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Politically Correct Atheism

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Christmas is a good holiday, I don't know why someone must insist on the lie that "Happy Holidays" means anything other than "Merry Christmas" to the vast majority of the population.

I don't think any Objectivists feel anything but positive about Christmas.

Edited by Hairnet

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Specifically regarding "happy holidays" I use it not because I am anti-Xmas but because it's a quick way of saying the more involved "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"--It's not PC on my part, just shorthand.

As for manger scenes, etc., on public property, it's a similar issue to "In God We Trust" and "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance. These are relatively recent add-ons from the 1950s (IGWT started appearing on coins in 1864, but didn't hit paper money until the 1950s). Unfortunately now, Xians use them as evidence that this is a "Christian Nation," which doesn't just mean a nation with a Christian majority but rather, a nation that is _explicitly_ Christian in form. This is a VERY dangerous meme to have people believe, as it helps those who want to turn this into a theocracy (e.g., the Christian Dominionists). So I believe it is necessary to fight manger scenes, ten commandments displays, etc. that appear on government property, on that basis. I do think there are better ways to go about it than some of the organizations doing the battle use. For example, under current law a local government can do the manger scene thing if they allow other faiths (and also atheists) to set up co-located displays. (Yes, it would be better if they didn't spend money and resources on ANY of this as it has nothing to do with rights protection, but that's one option under current law.) The FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) supplies a banner for this purpose that doesn't just positively state what atheists think, but also ends in a sentence that is something of an attack on religious people, and I'd like nothing better than to see them not use that sentence.

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How many Christian Dominionists are there? Isn't that a pretty rare ideology among Christians in the united states?

A manger scene just depicts a Christmas trope, that people don't think about for most of the year, its not like putting, lets say, a crucifix on a government building.

A manger scene only becomes a symbol of Christian domination when diversity freaks make it an issue,. Its actually a symbol of the birth of a new era. Quite literally, Christs supposed birth marks the change from BC to AD, an era where human life became more and more resepected. We can of course point to the enlightenment as a primary source of progress, but we can't pretend that Christianity was all bad, and that it did not contribute to the success of western civilization over groups of people who have no respect for human life at all.

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"As for manger scenes, etc., on public property, it's a similar issue to "In God We Trust" and "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance. These are relatively recent add-ons from the 1950s (IGWT started appearing on coins in 1864, but didn't hit paper money until the 1950s). Unfortunately now, Xians use them as evidence that this is a "Christian Nation," which doesn't just mean a nation with a Christian majority but rather, a nation that is _explicitly_ Christian in form. This is a VERY dangerous meme to have people believe, as it helps those who want to turn this into a theocracy (e.g., the Christian Dominionists)."

This is ludicrous --- "Christain Dominionists"? And just how many people fit that description?? Not many -- not enough for any rational person to fear.

Religious observances, references, and practices on government property or by government officials are not "recent add-ons" but date back to the earliest days of the nation. You do recall, do you not, the reference to the "Creator" as being the source of unalienable rights in the Declaration? That's a biggie...and it's not a solitarty reference.

The objection to manger scenes and other things -- that's the recent add-on.

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I would imagine there are more Christian dominionists than there are Objectivsts. Furthermore, the Christian dominionist is the most consistent sort of Christian--at least amongst those Christians who accept the bible as an unquestionable authority. And we all know who will win in a battle between the inconsistent and the consistent. The Christian dominionist is a huge potential danger, and it is already the case that one of the most common retorts--not necessarily by a Dominionist but by your general "God Fearing" American, to a non-Christian attempting to demonstrate that this is not a Christian country is for the Christian to pull a dollar bill out of his wallet and point to "In God We Trust."

I don't want to just hand these people "evidence" that their view is right, especially when such evidence is in fact a result of a violation of the Constitution.

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On further consideration I can see that merely mentioning Christian Dominionists--as an example of the most extreme form of the sort of thing I am arguing against here--was a mistake.

What I am arguing against is the attitude I have seen expressed by many, many Christians that atheists aren't real Americans. Christians like, for example, George Bush Sr. This man was President of the United States and held this attitude, and he wasn't even the George Bush with a reputation for extreme religiosity. The dominionists are merely the most consistent expression of this attitude but by mentioning them I gave you an irrelevant target to fire at.

When I refer to recent add ons, I am talking about "In God We Trust" on the paper money (and less recently, but still not at the founding, the coinage), and "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Local governments sponsoring manger scenes are not recent. But they are still a wrong thing for a neutral government to be doing.

