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Author Topic: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle  (Read 7469 times)

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Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« on: November 26, 2012, 12:05:00 PM »
Article

Basically what happened is that there are 21 lots in a public area in California that have for years and years always been used for Christmas nativity displays by various Christian church groups.  Last year, the city ran a lottery to see who could rent the lots during the holiday season.  18 out of the 21 lots were won by atheist groups, who then put up signs essentially decrying religion as foolishness.  Some of the atheist signs were torn down or otherwise vandalized, presumably by people who consider themselves Christians. 

Now I for one am not an atheist, but I believe wholeheartedly in the value of free speech in America.  Vandalizing the signs was just bad form in my opinion.

Offline Tsenta

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 04:27:41 PM »
Putting the signs up in the first place was also bad tact, if someone celebrates a holiday due to their religion who are they to judge if it's foolish or not?  Kind of see it as an even playing field right now.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 04:40:04 PM »
A better response would have been for the religious groups (I'm not even going to limit it to Christians) to pool their efforts into making a really amazingly eye-catching display.  Given the choice, more people look at bright pretty lights than pieces of paneling with words on them.

Offline ulthakptah

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 10:15:40 PM »
This is another oh so popular case of the jerks with the loudest mouths speaking on behave of everyone else. Atheist aren't bad people; they are people who do not believe in deities. However there are some atheists whose reasons for being atheist is that they hate all the other religions. Ironically their hatred of religion is because of the jerks with the loudest mouths in religion hating things.

Really I don't understand why atheists would have a problem with the nativity in a public place. So what if it is a symbol of a believe that isn't they're own? I don't get upset about seeing menorahs and Stars of David. It's not like the nativity is offensive. Putting up signs saying mean things about groups of people is offensive. Really I don't think this is an issue of free speech, but one of the freedom of religion. The purpose of the signs was not for atheist's right to free speech, but to push out and prohibit the free exercise of a belief that was not their own, and that's what they did. They cause so much trouble trying to be as offensive as possible to a group of people that the city had rather nobody use the space then put up with all the bickering. A sad day for humanity once again proving that people just can't get along if they don't think exactly the same as everyone else.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 10:41:00 PM »
Didn't all the 'take the 10 commandments out of the courthouses' crap a decade or so back start because some atheist with too much time on his hands and the willngness to go all over the south to sue to have them removed from public property?

Ironically a lot of them were put in as part of a promotion of the '10 Commandments' with Charlton Heston.

Online Oreo

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 11:25:33 PM »
To be frank, I am confused by it all. Spreading hate during a time of year when even wars have been suspended for the day seems an act against humanity. Shall we remove Saint Nicholas Santa too? He is after all a religious icon. Or take down all the Christmas trees for environmentalists? Or even change the name to Holiday trees? *sigh* This little cookie is hurt by hate in any form.

Offline ulthakptah

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 11:40:08 PM »
Yep, and afterwards the next logical step would be to start taking down Saint Valentine's, and Saint Patrick's day.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 11:59:39 PM »
Two quotes that I've been spreading around Facebook this year (found them last year) :

Quote
If someone sincerely wishes you a "Happy" anything and this brings you anger, the anger is coming from inside of you... and I believe this is the bigger problem.

Quote
Saying "Happy Holidays" to strangers does not take the Christ out of Christmas, but your claiming to speak for Him while you shop might tick Him off.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 04:15:52 AM »
Is it so weird to think that having christians tell that god exists offends atheists just as much as it offends christians to hear from atheists that god doesn't exist?

Or what if another religion is introduced in the mix and claims that only his religion is the right one?

I don't think atheists have something against the underlying principles of Christmas and enjoy the season just as much as anybody else does, but at the same time I can understand that they feel offended by people claiming that a god exists.


Long story short; we'd all get along a lot better if we were more tolerant towards one another, and didn't put so much effort in trying to convince others of our own opinion and beliefs. :-)

Offline ulthakptah

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 04:51:20 AM »
I'm not offended that atheists don't believe in any theology. I'm offended when certain atheists claim that believing in any theology makes a person less intelligent than those who don't.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 05:31:44 AM »
I'm not offended that atheists don't believe in any theology. I'm offended when certain atheists claim that believing in any theology makes a person less intelligent than those who don't.
Agreed... however, we Christians(And people of other Religious beliefs) should also respect the beliefs of Atheists, as they have reasons for believing so... of course, should they begin to be offensive about it, I see no problem with fighting back... vandalism is never the answer, though...

Offline Caitlin

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 05:52:38 AM »
I'm not offended that atheists don't believe in any theology. I'm offended when certain atheists claim that believing in any theology makes a person less intelligent than those who don't.
Strangely enough, this is exactly what christians claimed of natives who they felt needed to be converted to the christian faith, because they believed in non-existing gods and thought of them as stupid and not enlightened. The past decades a new movement seems to have arisen that now does the same with christianity. In my country atheism is the fastest growing 'religion'. More and more people no longer feel affiliated to a specific religion and though a lot of people still believe in a form of god or afterlife, and increasing number also beliefs in neither of them.

Give it another 50 years and I'm betting that the atheists outnumber the religious people by far in my country.

Offline vtboy

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 06:04:03 AM »
Didn't all the 'take the 10 commandments out of the courthouses' crap a decade or so back start because some atheist with too much time on his hands and the willngness to go all over the south to sue to have them removed from public property?

Ironically a lot of them were put in as part of a promotion of the '10 Commandments' with Charlton Heston.

Put yourself in the shoes of a woman suing to enjoin the state from invading her vagina with an ultrasonic probe so she can be forced to observe her fetus's heartbeat on a monitor before having an abortion. Don't you think she might find a display of the ten commandments over the courthouse doors a bit offputting?

