Thursday, December 20, 2007

Atheist Principles?

You have got to love a good old fashioned debate on the public square. What could be more American? Today we have Christians versus the athiests and dueling monuments. Read about it here:

Now I do not wish to debate the theology, rather, I wish to explore the reasoning and the behavior of the atheist.

If I understand the atheists argument, it is that there ought to be seperation between church and state, and that religious displays should not be on public property as this amounts to shoving religion down other's throats. Presumably the atheists would also want laws which forbid their own beliefs, or lack of them, from being expressed on public property. Lead atheist Al Sorenson said as much; "if that (nativity scene) wasn't here, then this pyramid wouldn't be here either."

Thus, Sorenson holds the principle that expressions of belief should not occur on public property. But he is willing to abandon his own principle, by displaying a monument to atheism, in order to demonstrate what exactly? That two wrongs make a right?

I am not impressed.


Nemo said...

I am lead to believe that atheists faith is so brittle that the site of a creche will result in instantaneous apostasy. We should pray for them to be stronger.

Caledonication said...

I don't have any objection to Atheists putting up celebratory displays. I do think however, that these should be displayed during a recognized Atheistic holiday.

Nemo said...

Literally, holiday is from "holy day". Don't think there are many. Maybe Darwin Day?

Caledonication said...

Guess it sucks to be them, huh?

Caledonia Unplugged said...

Here's my "simplistic" analogy for this: The atheists are the kids that weren't invited to the party.

A popular kid is having his birthday party - his friends are invited (since after all, Christmas is a birthday party), but the kids that either don't know this kid, or have chosen not to be his friend, are excluded from the invitation list.

The "excludeds" are jealous that they have no party to attend, mad mad at the popular kid, primarily because he's popular and they don't like him, and upset with the other kids attending the party because they've decided to have the party at the school playground.

They then decide to "get back" at these kids and throw their own party, same time, same place. Problem is, none of them are having a birthday.

I agree with caledonication in that I believe the atheists have every right to have a "party," but at least find some sort of valid excuse to have this party other than to express your anger at the other kids.

BTW, wondering if the atheists realize pyramids were erected as monuments to the dead pharoahs? Do they are also understand that many of these pharoahs were considered "gods" or "deity" during their rule?

The ultimate irony being, our Racine atheists, under the guise of "separation of church and state" have in fact erected a monument that is a one of the most recognized symbols of worship and reverence to dead GODS!

Anonymous said...

I think they decided on a solid pyramid after they saw the Plexiglas necessary to prevent theft/vandalism of the Nativity Scene. Then again, they could be trying to attract aliens to land in Monument Square. I've watched all of those Leonard Nimoy shows on You Tube. . .

Parah Jeep said...

Sorry, that was me.

csfta said...

I presume this principled lot will be happily reporting for work next Tuesday?

Pariah Jeep said...

I'll speak to my lawyer about a suit over my paid day off from my government job. I should be allowed to work for free that day to show how consumed by frustration I am.

smallgovsam said...

As a self-identified atheist myself, Al has revealed himself as a hypocrite. No religious icons on public property. Period.

If your going to have a nativity scene, then you have to have a Hanukah Chanukkiyah, Kwanzaa candles, etc. This is the inexorable result when government gets in the people-pleasing business. More and more (taxpayer) resources must be committed to maintain the “I’m Offended!” equilibrium to a tractable magnitude.

The only monument that government land should erect is one to Nihilism: Nothing.

Denis Navratil said...

Sam, I wonder what uses of the square would you approve? Clearly the two in question are physical expressions of beliefs, but what about speeches or rallies? Even community parties could offend if alcohol is served, for example. Any use of the square could concievably offend someone. Is the answer to ban the use of the square? I think the city has gotten it right by allowing use of the square by all, and to hell (if you believe in such things) with those who might be offended.

smallgovsam said...


I would say that the difference in this case is permanency. The installation of a material object is different than that of dissipating speech; it implies a partiality of the government. Speeches and rallies occur in a short period of time and are quickly dispersed by the necessity of more fruitful endeavors.

Speeches and rallies are made to pay for their own security. Do physical representations have to? Is the responsibility of the nativity scene the donators or the city?

For example, perhaps I wish to pay for a stone statue of Al Gore beside a chart of CO2 increase in the past century. I want in right in front of city hall. It would remain for, oh, a month. Would you support such a request? Would the collective have to pay in some part, through maintenance or security, for my individual expression?

Denis Navratil said...

Sam, suppose someone showed up to a one day global warming rally with an Al Gore bust and a CO2 chart? These are material expressions of belief, just like the nativity scene, only of a shorter duration. If I understand you correctly, this would be OK because of the compressed time frame. So our disagreement would be over the time allotted, as neither of us is advocating a total ban on material expressions of belief. Now the city has arrived at a time frame for these displays, only it is longer than you would like. I say call your alderman and try to change the ordinance if you feel strongly about the issue.

Re the costs associated with these displays, I think they are paid by the individuals involved, not taxpayers. Under these circumstances, I could support your Al Gore bust idea.

Anonymous said...

Christians vs. Atheists?

It is more 'Real' Christians vs. hypocrite Christians...

All the Elmer Gantry's are filling the pulpits, pews, and boardrooms!

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