December 18, 2011

The Freedom From Religion Foundation applies for a permit to set up a "slightly blasphemous" solstice display in the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda...

... in response to the nativity scene already set up by Wisconsin Family Action.

Freedom From Religion is cagily referring to a display with "a different type of wise people." I'm not sure where they will get decent looking statuary, but I'm picturing figures of Charles Darwin, Einstein, and — why not? — Christopher Hitchens, gathered around... what?... a microscope and a telescope.

Meade suggests a depiction of a young couple camping out at Occupy Madison, sitting solemnly at a table stacked with brochures about abortion rights. Arriving at the scene, via bicycle, are 3 bearded UW professors.

You've heard of the Anti-Christ. This is the anti-creche. Let's generate some more ideas for what this display might look like.

83 comments:

Bartender Cabbie said...

These are the same nuts who are trying to get a Nativity Scene removed in Athens, Tx. Just a bunch of loons that should be ignored.

caplight45 said...

How about a guy taking a dump on a cop car?

Paul Zrimsek said...

On behalf of Claire Potter and womyn everywhere, I suggest a corrected version of the Annunciation in which Mary tells Gabriel just where he can take his mansplaining.

Jason (the commenter) said...

A bible burning--that's the only thing that will make them happy.

Rose said...

Don't they have a special Blasphemy Day set aside for them to erect their creche?

Maybe that would solve the problem - equal treatment and all... "Atheist's Day." What would the greeting be? Would you say "Happy Atheist's Day"? "Fuck you very much"?

WV: lawnym

John Smith said...

It should be something closely tied to one of the major religious beliefs of the Left: Man made global warming, cradle to grave social welfare, government regulation of everything....etc

NYTNewYorker said...

The left loses badly, don't they?

caplight45 said...

Joe Pesci, Robert Dinero and Ray Liotta=three wise guys.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why make an anti-Christian display? Why not make a pro secular display? Just stick a Santa, lights, and some elves in there.

Growing up, the town square always had a live nativity on one side, and a big Santa display on the other. The Santa display included a sleigh you could sit in, popular for picture taking, and some little windowed houses with animatronic elves making toys.

It was great. As a kid, you'd walk to one side and solemnly contemplate the story of Christmas while looking at real animals (!). Then your parents would walk you to the other side, and you'd get excited about opening presents. I even loved it as a teen atheist.

Now the same square just has some metal designs with lights. Lame.

rcommal said...

How about a collection of dolls that yell unintelligibly at each other? One could make it sensor-tripped so it's not constant, or put it on delay to go off randomly. It'd be like the Tower of Babel, only secular. And so Relevant for The Now!

wv: slyco

DaveW said...

Those nativity scenes must be hard to take.

Deekaman said...

If they are against religious symbology, why would they place anything at all. A-theism is no less a religion than Theism.

urpower said...

In keeping with the core values of liberalism, it cannot be funny. (All satire, cf Lenny Bruce, is inherently conservative.)

Coketown said...

Ah! Oh my God it's too perfect! Hume, Darwin, and a four-headed Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris/What's-his-name hydra-like creature as the wise men! Dawkins's biomorphs as animals in the manger! And in Jesus's cradle is a mirror so that the Freedom from Religion people can behold themselves in the center of this smorgasbord of free thinking enlightenment.

That's all this is, anyway. Petty self-indulgence. A certain group of atheists--by no means all, probably not even most--is bitter because they don't feel included, so they're going to put a damper on everyone else's festive season.

Which makes me curious: When does "religion" categorically transcend "the supernatural"? These Freedom from Religion people are as self-righteous and zealous as any religious fanatics I've ever met.

Kirby Olson said...

Nero throwing a Christian child to the lions while fat Roman senators (who look like Wisconsin's top Democrats) hold their bellies to contain their laughter.

Freeman Hunt said...

Where does this group get members? I know a lot of atheists. I don't know any who would be in this group.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe it will be really transgressive:

Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney

Ryan, Christie, Rubio

Hayek, Friedman (M), Smith

Scalia, Roberts, Thomas/Alito

garage mahal said...

The Nativity Scene is already up.

Aside from the manger, the Freedom From Religion Foundation's display isn't the typical Nativity scene. The display includes a baby girl in a manger, three wise people and Venus as Mary. Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Mark Twain make up the three wise people. The angels in the scene include the Statue of Liberty and an astronaut.

Spot on, and nicely done!

edutcher said...

If they want to do something solsticial, how about going all Roman and having some gladiatorial games?

Nothing says end of the year like a bunch of guys killing each other with short swords and tridents.

Kirby Olson said...

