Is Atheist Display "Tolerant"?
TChris on the lefty site Talk Left claims that the atheist display outside the Washington state capitol, considered "equal time" for the Christian and Jewish displays, is simply a matter of Constitutional protection. The outrage that protestors and Bill O’Reilly are expressing somehow proves that they don’t really want freedom of religion.
Except this display of atheism is not simply a display. It’s scorn and ridicule. Here’s the text:
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.
Aside from the first sentence, the rest is a denigration of all the other displays. Indeed the sponsors say so.
"It’s not a religious display; it is an attack on religion,” Freedom From Religion co-president Dan Barker said. His group was behind the atheist display.
How "tolerant". And it points out the fact that this is decidedly not a case of equal time or freedom of/from religion, in spite of the cover that Washington state politicians are taking behind the Constitution.
Gregoire and the state’s attorney general responded to criticism by citing the First Amendment and releasing this joint statement:
“Once government admits one religious display or viewpoint onto public property, it may not discriminate against the content of other displays, including the viewpoints of non-believers."
The nativity scene is a positive expression of belief, speaking no ill to those who don’t agree with it or believe in it. The "Solstice Sign" is a protest specifically against those with different beliefs. They are completely different things. A nativity scene on government grounds does not guarantee the right to protest against it right next to it, any more than it would somehow guarantee the right for the KKK to put up its own display next to it. They are completely different things, and those in Washington state who are sponsoring the sign and defending it seem to completely miss the concept.
But it does give us insight into what organized atheism considers "tolerance" towards religion. They don’t just want equal time; they want additional rights to denigrate it. That’s not equal.
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!