I don't think this was a case of someone with too much time on his hands, at all. The suggestion inherent in such displays is that judges will be guided in their decisions by religious teachings. In a society that purports to be governed by secular principles, and claims to permit freedom of conscience for all, everyone should be appalled by the implicit message.   
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 06:06:06 AM by vtboy »

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 06:07:59 AM »
As I recall, the Ten Commandments in the themselves have nothing against abortion(I could be wrong, of course, as I haven't read them in a while), and cover every basic of secular law... so having them above the Courthouse really shouldn't be that much of a problem...

Offline ulthakptah

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 06:26:49 AM »
Strangely enough, this is exactly what christians claimed of natives who they felt needed to be converted to the christian faith, because they believed in non-existing gods and thought of them as stupid and not enlightened. The past decades a new movement seems to have arisen that now does the same with christianity.
And so the cycle continues... You would think by now someone would have looked at history to see how persecuting a person solely on their believes ends.
As I recall, the Ten Commandments in the themselves have nothing against abortion(I could be wrong, of course, as I haven't read them in a while), and cover every basic of secular law... so having them above the Courthouse really shouldn't be that much of a problem...
Indeed, personally I find that people assuming that all Christians are against abortion is aggravating as it is not true.

Offline Silk

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 06:37:24 AM »
As I recall, the Ten Commandments in the themselves have nothing against abortion(I could be wrong, of course, as I haven't read them in a while), and cover every basic of secular law... so having them above the Courthouse really shouldn't be that much of a problem...

Quote
1.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thats already off putting to anyone of not the Christian faith (non secular)

Quote
2.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image

Argueable value and largely irrelevant (non secular)

Quote
3.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
Happens whenever someone has to take an oath with under god in it when they don't believe, (non secular)
Quote
4.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

People work on Sunday's get over it (non secular)

Quote
5.

Honor your father and your mother,

Shame child abuse cases happen and child vs parent court cases do happen (Semi-secular, theres no law on it)

Quote
6.

You shall not murder.

At number 6 we at last have a secular law (secular)

Quote
7.

You shall not commit adultery.

Although morally wrong in society I'm pretty sure there is very little the law has to say on it. (semi secular)

Quote
8.

You shall not steal.

The other secular law in the 10 commandments (secular)

Quote
9.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Remember children, god doesn't want you to tell porkies to your neighbour, few curcumstance it's relevant, court is one of them (Secular)

Quote
10.

You shall not covet

Pretty sure Jealously isn't a secular law, (non secular)




So there you have it, 2(3) of the ten commandments have been made into secular law, 2 of them are semi relevant to secular law, and 5 are religious only. Also they do not cover the basic law's because torture and rape is not under the list, and I'm pretty sure the geneva convention and bill of human rights was pretty big on the torture thing.

Offline ulthakptah

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 06:52:18 AM »
Did courts have to get rid of Lady Justice too? After all she is the Roman/Greek goddess of Justice.

Offline Caitlin

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2012, 07:07:49 AM »
I doubt it, she stands for believing in fair trials. Even atheists will be hard-pressed to be against that. ;)

It also helps that you don't have to bow down for her, kiss her feet, or say prayers to her. It's a symbol of the law, just like a cross is a symbol of christianity and a colander is a symbol of the great flying spagetti monster.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 09:32:48 AM »
As to the courthouse thing... look up the separation of church and state.  It's a big thing in the US.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2012, 09:34:01 AM »
Agh... right you are... I withdraw my statement...

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2012, 09:40:15 AM »
Not to mention, the pro-birth crowd considers abortion to be murder, so it falls under number 6.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2012, 09:53:08 AM »
You are right again, but I am not part of the pro-birth crowd, and still a Christian... so I don't see it that way... Of course, Brazil is a predominantly Catholic country, and there are no anti-abortion laws in place... so Us christians can't be all that bad *winks*...

Please don't read this the wrong way... I know that there have been some 'Christians' have given us a bad name, but they are the exceptions, not the rule...

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2012, 09:59:24 AM »
You are right again, but I am not part of the pro-birth crowd, and still a Christian... so I don't see it that way... Of course, Brazil is a predominantly Catholic country, and there are no anti-abortion laws in place... so Us christians can't be all that bad *winks*...

Please don't read this the wrong way... I know that there have been some 'Christians' have given us a bad name, but they are the exceptions, not the rule...

That's why I specified them and not Christians as a whole. *winks back*

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2012, 10:22:19 AM »
Put yourself in the shoes of a woman suing to enjoin the state from invading her vagina with an ultrasonic probe so she can be forced to observe her fetus's heartbeat on a monitor before having an abortion. Don't you think she might find a display of the ten commandments over the courthouse doors a bit offputting?

I don't think this was a case of someone with too much time on his hands, at all. The suggestion inherent in such displays is that judges will be guided in their decisions by religious teachings. In a society that purports to be governed by secular principles, and claims to permit freedom of conscience for all, everyone should be appalled by the implicit message.

The thing was, from what I took out of that interview, all those years ago was this: he was LOOKING for reasons to push into the courts and rub the local's nose in it. Yeah I get separation of church and state and all that.

But I also try to live by Will Wheaton's sage advice: don't be a dick. 

This guy was going out of his way to be one.  The vibe I was getting from the interview was 'I's smarter and more enlightened than these local yokels and I'm really doing them a favor, because ya know. .there really ain't no god'

Di it but be nice to olks, no reason to be a dick.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2012, 10:31:57 AM »
That's why I specified them and not Christians as a whole. *winks back*
So you did... thanks for that