The little town of Orange, Texas is at the center of a saga that is starting to get the attention of media outlets throughout the country. At the heart of the matter is the Christian determination to paint an equal access situation as yet another false Christian persecution scenario — only this time, there are some indications that the situation is becoming dangerous.
The short version of the story is that the town of Orange put up a nativity display on public city property, a common enough occurrence at this time of year in Texas. The Orange County Atheists filed a request to be allowed to put up a Happy Holidays sign at the same location in the interest of inclusion and equal access. They did NOT request to have the nativity scene removed.
However, the city officials of Orange, rather than allowing equal representation on public property, elected ON THEIR OWN to remove the nativity scene. This was followed by a statement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbot urging Orange, Texas to keep the nativity scene up to defend it from the “the demands of a select few who wish to see God thrown out of the public square”.
Here is the proposed sign:
Please note again at no time did the Orange County Atheists demand the nativity scene’s removal.
A calculating person might conclude that the Orange city manager who made the removal decision did so with the specific intent of claiming Christian victimhood on his city’s behalf for whatever twisted reasons these persons do such things. Further (and predictably), the courageous young atheist activist who is the public face at the center of the controversy has received a flood of hateful messages and abuse.
(photo credit J. Hammers)
In light of the shooting incident and the abuse being piled upon the Orange County Atheists, I think there is real reason to be concerned for their safety. The actions of officials in Orange, Texas, as well as the ignorant statement from Gov. Abbott, have clearly inflamed an already contentious situation into one that could become truly dangerous.
I really hope no one gets hurt. But if they do, then the city officials of Orange, as well as Gov. Abbott, have some measure of blame thanks to their irresponsible behavior and statements.