December 23, 2011

"There's a very militant atheist movement that's trying to drive out vestiges of the truth."

"They're trying to deny the truth that this nation is founded on Christian principles... These people, atheists, a number of them... are bound and determined to drive away from any public place any manifestation that Americans are God-loving people... This is not fair, this is not just."

The atheists in the "War on Christmas" take up a beachhead... in Santa Monica.

114 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate the irony of atheists using Christmas to make a point.

I'm not sure why the first lottery winner can take 9 slots. That seems to have caused the whole problem.

Paddy O said...

Atheists, "humbug."

Mike said...

Ah The People's Republic of Santa Monica. Home of rent control in a town where most of the single family residences cost well north of $1 million--and up waaay up. But the voters feel good about themselves.

But Santa Monica is also an examplar of the truism that much of California (or at least the West side of Los Angeles) is like a bowl of granola. Once you get rid of the fruits and nuts, all that's left is the flakes.

John said...

Atheists are standing up all over America and confirming everyone's suspicions that yes they really are insufferable assholes.

bagoh20 said...

Well-known as "The People's Republic of Santa Monica" or "The Home of the Homeless, the place has learned some lessons over the years. I attended my first Tea Party Rally there back on tax day in 2009. The place has begun to roll back it's socialist crap in the face of profound failures from housing and feeding the homeless in city parks to rent control - it's being rolled back. The town is only half crazy, but the quiet half has been having some success recently. The atheists and other activists are long-time tourist attractions enjoyed by all, as long as they don't get their way.

frankz said...

nice pier anyway. and rockford cruised around in his convertible, that was cool.

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
purplepenquin said...

While it is true that it takes a "militant" type of atheist to fight these type of battles, isn't it just as true to say that it takes a "militant" type of Christian to put a Nativity scene on gov't-land?

Paddy O said...

"the first lottery winner can take 9 slots."

Here's my take. Christians have long amused themselves with intra-denominational competition, fighting and backbiting and pushing for priority and acceptance. This is absolutely clear with Nativity scenes, even at the supposed original.

All sorts of rules get put in place over the years to facilitate a cease-fire ecumenism.

The cost of indulging in pervasive disunity, however, is in when atheists jump into the ecumenical fray. The once cozy and self-satisfying denominational bickering gets overturned in the face of complete religious meltdown.

This isn't just about nativity scenes, this is pretty much the history of Europe, and most other burned over Christian regions.

The lottery made sense when competing churches fought about who got the privilege of the most creche space. The big winner was the champion denomination of the year, determined by lots.

So, atheists come in and take advantage of the churches longstanding indulgence of contention. God gets tossed out, non-gods get priority.

This doesn't mean God lost, just his supposed people.

<a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jeremiah%205&version=NIV>That's pretty much what the prophets predicted.<a/> It's a repeatable pattern.

bagoh20 said...

Soviet architecture was soul-less and ugly.

Paddy O said...

"isn't it just as true to say that it takes a "militant" type of Christian to put a Nativity scene on gov't-land?"

No. Not even close.

It's like saying building a house on an empty lot is the same thing as knocking down someone else's house to build your shopping mall.

Before government there is community, and communities have long standing traditions of expression. Using public space during a traditional holiday for expressing that holiday's tradition is different than taking over someone else's tradition, and using that space to supposedly undermine the traditional beliefs that are shared, or at least appreciated, by the broader community.

One is an expression of beliefs for a nationally recognized holiday. The other is purposefully rhetorically violent.

Erik said...

Yes, sometimes atheists can be arrogant pricks. And sometimes Christians can be oversensitive jackasses. Ho hum.

There's a lot of truth to this "war on Christmas" stuff. On the other hand, it's mostly a tempest in a teapot. Atheists goading Christians and Christians goading atheists. At some point you just want to smack both of them and tell them all to grow up and get over it already.

edutcher said...

Since we have a Communist POTUS, all the other Commies figure they'll never have a better shot at turning us into the United Soviet Socialist States (all 60 of them).

John said...

Erik,

I agree with you. As a Christian I find atheists amusing. This is the best they have? Running off Santa Clause from the town square? Any Christian who finds their faith threatened by these pedantic little Aspy's needs to reexamine their faith.

PatCA said...

"The atheists are declaring the politically left-leaning seaside town of Santa Monica as their latest battleground in a national movement to assert their rights."

What "rights" are those??

Again this is sibling rivalry, not equality.

Richard said...

"They're trying to deny the truth that this nation is founded on Christian principles ... "

Oh My. Can you say "Drama Queen"?

Pastafarian said...

"Atheists are standing up all over America and confirming everyone's suspicions that yes they really are insufferable assholes."

Merry Christmas, John.

No, seriously, have a good Christmas.