Nero throwing a Christian child to the lions while fat Roman senators (who look like Wisconsin's top Democrats) hold their bellies to contain their laughter.

Crucifying some during Advent and the Twelve Days along the Via Unionia would work even better.

caplight45 said...

Joe Pesci, Robert Dinero and Ray Liotta=three wise guys.

Ya gotta problem wit' dat?

(I love it...)

WV "revaltum" What the Freedom From Religion Foundation hopes to accomplish.

Freeman Hunt said...

Celsus, Nero, Suetonius

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I know it's not on topic, but this is my favorite Christmas display.

Peter Hoh said...

I'm thinking a football themed creche, with Brett Favre bearing a "gift" in a box.

The three Wise Men? Three Joe Paterno statues -- one holding his hands over his eyes, one holding his hands over his ears, and one holding his hands over his mouth.

And Tim Tebow, lying in a manger.

Toshtu said...

Incense, Peppermints, flowers and one of these...

http://www.traveladventures.org/continents/europe/images/grutasparkas06.jpg

Freeman Hunt said...

Spot on, and nicely done!

I take it no one in that group is crafty.

Toshtu said...

Apparently, Denver's defense has not been attending services lately.

DADvocate said...

Three guys mooning: The Three Wise Asses.

DADvocate said...

Venus as Mary

The "Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty, sex, seduction and fertility,..."

Apparently some people don't know the difference between atheism and paganism. It's still a religious display and goes to further prove the FRF is motivated by hatred of Christianity, not religion.

Irene said...

John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.

Oh! I forgot the "slightly blasphemous" part: those three wise men, hovering over a baby slave.

Petunia said...

They'd have gotten their point across better with a display that didn't actively mock Christianity.

They could have put up a display about the history of solstice celebrations, and how the early Christians joined their celebration with the Roman festival of Saturnalia. But no, that wouldn't allow them to mock the Christians.

I'm an atheist, Annie Laurie Gaylor lives in my neighborhood, and I would no more join her group than I would run away to another state to avoid doing my job. The FFRF exists not to promote atheism, but to mock and denigrate religion.

Unless, of course, a Democrat like Obama, Barrett, or Abele presides over the Christmas celebrations.

John M Auston said...

I would give them the permit, with the condition that they post on their web site, a short 'our [FFRF] position' essay on the meaning, allowances, and limits, of the 2ndd clause (there are 6) of the 1st Amendment.

In other words, FFRF, we've heard, ad nauseum, your views on the first clause. Now tell us what you think THIS means" "Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise [of religion];"

JAL said...

I'm with Deekaman and some of the others.

If they are Freedom FROM Religion ...

garage mahal said...

John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.

Or they could have done an all Wisconsin naturalist creche and gone with Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Gaylord Nelson. All freethinkers, they.

Christopher said...

These people truly want us to hate them don't they?

joewxman said...

the original 3 wise men were not good shoppers. One brought gold, the biblical equivalent of a gift certificate. The other 2 brought frankinscence and myrrh which just means that when men don't know what to bring as a gift..they give a fragrance.

Ambrose said...

How about a single 100 watt light bulb to symbolize humanity's heroic efforts through the years to create light and warmth in responce to the Winter Solstice.

Pianoman said...

@Jason The Commenter:

A bible burning--that's the only thing that will make them happy.

If burning a Bible would shut them up, I'd gladly donate mine.

Unfortunately, militant athiests won't be happy until:

1) "In God We Trust" is removed from currency;
2) "Under God" is struck from the Pledge Of Allegiance;
3) "Thanksgiving" is changed to "Harvest Celebration";
4) Christmas is no longer a Federal holiday.

4)

mRed said...

These groups, increasingly, are being known for their hatred. It is a demonstration of their fear which becomes a hatred of Christ and his followers because it (it?) is antithetical to that which they profess; acceptance. For those who hate Christians acceptance is too fearful to allow. So, they attempt to ridicule.

Michael said...

How about a glass full of their teeth that have been knocked out by fed up Christians. How about that?

dbp said...

Shouldn't the anti-creche be...nothing?

Renee said...

While a minority, there are citizens who are sincere practicing Pagans. The mock celebration of a soltice isn't offensive to Christians but to those of the Pagan faith.

Pogo said...

Why not Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, come to visit Marx and baby Obama?

Chuck66 said...

I would like to ask the bigots:

A) What does Enstien have to do with Christmas?

B) I can't wait to see their displays to counter MLK day. Something from the KKK perhaps?

Chuck66 said...

Irony is that people from Wisconsin have this weird 1950s view about Mississippi and other southern states. Yet in 2011 (and lets go wtih 2012), you will be hard pressed to find bigotry in the old south that comes even close to the anti-Christian bigotry that is so common in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Chuck66 said...

