One news article reports the placement of an atheist sign next to a nativity scene in Olympia, Washington. The sign read: "At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no angels, no devils, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." Later, someone stole the sign and left it in a ditch. CNN reported: "Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told CNN,... 'It's always a shock when your sign is censored or stolen or mutilated. It's not something you get used to.'...'Now there is such a firestorm that we have the audacity to exist. And then [whoever took the sign] stifles our speech.'" (Oh the irony!)
Missing atheist sign found in Washington state
Obviously, some people in Olympia, Washington are very unhappy about having a nativity scene next to the legislating building. The insensitivity of Christmas has offended the atheists to the point that they want equal time to celebrate the holiday in their own fashion, by preaching the gospel of atheism to all who care to read their sign. As one atheist put it: "It's not that we are trying to coerce anyone; in a way our sign is a signal of protest. If there can be a Nativity scene saying that we are all going to hell if we don't bow down to Jesus, we should be at the table to share our views."
Another story comes from the other side of the country, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill campus, which, apparently is going to forgo putting up their traditional Christmas trees so they won't offend anyone.
UNC libraries to forgo Christmas trees
As the story goes, chief staffers complained about the trees.
[Sarah] Michalak [associate provost] said that banishing the Christmas displays was not an easy decision but that she asked around to library colleagues at Duke, N.C. State and elsewhere and found no other one where Christmas trees were displayed.
Aside from the fact that a UNC Chapel Hill library is a public facility, Michalak said, libraries are places where information from all corners of the world and all belief systems is offered without judgment. Displaying one particular religion's symbols is antithetical to that philosophy, she said.
“We strive in our collection to have a wide variety of ideas,” she said. “It doesn't seem right to celebrate one particular set of customs.”
Let's Ban All Holidays
I could save all of them a lot of bother. The problem obviously stems from the celebration of holidays in this country. Holidays are oppressive remnants of an evil bygone era, long overdue to be banned. I'm sure all will agree that it is high time we took a look at the institution of holidays and think about giving that up. Let me go through a partial list of holidays in the US to show what I mean:
New Years Day - This celebration is completely insensitive to those non-Julian calendared individuals in our country. We can no longer support a day that just isn't new years for Jews, Muslims, or the Chinese. Besides, having wild parties in the middle of the night at Times Square is downright dangerous and unhealthy.
Feast of Epiphany - All overtly Christian holidays must go away because they are inherently oppressive to the non-Christians in this country. Religious holidays are oppressive to atheists as well. Getting rid of the Feast of Epiphany would be a small step toward appeasing the atheists. As an added bonus, we would never again have to listen to that inane song The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday - Originally based on the ideal of civil rights, this holiday is a reminder of White oppression and the evils of slavery. Since we no longer want anyone to feel bad around the celebration of holidays, we must also get rid of this one. It also neglects to celebrate the diversity of all people of color, for example, excluding Hispanics and Asians. Gays are not represented either, especially in light of the modern idea that gays are the "New Black."
Australia Day - Upon reflection, I really can't think of any good reason not to celebrate Australia Day in the US. Besides, my wife really likes Hugh Jackman.
Groundhog Day - Although I am in favor of rodent love, the superstitious belief that winter can be predicted based on some woodchuck's viewing of a shadow is absurd. Absurdity should never be celebrated.
Mardi Gras - At first glance, this holiday seems innocuous enough, representing the average American values of debauchery and overindulgence. However, we can no longer support a holiday that takes place in New Orleans. This city was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, which, as we all know, was Bush's fault. We must not support any holiday associated with George W. Bush.
Ash Wednesday - Too Catholic. Too religious. Floating ash poses a health risk.
Chinese New Year - We just can't go around supporting one calendar system over another in this country. Besides, dragons are fictional beasts which do not appear in the natural world. They are mere myth or superstition and should be done away with. Firecrackers are also highly dangerous and someone is bound to lose a finger or an eye.