On a related note, I just received a phone call from an old high school friend who lives out west, wishing me a Merry Christmas; but he also wanted to debate evolution.

He'd added a few new arrows to his quiver -- something about the giraffe and how the complex vascular valve system in its neck is useful only if it has a long neck, and a long neck is lethal without the valve system, so they would have had to have come about simultaneously, therefore evolution is impossible.

So instead the giraffe was miracled into existence.

You have a good point, there, Gene, says I. I'll have to give that one a good ponder.

Who says atheists can't have the Christmas spirit?

caplight45 said...

Penguin said: "While it is true that it takes a "militant" type of atheist to fight these type of battles, isn't it just as true to say that it takes a "militant" type of Christian to put a Nativity scene on gov't-land?"

No.

Pastafarian said...

PaddyO, I liked your old avatar better. It looked more...Irish.

The Crack Emcee said...

Today I don't care - it's not Christmas yet.

Plus the truth ain't the truth anyway.

They're all lying their asses off,...

rhhardin said...

Not founded on the principle of religious nuttery would be a better description.

That excludes Islam, for example.

YoungHegelian said...

I've always found it amusing that atheists of this ilk always talk of "Reason" as if they had it obediently on a leash like a toy poodle.

Like, if we all just opened our eyes and dropped our silly religious superstitions, it would be obvious what's what.

And no matter how many times you point out that if the history of philosophy shows us anything it's that it's NEVER obvious what's what, they never seem to catch on.

I remember some guys who set up temples to Reason. How did that French Revolution thing work out for them, after all?

roesch/voltaire said...

I should think that all the churches and the 24/7 Christian radio/TV clearly mark this as a Christian God loving nation and to consider an atheists' non-creche in a public space as a major attack trying to drive out that fact as a strange insecurity in the faithful. Peace be with you.

John said...

Pastafarian,

There is nothing about evolution that prevents the existence of God. Evolution is a scientific theory that best explains the evidence available. It says nothing one way or another about the non falsifiable existence of God.

So really. Have a merry Christmas too. And while you are doing so contemplate the following:

If the nuclear force were a few percentage points stronger than it actually is, then all the hydrogen atoms in the infant universe would have fused with other hydrogen atoms to make helium, and there would be no hydrogen left. No hydrogen means no water. Although we are far from certain about what conditions are necessary for life, most biologists believe that water is necessary. On the other hand, if the nuclear force were substantially weaker than what it actually is, then the complex atoms needed for biology could not hold together. As another example, if the relationship between the strengths of the gravitational force and the electromagnetic force were not close to what it is, then the cosmos would not harbor any stars that explode and spew out life-supporting chemical elements into space or any other stars that form planets. Both kinds of stars are required for the emergence of life. The strengths of the basic forces and certain other fundamental parameters in our universe appear to be “fine-tuned” to allow the existence of life.

The universe is a put up job.

The Crack Emcee said...

YoungHegelian,

I remember some guys who set up temples to Reason. How did that French Revolution thing work out for them, after all?

Anti-theism isn't the same thing as atheism. Living in France, I found no evidence they're atheists, just against organized religion. They'd even give me a hard time because I enjoyed visiting cathedrals.

Anyway, as long as there's this tendency to stay ignorant to atheism - and blame atheism for the sins of anti-theism - we'll never get any closer to an honest dialogue. And certainly not one that's intelligent.

My 2 cents.

Pastafarian said...

John --

Or ours is one of many universes, or iterations (reshufflings of the fundamental constants); most of which are much less interesting than this one. There's a certain symmetry to that -- the idea that our universe is the result of a beneficial (to us) mutation.

No, I agree, of course evolution and belief in God aren't mutually exclusive. My high school buddy is more of a fundamentalist, though, and this is his usual tactic -- he'd rather attack than defend, and he sees weaknesses in the theory as an opening for attack.

Pastafarian said...

Crack -- I'd like to visit the cathedral at Chartres some day, when I get time, if I can afford it by then.

The Crack Emcee said...

For the record, the French appear normal but are occultists.

Please make a note of it.

John said...

Or ours is one of many universes, or iterations

Universes that cannot be seen or whose existence can in no way ever be confirmed via experimentation or observation.

faith much? And further, where did all of the energy for these universes come from?

The multiverse theory is comical. When confronted with irrefutable evidence of a fine tuned universe, scientists invent other universes to avoid the 500 pound divine gorilla sitting in the corner.

I am sure some of those universes have unicorns in them.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pastafarian,

Crack -- I'd like to visit the cathedral at Chartres some day, when I get time, if I can afford it by then.

They're all amazing - the castles, too. You'd learn so much, even about us, from going.

I found their past waaay more interesting than their present, which is mostly tied up in being jealous of us and trying to compete, which they can't.

