By BJ Bjornson
Yeah, it�s getting close to mid-December, so the War on Christmas is now in full swing, with the first major victory for the godless coming from sunny California.
Seems that Santa Monica had a lottery to distribute a bunch of display areas in a city park, normally used for a whole bunch of nativity scenes, and thanks to either a quirk in the drawing or just some rather enthusiastic participants flooding the results, atheists would up winning the majority of the available spaces. The Christian response to this fair and unbiased selection method? It�s an assault on their freedom of speech!
"By trying to push the Nativity scene out of the park and silence us, these people are infringing on our freedom and 1st Amendment rights," said Hunter Jameson, a Nativity organizer, said in a statement.
They haven�t actually been pushed out, of course, just had their number of slots limited, and as PZ says, that will likely get reversed in the future by their organizing a swamping of the lottery with their own applications. In the meantime, they will certainly use this as an example of how persecuted their poor overwhelming majority is in the nation, without the least hint of irony.
But while PZ looks at this as an opportunity for the Christians to get used to a minority position that he hopes will come down the pipe one day in the not-too-distant future, I�d like to ask the atheists in Santa Monica to take advantage of this opportunity to do some much-needed PR work for atheism.
The article doesn�t say much about the previous year�s atheist display except for its inclusion of a Jefferson quote about religions all being founded on fables and mythologies, which is fine so far as it goes, but with the added space available, something more positive from the atheist community would seem an excellent idea.
After all, most atheists and agnostics love celebrating the Christmas season, not as a religious ritual, but as a chance to get together with family and friends, and then eat, drink and be merry. I�m betting that�s the same kind of thing most Christians actually like about the season as well, so why not put up a few displays that show what the true enjoyment of the season is all about?
And on that note, enjoy my new favourite Christmas carol from Tim Minchin.