Lent - No one really gives up anything for Lent anyway, or if they do it's something really, really superficial. So this holiday is dead anyway.
Lincoln's Birthday - Lincoln, being a white, European, oppressor male should not be venerated or even remembered with anything like a holiday. Oh wait, his birthday isn't celebrated at all any more, so we're saved from having to ban this one.
Valentine's Day - Of course, this is the celebration of St. Valentine, a religious figure, and should be given up since it is offensive to any non-Catholic. It is also a reminder that gays have been legislated from their freedom to express love, apparently in any way, shape or form. The non-romantic in this country take exception to the idealization of romance and want nothing to do with it and should not have romanticism and love shoved in their faces.
President's Day - At the outset, this looks like a good idea until you realize that we are also celebrating George W. Bush as president of the US. No one really wants a holiday that celebrates Bush. If Clinton had only been allowed to stay in office, we could probably keep this one holiday, but alas, Bush has ruined it for everyone.
Washington's Birthday - See Lincoln.
Palm Sunday - Why anyone would celebrate the day when palm leaves were dropped in front of what many people believe was a fictitious character is beyond me. It doesn't make a lick of sense and neither does this holiday.
St. Patrick's Day - Another Catholic throwback that should best be ignored. Making everything green in its celebration denies the diversity of color. We might, perhaps, consider a Rainbow Beer day instead, but beer will soon be illegal since it causes obesity and drunk drivers.
Good Friday - Another Catholic religious expression of an oppressive regime begun by a fictitious character. We can no longer celebrate anything to do with Christianity considering its long history of oppression and violence in Europe.
Easter - Religion, especially one that celebrates one set of customs, "doesn't seem right." Getting rid of this holiday will allow the few Christians left in the US to stop feeling guilty about not attending church by removing the one day they would actually go. Removing chocolate Easter bunnies from the shelves would have the added bonus of helping our too-fat children to enjoy the benefits of weight loss. Eating eggs, bunnies and baby chicks (in the form of Peeps) is also offensive to animal rights advocates.
April Fool's Day - All but gone anyway, the practice of playing practical jokes on anyone is insensitive, unfunny and should be made criminally illegal with stiff jail terms and fines imposed.
Passover - Too religious. Too Jewish. Only reinforces the idea that deity is an evil entity who punished the innocent Egyptian people. The holiday reinforces the idea that the evil Western empire should always prevail over the East. Besides, we're all sick of watching Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments and Planet of the Apes. Soylent Green is a pretty good movie, though.
May Day - A holiday based on the mass destruction of earth's natural resources by cutting and killing millions of innocent flowers is completely unconscionable. We should never agree to any holiday that contributes so drastically to global warming.
Cinco de Mayo - This isn't a real holiday in Mexico either, but an excuse to get drunk and cause traffic accidents. It should have been banned years ago.
Mother's Day - This insensitive celebration doesn't even consider the many women who cannot have children, or choose to abort them. Men, also are excluded, which at the outset may seem like a good thing until you realize that some gays are men as well.
Pentecost - A celebration of the beginning of the end of Western civilization, as many see it, since it celebrates the day that Christianity became a religion and began to take over and oppress the rest of the Western world.
Memorial Day - Why we would want to "celebrate" a bunch of dead people is beyond me.
Flag Day - This is a time when we are supposed to be proud of our country and forget what an evil, oppressive empire it has become under the direction of such warlords as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or George W. Bush. Frankly, the flag of the US has become an embarrassment. I doubt that other flags would ever be included in this day, such as my Che Guevara flag or the rainbow flag, so it's best we not put up any flags at all.
Independence Day - This is merely a celebration of some old, fat, white guys making other old, fat white guys angry and starting a war that killed lots of innocent people. We also need to consider that fireworks are inherently dangerous and need to be banned. Personally, I'm tired of trying to find new ways to decorate using red, white, and blue as the only possible colors.
