And along come the inevitable clashes in the culture war. This year it’s an atheist display in the capitol building in Olympia.
The sign reads:
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.
While I understand and probably even support Governor Gregoire’s decision to allow an atheist display in the capitol I do object to the nature of the particular display that was submitted. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has chosen wording that is deliberately offensive and provocative. Although their display states, “At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail,” they have not chosen to make a case for atheism based on reason, but based only on anti-religious rhetoric. Indeed, their spokesperson asserts that it is intended as an attack on religion.
The fact that they requested to have the sign displayed during the Christmas season makes it obvious that they intend it especially to be a jab at Christianity. That the State chooses to display it in close proximity to the Nativity indicates willing collusion.
This is unacceptable. If I, as a Christian, were to submit a request to display a sign that were specifically anti-Muslim and denigrated Mohammad, I am fairly confident that the State would deny that request. Why, then, then, should a sign denigrating and mocking all religions be allowed?
It’s my feeling that the State followed the path of least resistance in allowing this particular message to be displayed. I think it could quite rightfully have refused this display with its negative, anti-religion statement in favor of one making a positive statement of atheistic beliefs. Governor Gregoire should take the lead on this issue and reconsider the decision to allow this sign to be displayed in the capitol.