France is an intellectual backwater, if you ask me,...

gerry said...

complex vascular valve system in its neck is useful only if it has a long neck, and a long neck is lethal without the valve system

We have check valves in our veins that slam shut to prevent backflow (due to gravity) of blood. Veinous bloodflow has virtually no pressure and depends upon muscle contraction and so forth to move deoxygenated blood back to the heart.

The valve system certainly preceded the long neck.

The organ that I cannot see evolving - even across millions of years - is the eye.

Cellular metabolism has many facets that cannot exist without co-existing complementary processes that, if either were lacking, would result in death. The explanation seems to be, "It happened because we are here, and we wouldn't be here if it hadn't happened."

When Darwin was doing his work the cell was a nondescript blob under the optics they had. They didn't know about mitochondria, lysosomes, chromosomes, ribosomes, and so forth.

Much remains to be discovered.

RichardS said...

In the founding era, the American nation was exclusively a political construct. Hence one can argue that in the late 18th century the U.S. was founded on the principles of natural right, which may have some relation to Christianity or may not.

But once as the federal government grows, and the U.S. becomes a nation in the more normal sense, then the Chritian identity that has been central to American culture itself becomes more a part of what makes us a "nation."

To put it another way, one argument of the founding era was that republics had to be small. That was true of republics that policed morals, religion, health, safety, etc. But an expanded republic was libertarian. At the state has grown, we are trying to have a large republic with a government that has powers that properly belong to a small one. Hence the resulting confusion.

YoungHegelian said...

@crack,

"Living in France, I found no evidence they're atheists, just against organized religion.

I agree with you on that. The French are certainly not atheists per se. They're just against organized religion because they're against anything that holds them to a higher standard of life or, most especially, work.

I say this as someone who is half "off the boat" French, with oodles of family over there.

Trashhauler said...

Most of this atheist vs Christian scuffle is based on a single theological point - the supposed literal interpretation of the Bible. From this single point we get all sorts of ahistorical and non-scientific positions that drive atheists wild. In return, atheists tend to stupidly deny all sorts of religious influence that was clearly present.

But most Christians in the world don't officially hold with literal interpretation of the Bible. It is a fairly recent development from 19th century American Protestantism.

Maguro said...

I do wonder what the point of this is - do these atheist proseletyzers really think this kind of petty assholishness wins them converts?

Erik said...

"The multiverse theory is comical. When confronted with irrefutable evidence of a fine tuned universe, scientists invent other universes to avoid the 500 pound divine gorilla sitting in the corner."

That's an uncharitable way of describing it, and not factual. The multiverse theory isn't something someone came up with because of the "fine tuned" universe idea, it actually comes out of the same math that describes all those tuned aspects. It only looks fined tuned because we live in it.

That doesn't mean the theory is correct, of course, but the idea that scientists came up with it as an excuse to dismiss God is laughable.

In general, I'm with Crack on this one. There is atheism and there is anti-theism. Most of the atheism we see these days isn't really about exalting reason and science, despite what people claim. They dislike religion, and they'd pick up any tool available to bash it. It becomes tiresome and dull.

The Crack Emcee said...

Maguro,

I do wonder what the point of this is - do these atheist proseletyzers really think this kind of petty assholishness wins them converts?

Not being atheists, yes, they do - and they're right about it. NewAge is becoming the dominant belief system in the West and, as long as they hide behind the claim of atheism - or anything else, really - it works.

You've gotta know the game, man,...

Pastafarian said...

And not only that, John, but our hand perfectly fits a banana (speaking of 500-pound gorillas). Co-inky-dink? I think not. Clearly evidence of someone who wanted us to partake of tasty bananas without developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

But that's enough of that. It's the holidays. Why spoil it with petty squabbling?

Browndog said...

If I sneak down to the library in the dead of night and hoist a Christmas tree....

On your way to work the next morning, you drive by and see the tree...

What religion did I just force you to convert to?

Jo said...

Crack: I just discovered that you’ve got a rather powerful ally in your fight against New Age -- the Vatican, coming at it from a completely different angle, of course.

rocketeer67 said...

Anyway, as long as there's this tendency to stay ignorant to atheism - and blame atheism for the sins of anti-theism - we'll never get any closer to an honest dialogue. And certainly not one that's intelligent.

It appears either that a) there is a schism in the Atheist church or b) Crack has fallen into the trap of the "No True Athiest" fallacy.

I kid, I kid.

hombre said...

Jesus didn't mention that the world would be "fair and just" to his followers, quite the contrary. E.g. John 15:18-20.

This Christian whiner needs to cowboy up instead of becoming a foil for obsessive compulsives who think the world wants to hear all about what they don't believe.

Writ Small said...

Is there anything sadder than people who dedicate themselves to nursing a grudge?

They gather together to piss and moan about how they have been wronged.

