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Battle Over Coastal Christmas Display Goes to LA Court

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 http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20121118/US.Nativity.Scene.Atheists/?cid=hero_media

  

LOS ANGELES - Damon Vix didn't have to go to court to push Christmas out of the city of Santa Monica. He just joined the festivities.

The atheist's anti-God message alongside a life-sized nativity display in a park overlooking the beach ignited a debate that burned brighter than any Christmas candle.

Santa Monica officials snuffed the city's holiday tradition this year rather than referee the religious rumble, prompting churches that have set up a 14-scene Christian diorama for decades to sue over freedom of speech violations. Their attorney will ask a federal judge Monday to resurrect the depiction of Jesus' birth, while the city aims to eject the case.

"It's a sad, sad commentary on the attitudes of the day that a nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition is now having to hunt for a home, something like our savior had to hunt for a place to be born because the world was not interested," said Hunter Jameson, head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee that is suing.

Missing from the courtroom drama will be Vix and his fellow atheists, who are not parties to the case. Their role outside court highlights a tactical shift as atheists evolve into a vocal minority eager to get their non-beliefs into the public square as never before.

National atheist groups earlier this year took out full-page newspaper ads and hundreds of TV spots in response to the Catholic bishops' activism around women's health care issues and are gearing up to battle for their own space alongside public Christmas displays in small towns across America this season.

"In recent years, the tactic of many in the atheist community has been, if you can't beat them, join them," said Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center and director of the Newseum's Religious Freedom Education Project in Washington. "If these church groups insist that these public spaces are going to be dominated by a Christian message, we'll just get in the game - and that changes everything."

In the past, atheists primarily fought to uphold the separation of church and state through the courts. The change underscores the conviction held by many nonbelievers that their views are gaining a foothold, especially among young adults.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a study last month that found 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. Atheists took heart from the report, although Pew researchers stressed that the category also encompassed majorities of people who said they believed in God but had no ties with organized religion and people who consider themselves "spiritual" but not "religious."

"We're at the bottom of the totem pole socially, but we have muscle and we're flexing it," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. "Ignore our numbers at your peril."

The trouble in Santa Monica began three years ago, when Vix applied for and was granted a booth in Palisades Park alongside the story of Jesus Christ's birth, from Mary's visit from the Angel Gabriel to the traditional crèche.

Vix hung a simple sign that quoted Thomas Jefferson: "Religions are all alike -- founded on fables and mythologies." The other side read "Happy Solstice." He repeated the display the following year but then upped the stakes significantly.

In 2011, Vix recruited 10 others to inundate the city with applications for tongue-in-cheek displays such as a homage to the "Pastafarian religion," which would include an artistic representation of the great Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The secular coalition won 18 of 21 spaces. The two others went to the traditional Christmas displays and one to a Hanukkah display.

The atheists used half their spaces, displaying signs such as one that showed pictures of Poseidon, Jesus, Santa Claus and the devil and said: "37 million Americans know myths when they see them. What myths do you see?"

Most of the signs were vandalized and in the ensuing uproar, the city effectively ended a tradition that began in 1953 and earned Santa Monica one of its nicknames, the City of the Christmas Story.

The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee argues in its lawsuit that atheists have the right to protest, but that freedom doesn't trump the Christians' right to free speech.

"If they want to hold an opposing viewpoint about the celebration of Christmas, they're free to do that - but they can't interfere with our right to engage in religious speech in a traditional public forum," said William Becker, attorney for the committee. "Our goal is to preserve the tradition in Santa Monica and to keep Christmas alive."

The city doesn't prohibit churches from caroling in the park, handing out literature or even staging a play about the birth of Jesus and churches can always set up a nativity on private land, Deputy City Attorney Jeanette Schachtner said in an email.

The decision to ban the displays also saves the city, which had administered the cumbersome lottery process used to award booths, both time and money while preserving the park's aesthetics, she said.

For his part, Vix is surprised - and slightly amused - at the legal battle spawned by his solitary act but doesn't plan anything further.

