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Atheist sign joins nativity scene, tree at Capitol
Posted: 02 December 2008 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]
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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

An atheist group has unveiled an anti-religion placard in the state Capitol, joining a Christian Nativity scene and “holiday tree” on display during December.

The atheists’ sign was installed Monday by Washington members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national group based in Madison, Wis.

Seattle Times: Atheist sign joins nativity scene, tree at Capitol

Score one for atheist rights!

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Dan

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Posted: 03 December 2008 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s a good thing, but I wish they’d chosen a less confrontational message, e.g., the “Just be good for goodness sake”-type message we saw on an earlier atheist campaign.

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Posted: 03 December 2008 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I like Christmas and I could never agree with those who feel otherwise. I am an atheist, but I am still a “cultural Christian” and Santa and Jesus don’t really scare me that much.

Score one for the fanatics rights!

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Posted: 03 December 2008 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, I agree that the message was poorly chosen and likely to “harden the hearts” of those sympathetic to religion and make life more difficult for other non-believers. I support the gradual subversion of Christmas from religious to secular holiday, as has largely already happened with Halloween and Thanksgiving.

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Posted: 03 December 2008 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I agree the message they posted only gives the impression that they are “protesting” Christmas.  Too bad, really.  The real point is that everyone should be welcome in the public square.

BTW, did I read correctly in the newspaper that California had taken down a FFRF billboard, because too many people had complained about it?

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Posted: 03 December 2008 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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George - 03 December 2008 07:59 AM

I like Christmas and I could never agree with those who feel otherwise.

I love Christmas, too! It’s so much fun. I just leave out the Jesus part.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 03 December 2008 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A plea to all the ambitious atheists: PLEASE LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE! If you want to build you don’t need to destroy. Pick a different date and put lights and ornaments on the Origin of the Species.

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Posted: 03 December 2008 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I agree, and I agree with Brennen.  While I’m opposed to the use of such words as god, holy, soul, worship, etc., such words as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas have lost much of their religious meaning for most of us.  I think if more of us continue to celebrate Christmas in a secular manner and leave out the religious connotations, it will lose them and become just an enjoyable holiday.

Occam

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Posted: 04 December 2008 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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you can’t leave jesus out of christmas. it is like leaving the calendar date out of new year’s or USA out of 4th of july.

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Posted: 04 December 2008 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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refuter - 04 December 2008 07:01 AM

you can’t leave jesus out of christmas. it is like leaving the calendar date out of new year’s or USA out of 4th of july.

Why not? Santa claus, presents, the North Pole, the reindeer, the elves, holly, stockings by the fire and the Christmas tree have nothing much at all to do with Jesus. Really, Jesus has a small part to play in much of contemporary Christmas celebration.

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Posted: 04 December 2008 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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dougsmith - 04 December 2008 07:29 AM
refuter - 04 December 2008 07:01 AM

you can’t leave jesus out of christmas. it is like leaving the calendar date out of new year’s or USA out of 4th of july.

Why not? Santa claus, presents, the North Pole, the reindeer, the elves, holly, stockings by the fire and the Christmas tree have nothing much at all to do with Jesus. Really, Jesus has a small part to play in much of contemporary Christmas celebration.

Truely.  The actual “War on Christmas” has already been largely won.  And it’s the Christians who have vanquished it.

PC

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Posted: 04 December 2008 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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More’s the point, Jesus’s role in Christmas seems positively inessential. Christmas is Santa, presents, the tree, being together with family and friends and having a good meal. One can completely celebrate Christmas without any reference whatever to Jesus.

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Posted: 04 December 2008 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Yes but in doing this does this hurt the entire point that Atheism is not a religion…because you will have folks that will take this as an indication of that we classify it as such.

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Posted: 04 December 2008 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Atheism itself is not a religion in the sense of a set of beliefs and ritual practices, usually centered on the supernatural, that organizes a community and helps meet individuals’ psychological needs. But communities and those psychological needs still exist, so as non-theists haved to try to find ways to support them without an overarching religious belief system. Nothing wrong with that. As a non-beleiever, I get all the plusses of Christmas and Thanksgiving (family time, reflection on the core things I value in life, presents, good food) without any need for a supernatural foundation. This is, I think, evidence that the good things traditionally associated with religions can be gotten elsewhere without the nonsense that accompanies them.

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Posted: 04 December 2008 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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AtheistBlack25 - 04 December 2008 08:19 AM

Yes but in doing this does this hurt the entire point that Atheism is not a religion…because you will have folks that will take this as an indication of that we classify it as such.

I don’t think that’s a problem here. I certainly wouldn’t say that Christmas is an “atheist holiday” or anything like that. All I’m saying is that one can celebrate a secular Christmas. One can also celebrate a secular Easter (Easter Bunny, eggs, candy), a secular Halloween (costumes, trick-or-treat, candy), and of course a secular Thanksgiving.

The point is that one doesn’t need to be religious—and certainly not Christian—in order to celebrate these holidays.

Tom Flynn will give you a counterargument here, which is that atheists shouldn’t celebrate them, because culturally they will be then assumed to be Christian. I think that’s debatable. Certainly at the very least it would depend where one lived and who one’s friends and neighbors were.

But again, there’s certainly no mandate, implied or otherwise, that atheists, secularists or the non-religious celebrate any particular holiday—they aren’t religious. All I’m saying is that they can without taking part in any sort of explicitly religious enterprise.

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Posted: 04 December 2008 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Well I know for a fact it has pagan origins as a celebration of a winter festival….but for today’s purposes the holiday is largely associated with Christianity. I do celebrate Xmas in the most secular way…the commercial way we do now…sometimes I do feel it is a bit of a conflict because alot of people when I get into this conversation as an atheist as to why I celebrate it do not understand that it largely has nothing to do with Christ…the gifts, the feast, the music, mistletoes….nothing remotely Christian about the common traditional views it employs.

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