They hurl insult after insult that normally goes unchallenged due to the good will of their opponents and then cry like stuck pigs at the slightest return of fire.

They don't stand for anything but are defined by being against something that, let's face it, clearly makes many of them feel inadequate.

Those so-called Athiests in Santa Monica have problems, too.

Dante said...

I don't see any evidence these people are "militant."

Being founded on Christian principles? What's the argument for that anyway? I read the following reference to religion in the constitution: "but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

which implies to me a clarification that religion is outside the constitution, and also a need to point it out.

MadisonMan said...


The organ that I cannot see evolving - even across millions of years - is the eye.

Why not? There are plenty of eye-like organs in animals -- such as the parietal eye in tuatara. Certainly there is an evolutionary advantage to sight.

hombre said...

Crack: "Anti-theism isn't the same thing as atheism."

Amen.

Agnosticism isn't the same as atheism either. Anti-theism ranks highest on the "smugly ignorant" scale. Agnosticism ranks lowest.

Jose_K said...

United Soviet Socialist States (all 60 of them). 57, 57...

jimspice said...

I, and every atheist I know personally, have no desire to keep you from practicing your faith. We just do not want it done within the sphere of government. In fact, we hold just as dear "free exercise" as we do "no...establishment." It's not a coincidence that you view us as "pro Muslim" so often. We ARE. We want Muslims to practice their faith, build their mosques, and go about their lives in accordance with the Constitution. Is is the crazy Christianists that believe the 1st only applies to them.

Jose_K said...

What religion did I just force you to convert to? paganism since the tree is not a Christian symbol

Jose_K said...

Im agnostic but i celebrate Xmas because I have a 7 yo daughter and I like gifts since im not a communist

Browndog said...

Being founded on Christian principles?

OK, you got me.

All of us who say that this country--it's laws and system of government--were based in Judeo-Christian principles are big fat liars.

Spill the beans.....expose us-

Tell the world what the real founding principles were in guiding the formation of this new nation.

Jose_K said...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100125810/the-war-on-christmas-is-real-and-the-atheist-barbarians-are-winning-it/

Trashhauler said...

Well, at the risk of being too literally minded, the "no religious test" clause does not say religion is not considered in the Constitution. In fact, its specific prohibition of a religious test for office suggests that religion can be a consideration in other actions.

And why not? People, being people, base their opinions and actions on all of their experience and knowledge, including religious beliefs. In part, this creche business is part of a larger effort to have the use of religious thinking be considered illegitimate in the public arena.

Jose_K said...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100125810/the-war-on-christmas-is-real-and-the-atheist-barbarians-are-winning-it/

Paddy O said...

"We just do not want it done within the sphere of government."

So you want to establish your views on religion in the government? Who gives you the power to decide what citizens can and should do? Not the Constitution, which says no religious views can be established. Just because your organizing philosophy is devoid of a deity, it does not make you a super-citizen.

Browndog said...

Jose_K said...

What religion did I just force you to convert to? paganism since the tree is not a Christian symbol


So, just driving down the road, the mere sight of an object--suddenly, without warning--forces you to start paying homage to pagan gods?

Do I have that right?

hombre said...

Jimspice: We [atheists] want Muslims to practice their faith, build their mosques, and go about their lives in accordance with the Constitution. Is [sic.] is the crazy Christianists that believe the 1st only applies to them.

Oh, really? What part of Islamic practice do you atheists favor the most? Dhimmitude for infidels? Niqab, etc., for women? Death for apostates?

Which Christian spokesperson claims the First applies only to Christians?

Have you given any serious thought to the contents of your comment - ever?

Browndog said...

Oh, really? What part of Islamic practice do you atheists favor the most? Dhimmitude for infidels? Niqab, etc., for women? Death for apostates?

It's more likely "Taqiyya"

Lying liars love lying...and liars

Mary Beth said...

I too think there is a difference between atheists and anti-theists.

It seems silly to spend a lot of time fighting something you say you don't believe exists.

hombre said...

Brownhdog: It's more likely "Taqiyya"

Is that the tenet that holds that it's okay for Muslims, anti-theists and progressives to lie if it furthers their faith[s]?

lol.

n.n said...

The concept of "fair" is unnatural. People will, in a majority, choose one path or another, which may or may not be mutually compatible.

Also, irrespective of any objective history, reality will be influenced by perception, thereby effectively manufacturing a selective history.

Of course, it doesn't help that people are unduly influenced by a selective, limited faith in the senses and they often voluntarily defer to individuals who claim superior or exceptional dignity.

If the Christians want to preserve the character and spirit of this nation, they will need to recognize that, eventually, compromise is equivalent to submission.