"That was such a unique and blatant example of the violation of the First Amendment that I felt I had to act," said the 44-year-old set builder. "If I had another goal, it would be to remove the `under God' phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance - but that's a little too big for me to take on for right now."

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and religion, but also states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." That has been interpreted by courts as providing for separation of church and state, barring government bodies from promoting, endorsing or funding religion or religious institutions.

by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 7:29 AM
Replies (401-410):
Joqui
by Joqui on Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM
1 mom liked this

My view: simple... either both displays are allowed up or both displays are taken down. 

If we allow one and not the other the other feels suppressed or left out... it's like dealing with toddlers really. *shrugs*

We live in a day and age that what once use to be the "norm" is no longer, as a people we should be able to recognize and "change" accordingly... 

Every yr we have the same debate don't we ;-)

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM
1 mom liked this
How do you even have the nerve to talk about atheist intolerance when I have read your posts saying that if you don't accept Christ, you are going to hell. You've said it, I've read it. And now you're upset because an atheist put up a banner quoting Thomas Jefferson, but you'll go on and on about tolerance? I've seen everything.


Quoting Lacey14:

How are these atheist who are trying to dispel Christianity, showing acceptance and tolerance?  Since they are not celebrating the birth of Christ, why are they putting up banners at this time?

Quoting witchybabymomma:

I am really kind of on the fence on this issue. There is supposed to be a seperation of church and state, but at the same time I don't believe most holiday displays cause any harm to anyone, but at the same time if a city wants to allow those displays on public property then they need to allow them for ALL religious groups, not just the ones they like or "accept". We ALL have the same rights whether we follow the same religion or not. I don't have a problem with any of the christmas diplays in my town, but I would love to see displays for other religions right along side of them, I think people would be a lot better off teaching their children acceptance and tolerance of others as opposed to they believe different then we do so our rights are more important.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Lacey14
by Bronze Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

First, I didn't say if you don't accept Christ you are going to hell.  You didn't read it, because I didn't post it.

Second, if you don't believe Christ is the savior, then why do you care what Christians believe?  Why are you upset?  I am certainly not forcing anyone to believe as I do.  Oops, do I hear intolerance in your post?

All of my posts to other posters was part of a conversation with that person.  You know how it works, they say something, then I say something....  It wasn't like I just got on here and started preaching non-believers are going to hell.  I was conversing with others about what Christians believe.

Quoting shannonnigans:

How do you even have the nerve to talk about atheist intolerance when I have read your posts saying that if you don't accept Christ, you are going to hell. You've said it, I've read it. And now you're upset because an atheist put up a banner quoting Thomas Jefferson, but you'll go on and on about tolerance? I've seen everything.


Quoting Lacey14:

How are these atheist who are trying to dispel Christianity, showing acceptance and tolerance?  Since they are not celebrating the birth of Christ, why are they putting up banners at this time?

Quoting witchybabymomma:

I am really kind of on the fence on this issue. There is supposed to be a seperation of church and state, but at the same time I don't believe most holiday displays cause any harm to anyone, but at the same time if a city wants to allow those displays on public property then they need to allow them for ALL religious groups, not just the ones they like or "accept". We ALL have the same rights whether we follow the same religion or not. I don't have a problem with any of the christmas diplays in my town, but I would love to see displays for other religions right along side of them, I think people would be a lot better off teaching their children acceptance and tolerance of others as opposed to they believe different then we do so our rights are more important.




shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 6:11 PM
I'd bet the farm that you told me that on a discussion on same sex marriage. But ok, taking it at face value, where is my intolerance? On your private property you can and should put up a display rivaling Clark Griswold if you want. Hell, every year we go to that one neighborhood that every city has where the decorations are off the hook and we go drive through and ooh and aah. Just keep it off government property.

Edit: if I was truly wrong about quoting you, I do apologize...

Quoting Lacey14:

First, I didn't say if you don't accept Christ you are going to hell.  You didn't read it, because I didn't post it.

Second, if you don't believe Christ is the savior, then why do you care what Christians believe?  Why are you upset?  I am certainly not forcing anyone to believe as I do.  Oops, do I hear intolerance in your post?

