Friday, December 26, 2008

Festivus Miracle in Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD -- In the world of the TV sitcom "Seinfeld," Festivus is a goofy, high-tension Christmas substitute dreamt up by George Costanza's angry dad. Revelers gathered around an aluminum pole and couldn't leave until someone pinned the head of the household to the floor.

Festivus is still good for a laugh among "Seinfeld" loyalists, even 11 years after the episode was first broadcast.

Funny, but nobody's laughing much about the Festivus pole that popped up under the dome of the Illinois Capitol this week.

Not the people who set up the nearby nativity scene.

"I think it's a mockery," said Dan Zanoza, chairman of the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee.

Not the atheists who set up their own Capitol display.

"If the state's going to create a forum for religion at this time of year, which we do not approve of, this is what's going to happen," said Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

TPJ: The Christians (like usual) are missing the point. The Christians are feel that their religious traditions are being mocked and disrespected and yet that is the very reason that the Atheists are trying to get their displayed posted too. They feel disrespected, discriminated against for their lack of belief and offended that public government buildings are honoring one set of beliefs over others.

We Atheists are upset that the government isn't honoring the Constitution's requirement that government not establish a religion. So allowing a nativity scene to be displayed on government property but not allowing other groups their displays is heading down the path toward establishing and giving preference to one religion over another.

Yes, the Constitution also says that the government shouldn't prevent the free exercise of religion but it doesn't say the free exercise of only one religion--Christianity. It applies to all religions. Atheists don't fight Christanity to be annoying and just "for fun" but because government buildings should be religiously neutral since Americans of all beliefs and those of no beliefs use them and pay taxes to keep them running. Happy Festivus for the rest of us!!!

---End of Transmission---


Snave said...

You are right! They just don't get it. I laugh out loud when they claim Christians are persecuted in America. Some of them seem incapable of understanding that America is about ALL of We the People, not just those who believe Jesus is Lord or whatever.

There was controversy in the state of Washington when atheists put up a sign at the state capitol. The controversy came because of all the outrage suffered by the Christians over how the atheistic sign was an "attack" on Christianity. Mrs. Snave and I were appalled by the whole thing, asking each other "Don't these people have more important things to worry about... like the nation's economy? The environment? Education?"

But no, they seem afraid, desperate enough that they have to fight practically to the death to defend Christianity... which is nowhere near needing a helping hand. When the Christians control most of what goes on in our country, I have to think they're pretty strong.

Good for the Festivus people! There was talk about that in Washington too, but I don't think the Festivus pole came about.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...


Yeah my wife and I rant and rave every weekend practically about this madness. It's like debating children.

I totally agree with you on focusing all that energy on better things like the environment, health care, etc. Same thing goes with homosexuality.

Is it a fight really worth fighting? If they want people to leave them alone and respect their beliefs then they need to extend the same to others.

Nelson said...

I think many of those on the Right lack the part of the brain that empathizes with other human beings. You see it in how they want Christian displays but not others. You see it in their support for the Iraq War without considering the obvious truth that they wouldn't want another country to invade the US. Etc, etc.

They can't put themselves in other people's shoes. It's like the little CPU in their heads says, "Does Not Compute." Maybe they're robots or, as you implied, permanently stuck at the age of 8.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...


Yeah many Christians are pretty selfish. Not all of course but many.

lisa said...

Nelson, you should read Al Franken's book. I forget the name exactly, but it's something like "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them." He says the same thing about Love of Country. When rightists say that liberals don't love this country, he explains that liberals love this country in a grown-up way. Not like how a three-year-old loves his mommy, but in a thoughtful way that loves the country, warts and all.