At least every week I see something in the news where the Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing some government entity for a Christmas tree or, their latest, a Facebook post. The Constitution clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” So, as long as the government entity pays homage to all religions equally, not endorsing one over the other, it’s well within its rights to do so and the Supreme Court has routinely ruled in ways that support this. Where governments have gotten in trouble is permanent displays of the Ten Commandments in courthouses and things of that nature. But holiday greetings? Nothing wrong with that.
As I’ve written in these pages before, everyone is technically agnostic. None of us know right? But that means every one of us has faith. Either faith in something or faith in nothing. That is your choice and no one, especially the government, should make that choice for you. That’s why it is so important to note the distinction between freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
Why is it only atheists get offended at holiday displays? I never hear Jews complaining about the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Nor do I ever hear Christians complain about a large menorah display on the courthouse lawn during Hanukah. And I never hear either group complain about Democratic politicians tweeting out love letters to Islam during Ramadan (only that these particular politicians do not show the same love to Judaism or Christianity). But the evangelical atheists? Boy, even the Macy’s Christmas sale puts their underwear in a bunch.
I am not speaking about all atheists, I know many who, well, let’s face it, are libertarians. However, if you are trying to eliminate all public displays of faith because you don’t agree with it, you’re trying to force the state to endorse your religion. Which is unfortunate, because that same amendment to our Constitution that protected you from having to pray in school, you’re now using as a weapon against those who disagree with you.
Secularism is a religion. One whose only moral teachings are that everything is meaningless and to destroy anything that gets in your way by any means necessary. It is to stand for nothing and to fall for anything.
If you want me to fight to protect your rights to think, believe and express yourself however you like, I’m going to want you to do the same for me. That’s the only way it works.