All of my posts to other posters was part of a conversation with that person.  You know how it works, they say something, then I say something....  It wasn't like I just got on here and started preaching non-believers are going to hell.  I was conversing with others about what Christians believe.

Quoting shannonnigans:

How do you even have the nerve to talk about atheist intolerance when I have read your posts saying that if you don't accept Christ, you are going to hell. You've said it, I've read it. And now you're upset because an atheist put up a banner quoting Thomas Jefferson, but you'll go on and on about tolerance? I've seen everything.





Quoting Lacey14:

How are these atheist who are trying to dispel Christianity, showing acceptance and tolerance?  Since they are not celebrating the birth of Christ, why are they putting up banners at this time?

Quoting witchybabymomma:

I am really kind of on the fence on this issue. There is supposed to be a seperation of church and state, but at the same time I don't believe most holiday displays cause any harm to anyone, but at the same time if a city wants to allow those displays on public property then they need to allow them for ALL religious groups, not just the ones they like or "accept". We ALL have the same rights whether we follow the same religion or not. I don't have a problem with any of the christmas diplays in my town, but I would love to see displays for other religions right along side of them, I think people would be a lot better off teaching their children acceptance and tolerance of others as opposed to they believe different then we do so our rights are more important.







Posted on CafeMom Mobile
romalove
by Roma on Nov. 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM
Thank you, my child, and peace be with you!

;-)


Quoting shannonnigans:

I sure hope you find peace soon, Roma. ;)




Quoting romalove:

 



Quoting GoodPenny:

What I do or do not call myself is none of your business. Besides, you have already said as much in this post that you have experienced very few positive Christians, so I can only assume that perhaps the problem is not with them, but rather the problem is you my dear. But you already know this don't you? You have no peace within, therefore you have no peace without, and it shows.


Quoting romalove:



 



Quoting GoodPenny:

It's not just you. She has been that way with me as well in this post. She claims to be in a inter faith marriage, and is tolerant of the Christian faith because she has a genuine gold plated ornament of the nativity that she allows her husband to put on the tree every year lol!!


Quoting prommy:



 



Quoting romalove:

You are not the arbiter of acceptable messages.



Quoting prommy:



 




Quoting romalove:




 




Quoting prommy:








Quoting LucyMom08:

Are you a person of faith?




Quoting prommy:




 





Quoting LucyMom08:

Why is that an attack? Do you know what a myth is?





Quoting prommy:





 






Quoting LucyMom08:

A Thomas Jefferson quote and the words 'Happy Solstice' are a direct attack?






Quoting prommy:






 







Quoting LucyMom08:

That's the point here...the atheist banner tried to do just that, and was vandalized, so now the city doesn't want to deal with the mess...so no one can have a display...pretty fair, no?







Quoting circle_of_life:







 I don't mind seeing religious decor around christmas. As long as everyone of any faith or non faith can display what they want as well, then who cares?







 The atheist banner was a direct attack on others' beliefs. The Christian nativity sign was not.






Putting up a group of pictures, one of which was a depiction of Jesus and asking which of the pictures were myths was an attack.





Please don't talk down to me, of course I know what a myth is. If you for one second believe that the atheists involved in this drama were not trying to be purposely insulting to peopleof Christian faith then I don't know what to say to you. If a church group puts up a nativity scene or a menorah or anything else that represents their religion it isn't put there as a challenge to the atheists or to anyone else. It is put there as a celebration. The atheists put their banners up to question and insult other belief systems. The motivation is entirely different and as far as I am concerned it comes from a well of hatred towards people who do believe.




I am. I am also a person of acceptance. I do not believe that only my faith should be represented, I am Roman Catholic. I believe that everyone should be given equal space to represent their beliefs. I do not believe that sharing that space means you have a right to display hateful banners etc. If you don't believe in the birth of Jesus Christ as a gift from God that's your business. If you want to have a display celebrating Winter Solstice or whatever else could be celebrated at this time of year (or any other) then you should be able to. I just don't think it's appropriate to have a display that attacks someone else. Instead have a display that celebrates what you believe in. No one needs to be hurt by anyone else's beliefs. If you don't share them, look away.