They will also need to acknowledge that many, if not most, people are motivated by dreams of physical, material, and instant gratification, principally through redistributive and retributive change, but also through fraudulent exploitation. That these people are perfectly willing to denigrate individual dignity and devalue human life. This is not exactly compatible with the principles put forth by the Christian faith, and so these people will progressively reject that faith in favor of another which will accommodate their desires.

Welcome to reality, Christians. It is far and away from the optimal compromise you envision.

Mike said...

I grew up in Santa Monica and used to go see the nativity scenes every year. Frankly, I'm amazed they've kept the tradition going as long as it has, given the political climate in that city.

traditionalguy said...

Atheists will not take a risk of faith in what is unseen. Why should they risk that?

The rest of the many religious folks and fence sitter CINOs fight against expressed faith in Christianity because it is the front runner and the want to knock it out so they can take its place.

Ergo, the activist atheists and the Muslims are both aiming at repressing Christians and to do so both share a desire for enactment of New Law that will outlaw Christian faith expressions.

The SCOTUS decided fifty years ago that was what the free exercise of religion guarantee in the First Amendment really meant.

Our brave Congress would not touch that issue either way; and it wont unless Gingrich survives the GOP's deluge of slanders that talking about the issue it makes him an unstable bomb thrower.

rocketeer67 said...

They will also need to acknowledge that many, if not most, people are motivated by dreams of physical, material, and instant gratification, principally through redistributive and retributive change, but also through fraudulent exploitation.

Wow, that's deep. The world we live in is so much different from the one Christ came into so long ago, huh?

mtrobertsattorney said...

Eric says "...it looks fine-tuned becuase we live in it."

If I understand him correctly, he is saying that the human mind has the power to impose finely-tuned order on the universe. In other words, the universe has no inherent order that can be described by mathematics.

If this is true, the human mind has incredible powers. I wonder if it can impose immortality on itself and other minds.

John is correct. The multi or infinite universes, theory was proposed to get around the probability problem posed by the mathematical order observed in a single universe. The idea is that if there are an infinite number of universes, then it is not suprising that one of them would display mathematical order.

But I don't see how this helps out the atheist. If there are an infinite number of universes, then it would seem that at least one of them will be governed by a Supreme Being with infinite powers.

mariner said...

YoungHegelian,
I remember some guys who set up temples to Reason. How did that French Revolution thing work out for them, after all?

Wasn't "guillotine" the French word for "reason"?

mariner said...

Trashhauler,
But most Christians in the world don't officially hold with literal interpretation of the Bible. It is a fairly recent development from 19th century American Protestantism.

Most American protestants, even most fundamentalists, don't hold with a literal interpretation of the Bible.

A tiny minority of fundamentalists do, and they are used to slander the rest.

Darleen said...

takes a "militant" type of Christian to put a Nativity scene on gov't-land?

We just do not want it done within the sphere of government.

The problem here is anti-theists (which identify themselves as atheists) somehow believe the "public" square belongs to government; rather than the government being the guardian/holder of land that belongs to citizens.

I believe incidents like this again point out the general unhappiness of anti-theists. Some severe mental problems, too, with people who can't stand others enjoying themselves and celebrating within ear/eyeshot. Like some crank demanding the restaurant manager kick out the group celebrating a birthday at the next table. HOW DARE you be happy! I will have NONE OF IT!

What a pitiful, small existence you live - being consumed by your own faith that you have no more moral worth than a rock.

Chuck66 said...

I'm a pretty right wing Christian. Right off the top of my head, I can't think of one person I know who believe's that the world is only 3,000 years old.

Actually the only people I ever hear talking about the literal Bible words of creation are liberals who are trying to discredit Republican types.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Wherever you stand on belief or non-belief, its always a mistake to expunge records of the past, and that includes religious tradition. Many a Russian village square still has its statue of Lenin, and the Stars and Bars on southern state flags does not indicate a desire to reinstate black slavery. They are remembrances of things past.

In any case, there is no conceivable harm to be done by nativity scenes. Freedom of religion is not, not, not freedom from religion. If atheists want representation too, fine, and it should be just the same as that to be had by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or Zoroastrians. It should be clear to everyone, though, that atheism is a religion, one of many, and that it doesn't deserve preferential treatment.

The Unknown Pundit said...

While I tire of these annual "gotcha's" between believers and non-believers during this season of "Peace on Earth, goodwill to men", I wonder how Christians might feel if they lived in a country where they were the minority religion and the religious majority had its religious beliefs and symbols venerated by the state. Keep in mind that government is force. There might be a few Christians with the thought that the government shouldn't play favorites in these unknowable matters.

Darleen said...

Unknown Pundit

There are many countries where Christians are the minority - and in ones in which Islamists are in charge, they are a persecuted minority.

Now, contrast that to Israel, not only a Jewish state, but one where Christians are a minority - I think the Christians there are quite comfortable.