And yes it was intended to be a neutral government. You will find not one mention of God, Christianity, or Jesus in our constitution. Zero, zilch, nada. Yet huge percentages of our population believe those references to exist and huge numbers believe this nation was explicitly founded on Christian principles.

As for "endowed by our Creator" in the Declaration of Independence, those words weren't even _written_ by a Christian, they were written by a Deist. But actually they illustrate my broader point--such references, regardless of the intentions and meaning of the person who actually penned them in acting officially, will invariably get corrupted into "evidence" that the US was founded on Christianity, even though given their authorship they would be better evidence that the US was founded on Deism. "After all, 'Creator' means 'God', and 'God' clearly is Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Ghost" [or all three or only one or whatever, don't get me started on the silliness that is the trinity] maintain the Christians, who oftentimes cannot wrap their mind around the concept of a god that isn't their specific god, or for that matter the concept of atheist as being someone who doesn't worship satan either.

And Thomas Jefferson, the same person who penned those words you use as evidence also said this: "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." Tax money--or other resource paid for or maintained by same--used to propagandize for Christianity or any other religion, or even aggressively against religion, is something he would have found abhorrent. He would understand my complaint. And a manger scene is a scene _directly_ out of the Jesus myth, as told in Luke (but not in Matthew), and can have no other meaning in a society with large number of people who actually believe the myth.

Mind you if I had to pick two out of the three issues (IGWT, "Under God", and manger scenes) to delete while leaving the third one alone, it would be IGWT and Under God. I think they are more harmful than manger scenes, particularly because they are being done by the federal government whereas the manger stuff is state and local government--usually local. But that doesn't mean I consider them completely harmless; if nothing else they are a waste of tax money, and instance #23467961 (give or take a few) of government failing to focus on its proper job. In any case FFRF is not me, and they get to choose which of the three problems they will spend the most energy on combating. I for one am not going to complain that they chose to fight the least important one as well as the other two--particularly since they have had some success here but have had none so far on the Federal level violations. (Whether they are doing so by the most effective means is a different question, and I have my doubts on some of the details of their strategy.)

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito

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Pat Condell, wrong as usual.

It's an issue of principle. As SteveD pointed out through Jefferson, it's tyrannical to use a man's tax money to fund the celebration of those things he finds objectionable. The government has no reason to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Rammadan, Ayn Rand's birthday or even the birthday of the nation.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204791104577110880355067656.html

Some until-now unpublished words from Hitchens.

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You do recall, do you not, the reference to the "Creator" as being the source of unalienable rights in the Declaration? That's a biggie...and it's not a solitarty reference.
I know you are not un-educated enough to think that Jefferson believed the U.S. was a Christian nation. So, what idea are you trying to smuggle in here?

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"I would imagine there are more Christian dominionists than there are Objectivsts."

No doubt, though that's not saying very much. And, frankly, neither are ever going to be any kind of significant influence on our culture.

"Furthermore, the Christian dominionist is the most consistent sort of Christian--at least amongst those Christians who accept the bible as an unquestionable authority."

This would be news to Catholics and Orthodox all over the world, who together make up the majority of Christianity. "Christian Dominionists" are simply a fringe Protestant group, one among many Protestant groups. Since Protestantism is inherently inconsistent, no one facet of it is logically able to be very consistent. Therefore, your fears that Chrisian Dominionists are to be feared because they are more consistent, and would thus win in a battle between the inconsistent and the consistent, really would only apply within narrow Protestant borders. I wouldn't lose any sleep, in other words.

"The Christian dominionist is a huge potential danger."

You go ahead and fret and worry about this if you want to -- me, I can see very real threats to this country, and "Christian Dominionists" ain't on the list.

"What I am arguing against is the attitude I have seen expressed by many, many Christians that atheists aren't real Americans."

I've never encountered this. Never. Not ever. Oh, I suppose you could go online and find some wack job, but are you really going to pretend that this attitude is common?

" Christians like, for example, George Bush Sr."

I never think of "George Bush Sr." and "very religious" as being compatible. He always struck me as your basic WASP.....So, do you have quotes from him that express this view? And even if you could find an oddball statement or two, how would that serve to prove that "many, many" Christians hold the view you want to claim that they do? Evidence, please.

"I know you are not un-educated enough to think that Jefferson believed the U.S. was a Christian nation. So, what idea are you trying to smuggle in here?"