 But the atheist group in question believes that religion, ALL religion, is rooted in mythology and fable.  That is not an attack, that's their position.  If you don't like that, and you (the generic you) insist on putting such religious displays on public governmental land (and one more time, I think none of it belongs there), then you are the one who has to look away at the banner you dislike.




If I saw an atheist banner I would look away. I'd probably shake my head and think idiot too, but I wouldn't make a federal case of it. Anyway, the point was that it seems like all of the other celebratory displays are FOR something and atheist displays are against something and sadly they don't always (actualy rarely) have a positive message to share. It is usually a message that is anti-belief oriented. Want to share your non-belief? Fine but don't crap on my belief while you do it. Want to put up banner saying that you'll enjoy the time of year because  you get an extra day off from work or because there is usually snow (at least in Vt.) or because you just enjoy being alive? Fine. Celebrate don't berate.



Are you this snotty to everyone or is it just me you don't like? This is a forum to share ideas, you have taken several opportunities to dump on my comments. Take a pill Roma, I get to have an opinion just like you do.




 I sincerely hope, for the sake of the good Christians I know in person and on this website, that you do not call yourself a Christian.



 




 Oh, I see.



You are a straight up liar.



That's fine, they allow all kinds around here.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
GoodPenny
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:24 PM


Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

Care to share what I have lied about?
Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

What I do or do not call myself is none of your business. Besides, you have already said as much in this post that you have experienced very few positive Christians, so I can only assume that perhaps the problem is not with them, but rather the problem is you my dear. But you already know this don't you? You have no peace within, therefore you have no peace without, and it shows.
Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

It's not just you. She has been that way with me as well in this post. She claims to be in a inter faith marriage, and is tolerant of the Christian faith because she has a genuine gold plated ornament of the nativity that she allows her husband to put on the tree every year lol!!
Quoting prommy:

 

Quoting romalove:

You are not the arbiter of acceptable messages.

Quoting prommy:

 


Quoting romalove:


 


Quoting prommy:




Quoting LucyMom08:

Are you a person of faith?


Quoting prommy:


 



Quoting LucyMom08:

Why is that an attack? Do you know what a myth is?



Quoting prommy:



 




Quoting LucyMom08:

A Thomas Jefferson quote and the words 'Happy Solstice' are a direct attack?




Quoting prommy:




 





Quoting LucyMom08:

That's the point here...the atheist banner tried to do just that, and was vandalized, so now the city doesn't want to deal with the mess...so no one can have a display...pretty fair, no?





Quoting circle_of_life:





 I don't mind seeing religious decor around christmas. As long as everyone of any faith or non faith can display what they want as well, then who cares?





 The atheist banner was a direct attack on others' beliefs. The Christian nativity sign was not.




Putting up a group of pictures, one of which was a depiction of Jesus and asking which of the pictures were myths was an attack.



Please don't talk down to me, of course I know what a myth is. If you for one second believe that the atheists involved in this drama were not trying to be purposely insulting to peopleof Christian faith then I don't know what to say to you. If a church group puts up a nativity scene or a menorah or anything else that represents their religion it isn't put there as a challenge to the atheists or to anyone else. It is put there as a celebration. The atheists put their banners up to question and insult other belief systems. The motivation is entirely different and as far as I am concerned it comes from a well of hatred towards people who do believe.


I am. I am also a person of acceptance. I do not believe that only my faith should be represented, I am Roman Catholic. I believe that everyone should be given equal space to represent their beliefs. I do not believe that sharing that space means you have a right to display hateful banners etc. If you don't believe in the birth of Jesus Christ as a gift from God that's your business. If you want to have a display celebrating Winter Solstice or whatever else could be celebrated at this time of year (or any other) then you should be able to. I just don't think it's appropriate to have a display that attacks someone else. Instead have a display that celebrates what you believe in. No one needs to be hurt by anyone else's beliefs. If you don't share them, look away.


