Follow the Law!
Can’t get through the season without saying something about the annual “War on Christmas,” that perverse ritual when Bill O’Reilly, Bill Donohue and the whole gang of U.S. cultural conservatives get themselves all riled up because the government no longer grants them the religious privilege to which they’ve become accustomed.
Just four days before Christmas, Sonoma County’s acting administrator has ordered that all religious symbols be removed from Christmas trees erected in county-owned buildings.
"I understand the concern about government endorsing religion or a doctrine, and I respect that is not our role," acting county administrator Chris Thomas told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Thomas’ order on Monday, Dec. 21, meant all stars, angels and anything else smacking of religion had to be immediately removed from the trees, the newspaper reported.
The county administrator made his decision based on a complaint filed by Irv Sutley of Santa Rosa, a disabled veteran with "a long history of protesting the use of religious symbols in government settings," reported the Press Democrat.
Commenters were predictably worked up into a lather:
Once again, this fool has allowed evil to prevail. Who paid for the decorations? (As if that is truly the issue.) So, why is the religion of atheism is allowed to over ride the desires of everyone else? This stupidity is offensive to God!…
Atheism should certainly be declared a religion. People like Mr.Sutley have nothing better to do than feel sorry for himself as a “disabled????” veteran which was so quickly used as some kind of excuse for his bitterness?…
Angelo, these idiots are not “brothers in Christ”, but children of the devil. As for Thomas and Sutley being created by God, there is an implication here that is false. Their wrong choices are not created by God, nor does God will that they rebuke Him. The Church does not hold these two fools in “high esteem”; “God is no repector of men”. To hold an anti-Christ is high esteem does not do justice nor does it enact charity, but serves vanity and the devil….
If Chris Thomas believes that a star is a religious symbol for “some people” and should be removed, then just think of the endless possibilities. Should the red star be dropped from the California flag? How about the bear — it must be a religious symbol for somebody somewhere…
I found this all highly amusing. So I replied:
Oh, the outrage!! I’m sure it was fun while the Christians had an unquestioned majority. But now the numbers are falling and Christianity is only one religion among many, and non-believers are recognized as legitimate citizens. So the shoe is on the other foot. Religious symbols must be eliminated from the public square because it is not the role of government to appear to favor one religion over another. Either you display them all or you display none. Christians don’t seem to be happy with either. If they can’t have a monopoly on holiday displays, they start pouting.
But get real. Faith is a personal matter, and if your faith is strong you shouldn’t worry about symbols being displayed in public. Display whatever you like in your own homes and churches. Anything else is just the petulance of a waning constituency and should rightly be ignored in a pluralistic society.
UPDATE: Apparently, Sonoma county has bowed to pressure and rescinded the ban. And on it goes…