You're right, I'm not that un-educated. This country was NOT founded as a Christian nation, though some of the individual colonies definitely were. The Constitution gave those colonies the right to keep their religious expressions, though they evolved over time and most ended up being fairly tolerant of the varying religious affiliations of the citizens, especially as this changed with immigration.

Most of the Founding Fathers were Christian, but not all. A good number were Deists or Unitarians, and some (like Washington) held on to tradional Christian affiliations (in Washington's case, the Episcopal Church) while imbibing lots of other theist ideas of the time. It could be said that the country was founded upon theism, as the Declaration assumes a Creator, and certainly this country has always, until recently, tolerated (and even encouraged) religious expression in government. History is clear on that point...the public square was open to religious views.

"As SteveD pointed out through Jefferson, it's tyrannical to use a man's tax money to fund the celebration of those things he finds objectionable. The government has no reason to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Rammadan, Ayn Rand's birthday or even the birthday of the nation."

Maybe in principle.....but certainly not in historical practice. Which ought to tell you that your vision of what the country ought to look like is very different from what the Founders imagined and what came to be for most of this country's history. Which leads me to tell you and the Christian Dominionists: a pox on both your houses. I like the vision that the country was founded upon. If you want to start your atheist Randian Utopia somewhere, well, you go girl....just do it somewhere else. And if equally fringe Christians want to remake the country in their own image, I say the same -- do it somewhere else.

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"What I am arguing against is the attitude I have seen expressed by many, many Christians that atheists aren't real Americans."

I've never encountered this. Never. Not ever. Oh, I suppose you could go online and find some wack job, but are you really going to pretend that this attitude is common?

No pretense needed, I've had it said to my face. I've even had well-meaning more tolerant Xians send me such stuff wanting to know what I thought of it. If I had to guess I'd say it's somewhere between 10-20 percent of the population.

I do know that atheists are the one group of people that most people would refuse to vote for. Gays and even Muslims (yes, even post 9/11) score much higher on the list of characteristics people would be willing to vote for. Multiple polls. Want to sink someone's campaign? Prove--or make a credible accusation--that he or she is an atheist, if you happen to know they are.

" Christians like, for example, George Bush Sr."

I never think of "George Bush Sr." and "very religious" as being compatible. He always struck me as your basic WASP.....So, do you have quotes from him that express this view? And even if you could find an oddball statement or two, how would that serve to prove that "many, many" Christians hold the view you want to claim that they do? Evidence, please.

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=101;t=000185;p=0

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=George_H.W._Bush_and_the_Atheists

They don't have him on tape or anything, but he's been quoted by an accredited journalist and he or his staff has refused to deny saying it.

Maybe in principle.....but certainly not in historical practice. Which ought to tell you that your vision of what the country ought to look like is very different from what the Founders imagined and what came to be for most of this country's history. Which leads me to tell you and the Christian Dominionists: a pox on both your houses. I like the vision that the country was founded upon. If you want to start your atheist Randian Utopia somewhere, well, you go girl....just do it somewhere else. And if equally fringe Christians want to remake the country in their own image, I say the same -- do it somewhere else.

I would wonder why retaining such symbols on public land is so important to you even though you recognize the principle that you are willing to tell those who point out the principle, to leave the country.

Oh, but only fringe whack jobs would do that.

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If you want to start your atheist Randian Utopia somewhere, well, you go girl....just do it somewhere else. And if equally fringe Christians want to remake the country in their own image, I say the same -- do it somewhere else.
That is ridiculous. If fringe Christians want to remake the country in their own image, why should they go somewhere else? As an opponent, you might want them to go elsewhere, but please don't make it sound like you're making some type of logical argument here. By that token, if the founders wanted independence from the British, they too should have gone somewhere else.

It is completely illogical to say that the U.S. ought to uphold individual rights or a church-state divide because the founders said so, or because many generations of Americans said so. That's an appeal to authority: our old wise men were right, the sun cannot be the center of the universe and heavenly spheres being perfect the moon does not have craters!

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"No pretense needed, I've had it said to my face. I've even had well-meaning more tolerant Xians send me such stuff wanting to know what I thought of it. If I had to guess I'd say it's somewhere between 10-20 percent of the population."

This is merely anecdotal, as it is for me to say I have never heard it said. I don't doubt you, but it simply doesn't prove anything, nor can it serve as the basis of estimating how much of the population has that attitude.