By the way....if any of these anti-Christian bigots ever are homeless, most Christians I know would invite them into their house. Give them food and a place to stay. And ask nothing in return.

Writ Small said...

I bet these guys use the phrase "holier than thou" to attack their opponents.

kimsch said...

No Mohammed? They can insult Christianity but not another religion? Are they the Freedom from Relgion Foundation or the Freedom from Christianity Foundation?.

Michael Haz said...

...a young couple camping out at Occupy Madison, sitting solemnly at a table stacked with brochures about abortion rights. Arriving at the scene, via bicycle, are 3 bearded UW professors.

They eagerly wait the good news of the arrival of...the guy with the weed, as was foretold in High Times magazine.

Michael Haz said...

.....a young couple camping out at Occupy Madison, sitting solemnly at a table stacked with brochures about abortion rights. Arriving at the scene, via bicycle, are 3 bearded UW professors.

Or...they eagerly await the arrival of the thing that they don't believe in because it doesn't exist. Compelling display, that.

Seeing Red said...

How racist they chose dead white males as the 3 wise men.


I'm your Venus, I'm your fire of joy and desire

or do we chose the Frankie Avalon song where he wants Venus to send him a little girl to love?

David said...

How about a bunch of Roman centurions with their swords and spears, proudly showing off a brand new cross.

Or a street scene in Jerusalem from Roman times, perhaps a Planned Parenthood clinic next to a stable with an empty manger.

Pogo said...

Perhaps we are on the verge of a return to the monasteries, or even the catacombs.

Thus the calming words of the resurrected Jesus to his frightened disciples, "Be not afraid."

David said...

Or a simple, tasteful sign: "Your Religion Sucks."

And below that, in smaller letters, "We are smarter than you are."

vnjagvet said...

The described FFRF display proves FFRF is not atheistic. The organization is merely substituting its preferred gods for the one God worshiped by Christians, Jews, and yes Muslims.

As I understand it, true atheists have no god; not different gods.

bagoh20 said...

I suggest simply a gathering of full length mirrors.


What would be the term for a group of mirrors?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)




I believe this discourse to be dry, stale and pro forma unless or until Hatdood or “J” speak.

Carnifex said...

There is one way to easily tell an atheist is a coward. If they never say a word against Islam ,but continue to mock Christians.

How bout it guys! You've been braying like asses about there being no God. Lets see you make a "Piss Koran" like you made a "Piss Cross"

But they rarely, very rarely do. I'll give props to the Danish cartoonist. The rest, not so much.

Petunia said...

bagoh, I believe the term for a group of mirrors is a "vanity". ;)

chuck66, I've lived in several states, and overseas (twice), and traveled to many countries and around the U.S., and I have to say, Madison is one of the most intolerant places I've ever been.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Spot on, and nicely done!

I always thought you were an ass. thanks for confirming it.

bagoh20 said...

Petunia said: "I believe the term for a group of mirrors is a "vanity". ;)
"


I don't know if that's official, but it damned sure should be.

I had a number of ideas, but none as good as that. Perfection!

Canuck said...

A stand with the Jeffersonian Bible on it.

Three wise men standing around the Bible -- Thoreau, Emerson and Theodore Parker.

Or is that more anti-Easter?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Then again if you draw a cartoon of Mohammed you're a racist and our resident liberals will condemnn you for your cultural insensitivity.

EMD said...

The anti-creche would be a crucifix ... no?

n.n said...

A faith defined by a permanent condition of limited, circumstantial evidence would celebrate an event analogous to Christmas which depicted simian derivatives picking fleas from each other's coats, flinging feces at others (or property), and advocating for the sacrifice of offspring born to competing sects and factions.

Slightly blasphemous, indeed. The simian derivatives prematurely terminate the scientific process.

Petunia said...

Why, thank you, bagoh!

Chip Ahoy said...

Is it alright to expand on last year's theme.

Fear not for I bring unto you Glad, Tide, Comfort, and Cheer to meet all your freezer storage and laundry needs, which shall be for all nations.

Chip Ahoy said...

... and available through the Althouse-Amazon portal, turn left into the vortex.

Chip Ahoy said...

No wait, make Cheer be Joy or maybe both.

mariner said...

How about three leftists with their heads up their asses?

Dr Weevil said...

Garage Mahal (7:03pm) wants an "all Wisconsin" team of "freethinkers" to stand in for the Three Wise Men. How about Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, and David Spanbauer? They certainly showed a healthy disrespect for traditional Christian teachings. Well, maybe "healthy" isn't quite the right word here . . . .

