Tis the season to be a jackass

Via Political Animal, I see that the holiday displays at the Capitol building in Washington state have become rather a source of controversy. In an attempt to be even-handed, public officials have allowed a creche, a statement from atheists that religion is myth and superstition, and a menorah. They have declared a moratorium on future displays in the face of requests to display an unadorned Festivus pole, a sign saying that Santa will take you to hell, a "Flying Spaghetti Monster" display, and heaven only knows what from the inbred cretins of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. (If you think I'm linking to that last one, you're crazy.) I can only imagine the head-shaking and expressions of disbelief when the people in Olympia realized what kind of can of worms they had opened.

Here's the deal. I understand frustration with the Tyranny of Christmas, and wanting to push back against the fundamentalists. Honest and for-truly, I do. (One of these days I will elaborate on the joy of attending a fundamentalist church while experiencing a dawning realization that you are gay. Special times.) But does it really accomplish anything to try to stick it to the Christians during Christmas? Is this really the battle that atheists want to fight? Because I think it kind of makes the people who insist on deriding the beliefs of the majority of Americans during their season of holiness and goodwill look like jerks. (Yeah, yeah. I know it's also crassly commercial, bordering on the apocalyptic. I think my point still stands.)

And don't even get me started on the "Santa will take you to hell" morons. If believing crap like that is a prerequisite for admission to heaven, I'll take my chances with hell, thanks all the same.


  1. As an atheist, I kind of think that- in terms of the fight- this is the best time to bring up our issues. Politically, there is no time it is in the news more. If they want a war on Christmas, by Jove, they'll get it!


    As a human being, with a shred of decency, my response is usually: eh. Why would I want to ruin a season where people, for the most part, seem happy and have goodwill to men and all that? My atheism is not shaken by seeing a manger or someone at WalMart saying "Merry Christmas."

  2. I realize that this is totally apropos of nothing, but I am delighted to see that, in your collection of blogs (and you do seem to have a lovely collection of them) you have preserved that wonderful comment of williamyard's about Talkback digressions.