"I do know that atheists are the one group of people that most people would refuse to vote for. Gays and even Muslims (yes, even post 9/11) score much higher on the list of characteristics people would be willing to vote for. Multiple polls. Want to sink someone's campaign? Prove--or make a credible accusation--that he or she is an atheist, if you happen to know they are."

Given the murderous inclinations of the atheist regimes in the past, that's not at all surprising. However, we weren't talking about voting for an atheist, but rather the attitude that they can't be "real Americans".

"They don't have him on tape or anything, but he's been quoted by an accredited journalist and he or his staff has refused to deny saying it."

Ahh! An accredited member of the media has said so......I guess that clinches it!

"I would wonder why retaining such symbols on public land is so important to you even though you recognize the principle that you are willing to tell those who point out the principle, to leave the country."

Because I like the life and color of festivals and holidays. Because it's the country I grew up in. Because the majority of the populace enjoy them. Because it's part of our cultural heritage.

Edited by Avila

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In the spirit captured by the OP, Merry Christmas

"The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”—not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . ."

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"Furthermore, the Christian dominionist is the most consistent sort of Christian--at least amongst those Christians who accept the bible as an unquestionable authority."

This would be news to Catholics and Orthodox all over the world, who together make up the majority of Christianity. "Christian Dominionists" are simply a fringe Protestant group, one among many Protestant groups.

There may or may not be more or less consistent than the other groups on specific niggling points of doctrine... but it would NOT be news to most Catholics and Orthodox who have ever lived that the church of their choice should not be in charge, claiming the authority of God. In point of fact Catholics and Protestants today continue to shed blood over this issue, a tradition that goes all the way back to the original reformation. About a third of the population of Germany was wiped out over a period of thirty years, in what is essentially an argument over which version of Christianity should be in control. The pope still claims authority over all the world.

Since Protestantism is inherently inconsistent, no one facet of it is logically able to be very consistent.

So are Catholicism and (Eastern) Orthodoxy. Pot calling the kettle black. I've looked into each enough to see that there is plenty of inconsistency and overlap between the three, but I won't argue over which one is the most inconsistent; I frankly don't understand all of the nuances of the differences between them, nor care all that much.

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"There may or may not be more or less consistent than the other groups on specific niggling points of doctrine"

I think you're losing the point here. You stated that Christian Dominionists were the most "consistent" -- and hence the most to be feared. In your own words: "we all know who will win in a battle between the inconsistent and the consistent. The Christian dominionist is a huge potential danger..." I was merely pointing out that Catholics and the Orthodox are certainly more consistent in their doctrines than any fringe group of Protestants (which is what Christian Domionists are), given the great subjectivity inherent in Protestantism. If I were you, I'd relax: having manger scenes on government property is not a sign of the impending takeover by Christian Dominionists.

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I believe it is naive to discount the threat posed by the religious right in this country. Like the communist they are dedicated and believe in the righteousnous of their cause.

This is part of recent letter to a school involved in a lawsuit concerning prayers sponsored by public schools from a tea party candidate.

“America is in the middle of a conflict about moral values, God and religion. Many Americans, including me, understand the value of prayer and how much prayer has influenced so many of America’s leaders (George Washington at Valley Forge, Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and Franklin Roosevelt during World War II are good examples.)

On the other hand, agnostics, atheists and their sympathizers seek to use the power of the federal government to suppress the religious views of American citizens. They are our foes.”

Mo Brooks Alabama's 5th congressional district

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Toyo,

You didn't have to dig up a letter from some random Xian where you live to try to make your case. (I imagine it took about three seconds, but oh, no it's not common, not at all!) Avila himself has already invited those who disagree with him on this issue to leave the country--unfit to be Americans--after denouncing in the same post such an attitude as something only extremists and nutcases would have.

He has got to have his tax paid creche scenes because he likes them. He's got to have them so badly that if you don't think your tax money should be used to pay for them and you have the temerity to actually voice the argument, well hell you can just pack your bags.

If it's that important to you, Avila, why not build your own? Why does it have to be in front of the courthouse? Why do I have to pay for decorations that you want? Hmmm? (And by the way, why are so few of these on private property--where I would have no need to demand their removal--if they are so bloody popular? Maybe they in fact aren't?)

You can try to hijack this thread into a discussion of whether protestant doctrine is more or less consistent than catholic doctrine--which is utterly irrelevant as my use of the word "consistent" was in reference to how consistently a professed follower of a doctrine actually follows it, not over how consistent the doctrine itself is. Or you can continue to harp on my use of the example of the Christian Dominionists, which I have already conceded I should not have used. (Maybe I should have picked the Catholic League--which assiduously works to suppress criticism of the Catholic church in our culture and is just as dangerous for different reasons--instead.)

