Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christians in Texas fight back against atheist bigots

Christians protesting against an earlier form of legally-enforced bigotry in the 1960's

Christians in a small Texas town are standing up to atheist bigots who are using legal threats to force removal of a manger scene that has been displayed on the courthouse lawn for decades.

By Todd Starnes/TWITTER

The Texas Attorney General has offered to defend a Texas county under attack by a group of Wisconsin atheists who are demanding that a Nativity located on the lawn of the Henderson County courthouse be torn down.
Atheists in Wisconsin are outraged by the presence of a manger scene in a small town in East Texas. The display-- 1000 miles from the Freedom From Christians Religion Foundation headquarters-- is intolerable to the godless.
“Our message to the atheists is don’t mess with Texas and our Nativity scenes or the Ten Commandments,” Attorney General Greg Abbott told Fox News & Commentary. “I want the Freedom From Religion Foundation to know that our office has a history of defending religious displays in this state.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an anti-Christian hate group operating under a patina of legal advocacy, routinely sues organizations and municipalities to remove reference to Christianity from public spaces. The organization's website proclaims "Reason's Greetings!" and "The Winter Solstice is the Reason for the Season", and brags of the use of legal force to censor Christians.

Bravo for Mr. Abbott for standing up to these brownshirts.
Abbott sent a letter to Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders offering whatever help he could provide in the event the county is sued. He also assured the judge that the county has no legal obligation to remove the Nativity scene from the courthouse grounds.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group based in Wisconsin, sent a letter to Henderson County explaining that a local resident had complained and they wanted the Nativity removed.
If I write a letter Madison, Wisconsin officials demanding removal of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, do you think they'd do it?
“It sends a message of intimidation and exclusion to non-Christians and non-believers this time of year,” FFRF co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told television station KFDW.

She said the location of the Nativity — on the lawn of the courthouse in Athens, made non-Christians feel unwelcome.
“Anybody walking by that is going to say, ‘Hmmm. This is a Christian government building. I’m not welcome here if I’m not Christian,’” she told the television station.


'The donkey frightened me' complained the local atheist. 'I'm terrified of lambs too'.

One has the sense that it's really the baby that they hate.

To fight the Plastic Baby Jesus intimidation, FFRF sends a letter threatening litigation and forceful removal of the manger. Of course that's not intimidation. It's not like a plastic sheep on the lawn.

Here's the intimidating/excluding offense from which the atheist(s) needs legal protection. Note that the plastic cow does have horns...


Yep. Non-Christians have avoided the center-of-town courthouse for decades while the manger scene is there.

Actually, the way to keep atheists out of the lawn would be to post a copy of the actual First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religious expression. Atheists wouldn't be caught dead near it.
Attorney General Abbott said the organization is trying to “bully local governmental bodies” and he said he wanted to make sure Henderson County knows “there is a person, a lawyer and an organization in this state that has their back, that has the law, that has the muscle and firepower to go toe-to-toe with these organizations that come from out of state trying to bully governmental bodies into tearing down things like Nativity scenes.”

Many residents and ministers in this east Texas community have vowed to fight back. Hundreds of people are expected to attend a rally on Saturday to show their support for the Nativity. Nathan Lorick, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Malakoff is one of the organizers of the rally. He called on residents to gather peacefully and in a spirit of love.

“It’s time that Americans stand up and take America back for the faith that we were founded upon,” Lorick told Fox News & Commentary last week. “We’re going to stand up and fight for this.”

Henderson County Commissioner Joe Hall called the attack “stupid” and said he’s going to do whatever it takes to stop the group from removing the Nativity.

The attack isn't stupid, anymore than the vandalism of synagogues or black churches is stupid. The attack is just intimidation and hate. The FFRF uses lawyers instead of spray paint and kerosine.

“I’ll tell you this — I’m going to fight this until hell freezes over,” Hall told Fox News & Commentary. “I hope and pray that we leave it up.”

Hall said he’s lived in the community for 35 years and as long as he can remember the Nativity has been erected on the courthouse lawn.

“It’s been up there for decades without any complaints,” he said.

Pastor Lorick said it’s time to draw a line in the sand — and start standing up for the Christian faith.

“Christianity is under attack in America,” he told Fox News & Commentary. “Our country is quickly heading down a direction which the Christian faith is taking a hit — it’s quickly becoming suppressed.”

The attorney general agreed with that sentiment.

