December 17, 2004

No Tannenbaum For You!

Brian over at Memento Moron brings to us the tale of Tree Nazis Sidney and Jennifer Stock:

Sidney and Jennifer Stock are atheists.

They asked the city council to remove the tree because it represents Christmas which is a Christian holiday.

Stock says city hall should "Act as a place where everybody feels welcome. It is impossible for everybody's religious belief to be displayed and non-religious belief to be displayed, so therefore, no religious beliefs be displayed."

Go on over to Brian's and read the whole article. Then zot over to today's piece by Mom's Favorite Columnist. Krauth raises what I think is a key point:

It is the more deracinated members of religious minorities, brought up largely ignorant of their own traditions, whose religious identity is so tenuous that they feel the need to be constantly on guard against displays of other religions -- and who think the solution to their predicament is to prevent the other guy from displaying his religion, rather than learning a bit about their own.

To insist that the overwhelming majority of this country stifle its religious impulses in public so that minorities can feel ``comfortable'' not only understandably enrages the majority, but commits two sins. The first is profound ungenerosity toward a majority of fellow citizens who have shown such generosity of spirit toward minority religions.

The second is the sin of incomprehension -- a failure to appreciate the uniqueness of the communal American religious experience. Unlike, for example, the famously tolerant Ottoman Empire or the generally tolerant Europe of today, America does not merely allow minority religions to exist at its sufferance. It celebrates and welcomes and honors them.

I see no reason why this insight would not apply to people like the Stocks who proclaim they don't believe in God at all.

Posted by Robert at December 17, 2004 01:53 PM

Thanks for the linky-love. I've been feeling like a Pariah Blog lately.

I was just wondering what Krauthamer had been up to lately. He nails it.

Speaking of Tannenbaum: Earlier in the season I blogged on "The Tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square" (there's a link in the current entry), and when I mentioned it to my pastor. he had a great idea -- he said it's too bad a bunch of us can't drive up to Portlnad, go caroling, and stand around The Tree singing "O Christmas Tree"!

Posted by: Brian B at December 17, 2004 07:58 PM

Isn't it about time for atheism to be formally defined as a religious belief?

Posted by: John at December 17, 2004 10:00 PM

I didn't read the links...but the tree representing Christmas? Yeah, the pagan aspect of Christmas. What was that case where you put Frosty next to the creche and its all okay? Yeah, didn't do too well in Con Law, both damn semesters of it that my law school required.

Posted by: Marjorie at December 19, 2004 07:21 PM

I forget myself, but do retain some vague memory of the "one reindeer rule".

Of course, the issue of whether a Christmas tree is a legitimate symbol of the season is a whole separate can of worms. My point was that these people would argue that ANY Christmas symbol, whether it be a creche, a tree or anything else, should get the ky-bosh.

Posted by: Robert the LB at December 20, 2004 08:04 AM

Here we go again the atheists minority dictating to the majority how we should celibrate they are the most selfish self centered persons around and frankly if they cant practice tolerence they they should just keep it to themselves

Posted by: night heron at December 23, 2004 09:25 PM
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