But you have not satisfactorily explained why I must be compelled to help pay for creche scenes and why I must consent to have my government host them, or be unfit to live in the United States. No, "it has always been done this way" and "I like it and most other Americans do too" are not satisfactory answers. But they are the only answers you've given.

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You can try to hijack this thread into a discussion of whether protestant doctrine is more or less consistent than catholic doctrine--which is utterly irrelevant as my use of the word "consistent" was in reference to how consistently a professed follower of a doctrine actually follows it, not over how consistent the doctrine itself is.

Of the Catholics that I know, I'm certainly not impressed with the consistency of their behavior to their claimed beliefs. I'm equally unimpressed with Avila's opinion that Catholicism is any less subjective than protestantism.

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Sorry if this breaks some etiquette for new members. I ran into this post and simply had to create an account and respond.

Christian Dominionists are the most consistent in logically following the ideals of Christianity, easily and by a country mile. Catholics are not consistent when you look at their ideology as a whole or historically from where it came. Oh, they may claim to be followers of the original teachings, and I know they think this since I grew up one, but the truth is it has been shaped due to interpretations (organizational) as well as “customization” due to culture. For an example of the later see America – Our brand of Catholicism is for more liberal than most the world, a fact my polish grandfather use to lament as À la carte Catholicism. Religion for them is a mix of faith and thinking to live, the religious equivalent of the mixed economy but with a worse soundtrack.

are more consistent followers of Christianity as seen through the ideal of faith as a source of thinking. The “Creator” of the enlightenment was the worse affront to religious thinkers because “God” was a non-entity that basically set up the universe then exited stage left. It was up to us to think and discover the world, via science, not sit around and wait for mandates from a higher Authority. Basically they paid lip serve to God and moved on, and religious thinkers knew it. Kant was a reaction to the reason and science of enlightenment thinkers as his theories cut reason off from the outside world, all so religion could play safe and sound outside of the reach of science.

What is scary about Dominionists is that they get this. Not in those terms but they know and admit that the enlightenment is “the enemy”. They are the most consistent because they get and wish to practice life on this level. They know that classic liberalism is founded on reason and that is why they want to go Amish intellectually to freeze thinking at Dark Age levels. When you have a religious movement dedicated to rolling back cognitive thinking to pre-Renaissance levels they should be dismissed as crack-pots but the ideas need to be put down with authority. While this group might be a minority, the issue is that fundamental ideals are heavy weights in the ring of competing ideas. Nobody took Kant or Heidegger very serious when they were a minority but their thinking dominates today. Nobody took Marx serious when he put Hegel “back on his feet” but over 100 million people paid the price when someone took his ideas seriously. In fact, thanks to those so-called intellectuals the Dominionists are pretty much unopposed academically which should speak volumes.

Yes, they will be opposed due to the slandering that entails religious divisions but their ideas will not be. Not their ideas, just that they are “extremists” or “fringe” Christians. Not the principle but that they “go too far”. The ideas need to be addressed before someone decides to run with them, which might not even be a religion. I can easily see an environmental group picking it up since the anti-science world of the pre-Industrial Revolution is the same objective. Just replace “God” with “Green” in the Dominionists code and somewhere an activist is getting moist inside.

As for the nativity scenes,they are the smaller issue. The real issue is the preponderance of public property and everyone’s willingness to just let it stay public then argue over what to do with it. Nativity scenes are just a symptom of the bigger problem of public property - One size fits none indeed. Return most of the property to private hands and the owners can do with their resources as they wish.

Edit ~ Need to learn new forum interface. Arg.

Edited by Spiral Architect

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Facist, smascist -- I like this country and its ideals and its heritage, and don't wish to see them altered by destructive idealogies.

Exactly. Follow those ideals consistently and you will come to the conclusion the people here have been trying to make.

Edited by Spiral Architect

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A salient point that doesn't seem to have been addressed here, and I think is necessary to the discussion

There is a difference between (A)theist and (Anti)theist and I believe that many people who claim to be atheist are actually behaving as antitheists. I don't believe that is productive. I don't necessarily mean people here... I mean people in general. The kind of people who can't allow a cross to exist in a military cemetary, the kind who can't allow the existence of religious imagery... I think they protest too much. They expect tolerance for their atheism while wanting to strip others of their rights to belief. I think this kind of rabid anti-theism fuels some of the more irrational behaviors in the neo-Christian movement.