“There has been an ongoing battle between the forces of atheism and the forces of those who are antagonistic to all things religious against those who recognize the religious heritage of this country,” Abbott said. “And by defending Nativity scenes, by defending the Ten Commandments and by defending students who try to say a prayer at a graduation ceremony, we’re trying to preserve, protect and defend what we know is perfectly legal.”
The FFRF website has this statement under "Our Legal Work":
The national Foundation has brought more than 40 First Amendment lawsuits since 1977, and keeps several Establishment law challenges in the courts at all times.
Anti-Christian bigotry is a full-time job.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sounded the alarm bell on a multitude of other First Amendment violations. We act on countless violations of separation of state and church on behalf of our membership and the public, successfully correcting many violations through persuasion and education.
"Successfully correcting many violations..." is a nice touch. Threats, intimidation, harassment, shakedowns. Sometimes they don't even have to sue you.

And "violations of separation of state and church" reverses the boilerplate "church and state". Wonder why the new word order? Maybe the old one reminded people of the Klux Klux Klan initiation oath that used the same motto-- "separation of church and state". FFRF donations would dry up if people made the rather obvious connection between the FFRF and better established hate groups.

We need to understand that Christians are under attack from atheist bigots. They hate us. It is organized and malevolent, and it needs to be fought. Bravo to the good folks in Henderson County for standing up for freedom and against the haters. 

49 comments:

  1. Michael,

    Personally, I hate this nativity scene, because it can't decide which version it is following.

    Don't these idiots who set up the display read their bible.

    Matthew has the three wise men going to Bethlehem via Jerusalem and going into the house where Jesus was born.

    Luke has Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem from Nazareth for a census and Mary having to give birth in a manger in a stable because the inn was full, and was visited by shepherds.

    The nativity scene has the wise men (Matthew) in a stable (Luke) but no shepherds.

    Also it's an infringement of the 1st amendment, giving offence to Jews, Muslims (perhaps), some Christian denominations which don't celebrate Christmas and other nonchristian religions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @bach
    Personally, I hate this nativity scene...

    What else is new?

    You should consult for treatment of your Narcissistic personality disorder.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aren't there more than enough nativity scenes on display by private people? The government should be neutral and either display religious symbols of all religions (an impossible task) or refrain from such displays altogether.

    But no, fanatical convert Egnor wants to enlist government resources to bombard our senses even more with the same old fairy tale scenery.

    Build some more nativity scenes in your own backyard, Egnor, you dull bore.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So, not giving your Christianity a privileged place on government property is "anti-Christian bigotry"? I'd say you are an idiot, but that is self-evident.

    Smear on that clown makeup and jump up and down some more. Egnor. Maybe you'll get some of the attention you so desperately and pathetically crave.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We need to understand that Christians are under attack from atheist bigots. They hate us. It is organized and malevolent, and it needs to be fought. Bravo to the good folks in Henderson County for standing up for freedom and against the haters.

    The "good folks" of Henderson County will lose. This isn't even a close legal question. Well-established precedent is squarely against them. County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989).

    ReplyDelete
  6. @anon:

    Perhaps you're right. There's lots of precedence. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Murderous pogroms by Christians against Jews = suing the government for breaking the law.

    Welcome to Egnor's bizarro world!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Egnor, your arguments aren't even mature enough to be called juvenile.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good to see the folks in Texas standing up for their culture and traditions of individual freedoms etc. I applaud them for keeping up the Nativity.

    @Mike,
    Just read your post out to some of the lads here and then navigated to a FFRF site(to sample).
    After having viewed some photos of the group, one said "A little natural selection would sure get rid of all this talk about Atheism."
    Too true. These soft idiots have WAY too much time on their hands. In the natural order they admire so much, they would be hard pressed to compete with the flora. Seems the protectors of the Übermensch may in fact be Über-nebbish.
    Thought you might get a charge out of that. :P

    ReplyDelete
  10. @bach,
    "Personally, I hate this nativity scene..."
    Really? You invested that much emotion into it?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Every year Christmas becomes less about the birth of Jesus and more about “The War on Christmas”(tm Fox News), and rampant consumerism. I haven’t seen, read, or heard, a single story in the conservative media celebrating the birth of Jesus, instead it’s all about who hates who. Christmas has become just another excuse for Christian hatred of all things non-Christian. I can’t wait for this weeks long orgy of Christian indignation to be over.

    Screw Christmas, after work I’m going to send FRF a donation.

    -KW

    ReplyDelete
  12. @KW:

    [Screw Christmas, after work I’m going to send FRF a donation.]

