Thursday, December 13, 2012

Persecution complex.



Okay, not that the obligatory Monty Python reference is out of the way, lets get back to business. The other day I heard a Christian complaining about the nativity being challenged in government and public locals. But it wasn't the usual complaint we're used to hearing. They weren't complaining about the laughable 'war on Christmas', but rather their issue was with who isn't having their symbols contested. He claimed that old joke that us atheists are singling out and trying to oppress Christianity. His 'proof' was that it is always Christian displays that are being challenged, but you never hear anything about a Ramadan display being challenged. His conclusion was that we are either singling out Christianity, or are just afraid of reprisal from Muslims.

But it shouldn't be any surprise that his argument is nonsensical and reeks of the all too popular Christian persecution complex. First of all... Ramadan displays? Ramadan is the Muslim holy month. It is a month of fasting and abstaining. Aside from some lanterns, I can't think of what a Ramadan display would consist of. I can tell you that I've never seen one. But let's assume there were displays. There is one huge reason whey Christian displays are challenged, and others are not... and it's not because we're afraid of Muslim backlash. If it were, would that mean we're also afraid of Jewish backlash? No, the reason is the nature of the displays.

The reason you don't see reports of Ramadan displays being challenged is because you don't see Ramadan displays taking center stage on government property. If there was a Ramadan display monopolizing the state capitol, that would be challenged as well. If there was a ten foot tall menorah going it solo on the White House lawn, that would be challenged. But time and time again, it is the Christian displays that try to monopolize the public square and try to defy even the thought of including other displays. These aren't challenged to single out and oppress Christianity. Rather, it's to uphold the Constitution.

Here in the United States, we have a Constitutionally founded separation of church and state. In fact, the first amendment prohibits the making of any laws respecting an establishment of religion, as well as prohibiting the free exercise thereof. When you have a government building displaying a nativity scene and nothing else, that promotes and suggests an establishment of religious favoritism. Government is supposed to be unbiased about religion. Not only does that keep the government free of religious corruption. But it also frees religions from corruption from the government. I find it strange that so many are opposed to this separation, when the separation of church and state is the theist's friend just as much as the atheist's.

So no, there is no conspiracy to single out Christians and Christmas, or to oppress them. Jesus portraits in schools are challenged, and so would the imagery of some other religion. Follow the constitution, and stop dreaming of a theocracy and there would be no conflict. Perhaps the Christians that are so quick to jump on Muslims should take a page from Ramadan celebrations, and just enjoy the holiday for the wondrous time of year it is, rather than trying to claim the summit all for themselves.

-Brain Hulk

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