privilege. No atheist can ever just be calm and rational, they must be livid and enraged and terribly negative. That’s the easiest thing to report so that’s what gets reported.
The truth is that Jeremiah is not enraged over this. He’s perfectly calm and reasonable about it. And he is not demanding that it be taken down. He’s merely asking how it came to be there — the city initially said it had no idea — because that determines what set of rules it must comply with legally. Turns out an elderly woman in the community got a permit to put it up a few years ago and has just been putting it up every year since then without anyone ever complaining. But since it is a private individual doing it, the city has to treat it as a limited public forum and allow all individuals, not just Christian ones, to put up similar displays. And that is what he plans to do, ask to put up his own display (likely the one that the Springfield Area Freethinkers came up with, which is very positive and respectful).
Now if you want angry and unhinged, just look at the comments on the Fox station’s website, which are about equal parts idiotic and aggressive.
Shame on him. I’m so tired of this nonsense. If he d does not like it stay away and if you do like it enjoy. What if it was somebody’s personal property? Would he complain then?
No, he wouldn’t. There’s a pretty obvious difference there, don’t you think?
Where is tolerance when it comes to Atheists towards Christianity. If they weren’t afraid of the power of God and His son Jesus, they would be able to ignore and let us enjoy freedom of speech and religion.
Right. I’m not the least bit afraid of the power of things I don’t believe exist. And I’ll be the first one to defend your freedom of speech and religion. But this situation has nothing at all to do with either of those things.
This moron is outraged? Maybe there lies the problem? Outraged over a nativity scene?
He is a grown man and has never seen a nativity scene until now?
Can we say control issues?
Go ahead spoiled brat, Stomp your feet and then head back to your room and sit in the corner!
These Hitler types really need to simmer down and evaporate!
Oh yes, but it’s the atheist who is enraged and being irrational, right?
someone should show him the road runs east out of dorr then he can take 131 north or south and never look back. what a sorry pice of s— to waste time in life crying about a nativity scene go get a hobby or a woman in your life so ya have something to find fault with ill bet on if you were in a war and beening shot at you would say help me god
Bow to our Christian privilege or be run out of time, you piece of shit! And they’ll know we are Christians by our love…
go join ms O’Hair in hell jeremiah. you won’t be missed here.
Yep, that’s what Jesus would do.
This dude Bannister should have his picture taken and then place on telephone poles around his town listing his shameful attitude he is displaying. If this is the case then all church’s must take down the scenes they put up for Christmas no matter what it depicts.
Another halfwit who doesn’t grasp the difference between a display on church property and a display on government property. It’s really not that difficult a concept, is it? And this same halfwit came back, armed with a caps lock key:
AND BTW WE LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT LOOK AWAY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT WALK AWAY OR PLUG YOUR EARS YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAND AND LOOK AND LISTEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE THOSE RULES TAKE YOUR CRY BABY ASS SOMEWHERE ELSE CAUSE WE ARE SICK OF HEARING IT
These militant atheists have an agenda.
Its time to stop these an atheists from infringing on our civil rights.
Time to stop playing nice, and take our country back.
push these bastards back in the closet where they belong
Exactly who is being angry and intolerant here?
We live in a beautiful community that is based on Christian love.
These comments would tend to suggest otherwise.