If they wanted to, Christians could take a hint from the Atheists and put up displays that go on the offensive, tearing down the other side's (lack of) beliefs instead of politely advertising their own. They could start with Psalm 14.1: "The fool hath said in his heart 'There is no God'."

wv: snong. I don't know what it means, but I like the sound of it.

Titus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fen said...

The Atheists simply realize they are in competition, and that their "denomination" is not fairing so well:

Fernandez: The worst thing that can happen to a god that failed is to have all of its miracles debunked before the eyes of its adherents. And this has now happened in the most spectacular manner.

The failure of the welfare state, the visible strings above the global warming puppet show, and the fading attractions of the media/entertainment complex were certain to undermine their authority.

Being a network anchor, or a Nobel Prize economist, or an expert from an elite educational institution — indeed being the chairman of giant bank — ain’t what it used to be. Once such figures would have been unimpeachable. Today the louder they talk of their expertise the faster we recheck our bank balances.


Why I read Belmont Club.

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/12/17/david-casts-his-stone/#more-19473

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Skele-Santa on a cross.

Or better yet, an anti-creche made up of Margaret Sanger (Mary), a certain german dictator (Joseph), and an aborted fetus dropped in a manger with golden forceps.

The only 'choice' liberals afford anyone is women, and that is, the choice to abort. Hat tip to Bender for so aptly pointing this out on another thread.

For everyone else, choices will be made for them, because thats how they roll.

wv - rhazy

rhhardin? never.

Paco Wové said...

"Where does this group get members?"

Freeman - it was pretty nice of GM to answer your question so quickly, no?

Anyway, it seems these guys are taking pages out of the PETA PR manual - "no publicity is bad publicity", "always try to outrage as many people as possible", etc.

I blame all this on the collapse in education. We used to get a better quality of atheist in this country.

Phil 3:14 said...

Is Madison really that incredibly boorish?

Fen said...

"The question arises: If the universe was not created by God, then where did it come from? We know from the first law of thermodynamics that without supernatural force neither mass nor energy can create its self, nor can mass or energy be destroyed; mass and energy are limited to interchangeability (E = MC2). Thus, according to the most fundamental laws of science, a self-created universe is an un-scientific belief – an irrational belief. If the universe was not created by God, then, since it did not create its self, and since it cannot be destroyed, it must be eternal in time, both in the past and in the future. Since faith is any belief based on that which is unobservable (such as belief in God), and since no one was or could be present to observe the beginning of a Universe with no beginning, belief in an eternal un-created universe (atheism) is based on faith. Thus, like belief in God, atheism is a faith. The most basic laws of science tell us that outside power is a requirement for the creation of nature’s mass and energy; so, we are left with either an eternal God who created our finite universe with a Big Bang or a series of Big Bangs (religion), or an eternal un-created universe (atheism), so choose your faith, and realize that by choosing either faith one is not required to abandon reason."

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/12/17/david-casts-his-stone/#more-19473

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Fen

I find the 'randomness' explanation much harder to believe than intelligent design (God).

The sheer 'diversity' of life supported by this planet could not be a random act of nature. There is no way that molecules/matter cleverly 'ordered' themselves to make up the incredible life forms witnessed here.

Just sayin'.

Christopher in MA said...

I don't suppose any of these staunch atheists actually stand up for their unbelief by foregoing the evil Christianist holiday, do they?

It's always interesting listening to one, fulminating about being oppressed by Christmas, suddenly deflate when asked "so, you go to work on the 25th, don't you?"

The usual response is some mumble about their place of work being closed. So what? Have the courage of your convictions! Set the alarm, shower and go in! As a wise man said, "Christmas" is a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of December.

TosaGuy said...

It is important that FFRF exists because those employed by it are prevented from working on something important and screwing that up.

SGT Ted said...

Atheists celebrate pagan sun cycle holidays? If I was the permit approver, I'd make them prove it.

The symbol for the FFRF should be an anus.

SGT Ted said...

An absence of proof of origin doesn't mean proof of the Hand of God. It just means none of us really knows.

Anne B. said...

They want scientists as their Wise Men?

Cool. How about Roger Bacon, Gregor Mendel and Georges Lemaitre?

Danno said...

These FFRF folks in the Madtown are stark-raving mad. Even Obama and the holiday tree in Washington, DC is officially called a Christmas tree.

Carnifex said...

To answer someones question earlier, yes Madison is that boorish. Parochial even.

But then most leftists, and their bastions are.

And why is it RACIST to criticize a RELIGION? Some one aught to check with Inigo Montoya.