    Your donation to FFRF will be well spent-- screwing Christmas and Christians, just as you intended.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @anon
    I haven’t seen, read, or heard, a single story in the conservative media celebrating the birth of Jesus...

    Click here!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I see bachfiend is trying to score some points with his disingenuous indirect statement (i.e. the gospel accounts cannot be reliable because they differ in certain details). An excellent and highly detailed takedown of that argument is found at: http://www.christianthinktank.com/infancyoff.html.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @anon
    I see bachfiend is trying to score some points...

    Like all atheists e.g. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens (RIP), bachfiend is way out when commenting about religion and Christianity.

    They are full of hatred but they don't have any idea of the objects of their hatred.

    The irony is that they claim they are the only one able to use reason. They claim that they are descended from apes and I am more and more inclined to believe them.

    Poor souls!

    ReplyDelete
  16. @troy:

    [Murderous pogroms by Christians against Jews = suing the government for breaking the law.]

    Nazis were pagans, not Christians.

    Atheists in the 20th century have killed Christians in large numbers (millions) when they have state power. State atheism exceeds even the Nazi atrocities in sheer number.

    Christians are relatively safe in the US from atheist violence primarily because atheists lack power. Everywhere atheists have risen to power, they have killed Christians.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Michael.

    Bullshit. Christians are completely safe in the US from atheist violence, because America is a secular democracy, with rule of law and a fully functional legal and police system.

    Atheist violence doesn't exist, because it doesn't have an ideology. To kill large numbers of people, you need to have an ideology, one with the delusion of a future utopia, which will bring benefit to millions if not billions of people. So that if anyone opposes the ideology and its utopia, that person is 'evil' and needs to be harshly treated. Ideologies such as Communism, National Socialism, Islam or Christianity.

    Millions of people died in communist Russia and China, but that was mainly due to incompetence and famines.

    Agreed, some of the Nazis might be regarded possibly as pagans. But many were out and out Christians, including many in the death camps. Hitler made many references to God in his speeches and writings, and indicated he was doing God's will in eliminating Jews from Europe. Himmler was a practicing Catholic before the war.

    Actually, I'm bemused that you brought up Kristallnacht as being relevant. It was a state initiated pogrom in response to the murder of a low level German diplomat in Paris by a German Jew upset by his parents' deportion to Poland.

    It isn't a precedent for a civil case in America.

    ReplyDelete
  18. @bach:

    Of course atheism is an ideology. It is:

    1) There is no God
    2) There is no afterlife
    3) There are no supernatural things
    4) Nature, understood in a way consistent with philosophical naturalism, is all that exists.
    5) Moral law is the creation of the human mind, and has no origin outside of the human mind
    6) There is no ultimate supernatural accountability after death.

    Tell me:

    1) In what respect am I wrong?

    2) How is it that these 6 corollaries to atheism-- that are believed by all atheists and follow logically and inevitably from the non-existence of God-- don't constitute an ideology?

    Communism etc is an ideology that derives from atheism. One can of course be an atheist without being a communist, but communism is predicated on atheism and dialectical materialism is derived from an atheist metaphysics.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Michael,

    You're wrong in everything you write. Atheism doesn't provide any guide to how one should live his or her life. It's just the simple assertion that there's no god.

    To have a guide on how to live one's life you need an ideology. You've adopted Christianity. Some go for libertarianism. Others go for communism. I prefer humanism.

    Calling atheism an ideology is a nonsense, because atheists can disagree about virtually anything, with the exception of the fact that there's no god.

    ReplyDelete
  20. bach:

    I listed six beliefs that atheists, at least of the Western strain, share. Those beliefs are obviously an ideology.

    In what respect am I wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Michael,

    They're not an ideology because they don't provide guidance on how to live.

    Christianity, or at least your brand of it, is an ideology because it guides you on how to live your life. You, for example, regard contraception as being morally wrong and to be avoided (many American Catholics though disagree and ignore the prohibition).

    I don't think that I have the right to prohibit early term abortion, because it's an infringement on the rights of a mature human to make a decision with regard to her body. I think late term abortions should be banned unless there are strong indications for it. Some atheists disagree with abortion at all.

    The fact remains; atheism provides no guide to the conduct of living one's life.

    ReplyDelete
  22. bach:

    I listed 6 beliefs of all atheists. They constitute an obvious ideology. The ideology is not comprehensive (no one ever accused atheists of rigor or consistency), but it is an obvious ideology.