Also, much has been made of tax money being wasted on religious displays. Because these are generally local I'm sure that it is done differently all over. But most of the ones I've known of and have heard about are privately funded.

Now, this is not to be an apologist for Christians. Simply put, I just don't believe that being an atheist automatically makes one more rational than if one is Christian. Most of the atheists I know outside of the Objectivist community are socialists and anarchists.

Rand was quoted multiple times as saying that religion had a valid function as an early and primitive form of philosophy. That Christianity is not entirely rational does not automatically make the person that rejects it rational- they can just as soon pick up something else equally irrational. We must define ourselves by positives, not negatives.

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I don't feel threatened by a manger scene where I live, because I live in a pretty progressive place where most Christians are of the humanist variety. So a manger scene is more about a depiction of the birth of a new era, not the domination of Christianity over The United States of America. However I can understand if you live in somewhere filled with those types I can see why you would feel threatened.

I have to agree with SapereAude, when I meet someone who is not a Christian I grow more apprehensive because the likely hood that they are just dysfunctional non-conformists just went up dramatically. Most Christians I meet are reasonable people trying to live their lives the best they can. Some of them are even more reasonable and successful than I am when it actually comes to living life.

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They expect tolerance for their atheism while wanting to strip others of their rights to belief.

Whose rights am I stripping if I ask them to do their displays on private, not public, property?

[And yes, this is part of the issue of public property invariably becoming a political football and yet another argument for having as little of it as possible--but I don't imagine courthouses are going away any time soon.]

I think this kind of rabid anti-theism fuels some of the more irrational behaviors in the neo-Christian movement.

Including lying and claiming the atheists (anti-theists) are trying to ban Christianity? You've apparently bought into the lie yourself, SapereAude.

Also, much has been made of tax money being wasted on religious displays. Because these are generally local I'm sure that it is done differently all over. But most of the ones I've known of and have heard about are privately funded.

It's not merely the waste, it is the use of tax money (on those occasions when such is used) but more importantly from a cultural standpoint the imprimatur of government to advertise a religion that many of the people who pay taxes and are subject to the authority of that government do not accept. And that imprimatur exists even if private parties pay for the scene, erect it themselves and even pay the bill for lighting the thing at night. If it were a Santa Claus I'd have no issue with it at all if it were done for free by private parties, and only the issue of waste if paid for by the local government, and there, of course there are always bigger fish to fry! But of course if someone did that, somebody would start puling about how they are taking Christ out of Christmas and insist that the courthouse host a manger scene.

I am much more interested in why many Christians who do understand that this is the issue still raise hissy fits and demand someone leave the country (rather than saying, "you've got a point, but really, get a life" which I could at least understand--I do get it from Objectivists) when one suggests that the display should be on a church lawn instead. Why is it so important that their sky god get advertising on government property? There's something in the psychodynamics here, which I suspect would be instructive. We've had a poster who conceded there was a point here even if he himself disagreed with it, nevertheless demand that people who complain about the manger scenes leave the country, and it looks as though at least some of his posts have been rude enough to get deleted. Wouldn't you find it odd if you were arguing with someone on some other issue and they said, "you have a point, but you should move to China for raising it"? What's going on in these folks' heads, really?

Now, this is not to be an apologist for Christians. Simply put, I just don't believe that being an atheist automatically makes one more rational than if one is Christian. Most of the atheists I know outside of the Objectivist community are socialists and anarchists.

Absolutely true but irrelevant to the point at hand. (It is very discouraging though, to find someone who rejects the chief silliness of our age only to pick up another one just as dangerous... if not more so, since it's almost always virulent.)

I have to agree with SapereAude, when I meet someone who is not a Christian I grow more apprehensive because the likely hood that they are just dysfunctional non-conformists just went up dramatically. Most Christians I meet are reasonable people trying to live their lives the best they can. Some of them are even more reasonable and successful than I am when it actually comes to living life.

I note that Hairnet broadens SapereAude's observation from "Atheism" to "Non-Christian" and even there I have to agree (but still, irrelevant to the point at hand); in particular most Wiccans I have met are refugees from really horrid Xian upbringings and I wonder to myself why they didn't go whole hog on the solution to the problem that afflicted them. Instead they rebel against their religious upbringing by picking another religion.

Edit: Somdeay I iwll elrna to type.

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito

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