Remember when Christmas was all about sharing the spirit of the season? Yeah, me neither. Of course, I’m not concerned with the commercialism of the holiday season (it may be a problem, but it’s easily solved by *gasp* not giving in to it and by buying meaningful presents instead of expensive ones…but I digress) as much as I’m concerned with the religious strife surrounding the season. One the one side, there are over-the-top Christians who get flustered any time someone says something other than “Merry Christmas,” and on the other, you’ve got over-the-top atheists who balk at any mention of religion during a season with three religious holidays. Every year, it’s blindingly obvious that both groups missed the point of the entire season.
The focus of the annual pissing contest in Washington this year is a sign put up at the capitol building in Olympia by the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation saying, among other things, that religion is nothing but myth and superstition. The response? First it was stolen, then Bill O’Reilly chimed in about how awful and un-Christian it was, then it was returned, and finally, a local evangelical church organized
an anti-atheist protest a pro-faith rally complete with their own sign claiming that atheism is nothing but myth and superstition. Yeah. It’s worse than the Christmas tree–er, holiday tree–incident at SeaTac a couple years ago.
Both groups are in the wrong here. The atheist group was obviously trolling with their rather provocative sign (it would have been fine without the religion dig), but the Christians who responded negatively were no better, especially with their signs claiming Governor Gregoire is a Grinch or the balloon nativity scene featuring Bill O’Reilly beating up on the governor (so I’ve heard). At any rate, the governor has repeatedly insisted that all religious (and non-religious) displays will be tolerated at the capitol building. I hear some people are even planning on erecting a Festivus pole.
Anyways, as the three-man counter-protesters said, “Get over it.” The atheist sign certainly crossed the line once it started disparaging religion, but the simple fact of the matter is that the holiday season doesn’t just mean Christmas. And while I know for a fact that there are a lot of Christians out there who understand that, there are still a bunch who don’t get it and probably never will. Bah, humbug.