 But the atheist group in question believes that religion, ALL religion, is rooted in mythology and fable.  That is not an attack, that's their position.  If you don't like that, and you (the generic you) insist on putting such religious displays on public governmental land (and one more time, I think none of it belongs there), then you are the one who has to look away at the banner you dislike.


If I saw an atheist banner I would look away. I'd probably shake my head and think idiot too, but I wouldn't make a federal case of it. Anyway, the point was that it seems like all of the other celebratory displays are FOR something and atheist displays are against something and sadly they don't always (actualy rarely) have a positive message to share. It is usually a message that is anti-belief oriented. Want to share your non-belief? Fine but don't crap on my belief while you do it. Want to put up banner saying that you'll enjoy the time of year because  you get an extra day off from work or because there is usually snow (at least in Vt.) or because you just enjoy being alive? Fine. Celebrate don't berate.

Are you this snotty to everyone or is it just me you don't like? This is a forum to share ideas, you have taken several opportunities to dump on my comments. Take a pill Roma, I get to have an opinion just like you do.


 I sincerely hope, for the sake of the good Christians I know in person and on this website, that you do not call yourself a Christian.

 


 Oh, I see.

You are a straight up liar.

That's fine, they allow all kinds around here.


 I have never said I have experienced very few positive Christians.  Ever.

And you seem to disparage my marriage and my nativity ornament, information shared to help explain that I am not anti-anything other than religious displays where things should be secular.

But you are far too blind to see what is actually being said, you only see what you wish to.

 

Earlier in this post you stated that the Christian (sects) that you know both on here and in person have all bellowed the "burn in hell" message. How is that a positive experience?

GoodPenny
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM


Quoting prommy:

 

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting prommy:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

It's not just you. She has been that way with me as well in this post. She claims to be in a inter faith marriage, and is tolerant of the Christian faith because she has a genuine gold plated ornament of the nativity that she allows her husband to put on the tree every year lol!!
Quoting prommy:

 

Quoting romalove:

You are not the arbiter of acceptable messages.

Quoting prommy:

 


Quoting romalove:


 


Quoting prommy:




Quoting prommy:


 





Quoting prommy:



 





Quoting prommy:




 









 

Are you this snotty to everyone or is it just me you don't like? This is a forum to share ideas, you have taken several opportunities to dump on my comments. Take a pill Roma, I get to have an opinion just like you do.



laughing

 Another shining example of a good Christian. 

You're not the arbiter of what makes a good Christian.

clappingOuch!! That one had to sting a little Roma LMBO!!! 

GoodPenny
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM

confusedI have no idea what you are referring to.

 

 

 

Quoting AMBG825:

Do you mean other than there being no holiday without Christ?

Quoting GoodPenny:


Care to share what I have lied about?






Quoting romalove:

 


Quoting GoodPenny:

What I do or do not call myself is none of your business. Besides, you have already said as much in this post that you have experienced very few positive Christians, so I can only assume that perhaps the problem is not with them, but rather the problem is you my dear. But you already know this don't you? You have no peace within, therefore you have no peace without, and it shows.

Quoting romalove:


 


Quoting GoodPenny:

It's not just you. She has been that way with me as well in this post. She claims to be in a inter faith marriage, and is tolerant of the Christian faith because she has a genuine gold plated ornament of the nativity that she allows her husband to put on the tree every year lol!!

Quoting prommy:


 


Quoting romalove:

You are not the arbiter of acceptable messages.


Quoting prommy:


 



Quoting romalove:



 



Quoting prommy:






Quoting LucyMom08:

Are you a person of faith?



Quoting prommy:



 




Quoting LucyMom08:

Why is that an attack? Do you know what a myth is?




Quoting prommy:




 





Quoting LucyMom08:

A Thomas Jefferson quote and the words 'Happy Solstice' are a direct attack?





Quoting prommy:





 






Quoting LucyMom08:

That's the point here...the atheist banner tried to do just that, and was vandalized, so now the city doesn't want to deal with the mess...so no one can have a display...pretty fair, no?






Quoting circle_of_life:






 I don't mind seeing religious decor around christmas. As long as everyone of any faith or non faith can display what they want as well, then who cares?






