In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Christmas time again.
Christmas is a sort of two state affair. Â One state is the religious side, where the worlds christians treat the day as the birth of their god. Â For them it’s a holy day. Â The other state is that of getting together and celebrating with your families.
Plenty of Llamas like me are clearly not christian and attach no religious significance to the day. Â And yes, I’d be happy if I didn’t have to listen to “Joy to the World, The Lord has Come!” or “Come all ye faithful” or “Silent Fucking Night” Â I’d also be happy if less money was spent on presents and more attention paid to those in need.
I do enjoy the day, being with my family, eating and drinking. Â That’s the way most Australian celebrate it.
Unless you’re Uncle Billy, he’s never happy.
You can always tell when it is Christmas â€“ or Easter, or other major Christian events â€“ because the militant God-haters come out in force, seeking to make life miserable for everyone.
I can tell its christmas when theists like Billy declare that the war on christmas is on! Â I can also tell the season is upon us by the calendar. Â Right after Melbourne Cup Day, up go the christmas decorations in stores around the country. Â The calendar is another good way to tell, because christmas happens on the same day every year.
In true Scrooge fashion some of these folks have decided it is their mission in life to destroy Christmas, or at least attack anyone who dares to enjoy it.
I guess there are plenty of people who may want to pull it down. Â I also think for most people we’re just happy to live and let live.
The first one comes from the US state of Montana. It goes like this: â€œA group of parents upset over a Montana elementary schoolâ€™s Christmas program claim the presentation is unfair, unconstitutional and is a form of bullying. The parents â€” whose children attend Chief Charlo Elementary School in Missoula, Mont. â€” outlined their concerns in a letter last week to the superintendent of the Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) district.
â€œThe schoolâ€™s program is completely legal, said Matt Sharp, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) legal counsel. â€˜Courts have responded in favor of schools playing Christmas music, as long as it serves an overall educational purpose,â€™ Sharp said, adding that it would â€˜give students a truncated view of our culture to remove these songs. From what weâ€™ve seen, the school appears to have chosen a perfectly reasonable, balanced mix of songs like â€œUp On a House Topâ€ and â€œJoy to the Worldâ€ and has correctly emphasized that the musical program serves an educational purpose, reflecting long-standing, nationwide traditions,â€™ said Candi Cushman, CitizenLinkâ€™s education analyst.â€
Boy, what a bunch of grumps. But the misotheists usually are. Youâ€™d be grumpy too if you spent your entire life raging against someone you donâ€™t even believe is there.
Grumps? Â Why is he calling them grumps? Â They’re probably not even misotheists. Â It takes nothing to dig a big further to find a more balanced report of the incident:
A group of parents at Chief Charlo Elementary School are so upset over the selection of songs for the schoolâ€™s holiday music program they are considering legal counsel.
The parents outlined their concerns in a letter sent to the superintendent of the Missoula County Public Schools district, stating, among many issues, they feel the programming is unfair, unconstitutional and is a form of bullying.
â€œWith many of the children in our neighborhood up here being Jewish and Buddhist, as well as a few Muslim and atheist students, we were assured that this year it would be a secular program,â€ said the letter, which was signed by â€œconcerned parentsâ€ but listed no individual names.
A group of parents, not militant secularists. Â They’re upset because the school community is made up of different religions, and the program has a high christian content. Â They’re not trying to stop the program, they just want the god crap removed. Â That’s all.
We have no problem with it being called a Christmas concert, itâ€™s just the fact the material should be secular. Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. These are things that offend no one, but when the children are singing about their lord and savior, Jesus Christ … public school is not the place.
That to my ‘militant secularist’ mind seems very sensible. Â A storm in a tea-cup that Billy blows up into a big god-hating tale of woe.
The second case comes from Canada: â€œAshu M.G. Solo, a Saskatoon atheist, has issued a complaint to the city after he was apparently offended by a â€˜Merry Christmasâ€™ message that appeared on electronic displays on Saskatoon Transit buses. Solo explained in his letter that Christmas wishes are offensive and discriminatory because it not only gives preferential treatment of one group over another, but it also violates the separation of state and religion.â€
So an angry misotheist is now claiming a cheerful Christmas message is offensive and discriminatory. Go figure! Even Scrooge did not come up with something that stupid and reckless.
In the end, Ward 1 Councillor Darren Hill thinks the executive committee will vote to keep the message and believes city council will not change the positive messages for its transit riders because â€œChristmas means different things to different people.â€
So, an atheist thinks his tax money shouldn’t promote religion on city owned buses. He has a point. Â But the Council seems to have it’s head on right. Â The complaint was made, as is the right of a citizen, the council will respond and make a decision. Â No blood will be split, and it’s not likely that there will be a mass protest by the militant secularists. Â Again, it’s a nothing story. Â His complaint isÂ legitimate, but probablyÂ frivolous,Â the man is not stupid or reckless, that’s the man making the complaint, not Billy.
A third, and quite incredible, example is from Arkansas: â€œA church in Little Rock, Ark., canceled one performance of â€˜Merry Christmas Charlie Brownâ€™ after an atheist organization complained and said students should not be exposed to a show with Christian themes as part of a school field trip.
