So there’s been a lot of talk about the atheist’s sign on display at the Washington State Capitol. It’s in a special area with a “holiday tree” and a nativity scene, the theory being that you can have a religious display on public property if you also open it up to other faiths (or lacks of faith) as need be. Well, the freedom from religion foundation took them up on it, and now… well we’ve got a hell of a mess. It’s not just ugly, it’s Bill O’reilly ugly, and that’s pretty ugly.
(Note to O’reilly: Matthew 19:23-34 “It is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” See you in hell Bill!)
While I find the wording of the sign a bit harsh, and can think of a lot of other ways the point could be made, I do feel obliged to say to the poor, misguided folks protesting it that THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU DON’T KEEP CHURCH AND STATE SEPARATE! We’ve told you members of the Christian right and anyone else who might listen, that not only is the mix of faith and government bad for the state, it is also bad for religion. When you demand that religious monuments be displayed on public property, the public (read: government) gets to decide what face your religion shows to the world.
And it could be worse than just a few angry atheists. Imagine that the state-supported nativity that you fought so hard for included, say, I don’t know... Something ridiculous… Say… I dunno… a little figurine of a world figure defecating on the whole scene…
No, go back and look again. Scroll through the gallery and read it.
Yes, in the Catalan region of Spain, there is an actual TRADITION of putting a figure in the nativity who… oh, how should I put this? Takes a dump in the corner. Imagine if someone demanded that on the White House lawn! Imagine one of those full-size live versions... OK, stop imagining, be glad there aren't a lot of vocal Catalans in our state, and stop complaining when you hear "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas, glory to God in the highest."
And do think about this anytime you’re tempted to breach the walls between church and state. Your efforts could end up with a world leader literally and figuratively taking a crap in it.
Now is that really what you want?
Happy holidays, Seasons Greetings and Joyous Saturnalia,