Besides, if you're an atheist, why the f--- are you worried about anyone saying you're going to hell it the first place? You don't believe in hell, remember?
I’m really very surprised to see this level of vitriol from this site which for the most part concerns itself with feminism, gay rights and body image issues. I can’t imagine anyone at the site suggesting that women, homosexuals or fat people should dismiss hateful comments if they aren’t technically accurate. Atheists, on the other hand, should just suck it up.
I’d been following the story behind this mostly on Pharyngula where PZ Myers definitely gets it. It started with a nativity scene being displayed at a state capitol, with a plaque offering an atheist message nearby. Sounds like a setup for a confrontation, but in the true Christmas spirit everyone was cool about it. The Governor’s office approved the atheist message and the guy who made the nativity thought it was nice to have free speech.
But then a fetid, greasy smear of inanity heard about it and ranted on air about how affronted we should all be as part of his made-up War on Christmas. Soon thereafter, hopped up on manufactured outrage and juiced with intolerance, one of his viewers (I assume) vandalized the atheist display and left the sign in a ditch. I would expect most people to see this as a fairly straightforward story with clear victims and obvious villains. Myers notes atheists have “the moral high ground” and shouldn’t stoop to retaliation in kind, and Olbermann named his cable nemesis second-worst person in the world for December 5 partly based on his incitement.
But not the aforementioned blogger, Paul the Spud. He believes that not only are the atheists not the victims here, but that their attempt at civic parity was actually to blame.
As I've documented far too many times, there are people out there whipped into a frenzy over the manufactured "War on Christmas" that are dying to find examples that it's really happening. And I've got a little news for you, radical athiests [sic]: When you do stuff like this, it appears as if it does exist, and you're not helping.
So Mr. the Spud’s plan for standing up to right-wing bullies is to bend over backwards so they never see anything that offends them, which is basically exactly what they want in the first place. Way to stick it to the man, Paul!
Do we need an atheist plaque outside the capitol building at Christmastime? Of course not. But neither do we need an explicitly religious nativity scene. There are plenty of ways to express the feeling of joy and celebration during the winter holiday season that are appropriate for a public space shared by all citizens. A pine tree decorated with baubles and lights, for example, makes a very festive and religiously-neutral display. Christians can carpet the countryside with nativity scenes if they want, provided they do it on their own private property. But if these Christian Christmas warriors try to imply that our government supports a single religious interpretation of a secular holiday they should be opposed, and fear of their ridiculous “War on Christmas” rhetoric should not deter us.
Religious privilege is deeply ingrained even in those who are not themselves religious. When atheists speak up about our lack of belief, we get hatred from the right and chiding from the left, over and over, including the blog mistress of the site hosting today’s offensive post. This does not mean, as the liberal concern trolls always suggest, that “militant” atheists should shut up. Quite the reverse. There’s obviously a lot of consciousness that still need raising.
UPDATE: Angry puppets agree!