I do this thing for the Seattle Times where they send me, and a bunch of wannabe pundits like myself, a question and then they post our answers on their website, and if you're really lucky, they print some of the responses in the paper.
Last week they asked us about the atheist sign that was put up in our state's capitol, Olympia. Check out the story, but the sign, put up by a private citizen and sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, read in part:
"Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
There is also a nativity scene set up there at the capitol, so they asked us our opinion, if we thought the state should be allowing these displays or not. Here is the link to the Times' entry on the subject, but I will cut and paste my response here so you don't have to go fishing for it--plus I try to be honest with myself so I know that you'd never do it in a million years anyway:
"There shouldn't be a ban on religious displays because I don't think it would be constitutional, but I think the whole endeavor is pretty silly. It seems a bizarre notion from any religious/atheistic persuasion that you need to take time out of your day to setup a display on governmental property so you and the people who agree with you can feel good about themselves. Isn't that what we have our own property for, to do with it what we wish?
The whole thing smacks of ego-stroking much more than it does of the "holiday spirit." I say a pox on all of those more concerned with ramming their symbolism down people's throats than they are with having meaningful interaction with differing viewpoints--but I grudgingly support their right to do it.
As a Christian I respect people's God given right to think that Santa Claus is lame or that Jesus was a fraud. I'm not interested in having someone falsely genuflect because in our culture that is just the polite thing to do. In this Christmas season I'd rather have a beer and good conversation with an atheist than shoot him a snide look when he says "religion is a myth," instead of "Merry Christmas."
Hopefully my combination of acrid commentary and magnanimous gesticulating will piss at least someone people off and you'll respond so I'll feel my life has been worth it.
The only other thing I wanted to say, and I know about 0.5 of you will get the reference (it's what the science nerd on the Simpson's calls "The Dennis Miller Factor"), but yeah, the only other thing I wanted to say is that I think there is some sort of weird magnetism between Pastor Ken Hutcherson and television cameras. You might want to get that looked at, there, Hutcherson. His checklist: Marriage rally with Dobson in '04 (how is that constitutional amendment coming along?), boycott Microsoft for their personal decision to extend benefits to gay partners (yeah, that will be effective, and I'm sure you're still leading the boycott, right?), go out to a local high school because the gay students decided to stage some type of protest--you're getting your face all over the place, good for you.