Pat ownes 'whiny Atheists'

Makalakumu

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This was great. As an atheist, I've had many similar thoughts about Christmas and other holidays and about other totalitarian atheists who want to force everyone to be like them.
 
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fangjian

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http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/22/us/california-nativity-atheists/index.html?hpt=hp_c1


This whole thing seems a bit odd. I'm all for secularism and removal of religious stuff from state/govt properties, but this is 'public' property. It's just as ludicrous to me as the people that protest having an Atheist Billboards in 'public'.

Does anyone here agree with these people (the Atheists/Christians removing this stuff from public view) ?
 

Sukerkin

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Sauce for the goose and all that. For too many centuries have the religious loonies had things their own way so it's about time the humans who can actually think got to have a say ...

... what's that? They went through the trouble of applying for the space and didn't use it? Well ... could be a Zen thing maybe :lol:.

In all honesty, it's not as if any laws were being broken either way (we hope), so the fact that it made the news is only down to the season (of course). Christians getting upset that they didn't get to put their propaganda piece in place this year cuts no ice with me but it was spiteful just to block them for the sake of it without taking the opportunity to educate.

My view, precised down to harsh bluntness is that the Bronze Age was quite a while ago now my fellows - there is no Heavenly Father taking care of it all for us and he didn't send his son to die for our sins. It's time to recognise the purpose such superstitious mythologies once had for us as a species but that it is now up to us how we deal with first our own lives and then the universe at large. But being mean-spirited about such things as Nativity representations just doesn't help - it only serves to polarise and upset people and that gets us nowhere.
 

Makalakumu

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If people can put up a Nativity scene, a Flying Spaghetti Monster scene could be put up across the street. Lets use the 1st Amendment while we still have it people. As far as secularism goes, I used to think that we should ban all religious symbols. Now, I can see giving any religious group a shot at putting up a display of their faith. For example, I would love to put up a Christmas display with Odin being towed by his Reindeer. Or maybe could have a good old fashioned Saturnalia celebration in public and really shock the socks off some prudes. Even better, how about we celebrate the rebirth of Dionysus, by drinking of his blood and eating his body and then proceed to get blind drunk. Last but not least, and perhaps the best of all, lets have a real Norse Yule celebration! We'll carve a twelve foot tall log into the shape of a penis and burn it for 12 days and have ourselves a real fertility celebration.

The best part about being an atheist, IMO, is learning how to become a true religious chameleon.
 

granfire

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If people can put up a Nativity scene, a Flying Spaghetti Monster scene could be put up across the street. Lets use the 1st Amendment while we still have it people. As far as secularism goes, I used to think that we should ban all religious symbols. Now, I can see giving any religious group a shot at putting up a display of their faith. For example, I would love to put up a Christmas display with Odin being towed by his Reindeer. Or maybe could have a good old fashioned Saturnalia celebration in public and really shock the socks off some prudes. Even better, how about we celebrate the rebirth of Dionysus, by drinking of his blood and eating his body and then proceed to get blind drunk. Last but not least, and perhaps the best of all, lets have a real Norse Yule celebration! We'll carve a twelve foot tall log into the shape of a penis and burn it for 12 days and have ourselves a real fertility celebration.

The best part about being an atheist, IMO, is learning how to become a true religious chameleon.



I think you left out the old Egyptian ceremony of the Pharaoh fornicating with the High Priestess to ensure a plentiful for the next season...

Then again they had that in Ishtar, Dionysus cults didn't stop at the drinking.....

Religion used to be much more fun in the olden days. :)
 

Makalakumu

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I think you left out the old Egyptian ceremony of the Pharaoh fornicating with the High Priestess to ensure a plentiful for the next season...

Then again they had that in Ishtar, Dionysus cults didn't stop at the drinking.....

Religion used to be much more fun in the olden days. :)

No kidding. The spread of atheism would be much harder if religions still carried on the old ceremonies.
 

Flea

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Not an atheist, but emphatically not a Christian either.

For me, it comes down to the intention behind the display, and the venue. Purty feel-good images like mannequins bent over 40-watt lightbulbs encased in a manger are great. I especially enjoy the "live" scene with real actors and animals, because they bring the nativity to life. The nativity is a powerful narrative, the first step in countless Hero's Journeys that begin with an extraordinary birth. For me it's a reminder of that deep commonality we all share - the same basic story that we all respond to on an emotional level so deep that it can draw entire tribes and faiths together. And that makes me feel good.

Oftentimes these displays (I'm not just referring to the nativity here) are intended to proseletyse. If people want to share their faith that's great, but it gets to be a bit much for someone who's already culturally saturated with it just by living in this society. Yes I've heard of Jesus tyvm, I grew up Presbyterian. I walked away from it for a reason, and I don't need some sanctimonious stranger wagging his finger in my face for the third time this week. I don't encounter it very much now that I'm out on the West Coast, but when I lived in the Bible Belt it was so constant and bombastic it felt a lot like harassment after a while.

There's an enormous swath of grey between feel-good displays, "sharing" and proseletysing. Context is everything, from geographic and architectural location to the individuals involved to the local political and religious context. And while it may ruffle some feathers to point it out, some of there displays are intended to intimidate. I was a news reporter in Kentucky one of the countless times legislators moved to post the 10 Commandments as a 20' monument on state capitol grounds. Other critical issues like public safety and the state's financial meltdown sat on the shelf while they took turns thumping their chests on the Floor. It was pure pandering (duh!) had nothing to do with Christianity. Every state senator and rep knew that if they breathed one word against it they would lose their job. How is that not intimidation? And when putting up a stupid statue trumps issues like paving highways and funding kindergarten, how is that even Christian?

:soapbox: Deep breaths, Flea. *blush*

Anyway, I'm perfectly happy with feel-good displays, even when they involve religious imagery. But when they're intended to proseletyse and score political points, they need to stay out of government buildings. That's what parks, shopping malls, and front yards are for. Courthouses and legislative offices can content themselves with the secular images like trees and reindeer. There's plenty of symbolism to go around.
 

Flea

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There are hundreds of verses to this. My favorite:

We're all big fans of Eris
Cuz he's the god of Chaos
And that's why this verse doesn't rhyme or scan or anything
And that's good enough for me
 
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granfire

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No kidding. The spread of atheism would be much harder if religions still carried on the old ceremonies.



I mean, shucks, saw a TV commercial for a church of some sort....
"we don't have instruments in church because they are not part of the truth"
Now what else can we take out that is fun?!
 

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merryhappy.jpg
 

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I think we all need to get over ourselves. The video in the OP was great. If you're offended by someone wishing you a genuine Merry Christmas, just get over it. In the same vein, if someone wishes you a happy holidays and you're offended, you should also get over it. This is really not a big deal.
 
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