 The atheist banner was a direct attack on others' beliefs. The Christian nativity sign was not.





Putting up a group of pictures, one of which was a depiction of Jesus and asking which of the pictures were myths was an attack.




Please don't talk down to me, of course I know what a myth is. If you for one second believe that the atheists involved in this drama were not trying to be purposely insulting to peopleof Christian faith then I don't know what to say to you. If a church group puts up a nativity scene or a menorah or anything else that represents their religion it isn't put there as a challenge to the atheists or to anyone else. It is put there as a celebration. The atheists put their banners up to question and insult other belief systems. The motivation is entirely different and as far as I am concerned it comes from a well of hatred towards people who do believe.



I am. I am also a person of acceptance. I do not believe that only my faith should be represented, I am Roman Catholic. I believe that everyone should be given equal space to represent their beliefs. I do not believe that sharing that space means you have a right to display hateful banners etc. If you don't believe in the birth of Jesus Christ as a gift from God that's your business. If you want to have a display celebrating Winter Solstice or whatever else could be celebrated at this time of year (or any other) then you should be able to. I just don't think it's appropriate to have a display that attacks someone else. Instead have a display that celebrates what you believe in. No one needs to be hurt by anyone else's beliefs. If you don't share them, look away.



 But the atheist group in question believes that religion, ALL religion, is rooted in mythology and fable.  That is not an attack, that's their position.  If you don't like that, and you (the generic you) insist on putting such religious displays on public governmental land (and one more time, I think none of it belongs there), then you are the one who has to look away at the banner you dislike.



If I saw an atheist banner I would look away. I'd probably shake my head and think idiot too, but I wouldn't make a federal case of it. Anyway, the point was that it seems like all of the other celebratory displays are FOR something and atheist displays are against something and sadly they don't always (actualy rarely) have a positive message to share. It is usually a message that is anti-belief oriented. Want to share your non-belief? Fine but don't crap on my belief while you do it. Want to put up banner saying that you'll enjoy the time of year because  you get an extra day off from work or because there is usually snow (at least in Vt.) or because you just enjoy being alive? Fine. Celebrate don't berate.


Are you this snotty to everyone or is it just me you don't like? This is a forum to share ideas, you have taken several opportunities to dump on my comments. Take a pill Roma, I get to have an opinion just like you do.



 I sincerely hope, for the sake of the good Christians I know in person and on this website, that you do not call yourself a Christian.


 



 Oh, I see.


You are a straight up liar.


That's fine, they allow all kinds around here.




romalove
by Roma on Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Ahhh, not in the least.

And I see you have turned up again, like a bad penny....


Quoting GoodPenny:



Quoting prommy:


 


Quoting romalove:


 


Quoting prommy:


 


Quoting GoodPenny:

It's not just you. She has been that way with me as well in this post. She claims to be in a inter faith marriage, and is tolerant of the Christian faith because she has a genuine gold plated ornament of the nativity that she allows her husband to put on the tree every year lol!!

Quoting prommy:


 


Quoting romalove:

You are not the arbiter of acceptable messages.


Quoting prommy:


 



Quoting romalove:



 



Quoting prommy:







Quoting prommy:



 







Quoting prommy:




 







Quoting prommy:





 










 

Are you this snotty to everyone or is it just me you don't like? This is a forum to share ideas, you have taken several opportunities to dump on my comments. Take a pill Roma, I get to have an opinion just like you do.




laughing


 Another shining example of a good Christian. 


You're not the arbiter of what makes a good Christian.


clappingOuch!! That one had to sting a little Roma LMBO!!! 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
romalove
by Roma on Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

 

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

Care to share what I have lied about?
Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

What I do or do not call myself is none of your business. Besides, you have already said as much in this post that you have experienced very few positive Christians, so I can only assume that perhaps the problem is not with them, but rather the problem is you my dear. But you already know this don't you? You have no peace within, therefore you have no peace without, and it shows.
Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting GoodPenny:

It's not just you. She has been that way with me as well in this post. She claims to be in a inter faith marriage, and is tolerant of the Christian faith because she has a genuine gold plated ornament of the nativity that she allows her husband to put on the tree every year lol!!
Quoting prommy:

 

Quoting romalove:

You are not the arbiter of acceptable messages.

