Christmas brings much with regularity, presents, lots of job opportunities for fat old guys with full beards and a taste for red clothes, and of course, hypersensitive Christian theocrats distorting history and playing the victim card when other points of view wish to stand on the same stage they so arrogantly claim as solely their own. Typical is this column from Mary Graber, which in the spirit of Ann Coulter's science chapter in Godless could be described as wall to wall error, containing every flawed argument the theocrats have.
"Tis the season. . . for atheist Grinches to display their hatred of Christmas by trying to stomp out one of the most visible displays of Christianity in a country founded, and still operating on, Judeo-Christian principles."
Such wonderful fiction, and such an illustration of a lack of perspective. Atheists do not hate Christmas. Most of us celebrate family, friends and the gift-giving tradition the same as most Americans. The issue atheists and other defenders of the separation of church and state have with Christmas, and which Graber is determined to dodge, is the appearance of state-sanctioned religion in the form of Christian displays on government property to the exclusion of other views. There have been no atheist objections to manger scenes on church lawns, or private property of citizens, no atheist-led manger burnings or Santa muggings.
It is telling that Graber and others use such histrionic descriptions of the situation. They are the equivalent of the spoiled child who is so used to getting their way all the time, so that being forced to share the stage, or worse yet give it up, seems like a horrible imposition to them.
It doesn't help their lack of perspective any to keep chanting the revisionist history that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, a claim so patently, absurdly false it is remarkable that it needs fisking. Throughout the Constitution, one will find not a single reference to Christianity, Jesus, God, or the Ten Commandments. In fact, far from being the basis of our laws, were the Ten Commandments made the law of a state, they would be struck down as unconstitutional. Under the principles on which America was founded, we may worship as many, or no, gods as we wish, be as unholy as we like on the sabbath, use any word we wish in vain, disrespect our parents (though hopefully with good cause), and covet our neighbors' goods and wives. Only the commandments against theft and murder are represented in our law, as they are in every other religion and society on earth. It is Christian arrogance to claim them solely as their own.
"While the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) aims its legal and propaganda guns at Christianity, some like CNN’s Mike Galanos call their attacks as directed on “people of faith.” On their website, FFRF titled this CNN segment “FFRF vs. Christian Crybabies.” Although a menorah had been placed next to the Christmas display, it is Christians who are called “Crybabies.”"
If the shoe fits Mary. Christians are the overwhelming majority in the United States, dominating our culture and government. For you to pitch such a fit over tiny atheist displays and exercises of their first amendment rights reveals quite a spoiled, childish perspective. That many of these displays speak of "religion" and not "Christianity" reveals your arrogance in assuming they must be talking about you, and not say, Muslims, even where such a reference is as obvious as it was in the 9/11 NY Times ads:
"FFRF likes to use other occasions for their attacks. For the seventh anniversary of 9/11, FFRF placed an ad in the New York Times with the Twin Towers skyline, headlined “Imagine a World Free From Religion.” They warned, “American liberty is menaced not only by religious terrorism from abroad. Consider the growing threat of religious fanaticism here at home: The relentless war against secular values, gay rights, abortion rights, stem cell research and the teaching of evolution in public schools.” No mention was made of “the growing threat” of Islam, like separate Islamic public schools and various efforts to teach Islam in schools. Instead, the group goes after Christians who object to the teaching of an atheistic Darwinian doctrine to the exclusion of other scientific theories like intelligent design. "
Earth to Mary. The 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Muslims doing Allah's work and looking forward to their 72 virgins in heaven. There can be no mistake: religion, the Muslim religion, caused 9/11. However, as a general threat to the freedom of religion in America, Islam pales in comparison to theocratic Christians, again for the simple reason that there are so many more Christians here. It is Christians like Graber, not Muslims, who are pushing the phony "Academic Freedom" bills pushing the pseudoscience of intelligent design, and attempting to suppress the sound science of evolutionary theory (which is neither atheistic, nor doctrinaire). Graber's own rhetoric, particularly her revisionist history of the Christianity of the Nazis, gives her away as a propagandist.
Her final comment exposes this further:
"One needs to ask then why a group that claims to advocate “Freedom From Religion” selectively attacks the Christian religion. If they’re so proud of eliminating commencement prayers, why haven’t they questioned calls to prayer during Ramadan and footbaths for Muslims on campuses? Or what about prayer rooms in one our nation’s airports? What about this Stealth Jihad?"
Uh, because Muslims are a pimple on a flea compared to Christians when it comes to entanglement of church and state in this country. As for calls to prayer and other private expressions of religion, that's part of the freedom of religion we share in this country. Graber really needs a first amendment refresher. As with most Christian theocrats, she thinks only her religion should get special treatment, and to hell with anyone else's rights.