“At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”–sign posted by atheists at the Illinois state capitol Christmas display.
Contrary to many folks, when I see something like this, it isn’t the debate regarding free speech or freedom of religion that comes to mind. No doubt many Americans don’t like the idea that a Christmas display can be tainted, but the First Amendment protects everyone, even atheists.
What strikes me is the supreme pettiness of people whose chief ambition is to rain on other peoples’ parade. For these small-minded, smug Americans, nothing must be left unmolested by their self-anointed “superiority.”
“Let reason prevail?” How about reasonableness instead? How about respect for those “unenlightened” Americans who “cling” to the notion that there is something greater and more and enduring than the self and this lifetime?
You know what really “hardens hearts and enslaves minds?” A completely unnecessary display of mean-spiritedness designed to “offset” peace on earth and goodwill towards men.
I feel truly sorry for the children of such people. It must be a real bummer to find out–long before everyone else’s children do–that there’s no Santa Claus, no tooth fairy, no pixie dust or anything else that conflicts with “our natural world,” and that life itself is just a one-and-out slog to eternal oblivion. Unless, of course, one succumbs to “myth and superstition.”
Sadly, there will always be people who can’t be happy unless they’re unhappy–or making someone else miserable. It is who they are, and a season like this truly annoys them. The greatness of America is that millions of us are willing to defend their right to be heard, even as we despise their need to annoy and belittle those who are filled with something far greater than insipid intellectualism.
It is beyond me how someone can look at the wonder and complexity of this life and come to the conclusion that every bit of it is a rudderless accident–with the one apparent exception being the ability of atheists to perceive it as such. Such an obvious contradiction would give some people second thoughts, or a sense of hesitation at least. But no. Atheists dismiss thousands of years of metaphysical “indulgence” by every culture that has ever existed as a character flaw inherent to the species. One which must be “cured” by conquering force of reason.
Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take my myths and superstitions–I prefer the term “hope”– and run with them. And for all the “misguided” souls who stand with me, a simple message: Merry Christmas!
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