â€œHappy Caldwell, pastor of Agape Church, issued a statement on the churchâ€™s website on Wednesday, stating that while he believes the school was within its constitutional rights to bring students to the production, the church has nevertheless decided to cancel a Friday showing for students.
â€œâ€˜It is not our desire to put hard working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harmâ€™s way,â€™ wrote Caldwell. â€˜What we want said is that we love our city, our schools, parents and families. People are at the heart of the matter to us.â€™ He also said Principal Sandra Register of Terry Elementary School took a â€˜courageous standâ€™ when she decided not to cancel the trip after learning that someone had complained about it.â€
Unbelievable. Those ornery God-haters sure are good at wrecking the joy of everyone else. Scrooge would be so proud of them.
Again, a complete over reaction to the reality of the situation. Â Public schools are made up of a variety of cultures, parents should know that when their child goes to school that they won’t be subjected to attempts to convert or change their children’s faith or lack of it. Â The school in this case was making a field trip to a church to watch a play about christmas. The play was very heavy on the jesus myth. Â Parents could opt to keep their kids at school, where they would be required to sit in a different classroom while the rest of the students went to a play. Â Do you know how bad that is for a child to be singled out as different? Â Exactly the sort of thing that should be avoided by a public school.
Dig a little deeper Billy and we uncover the truth.
ASF President Susan Heffington added that “anyone who wants to see this play can attend outside of school hours, but religion does not belong in our public schools.”
Caldwell said that anyone who wishes to see the production can catch the public performance on Dec. 15 and 16, adding, “While we regret the loss of students who will not get this particular opportunity right now, we have taken the school matinees off the table, and welcome parents to bring their children to our public performance.”
The ‘joy of everyone else’ is not being wrecked as Billy suggests. Â AÂ matinÃ©eÂ performance was cancelled, there were other showings. Â Those wanting the joy of this play can see it in their own time.
Finally, this from New York: â€œA group called American Atheists has posted a high-profile billboard in New York Cityâ€™s Times Square depicting Christianity as a â€˜myth,â€™ apparently mocking Jesus Christ on the cross. The group, which first launched its Christmas â€˜mythâ€™ campaign in 2010, ramped up its campaign with a giant sign that features an image of Santa Claus, an equally large picture portraying a suffering Jesus on the cross, along with the phrase, â€˜Keep the Merry â€” Dump the Myth!â€™
â€œDavid Silverman, president of the atheist club, claimed in a press release that his group thinks â€˜a large population of Christians are actually â€œatheistsâ€ who feel trapped in their familyâ€™s religion.â€™ He declared that â€˜you do not have to lie and call yourself Christian in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you shouldâ€™.â€
Wow, for a bunch of folks who deny that there even is such a thing as God, they sure do put a lot of time, effort and attention into his supposed nonexistence.
Talk about the misotheists who stole Christmas. It seems that these guys really need to get a life. If they hate Christmas, fine, but their obsession to destroy it for everyone else really does reveal their true colours. They not only hate God, but they hate everyone who dares to enjoy a life lived in relationship with him.
The American Atheists are not trying to steal christmas. Â Their message, that I blogged about here, is about keeping christmas and ditching the myth. Â It’s not demanding you do it, it’s simply putting it out there for those who want to get rid of jesus in their lives.
I think you’ll find Billy, that most atheist type people don’t give your god a second thought. Â There certainly is no hatred of god, as there is no god to hate. Â It’ a simple concept. Â It’s just outrageous to even suggest that atheist want to hate people who celebrate christmas, that’s just not true.
We all reserve the right to tell you want we think. Â I think the whole jesus thing is a crock of shit. Â Christmas as his birthday is a crock of shit. Â You celebrate it, feel free. I’ll celebrate it with my family. Â We’ll do it our way. Â You do it your way, nobody is telling you not to.
Billy’s examples only show a small one-sided view. Â He creates a crisis where there is really none. Â He attempts to big note himself by overstating the stories and pretending that all christians are about to be hauled off and crucified. Â There is no doubt that Â christianityÂ is still the predominant faith in both America and Australia, the religion shows no signs of being retired, rejected or outlawed. Â It simply isn’t going to happen.
And I can’t help but notice that Billy is using Scrooge through his story. Â Scrooge is a reference to “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Â It’s a work of fiction, the story never changes. Â Billy likes to useÂ fictionalÂ characters to bolster hisÂ arguments. Â Whether it’s to quote Dickens character or something out of Orwell’s 1984 or even something from the bible. Â He relies heavily on theÂ fictionalÂ writings of others and rarely has anÂ originalÂ thought.
But we can keep praying for them. Some of them may yet have a radical turnaround, just as Scrooge eventually did.
I haven’t said it in a while – so here goes – you can do something useful with your time, or you could pray.
To all of you, Happy Christmas! Â May you celebrate yours in the style fit for you. Â If you don’t then good for you. Â If you do, then good for you.
If I’ve offended anyone during the course of the year then get an alpaca up ya.