December 23, 2008

War on Christmas Over, Christians Victorious

FestivusImage via WikipediaNow that Washington State has approved the addition of a Festivus pole to the holiday display at the state capitol, I think we can properly hang a "Mission Accomplished" banner on our metaphorical air craft carriers. Yes, combat operations have ended in the so-called "Christmas wars." Of course, atheists can only join the celebration as observers since we were never actually involved in the conflict. In fact, it turns out that the only combatant in this bitter dispute, a handful of dimwitted Christians, have finally achieved victory over themselves. They have made a thorough mockery of the very holiday they were allegedly defending from imagined threats.

At first, nobody objected to the "holiday tree" erected in the Washington State Capitol. However, a handful of thin-skinned Christians soon decided that using the more inclusive term "holiday" was a blow to their preferred religion. They requested the addition of a nativity scene, and with the help of a lawsuit filed last year by the Alliance Defense Fund, their request was granted this year.

The thing is, Washington State recognized that the only legal way to permit a nativity display in a public building would be to permit all other groups to add their own displays. So, in getting their nativity scene, the Christians opened the door to virtually any other sort of display. Washington State deserves credit for understanding the implications of the Establishment Clause.

The Christians demanding a nativity scene were shortsighted indeed, and I bet they are now wishing they had been content with the tree. After the Freedom From Religion Foundation added an atheist sign to the display, Fox "News" windbag Bill O'Reilly called for Christians to protest. Strangely, he thought that atheists should be the target of the protest rather than the Alliance Defense Fund. Some gullible viewers heeded his call, bringing even more attention to an already contentious issue.

Now a Festivus pole is joining the display, and Westboro Baptist is seeking to add a bizarre Christian extremist display. What will be next? I have no idea. Maybe no displays at all. Still, I think it is clear that the Christian extremists fighting these Christmas wars against themselves have finally managed to defeat themselves, making a mockery of their holiday in the process. Congratulations, I suppose.

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