The Unknown Pundit said...

It should be clear to everyone, though, that atheism is a religion,...

Atheism is not a religion. The only thing it has in common with religion is that it has to compete for the minds of men in the public sphere. And religion has the advantage here as it has a several millenia head start. And it has another disadvantage in that it doesn't make promises about the unknowable. Only religion does that.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Jeez, after all that hot air I never got around to my major thesis. Even atheists should remember the past. Even if they reject the basic tenets of religious faith, they should understand that it is the Christian traditions of love and free will that provided the soil for their humanism to grow. They should at least respect that.

Darleen said...

btw UP

BTW how is allowing citizens access to their own property to express a Constitutional right a case of "playing favorites?"

So #OWS is to be accommodated, but a creche is not?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The Unknown Pundit said...

Atheism is not a religion.


Religion is a system of beliefs regarding the existence of a Supreme Being. Atheism is a system of beliefs regarding the existence of a Supreme Being. Atheism is a religion, Q.E.D.

Atheism is no more provable as fact than is any religion, and so cannot set itself apart on that basis.

Chuck66 said...

Atheism is a religion. And is one of two religions (along with radical Islam) the calls for the destruction (as opposed to voluntary conversion) of all other religion.

If you want a book on Atheism, you go to the Religion section of your book store.

Atheists in the Army have recently demanded their own chaplin.

All Atheists have the same literagy they use when preaching their gospel.

Atheists are obsessed with other religions. As a Lutheran, we didn't sit around all day and talk about how we need to stop the Catholics or the Hindus.

Browndog said...

To Darlene's point-

Government property.

Government...a nameless, faceless, souless entity that rules the people.

Government...of the people, by the people, for the people.

I wonder which form of government they wish to subscribe to...

No, this government, our government, is made up of it's people...and people have religious leanings and observances-

Try as you might, you cannot remove religion from the public...unless, you remove it's people from government.

Or, make government a religion...the only religion.

The Unknown Pundit said...

Darleen

One of these things is not like the other:

Catholic
Jew
Atheist
Baptist

While Christians in Israel live comfortably and peacefully with Jews, they have a shared starting point as shown above. That is part of the issue here in that believers see the atheist as the outsider.

As you yourself put, atheists have/are:

...general unhappiness...

...Some severe mental problems,...

...who can't stand others enjoying themselves and celebrating within ear/eyeshot...

...What a pitiful, small existence you live...


Thanks Darleen. It was so nice to feel the love of God from you in those sentiments. Sort of like you were talking about an outsider of some sorts. LOL

In truth, there is a paradigm shift happening. Modern knowledge of the material world around us has blown away the foundations that sustained religion for millenia. This in turn has led more people to reject religious mythology and its authority. Consequently, the power, both culturally and politically, that religion held is receding. This Santa Monica dealio is just part of this change.

This is as it should be. After all, the Bible says to seek the truth and the truth will set you free.

With that said, Happy Holidays to one and all.

Revenant said...

Atheism is a religion. And is one of two religions (along with radical Islam) the calls for the destruction (as opposed to voluntary conversion) of all other religion

Calling atheism a religion is silly enough, but claiming it calls for the "destruction of all other religion" is just plain dumb.

Certainly there are some atheists who call for that, but there are Christians who call for the destruction of all other religions too. The world is full of nuts.

Robert Cook said...

"Since we have a Communist POTUS, all the other Commies figure they'll never have a better shot at turning us into the United Soviet Socialist States (all 60 of them)."

Edutcher, your attempts at irony are so heavy-handed one would almost think you believed the nonsense you post...but the nonsense you post is too absurd for that to be possible. Irony has to be crafted with a defter hand, dude.

Matt said...

There are Christians who are assholes and their are atheists who are assholes.

This time it is the atheists who are. Frankly, I think they give atheism a bad name. Regardless of what any of us believe a Nativity scene is hardly offensive.

I think Santa Monica just needs to rewrite the rules for alloting spaces to groups during Christmas.

The Unknown Pundit said...

Religion is a system of beliefs regarding the existence of a Supreme Being. Atheism is a system of beliefs regarding the existence of a Supreme Being. Atheism is a religion, Q.E.D.

Actually, atheism posits that there is no Supreme Being. Atheism is not a religion. Q.E.D.

Atheism is no more provable as fact than is any religion, and so cannot set itself apart on that basis.


It's not up to the atheist to prove a Supreme Being exists when he doesn't beleive in its existence in the first place. So actually it can set itself apart on that basis.

Maguro said...

In truth, there is a paradigm shift happening. Modern knowledge of the material world around us has blown away the foundations that sustained religion for millenia. This in turn has led more people to reject religious mythology and its authority. Consequently, the power, both culturally and politically, that religion held is receding. This Santa Monica dealio is just part of this change.

