Washington State Faithful In Tizzy Over Atheist Affront

The atheists ... this time disguised as hedonistic sun worshipers ... are at it again. A "Winter Solstice" sign bought and paid for by the Freedom from Religion Foundation identifying religion as "Myth and supersition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds" was put up at a holiday display.

A whole bunch of religious yahoos got really mad. They claim that the sign is offensive and should be suppresses. So much for tolerance.

The Freedom From Thinking Independantly Foundation (I'm making that part up) held a big-ol' rally at the State Capitol. (Details here.)

Also at the capitol were three counter protesters who held signs that said: "Get over it."

Her's a modestly offensive TV news account of the incident.

The news reporter uses the usual scare tactics linking atheism to extremism. They need to get their acts together given, as they actually report that the Pacific Northwest has he highest rate of non-belief of anywhere in the US.

Bless those Pacificnorthwesterers!

More like this

The reporter mentioned worrying about how extreme the demonstrations may get.

Since when is a simple 2 x 3 sign on a stand extreme?

The ideas. They are too scary.

Here here! for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Think about it, people...they and other like-minded free thinkers are simply trying to relieve all you religious folks of fear and delusion, and protect the rest of us from your irrational superstitions. "There is no hell" should not be viewed as a threatening assertion. On the other hand "Hell awaits those who don't believe in god" is the epitomy of fear and despair; such ideas come from a diseased mind, a primative human being "protecting his rice bowl," not a god.
I know it's difficult to make the leap from faith to reason. I did it, after 6 years in a Catholic seminary. But you can start by TALKING about it without hysteria or fear of retribution...what kind of god would punish you for using your "god-given" powers of reason and curiosity? The answer is, a man-made god. Enjoy your holidays!

As typical of most bigots, the 'reporter' slips into editorial mode in his lead line: Freethinking=hedonism; we are hedonists, only deciding on immediate pleasure or pain. This is not true of all freethinkers, in fact I find such an attitude rare in people with enlightened self-interest. Most of us have learned critical thinking from early years, that's probably how we grew up to be independent thinkers.

Come on! Is a cosmic zombie (walking dead) whipping boy required to correct the subsequent behavior of untold generations? Wouldn't an act of kindness, of mercy, be a better example?

Happy, non-violent Winter Solstice!

FFRF could have displayed a more
respectful message.

But, hey, if you put a Nativity scene on
govt. property, you take your chances.

FFRF could have displayed a more
respectful message.

But, hey, if you put a Nativity scene on
govt. property, you take your chances.

I support FFRF, both ideologically and financially. However, I question their judgement a little on the sign's wording. They could've gone with something like "Happy Solstice, may reason prevail." If I were to second guess though, I'd say that they didn't want to be ignored, they want media attention plain and simple. I'm not saying they're wrong. Billo has been cornering the Christmas culture war market for far too long. It's a "controversy" that Fox invented and now the atheists ( bless their hearts) are taking it to his irate Irish ass. I love it. After the crusades and the inquisition and the woman (I mean 'witch') burnings, the religulous owe freethinkers some payback. So suck it Billo boy.

By schadenFarg (not verified) on 10 Dec 2008 #permalink

schadenFarg: I too am an FFRF member. So you probably read the most recent FFRF email entitled "AU Blog Comes to FFRF Support".

If any of you haven't had an opportunity to read it, in short, the blog post points out the it was the Alliance Defence Fund that actually brought all this about. They sued the state on behalf of someone that wanted the creche displayed. Now Bill'O's stoking the flames of intolerance because of something he supported ideologically. What a hypocrite. See it here: http://blog.au.org/2008/12/08/fallacious-factor-foxs-oreilly-religious-…

Additionally, Max Blumenthal wrote a wonderful piece on the, ahem, White Nationlist origins of the so-called War on Christmas. Completely invented for...well, click through to here's Max's article via the Huffington Post. Recommended reading!

I'm a member/supporter of the FFRF and confess I was a bit taken aback by the confrontive content of the sign. I wrote an article for Huff Post, lauding Barker's work but expressing the wish that the sign had been different. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-tarico/reasons-greetings_b_148538… But now I'm wondering if it's been a blessing after all ;). Given how little known FFRF is compared to O'Reilly and his minions, the FFRF may get more mileage out of it if measured as a percent increase in supporters. Also, at least here in WA state, the controversy has actually resulted in a fair bit of positive coverage for freethinkers. The head of the Secular Student Union, Michael Amini got a quote or two in the Post Intelligencer; Journalist Dave Postman wrote a downright friendly article in the Times; and I got a half-hour on the Dave Ross Show yesterday(Kiro710.com 12/10 10 am)to talk about what's wrong with Evangelical fundamentalism in the public square. Pas mal, given how hard it is usually to get media time for these points of view. Maybe we should thank Dan Barker for taking the heat so that other heathens can come off mind-warpingly nice when we say we don't believe in gods but we do wish the sign was a little different.

I am so thrilled over ffrf.org When I see the manger scene, I see implicit violence. I have sired five, waited for them to fill their diaper so I could empty it, paid for braces and sent them all to college and now that I am dragging one foot and the other in the grave, this Hebrew ca ca baby is going to send me to an eternal penitentiary where the walls, floor, ceiling are made of fire. I need to flush this dictator before I die lest I be separated from half of my children irrespective of where I go as one chose Mormonism and the other a Christian cult; however, based on someone's opinion somewhere in the world, all humans will meet in hell. I must flush that ca ca baby.

I don't pick on the Hebrew ca ca baby; I denounce all gods from which ca ca baby emerged as a cookie-cutter god: Adonis, Attis, Buddha, Horus, Indra, Mithra, Osiris, Quexalcote, Quirinus, Zoroaster. I denounce Allah as a ca ca god. All gods came from one god who came from the first man imbued with the tools of prescience and sensience by evolution and ate a herb with laxative properties and inspected the remains and found a lump and named it God and commenced his rounds in seeking obsequious sycophants i.e. submissive followers willing to tithe to participate in this incredible find. Richard Grimes: Deicide. http://www.geocities.com/r22037/think.html

I can understand how some of my fellow non-theists are diffident about the wording chosen by FFRF for the Olympia display. But I say, if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly. I'm proud of FFRF's courage and persistence.

I find the assertion "religion is myth and superstition, that hardens the heart and enslaves the mind" to be a very powerful yet poetic manifesto of free thought. It is no more "offensive" than the fantastical numinous assertions of the credulous majority who demand respect for their myths and freedom from criticism.

Such stimulated dialectic was not even possible a few short years ago, when religion ruled the roost and persecuted deviants.
This squabble was started by the religionists, insisting on injecting their nonsense into politics and the public arena, and bill boards along the public highways. So now let them take their lumps.

And while I'd prefer hold the contest off of tax-funded venues, and certainly off the bill boards...any place is better than no place at all.
Let the dialogue begin! Ron

By Ron Palmatier (not verified) on 19 Dec 2008 #permalink