Thursday, November 23, 2006

Share The Square

As the inevitable controversy unfolds over a Christmas display on Monument Square, it is worth taking an interest in the outcome. The position of the opponents of the display can be summarized as follows: Don't shove your religion down my throat. But if religious displays are forbidden on Monument Square, will this not be secularism shoved down our throats?


eric said...

True crusaders against any hint of relationship between religion and government, should be campaigning against the federal Christmas holiday on December 25, and the references to God on our money and in our Supreme Court.

The Madison origins, and focus on an innocuous display, remind me of something I read about in California years ago. A fellow from Berkley, as part of an academic study, clad himself in a Santa outfit that substituted black fur for white and dubbed himself “Nasty Claus”. He went around bah hum bugging Christmas and keeping track of the reactions until a butcher finally took offense and hung Nasty Claus up by the collar of his suit on a hook in the butcher’s shop. My point is liberal academia likes to stir this pot, and perhaps that’s what we’re seeing again. Perhaps we are becoming a part of someone’s research? There are a lot of things, religious and other, if placed on the commons could be considered offensive, but a Nativity scene and its symbolism don’t even approach the common sense standard for offensive. So, why are these guys picking this fight in little old Racine, Wisconsin?

Anonymous said...

Why the public square?
Why not your home, your church, or your business?

The only reason to have it in the the public square is to ram religion down peoples thoats.

Denis Navratil said...

To anonymous, you did not address my original post. If a nativity scene is jamming religion down your throat, isn't the prohibition of religious imagery equivalent with jamming secularism down my throat? Besides, this notion of having something jammed down your throat is ridiculous. You retain every right to be an atheist, agnostic, or whatever you choose. If a nativity scene causes you such distress, perhaps you are not so secure in your own beliefs. On a related note, I believe it was this summer when local Democrat John Heckinlively read aloud from his book on Monument Square. I believe the title was something like 2005 Reasons to Impeach Bush, or 2005 Reasons why Bush is an Idiot. Yet nobody complained that his use of Monument Square should be forbidden for that purpose. What is the difference here, other than a hostility toward religion?

Wade said...

If I have a "Jesus fish" on the bumper of my car can I still park at Monument Square? As I Christian I object to the Nativity scene being displayed on public grounds. Everyone portrayed in the scene is Jewish except for the Three Wisemen and they are pagan astrologists. I object to Judaism and paganism being jammed down my throat.
But seriously, why is there such bile from the anti-religion crowd. What is with this "jamming down my throat" stuff? How can anyone even have a discussion about this with such hate filled people?

Anonymous said...

Once again why the public square?
Why not your home, church or business?

And for the record...I used the "raming" phrase only echoing Denis.

Also most religions have a long a bloody history of "spreading the word"

Wade said...

Anon: I was not referring only to you, many people on your side of this argument use words like "raming and jamming" down throats.
Why the public square, because it is public, it is for the people to use. Public grounds are not just for the government to use, but for the public to use for there own private interests. Because the taxpayers (even the Christians) fund the public square and it is (in theory) where we gather as a community.
There is also a slippery slope argument to be made. First, we have to display only on private land, then if people can see my private display from a public area (a street) I cannot diplay anything religous because that would force religion down their throats.

Denis Navratil said...

To anon. Wade answered the question much as I would have. Why the public square? Because it is public. By the way, I am actually indifferent to the display on Monument Square. I am defending the right for Christians to use it, and I would likely defend its use by groups that I don't like. As you know, the KKK often rallies on public property. I would of course criticize their point of view, but I would protect their right to expess their point of view on public property. My point here is that I am not being biased in favor of Christianity in this debate over the use of public property.

Kathy said...

People are so ridiculous! Whatever happened to tolerance, respect, and common sense? If I am out in the world and see something that does not represent me, like a star of David (for example),I look at it, respect it, and walk away. What is the big deal? Freedom "of" religion is an American right. I suppose that freedom "from" religion is a right too...But honestly people, in dealing with the acutely sensitive, I think that Christopher Titus said it best when he said "Come down off your cross, take the wood, build a bridge, and get over it!"
As long as we share this planet we need to learn how to be tolerant and accepting of our differences. How can we build up the generations to come when our buildings of fairness and equality rest on the foundation of intolerance and hate?