I don't live more then 20 minutes from Fort Collins but my city couldn't be further from the politics of Fort Collins. We are a retirement community who seem to all be curmudgeon right wingers. We have a forum in the local paper for people to call into and sound off on current events, gripes and suggestions. Usually the extent of these peoples' "problems" and stress amounts to complaining about people who don't keep their lawn green enough. However, this time of year they ramp up their war machine to fight for their time honored tradition of discriminating against anyone who isn't Christian.
So here's the deal. The city of Fort Collins has decided to have a holiday celebration instead of one centered only upon the Christian holiday of Christmas. They have decided to put up a tree and decorate it but leave the angel off the top of the tree and because of that decision you'd think the city was admitting to literally crucifying Christians. Everyone in our city is up in arms that the secularists are destroying Christmas and some have even declared their efforts to be inclusive is threatening our sovereignty as a country!!! (Huh?). The guy who claimed that also implied that since he was a veteran then he can demand whatever he wants and that his opinion is more important to that of others. He asks what the secular progressives have ever done for this country. Yeah, because there couldn't have possibly been any secularists and/or Atheists in the military. And so those of us who haven't been in war don't have the same rights as those who have?? I see. As many of you know there is no rationalizing with these people. I've tried many, many times.
I've tried to explain to them what it is like being a minority and the feeling of constantly having your beliefs, rights and view trampled upon. I tell them, "How would you feel if you lived in a predominately Muslim country that didn't celebrate Christmas and instead put up Islamic symbols during Islamic holidays on government property. And wouldn't that make you feel discriminated against and hurt?" Usually the response I get is something like this, "Well I don't live in that kind of theoretical country, I live in America and goddamn proud of it!! And if you don't like that America is Christian then maybe you should leave." Well, after many abrasions to my head from slamming it into the nearest wall after such statements I've ceased asking the question to them altogether.
So anyway, back to the situation at hand in Fort Collins. Well, yesterday the Sheriff of the city announced that he is going to basically flip off the city and anyone who isn't Christian by putting up a Christmas tree topped with a huge angel on the front lawn of the Sheriff's office. So I guess now he's only the Sheriff for Christians. The sheriff stated:
“I just wanted to show that there are people with some common sense in our community, and that we do celebrate our heritage (GOI: You mean your heritage Sheriff),” Alderden said Wednesday, an hour after sending out an e-mail newsletter that lambasts the ACLU and political liberals for trying to secularize holiday displays.
“While the secular progressives have tried to take Christ out of Christmas, (GOI: I don't want to take Christ out of Christmas, I want to take Christ out of my government!! Two very different things but I guess asking these wackos to understand nuance is too much) supported and bolstered by the ACLU, which is waging its own Jihad against Christianity, (GOI: So now we secularists are now being compared to radical Islamic Jihadists?)” Alderden wrote in his Bulls-eye newsletter, “the majority of Americans living in Larimer County and Fort Collins recognize and value our Christian heritage.”
(GOI: I guess it would be asking too much to value the other heritages that have developed around here for decades such as the the Japanese Buddhist community who's ancestors came here at the turn of the last century to work the fields around here and build the railroad. The Sheriff says that he'd be willing to include a Jewish Menorah but I doubt he'd allow Pagans to display their Winter Solstice symbols and Buddha statues for Bodhi Day which merely celebrates the impact that the Buddha had upon philosophy and the world in general. Imagine though if you will what would happen if I came forward to say that I want to include a Buddha statue in the mix. There would probably be riots including images of me being beaten with a flood of crosses or maybe more apropos, stoned. See this is the problem. When you start allowing religion into the public arena then you have to include symbols of allll beliefs that have holidays around this time of year, which means a crowded government building lawn. Just like prayer in school, which religious traditions prayer do we use and if it's Christian then which Christian prayer? Would the Evangelicals be o.k. with a Mormon or Catholic prayer?
That concept, the separation of church and state, is fairly new, Alderden wrote in his newsletter. It was created by the U.S. Supreme Court and wasn’t the intention of those who crafted the Constitution, he wrote (GOI: I see. Despite a large group of them being Deists which is not Christian, AND despite American being founded upon the idea of religious freedom because of leaving a country that forced one religion down everyones' throats!!!!!!!!).
“Why in America, a country founded on Judaic Christian values, would we exclude symbols of faith from the public square?” Alderden wrote. “Why not display a Nativity scene?”GOI: I thought that I would include some of the comments from people regarding this issue that have been printed in the local paper over the last few days:
"Good for the Sheriff, who is going to take a stand with his Christmas trees on the spineless leaders in Fort Collins who want to diminish Christmas (GOI: No, that's not what most of us secularists want. We want to rid the government and public square with it. No one is saying that you can't put up a living nativity scene on your front yard if you want. You can even have an actor playing Jesus stand up on your roof 24 hours a day and wave at the passing cars if you want. Just keep your fucking religion out of the government!!!). Fort Collins is being taken over by the politically correct crowd of leaders who embrace the ACLU (GOI: The horror!! An organization standing up for equal rights of all citizens!!!).
Bravo. Thanks Sheriff Alderden for standing up for what 90 percent or more of us feel about religion and Christmas. The remaining 10% of you who are non-believers, you have a very small minority, but free to retain your feelings. Let the rest of us have what we've always had, freedom for our beliefs in God and Christmas. (GOI: Oh, so I see. YOU have the right to freedom of religion but not the rest of us. Thank-you for so graciously allowing me to have different feelings as long as they don't upset you).
And let's not forget Festivus!!
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