Bullshit. Atheism as a philosophy has made just about zero progress since the days of Socrates. It is, and probably always will be, a fringe movement with a negligible following. If you think these 11 dudes in Santa Monica represent some kind of atheist tidal wave, you're delusional.

Robert Cook said...

"I do wonder what the point of this is - do these atheist proseletyzers really think this kind of petty assholishness wins them converts?"

Why do you assume they're seeking "converts?" That's a religious mode of thought. Perhaps they're intent is just to stop those they perceive as superstitious naifs from using the public commons as a means to promote religious myths.

Revenant said...

Atheism as a philosophy has made just about zero progress since the days of Socrates.

Given that Socrates lived in a society where you could be sentenced to death for advocating against the gods it is pretty obvious that atheism has made some big strides since then. These days you have to go to armpits of the world like Saudi Arabia to experience that kind of treatment (and non-Muslim religious folk don't fare much better).

Anyway, atheism hasn't made big inroads in the United States, but it has in Europe and Asia. For example, the UK is around 1/3 atheist and another 1/3 non-religious.

rcocean said...

Militant Atheists are trying to destroy Christianity - that's their goal boys.

You can wish otherwise, but they ain't going away and they're not going to stop because you turn the other cheek or think they're not nice.

I think you're going to see more and more open examples of Atheist hatred for Christianity. With no pushback.

Chuck66 said...

Can any of you Atheist give me an example, just one, of a Christian group that is as hatefilled as Madison's Freedom From Religion group is? One that rooms from Whitefish Montana to Texas to try to destroy other religions.

Geesh, I wonder if anyone has screen shots of Soglin's blog from about 6 years ago. He is a vicious anti-Christian bigot. I see he scrubed his blog when running for mayor.

Paul said...

"They're trying to deny the truth that this nation is founded on Christian principles... These people, atheists, a number of them... are bound and determined to drive away from any public place any manifestation that Americans are God-loving people... This is not fair, this is not just."

And it's a fact. Why did the Pilgrims come to America? To get away from God? No! It was to practice their faith without interference.

As I've said, the Constitution says FREEDOM OF RELIGION. Not Freedom FROM religion.

Darleen said...

there are Christians who call for the destruction of all other religions too

Links, please.

Paddy O said...

Of course, it's religious. It's silly to say otherwise. The whole discussion is about existence of God(s), what that means for ethics, for society, for government. It's competing with religious attention on religious issues in a religious space. There's no way to even describe atheism without reference to religious issues.

It defines one end of the spectrum of inherently religious questions about existence and future. And often comes about in the context of reaction against other attempted answers. It's a declaration of a stance on questions of religion

Saying it's not religious in nature is defining religion in a very overly narrow way. It's very much similar to the way some Christians say Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship. That's a self-satisfying way of putting it, but it's not really true in how we use actual words in actual life.

A group of people who share a common belief about a deity acting in concert for shared goals? That there is a religion. And when that goal is to convince others, it's even an evangelistic religion.

Darleen said...

Modern knowledge of the material world around us has blown away the foundations that sustained religion for millenia. This in turn has led more people to reject religious mythology and its authority. Consequently, the power, both culturally and politically, that religion held is receding.

Hooey.

The great tradition of Christianity is/was that it is our duty to examine God's creation. It is an unserious study of history that claims Christianity as an enemy of science.

Science is a tool, a method to gain knowledge. What we do with that knowledge and how we should behave are not questions of science but of morality. Principles, ethics - science doesn't have anything to say about those issues - it is the realm of philosophy and religion.

bagoh20 said...

I don't see the advantage of being an atheist. I mean sure, you get to act all smart and superior, but if that's not important to you, it seems better to pretend to be just a normal nonpracticing I-don't-give-a-shit who thinks Jesus was cool.

Then you get to celebrate the holidays and don't have to argue all the time with people who otherwise would buy you stuff for Christmas.

Just keep it on the down-low. It's not like you have to publicly accept that Jesus is NOT your savior to avoid getting saved. Even if you accidently get saved and go to heaven, I'm sure you can leave, especially if you tell them you are an atheist.

Phil 3:14 said...

Jim;
You do understand that once you brandish the term "Christianist", everything before and after is negated.

mtrobertsattorney said...

The ? Pundit says atheists posit that there is no supreme being.

He is quite wrong. The supreme being for the atheist is unknowing and unconscious matter. It is the supreme source of all things that exist, or will exist.

Revenant said...

I don't see the advantage of being an atheist.

There aren't any. It is easier to be a Christian who never sets foot in a church; there are more of them than there are of us and they don't catch anywhere near the grief for it. :)

Revenant said...

The supreme being for the atheist is unknowing and unconscious matter. It is the supreme source of all things that exist, or will exist.

