This morning I’d like to weigh in on the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s sign that was put up in our state capital last week. As I said, I’d like to, but thanks mostly to Bill O’Reilly, it has already been weighed in on by the masses.
So rather, I’ll weigh in on another sign, a sign that was put up in the Wisconsin capital building around this time of year, but in 2004.
The sign read as follows:
“At this season of
THE WINTER SOLSTICE
may reason prevail.
There are no gods,
no devils, no angels,
no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but
myth and superstition
that hardens hearts
and enslaves minds.
Sure, it happens that the two signs bear identical text and are both courtesy of the Freddom from Religion Foundation, but the sign from 4 years ago Wisconsin comes without baggage of whether or not Governor Gregoire wimped out and the whole sign theft thing. Oh, by the way I feel that stealing this sign or anything else is wrong. However I derive that sentiment from my belief in God, so if you happen to not believe in God, then, well I’ve digressed. You’ll have to figure out how to derive a moral code for yourself.
And my comments on the 2004 sign:
- I’ve heard or read that it is really about balancing the other religious displays. To that I respond that not every thing needs balance. Should we balance hugging our children with a swift smack up side the head; strictly for balance? See unbalanced can be good. And what exactly are they intending to balance? Neither a menorah nor a creche make any comment on adherents of the atheist religions, yet the words on the sign do comment on the hardened hearts of those who are religious. Again, balance?
- To follow, I’d also say that the religious people I know are some of the most soft-hearted and humble people around. And with few exceptions it is the religious people of the world who are first to devote their live to helping others. They are the first to open their wallet and the first to get on the plane, train or bus. And locally it’s tough to see the secular Planned Parenthood as anything but hard, while Whatcom Clinic, Catholic Community Services and St. Joseph’s are the measure of a soft religious heart.
- As for their being no gods etc I’ll just have to defer to the number of blessings I have received. Perhaps it is shear coincidence that many of what I refer to as blessings come directly after praying to a God which atheists don’t believe exists. And by God, what a miracle it is that so many people around the world are having the same incredible coincidences.
- And I guess working back wards through the sign I’ll make two comments on the solstice portion of the sign. First, using all caps in THE WINTER SOLSTICE sounds like the authors themselves are raising the winter solstice to some sort of religious holiday of their own. And second, if you’re going to put your faith anywhere, wouldn’t it make more sense to put it into the maker of the physical world rather than the physical world itself. I see the winter solstice, seasons, day, night, water, land all as incredible piece of Gods work.
So leave the sign, or don’t leave the sign. Worship the solstice or even a rock; my feeling though, is that you’ll be disapointed. Meanwhile we, in some of the religious ilks, will be worshiping the Creator of your rock and suffering on with all of our shearly coincidental blessings.