Labor Day - When we have a holiday that reminds us that we should all be working, we're not being fair to the myriads of people depending on the US welfare system for their support. We could conceivably stretch this particular holiday to include welfare recipients, and call it Nanny State Day or some such, but alas, there are still people who insist on working for a living and ruining it for the rest of us.
Patriot Day - Since there are none of these left in the US, it seems silly to devote a day to their celebration.
Citizenship Day - What an evil reminder that not all of our residents here in the US enjoy the fruits of citizenship and are marginalized, criminalized, and in some cases, actually sent back to the countries from which they came. Until all people of the world can enjoy the fruits of US citizenship, this holiday is best left off the calendar.
Columbus Day - We've made the right move in reducing this day to the obscurity it so richly deserves. Columbus was the consummate white, European male and because of him, millions of Native Americans suffered and died. People of European descent should be thoroughly ashamed and move back to the places from which they originally came. Obviously, nothing good ever came as a result of Columbus' imperialism.
Halloween - Being a religious holiday, this needs to be stricken from the calendar as well. The eve of All Saints' Day and All Souls Day is far too Catholic to be allowed to continue. It also unjustly marginalizes witches as objects of fear and oppression. Witches have a right to enjoy the same freedoms of religion as anyone else in this country. Halloween has become an exploitation of differently abled creatures as well - ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. Apparently equal protection doesn't apply to these poor souls as children everywhere are taught to make fun of them. The system for candy collection is also patently unfair to those who live in poor neighborhoods and cannot reap the benefits of a higher-class candy distributed among the rich.
Election Day - This needs to be abolished right away as perpetrating the decidedly unfair practice of making the will of "the people" known. As one person so brilliantly reminded us in this last election
"Voting to eliminate Constitutional Rights is ILLEGAL." As some of the gays in California have also noted, voting no longer serves any purpose when it goes against your beliefs. What's next? A black president? This holiday seriously needs to go away.
Veteren's Day - War is evil. Perpetrators of war, by extension are evil. We should never venerate evil or its perpetrators.
Thanksgiving Day - Like Columbus Day, this just reinforces the long and hateful history of oppression by white, European males. We should also not impose our values on anyone in the US. Such values such as gratitude have no place in our modern, secular society. Animal rights advocates, as well, have long warned us of the sin of turkey killing.
Hannukah - Lighting candles in your house or apartment is dangerous. It's best if we forget this holiday for the safety of all.
Christmas - The grandparent of all oppressive religious holidays, this is a reminder to atheists around the country that "we are all going to hell if we don't bow down to Jesus." Its traditional values of peace on earth, goodwill towards men has absolutely no place in our modern, secular society. No such religious sentimentality should be forced on anyone. Gift giving and being nice to others also has no business being enforced by the religious right. Christmas contributes to widespread deforestation, light pollution, mall traffic, and global warming. It remains the most unhealthy time of the year as heart attacks and suicides increase. Santa Claus is a silly myth and superstition that should never be imposed on anyone, let alone on unsuspecting and innocent children. WalMart workers would certainly be safer without it.
Kwanzaa - Let's face it, this one was just made up so Blacks in the US could feel better about themselves by having their own tradition to adhere to. Traditions are inane remnants of deranged minds and no one in this country has a right to feel better about themselves.
There you have it. A lot of problems in the US would go away if we would stop being so selfish and just give up our holidays. Ill feelings would melt away as the ear of a chocolate Easter bunny in the mouth of a three year old.
As long as we do away with holidays, we also need to do away with this silly business of Sundays. Sundays are only holidays because of antiquated Christian beliefs. Since Sunday is really the first day of the week, we should all demand to go back to work on Sunday instead of Monday. (Unless, of course, we feel work is against our Constitutional right to federal welfare.) We could still keep Saturdays as our weekend.
And while we're at it, we must dispense with the term holiday completely since it really is a contraction of the term "holy day," a blatant attempt to religify the English language. From now on we'll only have personal days in which to quietly, in the privacy of our own homes, celebrate whatever we wish to believe in. Just be sure you don't push those beliefs on anyone else.