    It has obvious consequences as well. The consequences can be stated in the negative: if the belief that I will stand before Christ and give an account of my life is one tenet of an ideology, then the belief that I will not stand before Christ and give an account of my life is one tenet of an different ideology.

    Atheism is an ideology, with many ramifications and related beliefs. It is quite diverse, in some ways-- consider the economic views of Ayn Rand and Karl Marx-- but there are beliefs that unite atheists-- the six I listed-- and that makes atheism an ideology. Obviously.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Michael,

    To turn the argument around, take the opposite of all of your 6 beliefs (there is a god, there is an afterlife, there are supernatural things, etc).

    Is that an ideology? As you have written them, no, because there's no indication as to how one should live ones life.

    I could claim that the god is an evil one, wanting us to suffer. We are actually meant to rape and murder to increase suffering in the world, and if we don't we'll suffer in the afterlife.

    That would certainly explain why there's so much suffering in the world, and so much atrocious behavior in the Bible.

    Your list of the 6 core beliefs of atheists is no more an ideology than their opposites constitute one.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1) In what respect am I wrong?

    You are wrong because 2-5 are not elements of atheism. Certainly many atheists hold those views, but none of them are required for atheism, which is merely the position that the case has not been made for the existence of a divine being.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous,

    I was initially surprised that any atheist could not agree with items (2) to (6), but on reflection, the science fantasy novels 'the Golden Compass' written by the atheist Phillip Pullman have most if not all the elements listed above, with the exception of a god and perhaps accountability after death, so I agree that it's possible, albeit unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Mike,

    Why don't you start by learning what constitutes an ideology?

    Wikipedia is a good place to start. In a nutshell, it "is a set of ideas that constitute one's goals, expectations, and actions." Above, you listed 6 beliefs that atheists share. (Number 5 is a silly caricature, by the way, with which I do not agree.) Those are beliefs, or in the language of the Wikipedia definition, expectations. However, there are no goals defined and certainly no actions.

    It's clear as day that your list does not constitute an ideology. It describes a worldview, however poorly.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @oleg:

    Quibbles. A worldview is even more fundamental than an ideology, and gives rise to ideology.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Quibble or not, atheism is a worldview, not an ideology. Admit it and we'll move on.

    ReplyDelete
  29. @oleg:

    I'm delighted to accept atheism as a worldview.

    Gee, oleg, your worldview killed a 100 million people.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Atheism is more than an ideology, it's a religion.

    Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.

    Atheism addresses these by denying them. A negative response is still a response.

    Militant atheists have their pope, his name is Richard Dawkins, a.k.a. Dickie-Dawk!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Pepe,

    Every time I think your comments couldn't get stupider, you prove me wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Egnor: I'm delighted to accept atheism as a worldview.

    Great, we are making progress.

    Gee, oleg, your worldview killed a 100 million people.

    We can make a quantitative comparison if you wish. The French Wars of Religion killed 2-4 million people and the Thirty Years' War killed 3-11 million (estimates vary). The world population back then was 10 times smaller than it was in the 20th century, so the casualties were on a par with World War I and World War II. The same can be said about the Crusades.

    Humans have been pretty efficient at killing each other off, theists and atheists alike.

    ReplyDelete
  33. @oleg:

    [Humans have been pretty efficient at killing each other off, theists and atheists alike.]

    True.

    So lets look at a more comprehensive assessment of Christian/atheist differences.

    State Christianity has led to a mixed bag of outcomes-- largely good (most Christian countries are liberal democracies), some bad.

    State atheism has led to totalitarian governments, without exception.

    ReplyDelete
  34. You're mixing cause and effect. A totalitarian ideology leads to a totalitarian government that suppresses opposing worldviews. Both theists and atheists have been totalitarians.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Pepe,

    Every time I think your comments couldn't get stupider, you prove me wrong.
    "

    So stop thinking like that. It's obvious by now that Pépë's stupidity is boundless.

    ReplyDelete
  36. @anon & @troy

    Whenever atheists use insults in lieu of argumentation, I then know I have hit a bull's eye and said the truth.

    What about proving me wrong, guys? Prove to me that atheism is not set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Pépé: What about proving me wrong, guys? Prove to me that atheism is not set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.

    I see no point in correcting someone who just breaks wind with a smug expression on his face.

    ReplyDelete
  38. @oleg:

    [Both theists and atheists have been totalitarians.]

    No.

    State atheism has always been totalitarian.