There are several ways in which the above statement is wrong:

(1): You're (sort of) describing materialism, not atheism (all materialists are atheists, but not vice-versa).

(2): Saying "unthinking and unconscious matter" is like saying "non-basketball matter". Whether or not matter thinks is a property of how it is structured, not an inherent property of the matter itself (so far as we know).

(3): The term "supreme being" definitionally refers to a conscious entity, and thus is inappropriate to apply to something like "the physical substance of the universe" (which is not, so far as we know, conscious).

Writ Small said...

@Revenant - I agree with everything you've written on this thread (shocker - I know).

But - what do you think about what the Santa Monica folks actions?

bgates said...

Going after the nativity scene is small beer.

Why aren't they agitating to get the city renamed "Monica"?

Revenant said...

But - what do you think about what the Santa Monica folks actions?

I think it did nothing but make Christians hate atheists even more than they are already inclined to. Which doesn't do us a lick of good.

The irony is that if the people claiming "atheism is a religion" were right, they would have no grounds for complaint -- this would just be a case of two religions fighting over who gets to use a public park. It is only if these atheists are motivated by hostility to Christianity, rather than zeal for their own faith, that Christians can fairly complain.

Writ Small said...

We're entirely in agreement - darn - no fun arguing tonight.

Gene said...

I'd say the atheists and other Christophobic elements have pretty much won the public discourse. My little local public library quit putting up a Christmas tree three years ago. Last year I asked the head librarian how come. She said "insurance issues." I said, "Come on, you've had one for the last 20 years without any problem."

She said, "but what if it catches fire?"

I said, "put water in the stand. It won't catch fire."

She declined, even after I offered to go buy a tree myself.

I later asked someone I knew who worked there what happened. He said, "someone complained." So the librarian folded like a soggy newspaper.

In the last couple of days I've had perhaps six people wish me a "Happy Holidays" without a single "Merry Christmas." I am not thrilled to get wishes of a happy holiday. I give them a dazzling smile (or as close to that as I can manage) and tell them "And a Merry Christmas to you."

I have no issues I'm winning the Battle of the Bulge or anything but it makes me feel better (and I always get a smile in return).

Gene said...

Christianity is being so de-legitimized that when you do hear someone say Merry Christmas in public if feels like you're hearing an ethic slur. I heard the host on a NPR station wish all her listeners a Merry Christmas the other day and my first thought was, "Is she allowed to say that?"

Trashhauler said...

It is, perhaps, ironic that this little dustup has taken place in Santa Monica, named for the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. Being possessed of a "sweet and patient" character, she prevailed over the hostility of her husband, who eventually converted to Christianity, and likewise succeeded in turning Augustine towards Christianity after a 17 year disagreement over the nature of God and man.

I don't think this thread can last that long.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey - If You Can Be Ranting Hypocrites Then So Can I,...

Alex said...

It seems assholes abound.

Jim in St Louis said...

I agree with everything that every previous commenter has said.

Revenant said...

I heard the host on a NPR station wish all her listeners a Merry Christmas the other day and my first thought was, "Is she allowed to say that?"

That says a great deal about you and nothing whatsoever about our culture. In fact, when a left-wing media outlet like NPR feels zero hesitation about saying "Merry Christmas" that constitutes some pretty good evidence that there is no stigma attached to Christmas or Christianity at all.

For pity's sake, there is a CHRISTMAS SONG called "Happy Holidays" that is nearly 70 years old. Stop being so damned paranoid.

James said...

Perhaps they're intent is just to stop those they perceive as superstitious naifs from using the public commons as a means to promote religious myths

How ironic.

Dante said...

"All of us who say that this country--it's laws and system of government--were based in Judeo-Christian principles are big fat liars."

And on Roman law, etc.

It's not as if the ten commandments are embedded in the constitution, you know.

Personally, I think you have the cart before the horse. To me, religion is merely a reflection of people's ideas, not the other way around.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Rev says the term "supreme being" refers to a conscious entity. Not exactly.

Philosophically speaking, word "being" refers to the quality of existence. Any entity that exists possess the quality of being. A "supreme being", then, is the ultimate and most fundamental entity that has the quality of existence. If you believe material atoms to be the ultimate and most fundamental entity to exist, then you believe material atoms to be the "supreme being".

Revenant said...

Philosophically speaking, word "being" refers to the quality of existence.

That is one of several definitions of "being", and not the one used here. The one used here is "being" in the sense of "human being" -- a living, thinking entity.

Which is why we say "God is the supreme being", not "God has supreme being". We aren't talking about a property of an entity, we're talking about the entity itself.

Gene said...

Relevant: For pity's sake, there is a CHRISTMAS SONG called "Happy Holidays" that is nearly 70 years old. Stop being so damned paranoid.

I will when you quite being such a damned bigot.

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