Quoting prommy:

 


Quoting romalove:


 


Quoting prommy:




Quoting LucyMom08:

Are you a person of faith?


Quoting prommy:


 



Quoting LucyMom08:

Why is that an attack? Do you know what a myth is?



Quoting prommy:



 




Quoting LucyMom08:

A Thomas Jefferson quote and the words 'Happy Solstice' are a direct attack?




Quoting prommy:




 





Quoting LucyMom08:

That's the point here...the atheist banner tried to do just that, and was vandalized, so now the city doesn't want to deal with the mess...so no one can have a display...pretty fair, no?





Quoting circle_of_life:





 I don't mind seeing religious decor around christmas. As long as everyone of any faith or non faith can display what they want as well, then who cares?





 The atheist banner was a direct attack on others' beliefs. The Christian nativity sign was not.




Putting up a group of pictures, one of which was a depiction of Jesus and asking which of the pictures were myths was an attack.



Please don't talk down to me, of course I know what a myth is. If you for one second believe that the atheists involved in this drama were not trying to be purposely insulting to peopleof Christian faith then I don't know what to say to you. If a church group puts up a nativity scene or a menorah or anything else that represents their religion it isn't put there as a challenge to the atheists or to anyone else. It is put there as a celebration. The atheists put their banners up to question and insult other belief systems. The motivation is entirely different and as far as I am concerned it comes from a well of hatred towards people who do believe.


I am. I am also a person of acceptance. I do not believe that only my faith should be represented, I am Roman Catholic. I believe that everyone should be given equal space to represent their beliefs. I do not believe that sharing that space means you have a right to display hateful banners etc. If you don't believe in the birth of Jesus Christ as a gift from God that's your business. If you want to have a display celebrating Winter Solstice or whatever else could be celebrated at this time of year (or any other) then you should be able to. I just don't think it's appropriate to have a display that attacks someone else. Instead have a display that celebrates what you believe in. No one needs to be hurt by anyone else's beliefs. If you don't share them, look away.


 But the atheist group in question believes that religion, ALL religion, is rooted in mythology and fable.  That is not an attack, that's their position.  If you don't like that, and you (the generic you) insist on putting such religious displays on public governmental land (and one more time, I think none of it belongs there), then you are the one who has to look away at the banner you dislike.


If I saw an atheist banner I would look away. I'd probably shake my head and think idiot too, but I wouldn't make a federal case of it. Anyway, the point was that it seems like all of the other celebratory displays are FOR something and atheist displays are against something and sadly they don't always (actualy rarely) have a positive message to share. It is usually a message that is anti-belief oriented. Want to share your non-belief? Fine but don't crap on my belief while you do it. Want to put up banner saying that you'll enjoy the time of year because  you get an extra day off from work or because there is usually snow (at least in Vt.) or because you just enjoy being alive? Fine. Celebrate don't berate.

Are you this snotty to everyone or is it just me you don't like? This is a forum to share ideas, you have taken several opportunities to dump on my comments. Take a pill Roma, I get to have an opinion just like you do.


 I sincerely hope, for the sake of the good Christians I know in person and on this website, that you do not call yourself a Christian.

 


 Oh, I see.

You are a straight up liar.

That's fine, they allow all kinds around here.


 I have never said I have experienced very few positive Christians.  Ever.

And you seem to disparage my marriage and my nativity ornament, information shared to help explain that I am not anti-anything other than religious displays where things should be secular.

But you are far too blind to see what is actually being said, you only see what you wish to.

 

Earlier in this post you stated that the Christian (sects) that you know both on here and in person have all bellowed the "burn in hell" message. How is that a positive experience?

 Hmmm.....I don't think I said that, but I do believe that Christians of all sects are taught that.

That has nothing to do with my experiences with Christians.  That they may be taught that doesn't mean they are all saying that to me.  I had one Christian tell me that in person when I was 17. 

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