Those Warm, Cuddly Atheists
I hadn’t thought the link on Drudge worth clicking, because stories about holiday displays in state houses tend to be media-trumpeted examples of adults’ immaturity, but procrastinating before bed, last night, I took a look at this sample out of Illinois and find the controversial signage to be surprising even within its genre:
The sign [posted by Freedom from Religion Foundation] reads: “At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
Obviously, the people of Illinois are free to handle their public buildings without reference to my opinion, but I’d suggest that the parties responsible for accepting this sign (there or in the handful of other states that did so) ought to face public pressure against their offices for their bad judgment. The content of the sign and the concept of its placement illustrates perfectly that atheists need no higher power but their own arrogance to start down paths that lead to oppression.
The very fact that the display is a sign — a statement of position — placed among religious symbols ambiguously related to doctrine (and usually highlighting a positive, accepting aspect of it) stands as evidence of the group’s mentality and the public officials’ bad judgment. Note, especially, that the attribution of the sign appears in a much smaller font than the message, giving the impression that it is the state’s position in relation to religious displays nearby. Then there’s the message itself, which constitutes a direct and explicit attack on fellow citizens.
As I’ve argued recently, the real problem, in these circumstances, is that this activity initiates at the federal level. Atheists should be free to be as obnoxious as they like, but states oughtn’t feel as if the federal government requires them to ignore the obvious calls of common sense and good taste.