    State Christianity has sometimes been democratic and liberal, sometimes authoritarian, and never totalitarian.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I then know I have hit a bull's eye and said the truth.

    No, what it means is that you've said something so incomprehensibly stupid that there is no possible response but to point and laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Egnor: sometimes authoritarian, and never totalitarian.

    Potato, potahto. The term totalitarianism refers to a more recent form of government. That hardly matters. An oppressive government is an oppressive government.

    ReplyDelete
  41. @oleg:

    No. Totalitarian and authoritarian have very specific meanings, and are quite distinct. Authoritarian means political control, but a substantial degree of cultural, economic, and personal independence. A king is authoritarian.

    Totalitarian means substantial control over all aspects of life-- i.e extreme forms of socialism such as communism and Nazism.

    Louis XIV was authoritarian. Hitler was totalitarian.

    Orwell understood the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  42. New Atheism is the religion of 'ME'.
    Everyone knows it.
    All this Blythe bullshit about Atheism being an anti-position is apologia.
    Pépé has made an excellent point adn been utterly ignored. Sure sign of dogma.
    The artefact does not fit? Toss it out.
    I will answer FOR those too cowardly or lazy, Pépé.

    @Pépé
    Those factors you list ARE the basis of a broader ideology that markets itself as 'Atheism' PRECISELY so it can hide behind definitions - just as these comments attempt to do. It is all about mincing words.
    Is what these folks sell actual, technical Atheism? No. They would not be here debating us, as they do, if they actually possessed such minds. There would be literally NO point from a true atheist perspective.

    These people are type of Monist, a person who thinks a single system of thought is supreme. In most cases (as on this post) it is a bastardized/heretical version of Bacon's method.
    They are specifically 'positivists'. THAT is the unspoken ideology here. Scientism, Futurism, progressivism...whatever. Fringe lefties with hate on for God and Daddy, who WORSHIP technology.
    Some of the more intelligent ones are actually sympathetic to communism.
    Atheism serves the religious function within this ideology(s), and as a straw man to redirect the obvious criticisms back toward religion.
    They are victims of a mental atrophy known as 'scientism', a side effect of lazy (hard) materialism.
    I describe it as atrophy as it comes from a lack of use, much as muscular atrophy does.

    @Oleg,
    "Breaking wind"? LOL
    We have a sage saying in the 'free world' :
    "He who smelled it, dealt it"
    :P
    This means the first to accuse someone of farting (or anything) is often the one who DID the farting.
    Excuse YOU, Oleg!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Blithe* --- NOT the town :P
    Dam tablet!
    :@!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love this blog. Christians have done enough apologizing. It hasn't satisfied the bigots because they will never be satisfied.

    Joey

    ReplyDelete
  45. Michael,

    The main difference between totalitarian regimes and authoritarian regimes is that totalitarian regimes have an ideology, whereas authoritarian ones don't.

    Christianity is an ideology. Islam is an ideology. Communism is an ideology. National socialism is an ideology. They all have delusions of a future utopia ('no place') which 'will' benefit millions, if not billions, of future humans, so if anyone opposes them, they're 'evil' and need to be harshly dealt with, and even killed.

    Atheism isn't an ideology.

    Fortunately, Christianity hasn't had state power in most countries for centuries, so it hasn't had the opportunity of killing millions, with the present large world population. It has managed to achieve a respectable toll when it's had the opportunity though.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Atheists, the new militant type like oleg, troy, bach and other anon, are like cockroaches: they run for cover when light is shown on them!

    Atheism is a (bad) philosophy, a (bad) worldview, a (bad) ideology, a (bad) religion and a (bad) dogma.

    Shhheeezzz!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Atheism is a (bad) philosophy, a (bad) worldview, a (bad) ideology, a (bad) religion and a (bad) dogma.

    Granted, it doesn't have the moral superiority of your Invisible Friend torturing eternally everyone who doesn't believe in him - but give us time.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wow alot of these commenters are so close minded it makes me sad. So they are atheists so what. Here is what disgusts me to the uttermost. The atheist people who comment on this site are emotionally wound up with their own belifs that they don't care what their group does weather it be wrong or right. Every time they do something wrong they try and point the finger back at religous people. Take a bow for once hypocrites. If your atheist friends were committing genocide you guys would probably be like " oh de de de de christians are hate filled intolerant bigots so they uh de de de de desreve it".

    ReplyDelete
  49. @cipher - Your reliance on straw man attacks is telling.

    ReplyDelete