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Heathen’s Greetings for Christmas December 25, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Religion.
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“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?” Homer Simpson once asked. “You know, the birth of Santa.”

Like Homer, I enjoy the birthday of Jesus — or Santa. So it pains me to witness fellow atheists acting like a bunch of irritating ’80s televangelists and defeating the entire purpose of unbelief by organizing, grousing, wagging their fingers and, worst of all, proselytizing.

Take the billboards popping up in Las Vegas this year that read “Reason’s Greetings” and “Heathen’s Greetings.”

The man behind the billboards claims to only want to make people think — because only atheists can really think, after all. “People that drive by who have an open mind may think to themselves, ‘Maybe I should question some of my dogmatic beliefs,’ ” Richard Hermsen, a local atheist activist, explained.

Granted, atheists have some reason to be annoyed by the general public. A USA Today/Gallup Poll in 2007, for instance, found that more than half of Americans would, under no circumstances whatsoever, vote for an atheist.

No group fared lower than heathens. Not Mormons. Or even the Jews — and we probably killed Christ.

USA Today also relayed that a University of Minnesota study taken that year found that Americans rank atheists as the most disliked minority group in the entire country, topping other groups who richly deserve such honors, like journalists, for instance.

It’s this kind of close-mindedness many atheists find most annoying. For a long time, in fact, I believed H.L. Mencken’s line that, “God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable.”

But then poll after poll illustrates that religious people — in the throes of ignorance, granted — are far happier, far more charitable and far from helpless.

On an ideological front, it dawned on me long ago that though didactic Christians may attempt to limit personal freedoms, they are rank amateurs compared to environmentalist moralizers or “social justice” moralizers or economic equality moralizers of the left.

God or no God, one of these groups generally believes in free will and the others generally believe taking is an ethical pursuit.

Other curiosities invaded my thinking, as well. It is common, for instance, for free-thinking acquaintances of mine, ones who sneer at the very thought of Christianity, to buy into every half-baked mystic-sanctioned cure available.

These same folks who have no compunction comparing evangelicals to the Taliban demand I demonstrate more deference to the misogynistic, homophobic and anti-intellectual theocrats elsewhere in the world. For peace.

So while, today’s nonbelievers tend to focus on the ugliest aspects of organized faith — and there is no dearth of opportunity — they ignore that this nation’s tradition of liberty, economic freedom and unmatched tolerance (sure, we could always use more) was driven and tethered to Christian ideas.

Maybe, it’s not worth believing. But it’s worth a holiday, at least.

via Harsanyi: Heathen’s Greetings for Christmas – The Denver Post.

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