Anti-religious display at State Capitol raises eyebrows

nwcn.com/statenews/washington/stories/NW_120108WAB_atheist_holiday_display_KC.201f8962.html

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

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“At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Here is some atheistic bigotry for you. I think that someone should put up a sign there that describes all of the atrocities committed by atheists through out the world and blame them on atheism. They sign can also sign that says absents of evidence is not evidence of absents. I think this sign should be taken down because nobody is using the public forum to denigrate atheism. I think the people who put up this sign must be very unhappy.

Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Hardens hearts, eh? To paraphrase Arthur Brooks’ data, religious people are 33% of the population, but they make 52% of donations and 45% of times volunteered. Secular people make up 26% of the population, but they contribute 13% of the dollars and 17% of the times volunteered.

At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world.

But reason compels me to consider the existence of God, devils, angels, heaven and hell. And, just as I am willing to accept the experiences of others in discovering the order in our natural world (eg. periodic table of elements, atomic structure, etc.), I am also willing to examine the testimonies of those who have witnessed the supernatural, from the OT, NT, church history, and modern day. Wouldn’t want to limit or enslave my mind to a too-rigid philosophy.

-Tim

I just don’t get why they have a right to post an anti religious statement such as religion enslaves minds. I’m not against atheists. I respect their views, but think they should realize that religious people are not stupid.

Since atheists are primarily negative in their message, doesn’t this qualify as “mean-spirited”? Not exactly in the “Holliday” spirit. What are they celebrating anyway?

It is the second such sign the foundation has sponsored in a state Capitol building. Its first sign, which has been up for 13 years in the Wisconsin Capitol, has at times been defaced and frequently turned around, Barker said.

seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008456344_webatheist01.html

The humanists as they like to call themselves or “critical thinkers”…oxymoron…have decided to go into the world themselves and gain converts to their religion…adoration and worship of self…I guess it is true the problem with an atheist is they cannot fathom anyone being better then themselves…with that being said with all the big egos this movement may die soon from all the in fighting and ability to answer to a leader…that would require some humility or perhaps some obedience…
Seriously, I do believe if they continue they will in time try to take away our constitutional right to worship…right now they are trying to dehumanize and make people who do follow their faith and believe in God feel ashamed & stupid.
I work with a humanist and she believes as the others do and she is all for taking away any christian right to be part of a democratic society…this truely is a very dangerous group and I hope that all God loving people pay attention to what is happening. Mark my words…I can see it as plain as day.

Ironically, the cited story talks about attempts to suppress athiestic expression.

I don’t see that they have less right than anyone else to express themselves. It bothers me when anyone tries to suppress anyone, but when theists attempt to suppress atheists, it’s a personal embarrassment.

I don’t have a problem with an atheist having an atheist holiday or wanting to celebrate something other than Christmas, or even put a symbol of their holiday on government property. The problem is the method that is being used.

A creche and a menorah are symbols of the holiday(s) being celebrated. The problem with the athiest sign is that it attacks the other two. It doesn’t celebrate its own joyful season but seeks to denigrate and put doubts in the minds of others.

The sign doesn’t strike me as sign by an athiest but an *anti-*thiest.

I think you are right. The sign put up by the atheist group is attacking other religions, rather than celebrating their own belief.

I don’t have a problem with an atheist having an atheist holiday or wanting to celebrate something other than Christmas, or even put a symbol of their holiday on government property. The problem is the method that is being used.

A creche and a menorah are symbols of the holiday(s) being celebrated. The problem with the athiest sign is that it attacks the other two. It doesn’t celebrate its own joyful season but seeks to denigrate and put doubts in the minds of others.

I don’t think there’s a way to deny God, without tending to put doubts in the minds of believers. I don’t think there’s a way to affirm God without tending to put doubt in the minds of atheists.

We are all capable of recognizing that others have different beliefs, and if we live in America, we should get used to the idea that we have to respect those ideas at least enough to allow them to be expressed on the same level as ours.

The problem with an official display of such ideas is that some of them are deeply offensive to various other groups. The sensible solution is to avoid anything that appears to be an official endorsement by the state.

That being said, I would have told them to leave the last sentence out, just as I would have told any group denouncing atheism, that they had stepped over the line. The backup message was much more acceptable.

I agree the last sentence is the most problematic. It shows no tolerance.

The creche and menorah don’t denounce athiesm. The sign specifically denounces belief in God. The creche and menorah celebrate an historical event(s). The athiest sign mocks those celebrations.

There is a difference in the intent of the display. If they have something to celebrate, by all means let them celebrate! But let’s see them do it in a dignified way, not by mocking someone else’s beliefs.

Well, for the same reason anybody has a right to say anything, it’s all protected.

That said, as an atheist, I agree with the other posters who commented that the last sentence could have been left out. I’m all for having some pro-atheist messages out there, but going overtly negative doesn’t do anything for anybody except breed ill will.

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