We've bought the notion that if it's unusual or something we don't understand it's bad.
We've been conditioned by years of insisting that those that tell us of our existence and how it should be will tell us in terms that we easily understand, and always assuredly do it by comforting us, telling us that the way things are is the way they should be.
That's not necessarily so. But we also play into that silly notion too. Apparently someone in Leesburg, VA (go figure) put up a skeleton Santa on the lawn of the Loudon county couruthouse and got the reaction I'm sure they were after.
But the real problem is that athiests are almost always portrayed in our media as raving nutbags who want to nail skeleton santa's to a cross and put them on the courthouse lawn.
I'm an athiest, and i have no such wish. I'm an athiest and I want to be able to believe what I believe without anyone tellin me I'm wrong or crazy or invalid. But I intend to give them the same accomodation, not such outrageousness as this:
skeleton in a Santa suit didn't survive for long outside the Loudoun
County courthouse lawn, but it generated plenty of controversy in
The skeleton was nailed to a cross on Monday by a
mother and son associated with an atheist group, one of the nine
approved displays for the Christmas season. But the macabre Kris
Kringle was not standing for long. Someone tore the skeleton down,
sparking a debate about free speech.
It's not a new argument. In
2009, Christmas displays on the courthouse lawn were banned after the
constitutionality of a Nativity scene was questioned. Last year that
decision was overturned, and 10 displays were allowed on the lawn based
on a first-come, first-served basis.
Leesburg council member Ken
Reid spoke out strongly against the skeletal Christmas display. "I think
that it's just extremely, extremely sad," he said, "that somebody in
this county who would try to basically debase Christmas like this. This
really crossed the line."
After laying face down in the grass for several hours, the Santa-suited skull and bones was taken away on Monday night.
message to me at least," said Jonathan Weintraub, of the group NOVA
Atheists, "is that the meaning of Christmas, which is about faith and
family, is dead and has been replaced by commercialism."
According Julie Withrow, a Loudoun County administrator, the display belonged to Middleburg resident, Jeff Heflin Jr.
She told the Loudon Times
that Heflin described the display in his application as an “art work of
Santa on a cross to depict society’s materialistic obsessions and
addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that
is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.” Heflin was not
part of any organization and sponsored the display himself, the
The display was discussed Monday night at a
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors meeting, where it was labeled
"provocative" and "obscene." In the meeting, some suggested a complete
ban of public displays in front of the courthouse.
County officials are still meeting to decide on what to do with the displays.
When we can recognize that ideas other than what we have chosen to accept are valid and not always held by raving lunatics then, and only then will there be peace on earth...good luck with that.
And so it goes.